How did we become so obsessed with cleanliness? We have exfoliating agents for every part of our body. Antibacterial soaps are now the replacement for a bar of ivory soap. It has become common practice to carry Purell in our bags. How can we possibly think of taking a shower unless the water is near boiling point and there is a loofah to aid us in removing the outer top layer of skin. Some of us have even resorted to extreme methods of cleansing our insides. We go on week long juice fasts and have colonics to remove anything that may be sitting in our lower intestines and colon. Is Bacteria such a threat that we will go to extreme measures to remove it from our body? Perhaps because we take antibiotics when we have a bacterial infection we have somehow come to the conclusion that all bacteria is harmful. Some bacteria live in total harmony with us. We have a mutual relationship and have come to depend on each other for survival. We all know of the benefits of probiotics which is just a term for good bacteria. Human beings have from 3 to 5 lbs. of these healthy microbes circulating within our bodies. Not only do they keep our digestive system in tact but they can also recognize and help destroy bacteria which may later become harmful to us. It is now believed that what we eat, our genes and environment all contribute to the makeup of the microbes within us. In this way it is not hard to understand that we all have a different makeup. This may explain why gut bacteria may affect the weight of a person, diseases such as Autism and even skin conditions such as eczema. That is to say people with similar characteristics share similar bacteria makeup. Since the average person plays host to nearly 10,000 microbes in their system, they are now being looked upon as a source of health as opposed to disease. The connection is also being made on how they may affect hormone and cholesterol levels as well as our absorption of vitamins. Researchers are studying how a healthy amount of bacteria in the system may be the answer to obesity as well as cancer prevention by strengthening the immune system. Maybe it is time to go back into the garden and start making mud pies just as we did when we were children. However, we should stop at the point when we are about to taste them.