Probiotics: Are We Human or Bacteria?
Probiotics: Are We Human or Bacteria?
Probiotics are important because the human gut hosts somewhere in the range of 1000 species of bacteria and a complex community of over 100 trillion microbial cells.(1)
30 to 40 species make up about 99% of microflora(2)
Our human bodies are made up of more microbial cells than what we know or recognize as human cells.
Special cells (called GALT cells) that make up 70% of the immune system are located in your gut and they contain 80% of the plasma cells in your body.(3)
Body functions like metabolism, nutrient absorption, extraction of nutrients, synthesis of vitamins, prevention against pathogen colonization and regulation of your Immune Function use these microbium. (4)
Bacteria that helped develop the food in the ground that you used to eat when you were a child could be impacted by the changes in farming and the chemicals that are sprayed in the ground around the world. (5)
TEST FOR YOUR GUT FLORA
It is important to determine how much beneficial bacteria your body has. The proper ratio for good bacteria is 85% good to 15% bad. The introductions of anti-biotics and anti-bacterial products have created a problem with our good bacterial balance.
If you begin to pursue a healthy lifestyle there are some important measures in your body that need to be addressed. Probiotics top the list.
The 70-80% of your immune cells that live in your body are directly related to your gut lining and the structures within your gut. You need to take care of your gut!!!
Normal procedures ask you to test yourself by getting a colonoscopy or another invasive test. This truly measures if there is inflammation or disease in your gut. It is intrusive and has damaging effects on the one-way pipe that is your colon! The best way to measure your probiotic is by a stool culture.
There is another way.
You can measure how the body is supporting the gut and how the chemical reactions in the gut are proceeding. The measurement of different markers in your blood and urine that support gut health will help you make changes to your diet and probiotic usage to increase your beneficial bacteria. It can be done in the comfort of your own home and you can get results electronically.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH BACTERIA?!?
Symptoms of having an improper balance of microbes in your gut (dysbiosis) include:
• Increased Stress
• Frequent colds
• Gas or bloating, Diarrhea or Constipation
• Anxiety or Depression, Mood swings
• Muscle and joint aches and pains
• Poor memory or brain fog
• Insomnia and Hypersomnia
• Frequent urination
• Body odors and bad breath
• Eczema, Psoriasis, Itching, Skin rash
• Alcohol intolerance
Changes in the flora in your gut leads to a disruption of the microbial balance that exists inside your body. These changes cause inflammation and have been seen in people with chronic inflammation of the gut, auto-immune diseases, neurological imbalances, colon/breast cancer, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, acne and eczema.
***It is important to mention that chronic gut inflammation has been observed in the gut lining of children diagnosed with AUTISM.(8)
DO I NEED PROBIOTICS?
The need for probiotics in the diet should be a top priority. It is required to maintain a good 85/15% bacteria balance. It is safe to say that unless you are eating fermented foods everyday you should be supplementing your microbes in your gut.
Ideally you need to consume a probiotic product that is whole-food based. Researchers find that consuming a probiotic after a meal will increase the survival rate of bacteria to over 90%. If taken in the most acidic environment of an empty stomach the survival rate will decrease to 50%.
I WANT BACTERIA IN MY FOOD
Here are 7 foods that will help you start changing your ratio back to a higher level of good bacteria.
1. Fermented Veggies: Examples of fermented veggies that you can eat are Sauerkraut an Kimchi. Eat 2-3 ozs. with every meal.
2. Raw Cheese: My personal favorite. Cheese from cows, goats or sheep that do not produce the casein protein are excellent sources of certain bacteria.
3. Yogurt: Greek and raw yogurt make great probiotic sources. Your yogurt should come from grass fed animals including: cows, goats and sheep.
4. Kefir: Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice. For the lactose intolerant, kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process. (9)
5. Kombucha: Is a fermented tea that uses bacterial and yeast culture (SCOBY) to create sugar alchohols that are beneficial for your gut.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar is great to use as a salad dressing and aids in digestion to help promote beneficial bacterial growth.
7. Miso: Miso soup can be ordered at your local Japanese restaurant and it is a great digestive food. It is created over days and even up to years by fermenting soybean, barley or brown rice with koji.
TESTING: REAL LIFE STORIES
One of my favorite probiotic supplementation miracles happened recently with a colleague of mine. At a stressful point in his life he started to experience burning in his face and lips and numbness in his tongue. He also noticed that he began to react to foods that he would eat. His symptoms would increase when he ate certain nuts and other foods that should have been beneficial for him.
Through specific testing he found that he was lacking probiotics in his gut. High stress along with certain medications he had taken after a knee surgery had depleted his beneficial bacteria in his gut.
His problem went on for about a year before he tested himself. (way too long to have a numb tongue).
The result of his tests showed him what to do. He began eating raw yogurt every morning and supplementing with a whole food based probiotic.
Within a month his symptoms went away. No more numb tongue, no more burning in his lips and face.
Within three months he was able to start enjoying the foods that had caused allergic reactions in him without any problems.
Probiotics, bacteria need to win in your body or else you will lose some of the health benefits you take for granted.
Sources and References