What is a Probiotic?
Probiotics are live microorganisms (mostly bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut.
Probiotic means “promoting life” and it is generally accepted that using good quality probiotics restore symbiosis in the gut and are an essential part of regaining balance after illness or antibiotic therapy.
In fact, despite the value of antibiotics, one of the main problems associated with their use is that they remove good bacteria along with bad bacteria.
This inevitably creates a deficiency of beneficial bacteria, and a state of dysbiosis. To leave the gut in a state of dysbiosis is to leave the body open to a full range of illnesses.
Some antibiotics, such as mycin drugs, Azithromycin Erythromycin, for example, eradicate over 99% of the beneficial bacteria in the GI tract and it can take the intestinal tract months to rebuild the balance of beneficial bacteria back. Sometimes the immune system is so depleted that the body may not be able to rebuild the correct balance.
Other medications such as antacids, steroids and even birth control bills can alter the balance in the gut.
Along with medications and illness, diet also plays a detrimental role in terms of gut health. A poor diet, high in sugars and low in nutritional value eventually starves beneficial bacteria whilst foods high in yeast and alcohol by products creates an overgrowth in candida, which unopposed by other beneficial bacteria, thrives.
An important component of diet is fibre. Putrefaction which is basically old food rotting in the cut for too long a transit time, is a cause of dysbiosis and is usually caused by diets that are high in fat and meat products and low in fibre.
Soluble fibre has been shown to improve a range of conditions and oatmeal and porridge are now frequently referenced as beneficial to the gut. Insoluble fibre, such as is found in cruciferous vegetables are also valuable, serving to “scrub” the gut walls, enabling mucous waste to be dislodged and eliminated from the body.
There are so many detrimental health conditions associated with dysbiosis ranging from cognitive problems such as depression through to arthritis, CFS, tinnitus, blurred vision, and a host of other conditions that are alleviated by a return to gut health and balance.
One way to improve the situation is to introduce good quality probiotics.
How to use Probiotics
Individuals with dysbiosis are likely to benefit dramatically by ingesting a high-potency multi-strain synergistic probiotic every day for two weeks, especially after taking antibiotics.
People find that probiotics taken at bedtime or in the day between meals on an empty stomach provide the most benefit.
When taken on an empty stomach - fewer good organisms are destroyed by stomach acids.
Products like yogurt and acidophilus containing milk do contain some of the live organisms, but the amount of beneficial bacteria in these products is not nearly enough to re-colonize the GI tract and may contain HFCS to sweeten them.