Hard Scrubbing Won’t Remove All the Bugs

Fred Bodimer, KMOX Health Editor
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Medical Research 4, Getty Images Matthais Tunger

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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St. LOUIS (KMOX) – Washington University School of Medicine researchers find we are carrying a lot of bacteria around on our bodies. Team leader Dr. Phil Tarr said they have collected tissue samples from 242 adults and categorized every organism they found.

“We’re dealing with an ecosystem, not just one or two major bacteria.”

Microbes can account for up to 3-percent of body mass, meaning a 200 pound person could harbor as much as six pounds of bacteria.  Dr. Phil Tarr, said they believe harmful bacteria are apparently kept in check by friendly bacteria that help keep us healthy:

“These bacteria may help people grow, they may help us put on weight and they may help us lose weight.”

And this new wealth of information, Dr. Tarr said, could lead to prevention of infections, better treatments for infections, and healthier growth and development of children.

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