(NDJ) – American scientists have uncovered the mystery of ‘things that live in your belly button’. Your belly button, the study shows, has its own eco system made up of bacteria.
NDJ World | Published: Nov 19 2012 Health
The study was conducted over a period of 2 years and involved the examinations of 500 navels. According to Dr. Dunn from North Carolina State University, scientists discovered 2,368 bacteria varieties living in the belly button; 1,458 of them are ‘brand-new’ species.
What the scientists couldn’t decipher is why exactly these bacteria chose the belly button for their home.
“We noticed very quickly that people’s belly buttons are quite different when it comes to types of bacteria living in them,” Dr. Dunn says. “Much more than we thought.”
“Interestingly enough, age, sex and ethnicity play no factor in determining which bacteria live there,” said Dunn.
According to the findings, the eco system that brews in people’s belly buttons helps us humans fight off diseases by strengthening our immune system.
“It’s crucial to determine which of the bacteria in that eco system play an important role,” the doctor said.
During the study, scientists discovered 2,368 different phylotype of which only 8 were present in 70 percent of the belly buttons.
“The human navel is similar to a rain forest. Each forest has its own flora species, but a few dominant trees are everywhere,” declares Dr Dunn.
The study was conducted after prior studies showed that the collection of organisms on the human skin are the first line of defense against germs.
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