Did you know that your own cells are OUTNUMBERED by the bacteria that live inside you (including in your gut, respiratory tract, and on your skin).
Our intestines contain over 100 trillion bacteria. They are practically an organ in itself. Ensuring healthy beneficial bacteria is essential to overall health.
Why are these little "bugs" so important?
- They help with digestion
- They stimulate the immune system in the digestive tract (called Peyer's patches)
- They activate certain vitamins
- They digest fiber into short chain fatty acids, which is food for the colon
- They may help prevent colon cancer
- They help keep harmful bacteria from spreading
When They're Not Beneficial
Sometimes, the balance between helpful and harmful bacteria can change. And the helpful bacteria in the body may not be able to perform important tasks. Antibiotics, poor nutrirtion, inflammation, stress, and other factors can kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut. A recent study shows that a change in nutrition for only two weeks can change the gut microbiota to be helpful or harmful, depending on food intake!
Do I need Probiotics to Change My Gut Flora?
It depends. Of course, food is the best medicine, and following a diet rich in fiber and flora is best, but sometimes that might be not enough. Studies show that probiotics are beneficial for a variety of conditions, from diarrheal illness, colon cancer prevention, to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, UTIs, and more.
* Not to be taken as medical advice. Do not begin a supplement regimen without the oversight of a medical care provider.