Probiotics – Balancing Gut Bacteria
The term probiotics literally means ‘for life’ in Greek and it refers to live bacteria. Most of the bacteria in the human system are good bacteria and very essential in keeping us alive and kicking. Out of the many hundreds of kinds of bacteria that live inside of us, many of them are in our gut, where most of our immune system is located. So when there are enough of good bacteria in there, all’s right with our world. We need the good bacteria to overcome the bad ones. As long as that happy balance remains inside, things are fine.
Our bodies can tolerate a small percentage of bad bacteria fairly well. The good ones keep them in check and don’t allow them to get out of hand. However, when we have an infection or after a course of antibiotics, this balance could be upset and there aren’t enough of the good bacteria to protect us inside. That’s when we need extra fighting power which comes from repopulating the gut with good bacteria to bring the body back to a balanced state.
Some of the things that cause imbalance:
- Antibiotic use
- Too much alcohol
- Eating foods with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotic residues, and hormonal pollutants
- Over consumption of sugars and other refined carbohydrates
- Too much stress
- Lack of nutrition from living fresh foods grown in nutrient-rich soil
- Chlorinated water
There are various kinds of probiotics – they could be bacterial or of a yeast origin. In the bacterial group, there are different strains you will find within the two groups – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. What is vital is that the bacteria count in the product you ingest be of the necessary amount.
We could all stand to get extra probiotics in our diet, but it becomes especially important immediately after completing a course of antibiotics. This is because the drugs don’t just kill off the bad bacteria, they also do away with the good so it is important to put back the flora that your intestines needs.
Probiotics are useful in any kind of parasitic or bacterial infection like candida, vaginal and urinary infections, giardiasis, and even conditions like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Also, probiotics can give nice support to the immune system, especially if you find yourself getting ill frequently and may also be helpful for weight loss.