What are Probiotics?February 26, 2020
Prоbіоtісѕ аrе bacteria (and some yeasts) which promote healthy gut function. There are dozens of types of bacteria that – if given the chance – will cause a wide array of painful, disgusting, and even life-threatening illnesses.
Your body’s overall ability to digest your food, fight off bad bacteria (infections), and support your immune system has a lot to do with the type and amount of good bacteria present in your gut. If your good bacteria are reduced in number, or wiped out by an infection or a strong antibiotic, your body’s ability to perform these essential functions can be seriously reduced.
But I’m not a sick person…
Small proteins – usually from plants or legumes – present in almost every American’s diet contain small proteins that directly damage the cells lining your gut. This damage, even though small, builds up over time and can lead to a wide variety of digestive symptoms. Some significant diseases (Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and IBS to name a few) are also thought to be associated with this damage! So, over time and with a “normal” American diet, this damage adds up.
What does this have to do with bacteria?
The damage done to your intestines results in increased permeability. In other words, the cells lining your gut normally form a wall of defense, but with damage they become “leaky” and start letting bad things into your blood stream.
Having a strong set of good bacteria will help your body repel bad bacteria and break down harmful compounds (toxins) that are ingested. However, building up the good bacteria will not automatically fix the walls of your intestines. These things must both be addressed in order to achieve a proper, healthy balance.
How do I know what “good” bacteria is?
There is a very long list of bacteria that are normally found in the human microbiome (the whole group of bacteria in your gut). They normally function to aid in digestion, reduce toxin levels, and support healthy immune function. Knowing the individual names doesn’t help much, but helping them survive and thrive will make a world of difference in how you feel!
If you’re experiencing symptoms of Leaky Gut, then you are likely in need of a better balance in your gut microbiome (more good bacteria are needed). Your diet does NOT normally contain these bacteria, so the quickest way to build them back up is to find a good supplement with many probiotic strains (kinds of bacteria) as well as provide them with the fuel they need to get strong quickly – a prebiotic (dietary fibers). These two things working together will help replenish and restore a healthy balance and put your squarely on the path to health and wellness!