[GUT HEALTH] and Some Bacteria!
Do you know what a probiotic is?
What do you understand about good and bad bacteria?
The Importance of bacteria in the belly:
I am not going to go into a lecture on how the bacteria works. Rather, I will just tell you that the huge amount of bacteria you have in your small intestine and colon are there because you need it. A bacterium does help in food digestion and unifying and creating vitamins and using enzymes that our own bodies can’t physically produce.
Some illness caused by lack of good bacteria:
- Allergies and asthma.
- Yeast infection
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
- Lactose intolerance
Imbalance is caused by:
- Pharmaceutical drugs – especially antibiotics
- Crohns Disease
- Gastric bypass
- Inadequate fiber in the diet
Sometimes, when you take too many antibiotics, your good bacteria get destroyed and your bad bacteria take over and you get an illness called c-difficile. It is pretty nasty and it is very difficult to get rid of. You have to take another special and ridiculously expensive antibiotic to get rid of it. At the same time you take probiotics to repopulate your belly with good bacteria. C-difficile can be devastating! Luckily, you can get rid of it by changing the way you eat! Amazing! Even the things we think are environmental, initiate with our intake of food!
What to do about it:
Supplementation of bacteria is being advised by most nutritional authorities. You can get probiotics in food. Yogurt, miso and sour dough bread are the foods that come to mind. Fermenting food is a good way to get probiotics! I guess if I can soak and sprout, fermentation would be a natural evolution and my next step to a healthier lifestyle. You can also get supplements with all different types of probiotics. The thing you want to look for is “live and active cultures”.
“[There is an]…invisible epidemic of insufficient probiotics. We’re not getting what we used to [through diet], and we’re destroying what’s there. As a result, the balance of our intestinal microbe population has changed, sometimes with disastrous effects on our immune system.” Gary Huffnagle, Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Have you ever worried about your kids not getting enough nutrition when they had the flu? And has your doctor told you to feed them yogurt with live cultures? The yogurts out there don’t have enough live and active cultures to help that! And since we now know about milk, mucus and sugar, we realize that we could have done more harm than good; bacteria loves sugar!
The use of probiotics as an everyday supplement is debated. They are live organisms and enhance digestion and nutrient absorption. In Brendan Brazier’s book “Thrive” he says, “By consuming probiotics on a weekly basis, your chance of infection- and therefore the need for antibiotics- is greatly reduced. Consistent probiotic use has shown to dramatically improve immune function.” He says that daily use is not necessary, a few times a week would be helpful.
There are several different supplements out there. They can be found on Amazon.com, at Whole Foods, and at your local health food shop. Some don’t have any animal products, dairy or gluten. The older you get, the less good bacteria you produce; the supplement would give you a little extra. It is also important that you look to see if the supplement you use needs to be refrigerated. Some require refrigeration after a certain date because of the live organisms.
“There is a solid theoretical basis for why probiotics should help prevent… and even reverse cancer. Probiotics produce short chain fatty acids in the colon, which acidify the environment. Lower colon pH is associated with lower incidence of colon cancer. Probiotic bacteria reduce the level of procarcinogenic enzymes….” (Michael S Donaldson, Director of Research, Hallelujah Acres Foundation)
This is important to remember:
The drugs we take, even with a prescription from a doctor, have profound effects on our body. It may make one thing better, but while it is doing that, it sometimes makes 10 things worse. That is why it is so important that we take responsibility for what we put into our bodies.
With the way that the medical, pharmaceutical industry, government and food industry works, it has come down to “shame on us” if we don’t take care of ourselves by educating ourselves before we make decisions. Do you know how many people just do what they are told with blind trust or fear of reprisal? Do you know bow many people are sent by their doctor to the nurse practitioner (who has no clue about their medical history) and take her prescription??
I know, it is a lot to learn. Believe me, I understand that it takes a lot of time to figure it all out. That is why I am here. Let me help you sift through the truth and the hype.