Your Microbiome: The Invisible Creatures That Keep You Alive!

Your Microbiome: The Invisible Creatures That Keep You Alive!


[SHOW OPENING MUSIC] This episode was sponsored by Audible. [OPENING SHOW MUSIC] Teleport every one of your cells into the
next room, and you’d leave a strange shadow behind. A ghostly cloud of single-celled creatures
that live on and inside your body. Your microbiome. Zoom in and we can see this cloud is made
of bacteria, fungi, and others… Like these in the gut, that digest fiber and
give us nutrients we can’t make ourselves. Or these, that munch our skin oils and give
off our characteristic body odors. Even the film of plaque we brush off your
teeth was put there by microbes. You’re teeming with microscopic life. Or rather, you were. Without you to sustain and contain it, your
microbiome is rapidly dying, and without it, over in the next room, so are you. From your first day on Earth, these microbes
helped build, protect, and feed you, and on your last day, they’ll be the first to…
take you apart. When multi-cellular life arrived on Earth,
microbes had been here for more than one and a half billion years. They were first, so naturally every complex
creature to come after, from jellyfish to dinosaurs, termites to trees, koalas to us,
has learned to work with them. But what happens when we try to live without
them? You might think that fewer bugs means fewer
diseases, but it’s not that simple. Cleaner isn’t always healthier. Which bug we meet, and when we encounter it,
makes a huge difference in who we become. In the 1970s, a Canadian doctor noticed that
local indigenous children were less likely to get asthma and allergies than the white
population, despite getting more infections. Later, a British doctor saw less hay fever
allergy in children who had older siblings. It seemed like kids who grew up in more hygienic
environments ended up with immune systems wired to attack stuff like pollen and household
chemicals as if they were dangerous germs. This is the hygiene hypothesis, it says growing
up around a less diverse bunch of microbes can make our immune systems kinda jumpy and
nervous later in life. Today, our food is safer, our water is treated,
we have smaller families trading fewer germs, we even live around fewer animals. One scientist analyzed household dust and
found that homes with cats or dogs have more varied microbes. The family dog builds our library of exposure
with every lick. As adults, our immune systems protect us by
calling on a library of past infections, but when we’re babies, that library is empty. This isn’t because a baby doesn’t have
their own immune system yet, like many people are taught, it’s because for the first few
months after they’re born, a baby actively keeps its immune system turned off, to create
an opening for the body’s first microbes to move in. Our mothers give us our first dose. The trip down the birth canal seeds a newborn
with many of their first microbes. But in some countries, a quarter to half of
babies are born by C-section instead of vaginal birth, and these babies’ first microbes
naturally resemble what’s on the skin instead. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but
it’s definitely different than how it’s been for most of history. But the biggest influence on an infant’s
inner inhabitants is our most mammalian trait of all: Breast milk. Milk is one of nature’s most amazing liquid
innovations. It’s full of energy for growing brains and
bodies, but the baby’s not the only one getting fed. The third most-abundant ingredient in human
milk are complex sugars called oligosaccharides. But newborns can’t digest these. Why do mothers waste good energy filling breast
milk with undigestible stuff? It’s food for microbes! Those sugars pass all the way to the large
intestine, where they meet a special bacterium, which, by the way, was also donated by mom. This single microbe can make up 90% of the
bacterial population in an infant’s gut, and it loves to eat HMOs. They digest those complex molecules and in
return feed the baby special fatty acids, even donate a nutrient needed in growing brains. Later, when we switch to solid food, these
bacteria become minor players, but they play a starring role early on. Those sticky, tangled sugar molecules also
act as a physical defense, tangling up dangerous invaders in a kind of defensive glue. Breast milk is even loaded with bacteria-killing
viruses, ready to target the bad guys and leave good microbes unharmed. Infants that drink formula clearly grow up
fine. Just like C-section vs traditional birth,
formula isn’t bad, it’s just different, and scientists want to know if these subtle
differences early on can lead to big effects later. We find examples of parents passing down
microbes throughout the animal kingdom. Before a Beewolf wasp mom leaves her egg,
she lines the nest with a sticky white paste secreted from her head. As the larva matures, special microbes in
the paste secrete antibiotics to keep the nest free of infections. The new wasp even takes some with her for
when she lays her own eggs. When it’s time for baby koalas to give up
milk and start eating eucalyptus leaves, its mother releases a fluid called pap from well, let’s just say it’s not from her mouth… the youngster eats right up. It’s full of microbes that the koala needs
to digest leaves. It’s clear that these first doses of microbial
life are some of the most important. Some of them take up residence to nourish
and protect us, some of them just pass on through, to help our bodies learn friend from
foe. For most of the microbes that live in and
on us, we still don’t know how they interact with our own cells, or each other. What IS clear is that without them, we wouldn’t be us. Stay curious

100 thoughts on “Your Microbiome: The Invisible Creatures That Keep You Alive!

  1. This video has conveniently neglected to mention that in reality, our microbial symbiotes far outnumber our own cells.

    Each individual human being is an ecosystem, not just one individual creature.

