My Gut Feeling About Probiotics

Do you experience any of these?

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Skin conditions
  • Obesity
  • Large variety of undiagnosed problems without obvious cause
  • Reduced immune health
  • Reduced vitality
  • Gut inflammation (irritable bowel, diarrhoea, pain, colitis, etc.)
  • Inflammation elsewhere in the body, e.g. joints, muscles, brain, etc.
  • Intestinal permeability, leading to allergy and toxicity
  • Chronic infections
  • Candida albicans overgrowth
  • Increased production of endotoxins
  • Impaired energy metabolism
  • Autoimmunity
  • Impaired Detoxification
  • Reduced nutrient synthesis (e.g. vitamins B and K)
  • Impaired milk digestion
  • Increased oxidative stress

These can all be, and often are, symptoms of “Gut Dysbiosis”.
Aquasource Bifidus + Algae Complex

“Gut dysbiosis” means simply an upset in the natural balance of micro-organisms in your intestines (and mouth).  Normally, your intestines are inhabited by trillions of beneficial bacteria, which help you digest your food, produce energy, and some vitamins, and produce important chemicals like serotonin and dopamine (both feel-good neurotransmitters needed for brain function).

When you have dysbiosis, this means that the bad germs (disease causing microorganisms) begin to edge out the good germs.  When the bad bugs edge out the good bugs, basic biological functions (such as digestion) begin to break down, and symptoms (like diarrhoea or constipation) begin to appear.

According to Mark Hyman, MD, founder and medical director of the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts “If you have an autoimmune disorder, depression, allergies, or any number of other illnesses, the underlying cause may be an unhealthy balance of gut bugs.”

Having the wrong mix of microbes may even contribute to obesity.

Every day many types of bacteria are competing for supremacy in your digestive tract, and whichever gets the upper hand, the good guys or the bad guys, can determine your risk for a range of health problems.

The pathogenic bad guy microbes include:

  • Yeasts like candida albicans
  • Bacteria like clostridium and streptococcus
  • Viruses like Rubella and Epstein Barr
  • Parasites like Giardia Lamblia

Friendly bacteria in your gut do the following:

  • Help to digest food
  • Help your immune deal with toxins,  harmful micro-organisms, allergens and incompletely digested protein
  • Synthesize nutrients that are essential to your health, like Vitamin K and B12
  • Take up physical space in your gut, which helps to displace and prevent infection by harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites
  • Produce natural antibiotics, hydrogen peroxide and lactic and acetic acids which also help to protect you against infection by harmful micro-organisms, including bacteria that can cause food poisoning

What causes the good bacteria to be overtaken by bad bacteria and microbes?

  • Use of antibiotics
  • Use of foods that are contaminated with antibiotics and antibiotic residues, mainly factory farmed animal foods
  • Drinking chlorinated water
  • Swimming in chlorinated pools
  • Taking long showers where you inhale the chlorinated steam
  • Eating foods and beverages that have sugar or other concentrated sweeteners
  • Regular consumption of refined and processed foods like cakes and biscuits, chips, pastries, and pre-packaged goods
  • Regular consumption of alcohol
  • Regular use of soft drinks (cola, etc.)
  • Not chewing your food thoroughly, and eating on the run
  • Not learning to manage stress
  • Use of steroids like prednisone and hydrocortisone
  • Use of antacids and other acid-inhibiting drugs
  • Use of laxatives
  • Use of birth control pills

So how do you cultivate beneficial bacteria and force the harmful ones out?

You can start here:

Acidophilus and Algae

With Klamath Lake Algae

Feed the good bacteria

Bacteria, good or bad, are no different from us. They need to eat. And evidence has shown that good bugs prefer nutrients called ‘prebiotics’. These are found in high-fibre foods such as bananas, onions, garlic, artichokes, and leafy greens. Bad bacteria, on the other hand, prefer the sugars and fats found in processed foods. An interesting 2010 study compared a group of European children who had a diet high in sugar, starch and fat, with tribal African children who ate high-fibre, plant-based foods. The study found that the Africans had more health-promoting bacteria than the European children.

Avoid antibiotic and other bacteria-harmful drugs

Antibiotics are of course designed to kill bad bacteria. Unfortunately, they are non-discriminatory, and just as happily kill off your good ones, as the bad ones. A good doctor would always prescribe probiotics, such as acidophilus and bifidus, to be taken immediately after antibiotics (or whilst taking them, but at a different time of day). Unfortunately, in the UK at least, this rarely happens much to the detriment of their patients.
Recent research from Stanford University found that taking two courses of antibiotics, spaced six months apart, changed the composition of good and bad intestinal bacteria, and disrupted the overall balance. When you can, avoid antibiotics – if you have a virus that antibiotics won’t help, don’t ask for a prescription anyway. (Not all doctors want to give antibiotics when the cause of ill-health is a virus, but sometimes their patients insist on having them.) Heartburn pills such as antacids also alter the proportions of intestinal bacteria, although not to the same extent as antibiotics. The good news is, if you’re already getting the right prebiotics and probiotics, you may be less likely to need such medications in the first place.

The next step is definitely to take some good bacteria and re-establish the proper balance. Do take a good quality product, otherwise you’re not just wasting your money but also wasting the opportunity to improve your health.

In combination with the AquaSource blue-green algae, the probiotics Acidophilus and Bifidus remain alive and active until their consumption.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacterium is a friend of the human organism. It is contained in some fermented milk products and food supplements. When taken in sufficient quantities, it settles in the digestive and genitourinary systems and improves intestinal ecology. It does not allow the development of pathogenic microbes,  by obstructing their attachment to the intestinal walls, changes pH and oxygen content and produces bactericidal substances (hydrogen peroxide, lactic and acetic acid); produces enzymes, including galactase, which is necessary  for milk sugar absorption – this can help people and newborns who are lactose intolerant; protects the intestines, urinal tracts and the reproductive system from bacterial and fungal infections; decreases cancerous formations in the intestines and prevents harmful bacteria developing there; decreases diarrhoea after radiation or chemo therapy; lowers  levels of LDL cholesterol.

Lactobacillus Bifidus

This is another friendly bacteria, which is a normal inhabitant of the large intestine. It improves digestion and the absorption of proteins and fats, as well as retaining minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and iron. Removes constipation and thus helps clean the intestines and recuperate the liver. Decreases allergic reactions to milk and participates in metabolizing some cancerous substances, decreases  levels of LDL cholesterol, produces hormones and the vitamins B and K.

You can get your Acidophilus here, and your Bifidus here