Digestion [rate]

Most people think that keeping your intestinal flora healthy is only about your gut. The reality is that it affects your health in more ways than most of us can possibly imagine. Your body is a microbiological battlefield – literally. Your body has different defense mechanisms to protect itself against being overcome by bacteria and other micro-organisms. Unfortunately, your stomach and intestines provide a warm, dark place where a multitude of unwanted bacteria can flourish. It is, in fact, impossible to keep them out.

In response, your body harnesses the potential of probiotics and prebiotics to keep these unwanted organisms under control. Probiotics are literally “good bacteria” that keeps the unwanted flora under control by means of what they consume and excrete (their excretions are poisonous to “bad bacteria”). Prebiotics such as Inulin are specific types of non-digestible, heat resistant fibers that allow bacteria to grow on them. This allows probiotics to penetrate deep into the intestinal tract as the prebiotics pass through.

 

Why do you need probiotics and prebiotics (such as Inulin)?

  • The dangers start in the womb: Unborn children share their mother’s intestinal flora, and if the mother has any gut problems it can have severe implications for the baby’s immune system.
  • Too much “bad bacteria” can lead to any of a host of diseases and conditions, including digestive problems such as gas and constipation, skin problems, candida, auto-immune diseases like fibromyalgia, conditions triggered by allergic reactions like asthma and eczema, mental problems including memory loss and ADHD, and even PMS.
  • A balanced internal flora makes it easier to lose weight. In fact, an imbalance can lead to obesity.
  • It helps to keep bowel movements normal, hence the dangers of either constipation of diarrhea when it gets out of hand.
  • It is important to assist in the digestion of dairy products.
  • A poor ratio of good and bad bacteria in your gut contributes to halitosis (bad breath).
  • It helps you to maintain a healthy immune system, and also helps to defend the body against environmental toxins.
  • Some of these “good bacteria” are involved in the production of crucial nutrients and vitamins.
  • It helps to maintain the necessary levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, while limiting the production of cortisol (the stress hormone). In fact, more than 90% of the serotonin (the “feel good chemical” for your brain) is produced in the gut.
  • A healthy population of “good bacteria” helps to keep the existing “bad bacteria” under control.

As long as the “good bacteria” outnumbers the “bad bacteria” at a ratio of 80:20 or better, your body will be in control of the unwanted mass, and your health will be fine. If the ratio diminishes, so will your health.

Digestive System

There are various threats to the mass of healthy internal flora:

  • Infections: Anything that upsets your stomach will cause an imbalance in your internal bacteria, and it usually shifts in favor of the “bad bacteria”. Some viral infections, as well as some diseases which affect the whole body, will also have a negative effect.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are – literally – poison. These are made from the poisons that specific organisms excrete in order to protect themselves from specific others. The most common example is Penicillin, which is made from a fungus called Pennicillium. Unfortunately, the detrimental effect of these poisons are not limited to the organisms you want to eliminate, and it affects the necessary flora as well.
  • Medications: Various drugs, including ones as simple as sleeping tablets, pain killers, and even heartburn medications can upset the balance. Chronic medication, including oral contraceptives, can require the continued use of probiotics and prebiotics to avoid losing control of the internal balance.
  • Toxins in the environment: These include a range of factors, ranging from fragrant detergents right up to tobacco smoke and pollution. Anything that can trigger a reaction from the respirative tract is also likely to affect the gut health.
  • What we eat and drink: The consumption of sugar, alcohol and processed foods take their toll on the balance inside your digestive system.
  • Vaccines: Some vaccines, including the flu vaccine, has a negative impact on the intestinal floral balance.
  • Continuous stress: Stress wreaks havoc on a number of bodily processes. It also stimulates excessive acid production in the stomach, which in turn changes the living environment in your stomach, and favors the “bad bacteria”.

 

When we look at the demands placed on our bodies by modern day living, modern medication, and the polluted environment, it is obvious that our body needs all the help it can get just to be able to maintain normal levels of functioning. As such, it makes sense to use probiotics and prebiotics (like Inulin) on a continuous basis – just like you would use supplementing vitamins – to maintain your intestinal flora.

 

 

References

http://wellnessmama.com/2303/stinking-gut/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/27/probiotics-gut-health-impact.aspx

http://chriskresser.com/a-healthy-gut-is-the-hidden-key-to-weight-loss/

http://ecowatch.com/2015/02/26/gut-health-boost-immune-system/

 

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