Probiotics

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Probiotics, as defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), are "live microorganisms administered in adequate amounts which confer a beneficial health effect on the host."

Friendly Bacteria, or Probiotics
Probiotics, as these bacteria are called, promote efficient digestion, support the immune system, inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, and produce several vitamins. Different bacterial species are available as probiotic (friendly flora) nutritional supplements.

The Importance of Bacterial Balance
  • The colon is home to a large number of friendly bacteria (probiotics). The small intestines, however, should have low concentrations.
  • Too many bacteria can interfere with sugar-digesting enzymes and ferment the sugars for food causing excessive gas, bloating and belching. A healthy balance is the key.
 
Causes of Bacterial Imbalance
  • Insufficient HCI: HCl is part of our immune system. It helps to disinfect the food we eat and inhibits the growth of microbes in the small intestines.
  • Lack of peristalsis (migrating motor complexes) In between meals, after food has been digested, peristaltic waves known as migrating motor complexes, sweep microbes out of the small intestines. We experience this as “stomach” rumblings or hunger pains. Motilin is a hormone that causes these movements.
  • Use of antibiotics, steroids and hormone replacement are also a source of bacterial imbalance.  With use of any of these drugs, the microflora in the intestinal system is destroyed.
  • Studies are now showing that GMO's are also contributing to the disturbance of the balance of friendly bacteria in the large intestine. 
 
Probiotics Affect More Than The Gut
Probiotics have long been known to provide many benefits to human health. There have been several research reports published on the actions of probiotics.  Just a few years ago, most scientists believed that probiotics only acted locally in the gut. However, there are studies suggesting that gut bacteria could play a role in various brain and psychiatric disorders as well as being involved with individual behavioral differences.

One experiment found that mice fed broth containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus behaved less anxiously than mice fed broth without these bacteria. The behavioral changes can be partially explained by differences in brain chemical receptors and stress hormone (corticosterone) levels. The overall observation was that a change in the mix of intestinal bacteria provided by L. rhamnosus influenced mouse behavior by way of the vagus nerve. The vagal impulses induced by the microbes resulted in an increase in GABA (gamma amino butyric acid, a brain chemical and neurotransmitter) receptors in the brain and lower levels of stress hormones. The net result was a significant decrease in anxiety observed in the mice receiving the bacteria.

There are many more studies on the benefits of adding a supplemental friendly bacteria to your daily supplement program.  Start supporting  your health. today.
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