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Sherlock Holmes: Only a Tenth of Our Cells Are Human

Part 1 of the series, “Bacteria—We Can’t Live Without Them”

detective-with-magnifying-glassInvestigating the apparent murder of a man, Sherlock Holmes called on his old pals at the Health Center of Hillsborough, the chiropractors who work with certain life and death issues. Was this really murder?

The doctors there looked at the pattern of behavior leading to this death. They told Holmes the facts. That only about 10% of the trillions of cells in a human body are actually human!

10% of the cells in a human body are human!
90% of the cells in the human body are bacteria, viruses and other microbes, mostly in the digestive system and on the skin. We have more DNA from microbes than we have DNA from our own body tissue. 90% of the cells in a human body are microbes!

The genes of these microbes are more responsible for human survival than the genes of our own human body! In the human body, we have 22,333 human genes and about 8,000,000 microbe genes.

For example, the energy we need to make our muscles contract comes from tiny cells in our body called mitochondria. Originally these cells were parasites and stayed with us all through our development to become an integral part of all the cells of our body. Yes, mitochondria still have their own genes, different from ours.

The doctors said that just as we need air and water to live, we need our microbes. A person who has lost their good microbes is a person who is likely to become overweight, sick and deathly.

So what part of us is human and what part of us is made of microbes? The border between our human parts and our microbial parts is not very clear. Really, the bacteria and other microbes are part of us. They are not just living with us. Just as the valves and the pistons are part of a car, microbes are part of the human body. The microbes are like the oil. Our car cannot run without oil. Our body cannot run without microbes.

Where do we get microbes?

Our first microbes come to us as we pass through the birth canal. When we sneeze, we send our microbes into the environment. Even when we breathe. When we hold hands, there is transmission—an exchange of bacteria. Is that okay?

It could be frightening. But life is all about this exchange. Children who are kept in an environment that is too clean tend to get asthma and allergies. If they do not acquire normal microbes, their bodies are never quite whole. It’s like having a car without oil.

At the Health Center of Hillsborough, we work with Sherlock Holmes as a team. Chiropractic and acupuncture is where the Health Center started 34 years ago, but now we have 6 practitioners and 6 more who are closely associated. Each of us dovetails in with the others. Massage therapy is more than relaxing. It has a contribution for healing. Our nutritionist/registered dietitian might be the one who recognizes a particular clue and offers healing. Physical therapy contributes, as does weight loss coaching. Mindfulness. Perhaps most importantly, is that we encourage you, the patient, to contribute knowledge as well. You are the healer and that is why we say “You Heal It.”

What does this have to do with murder?

Tune in next month to find out, and also for how good bacteria manage appetite.

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