“What Do You Know About Probiotics?”
In earlier blogs, I defined the word ‘probiotic: the prefix ‘pro’ means ‘for’ – and the word ‘biotic’ means ‘life’, so probiotics are for life. Often called the ‘friendly bacteria’, scientists believe that probiotics are as important in this century as antibiotics were in the last. And I go along with the scientists’ belief. My feeling is that probiotics are the unsung hero of wellness.
In my last two blogs, I posted a list of functions performed by probiotics, both our own natural ones and those helped with high quality supplements (NOTE: Not all probiotics are created equally… I’ll address that in more detail in a subsequent blog.). My last blog had two lists along with explanations: Dysbiosis, meaning the causes of an imbalance between the harmful and good bacteria (the bad being detrimental if more than a 15/85% ratio), and then a list with the warning signs of Dysbiosis.
As evidenced in my earlier blogs, there is much at stake in assuring that friendly bacteria are in control in our bodies. Hence, in this posting, I thought I would give you a list of the factors that can upset the balance of intestinal flora, thus causing Dysbiosis:
· Antibiotic medications and antibiotic residues often in our meat and dairy products – note that this is not only first alphabetically, but a strong first as far as a cause of Dysbiosis*
· Chlorinated / fluoridated water (chlorine put in water to kill bacteria is also not selective)
· Constipation (a condition which creates a toxic environment for the good ‘bugs’)
· Diets high in sugar and other simple carbohydrates…junk foods strengthen and feed an undesirable element in our guts
· Estrogen replacement therapy (this is an example of a treatment intended to remedy one situation which can exacerbate another)
· Excessive fiber (yes, you can ingest too much fiber, too…and it strips the colon of micro flora)
· Excessive exposure to radiation (CT scan, and excessive dental and/or medical X-rays)
· Heavy or excessive use of (even natural) antiseptic agents such as echinacea, barberry, goldenseal, colloidal silver
· Oral contraceptives (birth control pills contain hormones which are damaging to good bacteria)
· Parasites, usually gotten from traveling to third-world countries, but also contracted by eating foods that are either not washed properly or cooked thoroughly
· Poor digestion – possibly now thought to be caused, at least in part, by lengthy ingestion of acid blockers (more on this relatively new concept in future blogs) Chew your food throughly!
· Steroids (and these include even the anti-inflammatory steroids prescribed by physicians)
· Stress, the chronic type
· Toxic chemical intake (and our everyday life has many – breathed in, ingested, etc.)
*Antibiotic drugs are not discriminating in selecting only harmful bacteria to kill, they kill them all, especially the broad-spectrum variety. It is especially important to replenish the good ‘bugs’ in your system with probiotics when taking an antibiotic well before the bad guys get too comfortable in our guts. (You can take probiotics while on an antibiotic by allowing two hours between taking each.) In a subsequent blog, I’ll discuss the importance of selecting a high quality probiotic, or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website at www.nutried.com.
Meanwhile, I’m posting a list of measures you can take if you think you may be suffering Dysbiosis – an imbalance of intestinal flora:
· REST your GI tract by cutting out starches and sugars that yeasts love…
· REPLACE carbohydrates with vegetables, in particular
· DRINK large amounts of water
· CLEANSE the colon with a quality oral colon cleanse product, or visit an experienced colon therapist for advice
· REBALANCE bacteria in your system by flooding the colon with high quality probiotics during this whole process
· CONTINUE TO USE a high quality probiotic which will help you maintain sufficient and healthy levels of good bacteria in your colon, enhancing the purpose of your immune system in finishing the job of eliminating and keeping away the ‘bad guys’
Always follow the instructions of your physician! Just be informed about side effects and how to manage them.
As you can see, there is much information out there about the goodness of probiotics which I will delve more into in future editions. Check out my blog regularly for more information about probiotics and other nutritional data. I would be happy to advise you on the most effective probiotics available to help you toward a life of wellness. Again, you can contact me through my e-mail or website (noted above), and we’ll work together on getting you on a path to a healthy life.