Did you know that our body is made up of 90% bacteria and only 10% humane cells? I know your first thought is “GROUSE” and it might even make you want to go take a shower. Before you go scrub a layer or two of skin off to franticly get rid of this bacteria let me explain what is going on. Bacteria are very good and essential for our health. In fact, if we didn’t have these bacteria we wouldn’t be able to digest food, have healthy skin, or have a healthy properly functioning immune system. This good bacterium is called our microbiome. Your microbiome is just as important as all the other vital organs in your body.
Our microbome acts as the first line of defense in a properly functioning immune system. Think of it like a force field that protects us from foreign pathogens that can invade our bodies and do detrimental harm. It is what lines our gut and allows good nutrients into our bloodstream and keeps unhealthy toxins out. When this good bacteria is in harmony with our bodies, we are healthier, stress affects us less, and able to process food without digestive side effects. Scientists are even realizing that this bacterium has a direct connection to our brain threw our enteric nervous system.
So what can throw this microbiome out of balance? Let's go back a few decades and look at how bacterial infections used to be dealt with when we went to the doctor. The doctor would take a specimen and run tests to find out what specific bad bacteria were causing the problem. Then they would give you an antibiotic that would kill the bad bacteria specifically. Flash-forward to today, and instead of taking the time to do a specimen culture, they prescribe a “broad spectrum” antibiotic in order to kill lots of different strains of bacteria including ones that make up the healthy microbiome. This causes a major imbalance in the body's ability to digest food, protect from viruses and toxins, and also support a healthy gut-brain balance. (Check out Natasha Mcbride’s book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”)
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to bash all antibiotics. In fact, they can be lifesaving. However, it can take the body’s microbiome 6-12 months to come back online after 1 round of antibiotics. So if you have to take them, make sure you start taking good probiotics afterward the antibiotic treatment is finished in order to help reset the microbiome and build your immunity back up. Keep in mind when taking a probiotic that a healthy microbiome needs about 100 Trillion healthy diverse colonies of bacteria. If you think just eating yogurt is enough, one cup of yogurt only has a few million colonies. You need colonies in the billions in order to make a major difference.
Yogurt is the best probiotic. Yogurt does contain probiotics, especially greek yogurt. However, you would have to eat roughly 50 greek yogurts a day to get the daily recommended amount of probiotics. This can become extremely costly. Also, a lot of yogurts have hidden sugars and syrups.
All probiotics are the same. Not all probiotics are created equally. As we have stated before, many have cheap fillers or just a handful of good bacteria strains. Be sure to completely read the label of any probiotic you buy.
Probiotics will be destroyed in the stomach. The best probiotic supplements have capsules specifically designed to resist stomach acid so this is not an issue. Look for probiotics with capsules that mention stomach acid resistance to ensure the probiotics make it safely to the intestinal tract.
This article also has a great section on how to pick a good effective probiotic.
Here are 2 great videos about the Mircobiome
For more information on how to improve your health join us on a Tuesday night for our “7 secrets to better health and healing” lecture at 6:00 pm or contact the office to sit down with Dr. James for a one-on-one complimentary consultation.