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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #89 -- You've Heard of Antibiotics, Now Find Out About Probiotics
November 30, 2011
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
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You've Heard of Antibiotics, Now Find Out About Probiotics
Almost everyone has heard of bacteria (plural; singular form is bacterium) - and most consider them to be bad. But, not all bacteria is bad.
Like fats, there are good bacteria (probiotics) as well as bad bacteria.
Although most people are familiar with antibiotics, the same cannot be said about probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms like bacteria and yeast whose job it is to promote and maintain healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.
Antibiotics on the other hand are known as 'wonder drugs.' They are responsible for curing bad bacteria-related diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, and meningitis.
Viruses are not affected by antibiotics. The majority of upper respiratory tract infections such as colds and sore throats are caused by viruses.
Perhaps the bast known antibiotic is penicillin.
The term 'probiotic' comes from the Latin word 'pro' which means 'for' and the Greek word 'bios' which means 'life.' Probiotic means 'for life.'
Probiotics are good bacteria which preserve your natural balance of microflora in the intestines; microflora are necessary for the digestion of food and the optimum assimilation of its nutrients.
There naturally exist bad as well as good bacteria. But when you have a ratio or balance of 85 percent good bacteria to 15 percent bad bacteria, your body has the defensive army needed to maintain good health.
There is a widespread problem maintaining the necessary balance of good bacteria to bad. And it is the onslaught of modern technology which has brought this about.
You see, when antibiotics are used sparingly and wisely, they are good. But when used unwisely, and in great quantities - coupled with what is unknowingly taken in through the diet - they become a recipe for disaster.
Antibiotics are a god-send for treating wounds and simple infections. But remember that as far as infections are concerned, antibiotics just address the symptom. Better it is to, if at all possible, to prevent the problem in the first place.
There is a serious downside to antibiotic use. It not only attacks bad bacteria, but good also. Antibiotics do not discriminate between the two.
But there is another way that people get antibiotics of which many are totally unaware. That way is through their diet.
Here is where modern technology is to blame. The 20th century invention of factory farming has brought antibiotics to the dinner table.
Conventional food processing which largely centers around monopolization and the profit motive abuse antibiotics.
When you sit down to eat your White Castle hamburger or that Burger King Whopper, you are also unknowingly ingesting not only antibiotics, but growth hormones, pain killers, and pesticides.
The same is true of the steak, poultry, or any type of meat that you buy at your local supermarket.
Unless you buy organic meat, you are almost assured that whatever meat you eat has been processed conventionally - that is to say - factory-farmed also known as CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation.)
Animals that are to be slaughtered for food are routinely given antibiotics through their feed or through injections in order to fight the disease caused by overcrowded and filthy living conditions.
The same is true for dairy products. If you are a milk drinker or a yogurt or ice cream lover (ice cream is my weakness) you too are very likely consuming antibiotics and other harmful chemicals.
Dairy cows too are subject to the same disease-promoting conditions as are animals, including poultry, which are slaughtered for food.
Antibiotics whether administered in a doctor's office or consumed as part of lunch or dinner need to be countered.
The answer is probiotics. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut are teeming with good bacteria. Other fermented foods are kimchi from South Korea, natto, miso, and soy sauce from Japan.
However when these foods are pastuerized, all health benefits go out the window. The sauerkraut that you see in your typical supermarket is almost always pastuerized. Save your money by not buying it.
Commercial yogurts too are no good. They are all pastuerized and loaded with sugar. This is despite a label which says "made with active yogurt cultures.'
Beneficial bacteria only orginates from food that is organically produced and made by using old world, old school standards. There is no substitute.
Ever since I recently discovered a company known as Beyond Organics, I buy my meat and cheese from there. They have a fermented product known as Amasai which contain probiotics.
Amasai is a cultured dairy food which is made from organically-raised cattle genetically similar to cattle milked by the Maasai tribe of Africa.
Today's society necessitates probiotics. Everyone needs them - from children to adults and male and female.
The best way to get them is through whole food. Amasai is a food.
Read about this probiotic-rich food at the Beyond Organic website.
Joseph Elijah Barrett, Webmaster
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