  2. Hi !
    I just wanted to tell you that your videos are really awesome !
    I don't like science, but all your vids are captivating and speaking about topic that are very interesting, thank you very much to teach us about all thoses littles things everywhere ~ !
    I'm sorry I don't speak English very well, because I'm French, aha ^^

  3. I'm having to learn about microbiomes to help cure my eczema, I've settled my digestion problems significantly by introducing probiotics from Goats Kefir, but I'm still not all the way there, it can be frustrating

  4. Young children pick their noses and eat the mucous in order to present trapped microbes and bacteria etc safely to the immune system centered mostly around the gut. They are consuming their own home brewed vaccines.

  5. Excellent video! We've always wondered about how pets (and other people) contribute to our own microbial health here. Resident microbe warrior Jack Gilbert is one of those researchers hot on the trail, here's his breakdown of dogs and the microbiome. http://bit.ly/2b3BtXK

  6. your video format is incredibly similar to vsauce.. but you talk just a little tiny bit too fast for the information to really be retained.
    either that or I'm bad at listening.

    Probably the latter

  7. note that the number of C sections per birth rises in countries where incest is done more. gj muslim countries

  8. I have a small question my dad did a flushing. ( don't know the medical term, in english but its like flushing you intestines with salt water or something )
    And i told him that it wouldn't do much good unless you have a certain medical conditions, and it could be bad for him becaus i knew that you have a kind of ecosystem in their that helps your body and that it maybe would damage the balance.
    I am curious if that is true or i am overreacting ?

    great video btw learned a lot, but it did give me a new weird view on star trek LOL

  9. And this is why I follow the 5+5 second rule. Why +5 seconds?

    Make sure there's more of that stuff that protects me is on it.

  10. 2:39: "The trip down the birth channel"-> Why just don't say vagina? It's from the vagina where you get your first microbes, there's nothing wrong about saying it loud.

  11. When I was a child on countryside, there was this city kid whose parents were sterilizing everything for him to protect him from microbes. They came to visit and the first thing that the kid did was to eat chicken poop. Oh the horrified faces of his parents, while we were all laughing… But even at that time we knew that the joke was on the parents, not on the kid.

  12. Interestingly, I've recently read a study claiming a child born by cesarean instead of natural birth might have a higher chance of obesity later in life due to the fact they did not receive those birth canal microbes. I love science! Always learning, always changing!

  13. I love this show because it is kid-friendly and educational and I watch it all the time!When my best friend watched it he just kept on staring at the tv!

  14. When you were talking about human ilk I was like "Wow I feel stupid since I was always fed bottle milk.Yet somehow i still make it in the top 20 students range at school."

  15. I was allergic to milk as a baby, but my i.q is a tiny bit above average (122) so what's up with that? are you saying if I hadnt been allergic to milk I would have been a genius or something?

  16. Hmm.. So could there be alien planets with no microbes? Could germs actually wipe out an invasion if they never had them? That would be crazy, so because they were here first we adapted.. I'd love to see a world without microbes, bacteria etc. if it's even possible?!

  17. public class Baby extends Mom, Dad implements SensoryOrgansListener{ sealed Love override growIndividualIdentity() { return loveObject; } }

  18. Extraordinary channel with mind blowing presentation skills…Love your work…Best of youtube 👍

  19. Also can I add that the count of bacterial cells in your body outnumber the count of your own body cells by 10 times?

  20. i heard a pregnet mum with a pet (cat and/or dog) the child is more likely to be less likely to have allergies!

  21. Ooh.. betrayal! "From your first day on Earth, these microbes helped build, protect, and feed you, and on your last day, they'll be the first to take you apart." Well, at least we get what we need, and they get what they want.

  22. So that means that if we go to a new planet with life on it we could gain super powers or even immortality!!! OOO MY GURD

  23. Born by Cesarean section, born lactose intolerant…was sick as hell the first ten to twelve years or so. Think I've finally figured out why. ^^

  24. I always wonder when you see moms constantly scolding babies, and saying "dont touch that" "thats dirty" "dont put that in your mouth" "now we have to wash your hands all over again" etc.. Are they unknowingly hurting their babies? Should we be letting kids crawl on public floors and put strange items in their mouth? I know i always rolled in mud, played with snakes, sucked on everything i could, and just generally exposed myself to many germs as a kid. I don't have any allergies to anything, but i do have a horrible immune system. I wonder if early exposure made things better or worse? Is there any benefit to continuing to expose oneself to germs as an adult, or is there only benefit for babies? Just curious as to how clean is too clean when it comes to cleaning and just generally being alive.

  25. I read once, don't remember where, that nearly 8% of our genetic code came from retroviruses. One of those viruses infected the mammals' reptilian ancestor, making it unable to form the egg s and quickly fusing into its genome, thus passing down to us.

  26. If milk is for babies then what are baby cows drinking if we take their milk, Bet ya never thought about that.

  27. This episode is sponsored by audible.
    I forgot to cancel my free trail and had for 4 months straight 😂😂 I paid for my own view on this one

  28. The wall between recum and birth canal is very thin. Consequently the baby gets everything from the mother. The good bacterias (lactobacilluses and bifidobacilluses) and the bad ones (streptococcus, staphylococuss).
    The real beneficial information would be, which microbes are feeding on which food. Usually the good ones digest the easily digestible food (food that contains at least 60-70% water). The bad ones everything else.

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