With a firm connection between good health and the community of bacteria that reside in the human body, an immense amount of research continues to be conducted into these tiny microbes. The discovery of possible communication going on in the bacterial world has sparked yet another focus of discovery. To do so requires getting really small.
Bacteria: Micro and Nano
Bacteria are microorganisms mostly measured in size using micrometers: 1 millionth of a meter. To put that in feet, there are 914,400 micrometers in 3 feet (1 yard). The length of bacteria averages between 0.2 and 2.0 micrometers.
Going smaller, imagine appendages and protrusions on bacteria. How small would they be in width? Nano small.
You may have heard the term nanosecond, which is 1 billionth of a second. A nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter. In 1 inch, there are 25,400,000 nanometers. The width of bacterial appendages are nano-based: nanotubes and nanowires.
Bacteria use membranous structures called nanotubes as a way to pass amino acids, DNA, nutrients and toxins from one cell to another. When it comes to charged exchanges, bacteria have protrusions that are electrically conductive appendages called nanowires.
According to a feature in the June 2021 issue of The Scientist, nanotubes are different from pili appendages, which are used for bacterial conjugal visits. Besides, pili are protein-based structures, whereas nanotubes are mostly fat-based. Furthermore, nanotubes will link to different species of microbes as well as mammalian cells.
Then there’s the electron transfer going on through nanowires, which, as a form of electrical communication, is now being thought of as bacterial behavior similar to neurons. Talk about connective communication!
The Human Connection
What do these discoveries mean for anyone concerned about their health? Zooming out from this microcosm of life within us, it is worth our time and effort to be aware of the role that bacteria play in keeping us healthy and supporting this inner support. It may be one of our closest connections: good bacteria as best friends.
As stated by Claire Fraser, who is the Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the Maryland School of Medicine, “Our microbiome, particularly in the gut, contributes to the digestion of our food, provides energy for our metabolism and makes a number of essential vitamins and other bioactive compounds . . . Thinking about health and/or disease, we cannot ignore microbiota as an essential component.”
When it comes to the communicative side of bacteria, much remains to be discovered. A review entitled
“Effects of dietary fibers, micronutrients, and phytonutrients on gut microbiome” gets to the point that even though what you eat plays a role in the regulation and maintenance of your gut microbiome, the connection to dietary intake and communication between you, your gut and microbiome is not entirely clear.
While research on this communicative aspect of bacteria continues, there is no time like the present to take care of this inner world by ingesting wholesome nutrition that supports their existence, which, in turn, supports your own.
Food in the form of concentrated, plant-based powders, such as BarleyLife, CoCoa LeafGreens and RediBeets, gets to the heart of the nutritional matter of supporting the bacterial world within with a barrage of beneficial nutrients and phytonutrients.
FloraFood takes support to a probiotic level by introducing three types of good bacteria in a repopulating number of three billion live cells per capsule. It’s reinforcement for the good guys.
Fit ’n Fiber feeds fuel to good bacteria with prebiotic fiber that nutritionally boosts these microorganisms.
Communicating the importance of nutrition that works on many levels, right down to your microbiome, is just one aim of this blog. It’s likely understood and appreciated by bacteria, even if they have trouble expressing themselves.