If you’re new to natural health and supplementation, many of the terms you hear often will be totally foreign. One of our primary goals here is to help you to be educated and informed. We believe educated people make better patients with better outcomes. It’s only a matter of time until everyone comes into contact with the medical world. Let us help you get your bearings before you reach that point!
Probiotics are any of a whole host of beneficial bacteria your body needs to function properly. Many, many people are under the mistaken notion that all bacteria are bad. In reality, there thousands of different strains that our bodies need! Any mucus membrane (nose, mouth, genitals), when healthy, is host to all sorts of bacteria. We aren’t certain we know ALL of their functions, but we do know they help fight infection from bad bacteria as well as helping to keep things clean. In natural health, you’ll most often hear probiotics discussed in relation to gut health.
The healthy human intestine is host to 100,000,000,000,000 bacteria (that’s 100 trillion)! There are, quite literally, more bacteria in your body than cells (scientists estimate you have about 1 trillion). In your gut, they are absolutely critical for breaking down food and nutrients, making them more absorb able by your body. These good bacteria are one of the primary reasons natural health professionals (and a growing number of traditional medical doctors) suggest we avoid taking antibiotics if possible. Obviously, there are times we NEED to take an antibiotic. They’re powerful and do a fantastic job of eliminating the bad bacteria causing infections. Unfortunately, they also eliminate many of the good bacteria. This is why diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of antibiotics.
A great example of good bacteria is in natural childbirth! When a baby is born vaginally, baby’s skin, lips, eyes and even throat are coated in the bacteria from mom (assuming mom is healthy). This bacteria is crucial in helping baby to stay safe and healthy until they develop their own flora. When a baby is born via C-section, none of that bacteria is passed on. As a result, those babies have a higher instance of things like eczema, asthma, allergies and general microbiome disruption.
Probiotics are one of those products Joe suggests for everyone. Modern diets are so lacking in natural sources (unpasturized dairy and yogurt, fermented foods, etc) that it’s very difficult to repopulate a damaged gut. A simple probiotic supplement can improve your skin, lift your mood, reduce allergic reactions, and dramatically improve digestion, IBS, and elimination. They’re safe for everyone from infants to geriatric adults, and come in several different variets, strengths and strains depending on your situation.