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Friday, June 22, 2012

Bugs R Us

Have you been following the bug news? About how we are made up of about 90% bugs?  Or microbes, as the experts call these little bugs. This comes as a nasty surprise to someone like me who has this phobia of bugs. even micro-sized ones. Maybe you too are thinking: Yuck.

But the experts are saying these bugs are a good thing. As one of those experts, Lita Protor, at the National Institute of Health said:

These microbes aren't just along for the ride. They're there for a reason. We have a symbiotic relationship with them — we give them a place to live, and they help keep us alive.

"They belong in and on our bodies; they help support our health; they help digest our food and provide many kinds of protective mechanisms for human health," Protor said.

Also in the news is nonstop moaning about the obesity crisis. Some people are linking obesity with consumption of too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup, such as in sodas. We already limit or prevent our kids from drinking sodas at school. As you probably know, there is a move afoot to limit how much of these sugary drinks even adults can slurp down.

So what does sugar have to do with bugs? Well, stay with me here: obesity seems to be related to the kind of bugs colonizing our bodies. Experts are saying fat and skinny mice (another critter regardless of size, I don’t much like) have different bugs in their bodies.

 Scientists at Harvard and Washington University in St. Louis have found fat people, like fat mice, have  different bugs than their skinnier friends:

They have found that the ratios of various bacteria in the guts of obese mice and obese humans were significantly different from those of lean controls, suggesting that altering the stomach’s microbial balance with antibiotics might put patients at risk for gaining weight.

The experts go on to relate all of this to overuse of antibiotics. Just like farmers use antibiotics to fatten up livestock without increasing how much they eat. The experts find inverse correlations between certain bugs and obesity, as well as some serious diseases.

I take that to mean some micro-bugs are good for you and some are not.

The bottom line seems rather obvious to me. The bad bugs are enjoying all this soda. That means there  may be a simple solution to the obesity epidemic since the bad bugs are making us fat. 

You remember the old folk remedy for getting rid of slugs, ants and other undesirable bugs? You pour something sweet like beer or soda into a small container. The bugs drown, after they drink themselves into an alcoholic stupor.  

So, we should be allowed to buy those large sodas. We just should not drink them. Rather than drink the sodas, we need to set the sodas close to us and let the bad bugs drink themselves into oblivion.

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