How to Properly Make Probiotics Work for You
5 minute read
When your gut is overrun with pathogenic bacteria, the consequences are serious. You can experience any number of health problems. These health issues are not limited to the digestive system and your overall health can suffer. The main reason pathogenic bacteria are able to take over like this is because of a reduction in your friendly gut flora. There is good news though. You can gain control of the situation by controlling your bacterial composition.
| Related: Healthy Gut 101: What Are Probiotics |
The way to do this is through probiotics. This allows you to tip the balance back in favor of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Think of it as providing backup for your current defense system. Bacterial colonies can decrease for any number of reasons, so sending in additional troops will help keep the situation under control. You don't have to be a professional and start making your own fermented foods; a simple high-quality probiotic supplement will work just fine.
On the Front Lines
Our digestive system houses over 500 different bacterial strains and in an ideal situation, 85% of these or more are beneficial. This means only a minority of pathogenic strains exists in the gut and they can easily be kept under control. Often, your friendly flora is able to recruit some of the pathogenic strains to perform helpful functions.
The problem lately is that most people's guts do not look like this. Diet and lifestyle changes have caused the bacterial proportions to change. Most of the gut bacteria are unfriendly and this is dangerous for your digestive health and overall health. Overuse of antibiotics, birth control pills and other medications contribute to the diminishing front line of friendly bacteria. When you add in diets rich in sugar and processed foods, unfriendly yeasts like Candida are given a reinforcing boost.
Send in the Reinforcements
Probiotics consist of thousands of strains of beneficial bacteria which prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and fungus in the gut. Adding probiotics to your diet benefits your gut in a number of ways.
♦ Lowers your blood pressure
♦ Produces Vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for responding to injuries. Vitamin K is responsible for regulating normal blood clotting and also helps to transport calcium around the body.
♦ Produces substances that normalize cholesterol
♦ Neutralizes pre-cancerous compounds
♦ Prevents cavities by creating an alkaline environment. Too much acidity in the system and mouth can allow cavities to develop.
♦ Enhances the protective barrier of the digestive tract, preventing leaking from the gut into the bloodstream
♦ Aids in the digestion of lactose which is beneficial for those with any form of intolerance. Probiotics as part of your regular diet can help speed up the digestion of lactose foods.
♦ Lowers the pH of the intestines
♦ Detoxifies carcinogens that are consumed
♦ Produces beneficial compounds that inhibit the growth of tumors
When you see all the benefits that probiotics can do for your gut and ultimately your health, it is easy to understand why the Father of Modern Medicine (Hippocrates) said that all disease begins in the gut.
The Probiotic Soldiers
It is always recommended to take probiotics at the end of a meal; whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner is up to you. By taking the probiotic with food, you are providing it with some protection to get through the stomach gauntlet.
You want to make sure that your probiotic is properly nurtured. You achieve this by consuming prebiotic fiber. This is available as a supplement or can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It is important to remember that there is no one probiotic for everyone.
Beneficial bacteria seek to occupy every tissue in your body, so there is no harm taking additional probiotics at night. This can help protect your mouth and sinus cavities from infections. While you sleep, the friendly flora will work to prevent pathogenic strains from taking over your mouth, nose, throat and ears.
Since the number of bacteria in your gut can change at any time, there is an additional supplement you can take to support your probiotics and enhance their activity. Polyphenols are the primary agents that protect plants from microbial attacks and they can assist probiotics in doing the same for us.
Polyphenol supplements are available from any health food store and can greatly increase the activity of your gut flora. They are much sturdier and are able to reach your gut when probiotics cannot. They provide the perfect boost to those bacterial strains that do make it through your digestive system.
The Bottom Line
It is clear that supplying probiotics to your system will benefit more than your gut. Since the main source resides in your intestines, this is the place to focus on. When you send in reinforcements, your body can adequately defend against any war pathogenic materials try to wage.
Read Next >>> How Your Probiotic Therapy Helps Alkalize Your Body