Our body contains billions of microbes both healthy & unhealthy present in Gut and skin in a balance to serve various functions.
Probiotics are commonly referred to as “Live Healthy or Helpful Bacteria or Yeast” residing in our digestive tract. Gut aka Digestive tract contains billions of live bacteria or yeast which are second largest part of our nervous system directly communicate with our brain via Enteric Nervous System and that is the reason why gut is considered as our Second Brain.
Most of people with complex disorders or diseases don’t realise that the origin of their problem usually lies in their digestive tract which usually is overgrowth or imbalance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria or yeast.
Health Benefits of Probiotics:
- Inhibits the enteric pathogens by preventing their adhesion to cells wall of intestine hence control their growth and proliferation
- Maintains the Optimal pH of the intestine for optimal digestion, absorption, reabsorption of nutrients plus excretion of waste product
- Maintains integrity of intestinal lining of digestive tract and thus also prevent allergies and food sensitivities
- Optimised the healthy bowel movements for timely excretion of waste product out of the body
- Can alleviate lactose intolerance (Study) in children and infants
- Production of Vitamin B12, K and other short chain fatty acids (acetate, butyrate, propionate); anti cancer and anti inflammatory properties, production of Antibodies and killer cells; protection against infections
- Helps lower cholesterol by deconjugation process. The hypocholesterolemic effect of the probiotics has also been attributed to their ability to bind cholesterol in the small intestine. Several possible mechanisms for cholesterol removal by probiotics have been proposed including assimilation of cholesterol by growing cells, binding of cholesterol to cellular surface, incorporation of cholesterol into the cellular membrane, deconjugation of bile via bile salt hydrolase, and coprecipitation of cholesterol with deconjugated bile. The strain used in the Study was Lactobacillus plantatrum.
- Probiotics aids detoxification process in large intestine by binding with heavy metals, pesticides and toxins and rendering them harmless. Study
It is known that your digestive tract should comprise of 85% of healthy bacteria and 15% of bad bacteria. When there is imbalance between two ratios it is known as “Dysbiosis” (excess of bad bacteria)
Conditions associated with Dysbiosis (imbalances between healthy vs bad bacteria or yeast)
- Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, colitis
- Digestive disorders like IBD, IBS, Indigestion
- Neurological disorders like schizophrenia, depression, ADD, ADHD
- Skin issues like eczema, acne, dermatitis
- Hormonal disorders like thyroid, diabetes
- Immune system disorders like frequent cold and flu, influenza, food allergies and sensitivities
- Metabolic disorders like hypertension, insulin resistance, obesity, cravings and addictions
Reasons for Dysbiosis
- Frequent or repeated use of Antibiotics
- Chlorinated Water
- Sugar and Sugar products
- GMO foods
- Refined Carbohydrates (grains)
- Chemicals and Pesticides
- Emotional Stress
- Excessive consumption of acidic and processed foods
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor Sleep
- Over Sanitation
Treating the Dysbiosis is a different topic altogether but these are the conditions associated with imbalances in gut flora. You can’t treat Gut Dysbiosis by eating more probiotic rich food or probiotics alone but needs a different approach though.
Food Sources of Probiotics
- Yogurt, Khimchi, Kefir, fermented vegetables, kombucha, sourdough bread, miso, tempeh, apple cider vinegar are provide probiotics naturally
- It is important to feed these probiotics with their food know as Prebiotic for them to grow and populate. There are various foods which contain prebiotic like onion, garlic, inulin and chicory.
- Probiotic Supplementation is necessary in certain diseases or conditions where Gut optimisation is required. The supplements contains higher doses of probiotic strains meant to populate healthy intestinal flora. The supplement has to be acid and bile resistant in order to survive the travel in digestive tract and exerts its positive physiological effect.