You have heard a lot about probiotics recently and there are quite a few probiotic products on the market. I wanted to answer questions that I am often asked and I thought the best and most straightforward way of doing this is to write an FAQ. So here it is:
What are Probiotics?
Pro biotics means Pro (for) Biotics (life). As opposed to Anti (against) biotics (life) which are organisms that kill bacteria.
Probiotics are a type bacteria that have evolved with our bodies over billions of years to have a symbiotic relationship. Symbiotic means to live with or on an organism in a way that results in mutual benefit for both organisms. That is as opposed to parasitic which means to live in or on an another organism to the benefit of the parasitic organism only or to the detriment of the host. There are many hundreds of different types in the body.
Probiotic organisms are single celled but much smaller than the cells in your body, in fact there are about 100 times more probiotic bacteria in your system than there are cells in your body.
What do Probiotics do?
Probiotics are beneficial to the digestive process and the immune system. They assist the digestive process by removing waste, mucus and putrification that can accumulate in the gut. This prevents mild but annoying conditions like indigestion, flatulence and heartburn, as well as more serious conditions like colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
They also help digest difficult proteins like lactose and gluten. They play an important role in the immune system as they take away the space that parastic organisms like bacteria, viruses and yeasts need to operate, Acidophilus also produces Hydrogen Peroxide that kills these organisms.
Now this doesn’t sound like much but when you consider that digestion is central to everything then it takes on more significance. Without proper digestion the body does not get the nutrition it needs to be healthy or even stay alive. It therefore affects every aspect of your physical health.
Where do probiotics come from?
One of the main sources of probiotics is breast milk, especially the very first feeding which contains a high concentration of probiotic bacteria. There is a nutrient rich compound called colostrum that is produced by all mammals. As well as the initial probiotics it contains other immune boosting compounds and important growth hormones. That is why it is very important for the mother to eat well when pregnant as she needs the right food to produce the probiotic rich first milk for the baby. This can seriously influence the health of the child for the rest of it’s life. Probiotics also come from the environment along with other bacteria. The truth is bacteria is on and in almost everything, but not all are bad.
What is the best probiotic supplements to take?
Well we recommend G & G Vitamins MicroLIfe Probiotics which we believe are the best on the market. This is a range of probiotics developed by G and G Vitamins and are produced in Engand. This helps to keep the cost down as they do not have to be imported. For the immune system Acidophilus is good so try McroLife Acidophilus, this is very high strength, For severe digestive problems take Microlife Advanced Micro Formula, this is a super high strength combination of Acidophilus, Bifidus and Bulgaricum in a special medium.
What causes us to have A Deficiency in probiotics?
The biggest cause of a deficiency in probiotic bacteria is the taking of antibiotics. Of course antibiotics are necessary because they kill many diseases and have saved millions of lives since they were discovered, but there is a downside. Antibiotics do not distinguish good from bad bacteria so people who have had a long period of probiotic treatment are usually depeleted and can experience digestive and immune complications. It is common for doctors to prescribe an antibiotic supplement after treatment with antibiotics. There is another problem relating to antibiotics and that is their use in animals to precent disease. This means if you are eating non-organic meat you are getting a lot more antibiotics.
If you licve in an area that uses fluoride in the water this also has a bad effect on intestinal flora and conventional water filters don’t remove it.
Poor such as processed food and foods heavy in sugar deny the probiotic bacteria the food it needs to breed. They need whole foods containing complex sugars and fibres.
Is there anything I can do to help my intestinal flora?
Yes, eat a good diet with lots of fibre and complex sugars. Avoid refined foods, saturated fats and sugar as much as possible. Eat lot of raw fruit and vegetables. As a supplement gum arabic is rich in a type of fibre that is very good for intestinal flora. Take a teaspoon in water twice a day. Spirulina is also great for this and has the added nutrients as well.
I hope you found some useful information in this article, let me know.