Last night I was looking for information about frequencies and gut bacteria. I have become interested in the use of frequency for healing purposes. There is quite a bit of research going on right now and it could be a medical treatment of the future.

Music therapy is the most well-known example of using frequency for health. It occurred to me that perhaps someone is looking at increasing gut bacteria using frequency.

So I googled: “study abstract gut bacteria frequency” and I found this:

“Potential association of vacuum cleaning frequency with an altered gut microbiota in pregnant women and their 2-year-old children”

At first glance, I thought it was about the frequency given off by the vacuum cleaner. I was thinking “why are they looking at the frequency of a vacuum cleaner in relation to the gut” – it seemed like a strange thing to study. I can think far more common frequencies we are exposed that would be more relevant.

Then I read it and realized they studied how often or frequently someone vacuumed the house and its relationship to gut bacteria – still strange but not as strange.

What did they find? Houses that were vacuumed 2-3 time a week affected the gut bacteria of pregnant women and their children up to the age of 2. Key differences occurred and showed an altered composition of bacteria in comparison to those who vacuumed once a week.

What they cannot tell you is if this makes a difference or how. This was not about good and bad bacteria. It is more about having altered range of species of bacteria.  

How often the house was washed did not show any difference.

I returned to my quest and this time looked for studies about music, since it is frequency, and bacteria.

I found one experiment in Germany that found that playing Mozart helped bacteria break down sewage faster in a sewage plant – again who thinks of studying something like this?

Finally, I hit pay dirt. A study looking at E. Coli K12 – a low level e.coli strain that is not known to cause infections because it does not colonize well in the colon. What they found was that Mozart did not help them grow. The bacteria grew far better in silence than they did with music. Since this is not a strain of good bacteria, this could be good news.

Another study found that that applying low level ultrasound frequency (20 khz) allowed several bad bacteria strains to grow faster. Music has a much higher frequency. So this probably means that different frequencies are going to affect good and bad bacteria differently.

Another experiment looked at what type of music help bacteria grow best. Again, they did not look at strains we might be interested in but the strains were described as non-pathogenic, meaning they are not bad bacteria. They placed the bacteria in petri dishes and attached headphones to the dish in order to play the music to the bacteria. The results showed that classical music helped bacteria grow best, followed by jazz and then rock.  All helped bacteria grow but the classical bacteria levels were twice that of the rock and almost twice that of the jazz.

Unfortunately, there is no information about lactobacillus strains or other beneficial bacteria we are more familiar with. But it does point to a new area of study that may determine that frequency can make a difference and could, in the future, be used to help us build the residential bacteria in our gut. Our good bacteria may prefer higher frequency than bad bacteria – only time will tell.

In the meantime, we know music is good for us emotionally and physically so we already have a good reason to listen and enjoy. As for our gut bacteria, whether it is the vacuum cleaner or music, what affects them is more complicated than we could ever have imagined.


Potential association of vacuum cleaning frequency with an altered gut microbiota in pregnant women and their 2-year-old children, Ekaterina Avershina et al, Microbiome20153:65

Effect of audible sound in form of music on microbial growth and production of certain important metabolites, Niral SarvaiyaVijay Kothari, Microbiology, March 2015, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 227–235

Ultrasound Increases The Rate Of Bacterial Cell Growth, William G. Pitt, Biotechnol Prog. 2003; 19(3): 1038–1044