Bacteria are not all bad – your body is full of friendly bacteria! Good bacteria are thought to help us stay healthy by: neutralising toxic effects from bad bacteria, stopping bad bacteria from landing on and over-growing in our body (colonising), attacking bad bacteria, training up immune cells, and helping digest food.
Scientists noticed that a large number of children treated with antibiotics develop diarrhea; this is because antibiotics disturb the balance between good and bad bacteria in the guts by killing off all bacteria. Some studies showed that this problem can be prevented by taking probiotics (good bacteria, can be found in tablets or foods, such as yoghurt).
Some current research is looking at how good bacteria may be used to help us treat:
– allergies (eg. peanut)
– various skin diseases
– hair growth and health
– antibiotic resistance