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Without an adequate supply of good bacteria, our health would be seriously compromised. We know that in the field of nutrition there are good fats as well as bad fats; there are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. But, did you know that not all bacteria are bad?
Good bacteria (plural of bacterium) are called 'probiotics.' 'Probiotic' literally means 'pro-life.' Our bodies contain billions of good and bad bacteria. All is good when probiotics outnumber bad bacteria.
Probiotics perform a variety of tasks. They generate nutrients (help make vitamins the body needs), help to absorb and digest food, defend against bad bacteria, and also assist in the metabolism of hormones.
Probiotics are live single-celled microorganisms. Well known species include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Acidophilus.
When bad bacteria outnumber good bacteria, the results can be devastating. Conditions such as nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, constipation, and candida (overgrowth of yeast fungus) are common. A condition known as dysbiosis can also occur.
Dysbiosis comes about when the balance of harmful bacteria (also known as pathogenic) to the good is interrupted in the colon. This can lead to chronic indigestion, bloating, gas, alternating constipation and diarrhea, yeast and bladder infections, jock-like itches, skin rashes, gingivitis (early stage of gum disease), halitosis (bad breath), immune system problems and even cancer.
An alarming medical trend is responsible for the increasing number of cases of dysbiosis. This trend is the widespread use of antibiotics. This is especially true if the antibiotic is what is known as 'broad-spectrum.'
More and more doctors are prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics. This is a blanket approach used when the specific bacteria is unknown. The problem is that antibiotics don't discriminate. They kill the good bacteria along with the bad. Many people have dysbiosis without even being aware of it.
There is another way of contracting dysbiosis. Eating the meat of animals which were given antibiotics to combat disease is a common way. All non-organic meat is factory-farmed--a process which breeds disease. The meat industry fights this disease with antibiotics.
Buying organically raised meat is the only way to avoid consuming antibiotics from the dinner plate.
Bad bacteria is not the only enemy of intestinal flora (probiotics.) The chemicals chlorine and sodium fluoride kill good bacteria. Both of these toxic chemicals are present in the nation's water supply.
In a small child, dysbiosis can be devastating. It can cause years, or even a lifetime, of bowel problems. These problems can include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic constipation or recurring diarrhea, bowel yeast overgrowth, and autoimmune arthritis. Future colon or breast cancer can be the result too.
Probiotics are added to dairy products such as yogurt and acidophilus milk.
You can get probiotics through supplementation. Make certain that it contains at least 5 billion active microorganisms. The tablet should also be 'enteric coated' to protect it against being destroyed by stomach acid. After all, if it doesn't reach the colon it is an exercise in futility.
Who should take probiotics? You should take a good probiotic if you are taking antibiotics. You should take them if you eat non-organic meat too. If you drink chlorinated and fluorinated water, probiotics should be taken. This includes children also.
You can never be too careful. Probiotics are good for everyone. Our food and water supply are contaminated with toxic chemicals that are constantly assaulting the GI (gastrointestinal tract.) Probiotics can stop colon cancer by binding food-based carcinogens and reducing cancer causing enzymes. They also increase the production of a beneficial anti-cancer chemical called N-butyrate. antibiotics & infants...
You've Heard of Antibiotics, Now Find Out About Probiotics