Leave it to scientists to find a new way to explore the human body. Scientists are looking at human beings as an ecosystem. They have already done a census of the bacteria that live in and on us. Did you know that bacteria cells outnumber human cells in our bodies? That’s kind of weird because it means we are more bacteria than human!
The most recent study concerned fungi. As someone who has battled fungus in the skin and nails of the foot for far too long I always knew the foot was a hotbed of fungal activity. Well guess what…I quote: “The survey turned up dozens of types of fungi – far more than anyone knew were there. In most parts of the body, fungi from the genus Malassezia dominated. One part of the body had an especially wide array: the feet.”
The researchers found at least 80 varieties of fungus on the heel and “at least 60 between the toes and at least 40 on toenails.” In other parts of the body scientists only found “between two and five types of fungus.”
The researchers aren’t sure why feet have so many fungi. Scientists suspect walking around barefoot and the temperature of the feet promote fungus growth. I’ll bet it has a lot to do with shoes as well. Shoes provide a dark, warm, moist environment that is ideal for fungus!
Even though it never occurred to the scientists to “check the shoes” the lead researcher did offer an excellent piece of practical advice in typical scientist speak: “It really would certainly underlie the idea that you really need to take very good care of your feet.”
Source: NPR “Research Reveals Yeasty Beasts Living On Our Skin–
Our Bodies, Our Fungi?” Rob Stein, May 22, 2013 1:01 PM