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The soap and skin paradox: the human skin microbiome may have changed drastically with the use of detergents

May 28, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a pretty interesting concept, essentially that we used to have bacteria capable of metabolizing ammonia and making our BO less offense. The science seems relatively compelling, however I’m still not entirely sold on the idea of foregoing a nice long hot shower for spraying myself twice daily with a suspension of bacteria. Certainly an interesting concept but I’ll stick to soap for the time being.

Like with most probiotic/microbiome products the biggest hurdle will be getting permanent colonization of the environment after the product is not longer being used, or the environment faces a disruption.

Maybe for a backpacking trip where I can experiment away from civilized society. Cool stuff.

Excerpt from “My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment” by By Julia Scott

Whitlock gathered his samples and brought them back to his makeshift home laboratory, where he skimmed off the dirt and grew the bacteria in an ammonia solution (to simulate sweat). The strain that emerged as the hardiest was indeed an ammonia oxidizer: N. eutropha. Here was one way to test his “clean dirt” theory: Whitlock put the bacteria in water and dumped them onto his head and body.

Some skin bacteria species double every 20 minutes; ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are much slower, doubling only every 10 hours. They are delicate creatures, so Whitlock decided to avoid showering to simulate a pre-soap living condition. “I wasn’t sure what would happen,” he said, “but I knew it would be good.”

The bacteria thrived on Whitlock. AO+ was created using bacterial cultures from his skin.

And now the bacteria were on my skin.

I had warned my friends and co-workers about my experiment, and while there were plenty of jokes — someone left a stick of deodorant on my desk; people started referring to me as “Teen Spirit” — when I pressed them to sniff me after a few soap-free days, no one could detect a difference. Aside from my increasingly greasy hair, the real changes were invisible. By the end of the week, Jamas was happy to see test results that showed the N. eutropha had begun to settle in, finding a friendly niche within my biome.

 

 

The company website AOBiome

BMCDB Group Retreat March 2014

May 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Jesuit Center up near Auburn

Jesuit Center up near Auburn

Categories: Social Events, UC Davis