The ABC's of PROBIOTICS & DIGESTIVE ENZYMES
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Typically, when we think of bacteria, we tend to associate these microorganisms with pathogenic or infectious outcomes. But not all bacteria are created equal! Yes, some strains of bacteria, like E. coli, are bad guys, while other strains like L. acidophilus are actually good guys. The latter are known as probiotics, or beneficial bacteria. Consuming probiotics in our diets can help keep our digestive and immune systems running smoothly.
Historically, live bacteria were commonly eaten in food. There is archeological evidence that mankind has used lacto-fermentation as a way of preserving food dating back 1.5 million years. Scientists believe that the human GI tract evolved to adapt to a more or less daily supply of live lactic acid bacteria. We're designed to consume copious amounts of probiotics!
However, with the advent of food refrigeration, pasteurization, and other processing, the ingestion of microorganisms has decreased. In the United States today, we consume very few fermented food products, such as yogurt and sauerkraut. Sterilization of our food supply has limited our potential to ingest beneficial organisms previously consumed on a daily basis − and this may be part of the reason why so many Americans suffer from chronic gut disturbances.
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is one of the largest contact points between our bodies and the environment. Not only does it serve to physically and chemically break down the foods we consume, it also serves as a barrier to harmful substances which may enter the body through oral consumption. In order to perform these functions properly, the GI tract relies upon a complex ecosystem of bacteria. The composition of this ecosystem, or flora “fingerprint,” is set in childhood and is unique to every individual. Once the flora “fingerprint” is established, those specific types of bacteria are then recognized as normal throughout our lives. The immune system is established in such a way that the body is able to distinguish between these good microorganisms and perilous invaders.
From my years of research on Probiotics, I am pleased to report that numerous studies now show how daily Probiotics added to the diet help with the following:
- ADHD and Autism
- Skin Vitality
- Anxiety and Stress
- Constipation and Diarrhea
- Cold and Flu
- Allergies and Hay Fever
- Dental and Oral Care
- Weight Loss