Kissers beware: Belly buttons contain 2,000 species of bacteria – Scientists

It turns out that there is an area of your body that could be collecting thousands of germs. This small spot is like a tiny bacteria filled cave that could be carrying more varieties of bacteria than there are species of birds on the North American continent. Doctors say that the findings are not worth panicking about, but we think they might be worth scrubbing down a little more when you bathe.

Your own belly button could be the home of over 2,000 species of bacteria. Researchers are not surprised by this news and neither were doctors. No one ever really believed that the belly button was just sitting there not carrying any germs, but now researchers have discovered that to be officially true.

Dr. William Schaffner, who is an expert in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, says that even though the findings are not shocking, these findings do present a piece to a larger puzzle. The data gathered will help researchers understand how some of the bacteria in our bodies fight off different pathogens. Dr. Schaffner believes that further research could even lead to the development of new antimicrobials.

Associate professor of molecular biophysics at the University of Colorado – Boulder, Dr. Rob Knight, says, “Understanding the biodiversity of our bodies and how it differs among people may play an important role in understanding why some … people are susceptible to the same pathogen or respond to the same drug or diet.”

This research is important because bacteria will only continue to grow more resistant as we create newer and stronger germs to destroy them.  Until then,  be sure to wash that belly button.


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