What is bacteria?
Bacteria are single-celled micro-organisms and can be found all over our bodies, including our mouths, skin and, of course, the gut (the ones we’re interested in!).
There are so many different species of bacteria in your gut. Think of the different species as having different job titles – they all do different things. Within a bacteria species (or job titles), there are ‘strains’. Strains are a further way of separating out the differences between bacteria belonging to the same species. For example:
Species: lactobacillus (music artist)
Strains: L. acidophilus (bassist)
- amylovorus (DJ)
- casei (singer)
- rhamnosus (backing vocalist)
What does it do?
Mostly, lots of great things, but sometimes the wrong type or too much/too little bacteria can cause problems.
The bacteria in your gut make up your microbiota.
The ratio of human to bacterial cells is thought to be 1.3:1. Scientists are continuing to research the true ratio but it makes up a big proportion of who we are!