by Dr, Matt Angove, ND
Your intestinal tract is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) microorganism. Your gut actually has 10x more bacteria than all the cells that make you a human combined. Perhaps they have some therapeutic function!
This massive array of bacteria is responsible for synthesizing B vitamins, vitamin K , producing digestive enzymes, metabolizing proteins and carbohydrates, breaking down bile salts, enhancing short term and long term immunity, and inhibiting pro inflammatory mediators. They also breakdown nondigestable carbohydrates like fiber creating short-chain fatty acids, which lower the pH of the intestines creating an environment that is inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Sounds delicious…
Symptoms and diseases associated with mutant gut flora:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Skin problems (acne, eczema, psoriasis, fungal)
Depression and anxiety
Autoimmune disease (SLE, scleroderma, RA, Sjogrens, etc.)
Intestinal cancers (treatment and prevention)
Immune deficient conditions
Build on the Bacteria
If you were going to add one foundational element to your dietary supplement regimen, I would add some living microbes. Many people think of yogurt as a great way to increase their good bacteria. It is true many yogurts have bacteria in them that are beneficial to your health. However, the levels in yogurt or kefir are not enough to overcome disease and dysfunction. You will need millions of little bacteria to enable the development of a healing environment.
Probiotics are best consumed with a moderate amount of food no warmer than room temperature.
If you are taking antibiotics, probiotics should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after the antibiotics. It is vital if you are taking or have taken antibiotics that you make a concerted effort to reestablished optimal gut flora.