Our body is made of around 100 trillion cells. Out of that 100 trillion, 90% are bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms. These bacteria are living in our skin, in our mouth, nose, throat, lungs, gut and urogenital tract. They help us digest food, destroy pathogens that can cause disease and even produce vitamins.
Every person has a unique set of bacteria’s based on lifestyle, diet, geographic location and ancestry.
In this article, I would like to point out some relevant information about the connection between our gut and probiotics that are based on studies and also spiced with my experiences.
The Good Bacteria And The Bad Guys
Our digestive system is 80% of our body. Knowing this bit of information makes you realize how important it is to take good care of it. Our gut health is one of the most important things to support. When we talk about gut health we talk about our immune system. The ratio between good and bad bacteria in our gut should be 85% to 15%. When this ratio gets out of balance then we talk about a potential problem.
When you eat “comfort foods” you create a perfect environment for the bad bacteria to grow and live happily as bad bacteria thrive on unhealthy tissue and cells.
Do you have cravings for certain foods? Unable to resist guilty pleasures? I tell you what..that isn’t you! Those are the bad bacteria wanting to have their food so they can live a healthy life and repopulate in YOU! It is sad but true. If you have seen the movie Alien you understand what I am talking about.
Here are some things that are against the gut flora:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Not getting enough sleep
- Antibiotic use
- Not having well-balanced diet
- Too much stress
- Fast food
Different Types Of Bacteria – Gut Health
After the bad let’s name a few of the good:
Certain probiotics can exclude or inhibit pathogens. There are different bacteria species and strains and every each serves a different purpose from another.
Gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea – Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (GG is the strain name) is perfect for the role, as well as stimulating immune responses. There is another very similar, but different strain is Lactobacillus rhamnosus PB01 which treats different health problems. It is most studied for urogenital infections in women, sperm motility and pain.
Depression and anxiety – Lactobacillus Plantarum PS128, Lactobacillus Helvetius R0052, and Bifidobacterium Longum R0175 – Several probiotic strains can produce GABA, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes in certain brain regions and lower the stress-induced hormone corticosterone.
Candida and travelers diarrhea: – Saccharomyces boulardii the one to mention. It is a non-pathogen yeast not like the evil Candida Albicans. It fights Candida effectively, it feeds with it!
it is an ideal supplement to take with antibiotics. I would not suggest taking it every day. This supplement should be used in a cycle.
I must mention here the something called Prebiotic which are types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in our gut. It helps the good bacteria produce nutrients for our colon and leads to a healthier digestive system.
Just to name a few prebiotic you should eat onion, garlic, artichoke, asparagus, leeks, oats, cocoa, flaxseed, chicory root, dandelion greens apple, banana.
When Do We Need To Take Probiotic Supplements?
I am from the age when you got a prescription of antibiotics every time you sneeze. It took me a long time to rebuild my gut flora after heavy antibiotic use. I am not against antibiotics at all, there are situations you must take it! Certain bacteria cannot be killed simply by using natural remedies. What I am saying is that you should not take it like it was candy (actually, no! You should not eat candy either).
Do not take antibiotics together with probiotics! You must wait till the antibiotic absorbs (approx. 2 hours) then you can replace your lost bacteria with a probiotic supplement.
It can be very handy when you go abroad. Every nation has a different set of bacteria, you probably would not like to ruin your holidays with an upset stomach or worse. For travelers, I would advise starting taking the suggested dosages 1 week before the trip.
If you consider taking probiotic daily please do before bedtime. I have read many articles suggesting that you should take it on an empty stomach in the morning. When you get up in the morning you are in a fasted state and your stomach PH is acidic (around 2.0). The biggest danger for probiotics is the acid in the digestive system. These guys need a suitable environment and circumstances to survive.
Probiotic Containing Food:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
What Is The Best Probiotic To Buy
I have tried many species, strains and strength during these years. Some of them had to be in a fridge as they were living cultures, others were fine at room temperature. Some were very expensive and had tried cheap ones too. Interestingly sometimes the cheaper worked better than the one kept in a fridge.
This is one of those things where you can go for a cheaper version if you can’t afford the more expensive. When you chose your probiotic to make sure it’s potent; above 10 billion bacteria per capsule is good. If you need a critical hit recovering from a disease or just experiencing bad digestion the best to buy a short course with 50 billion or over.
There is a strong connection between our mood and what is happening in our digestive system. Gut Bacteria regulate happiness that is why It is important to keep a healthy diet with loads of pro- and prebiotic containing foods, but in case the supplements are always there to help out!
Thank you for stopping by! If you got any questions to feel free to drop me an email or make a comment below!
…and don’t forget: Every bite we take is either feeding disease or fight against.