Quick: What do you say when someone tells you that your entire body is covered in bacteria?

A) “Yuck!”

or

B) “Yay!”

If your answer was A, you’re not alone, but your gut would certainly disagree.

That’s because, as Martin J. Blaser, M.D., describes in his new book, Missing Microbes, the bacteria that coat your skin, inhabit your mouth, and fill your intestines are essential to your health and well-being. They protect you from harmful pathogens, help digest your food, produce vitamins, and fine-tune your immune system.

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