There are hundreds of different strains of bacteria living in our bodies. Some of these confer benefits to humans, whilst others can be potentially harmful. The beneficial, or good bacteria are essential for good health. They aid digestion and assimilation of nutrients; maintain the health of our gut wall; manufacture certain vitamins, and are essential for the proper functioning of our immune systems.
‘Probiotics’ promote the growth of so called ‘good’ bacteria in the human gut. They exist mainly in the intestines and are vital for good health and wellbeing. Two of the most important “e;good”e; bacteria are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus. A healthy digestive tract should contain at least 85% of these good bacteria to prevent the over-colonisation of any bad bacteria such as E.coli or salmonella.
Certain fermented foods also contain such bacteria. Yoghurt (plain, unsweetened, organic), miso, tempeh and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) are all examples. ‘Bio Bubble’ is a ready to go probiotic drink that’s like a fizzy drink, and contains billions of these beneficial organisms. We’ve recently started selling this at Saltuary… and I’m slowly but surely developing a major addiction to it!
‘Dysbiosis’ is a condition that can occur when the balance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ bacteria is disrupted. This can happen when we suffer illness, take antibiotics or the contraceptive pill, drink excess alcohol, are exposed to radiation, eat too many refined or processed foods or just feel mentally or physically stressed. ‘Dysbiosis’ basically means that the bad guys have started taking over and are starting to outnumber the beneficial ones.
Dysbiosis is associated with poor diet and / or digestion, as well as a condition known as ‘leaky gut’. It produces symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, reflux, vomiting, diarrhea / constipation and colic (in children). It is also associated with an increased susceptibility to fungal or yeast infections (eg: tinea), allergies or inflammatory disorders including those of the skin (eg: eczema).
Naturopathic medicine treats the health of the gut very seriously. Through the gut, everything either gains entry into your body, or not. A healthy and strong gut breaks down food and absorbs nutrients essential to our health, discarding the rest. An unhealthy gut allows all manner of foods, toxins, chemicals etc to gain entry permits into the body, resulting in allergies, infections and so forth. ‘Healing and sealing’ will restore the integrity of your gut, strengthen your immune system and decrease your susceptibility to infections and gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, reflux etc.
Probiotics (meaning ‘for life’) are beneficial for treating digestive disorders, fungal or yeast infections (eg: Candida, tinea, etc), intestinal stomach bugs, urinary tract infections and weakened immune systems. They also benefit the body at times of cleansing / detoxing.
Probiotics are essential to the good health and proper functioning of our immune systems. They help to promote a healthy immune system by decreasing intestinal permeability (a condition associated with leaky gut).
Leaky gut is an inflammatory condition that produces gaps in the gut wall. These gaps allow food particles and other foreign matter to ‘enter’, or ‘leak’ across this wall into the body, creating an immune response (eg: allergy). Leaky gut can be caused by food intolerances, certain drugs, bacterial or viral infections, or even stress.
Probiotics enhance immunity, improve gut function and reduce the production of bowel toxins and infections. Without normal gastrointestinal function and balanced gut flora, people may develop infections, allergies, digestive etc.
Probiotics are beneficial for strengthening your immune system and decreasing susceptibility to infections and allergies. Provided the good bacteria are thriving, infectious bacteria have a hard time getting established and launching an attack on the body.
Always follow a course of antibiotics with probiotic supplementation. Antibiotics destroy both the good and the bad gut bacteria – they are not selective between them. Supplementation will replenish and restore the beneficial bacteria of the gut after such treatment. This should be done after every single course of antibiotics.
By creating a healthy gut environment, Lactobacillus acidophilus (a strand of good bacteria) aids in the synthesis of B vitamins and vitamin K (essential for blood clotting). It also assists with protein digestion and can be helpful in treating lactose intolerant people. It enhances the absorption of many nutrients.
Just like weeding your garden, prebiotics prepare the gut lining for ‘seeding’ – or supplementation with ‘probiotics’. They act as a food source for probiotics and assist in the repair of the gut wall. They are beneficial to begin all supplementation with – especially if the condition being treated is chronic or long standing.
If you are interested in healing and sealing your gut – come and see us here at Saltuary and we will recommend suitable supplements to get you going.
With luv and laughter.. tiina xx