"Good Bacteria," "Friendly Bacteria," and my favorite "Friendly Flora" are all names for Probiotics.
If you were to ask me what general supplement you should take to increase your immune system, support your brain health, decrease allergies, increase digestion, help absorb calcium thus preventing osteoporosis, and overall help establish and create holistic wellness, I would recommend...?
Surprisingly the health of your brain and your immune system are dependent upon the health of your gut. Did you know that 70-80% of your immune cells are found in the gut and also 70% of neurotransmitters (nervous system signal carriers) are produced by the gut.
Putting it quite simply, if you don't have a healthy gut – you won't have a healthy brain and you will eventually end up chronically sick.
I have what I call the “fab 5” list of general supplements. These are the products that everyone should be on without any doctor recommendation, they are simply the nutrients that we lack in our diet. The supplement that ranks among the top 5 is an excellent probiotic.
Whether they realized it or not, ancient cultures have been feeding their bodies with what we call probiotics today – they were highly fermented foods. They did this both out of preservation of the food as well as taste and flavor enhancements. Little did they know back then, but the fermented food created good bacteria that helped keep their immune system working better and their brains sharper.
Asian Cultures, have been eating fermented cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots. They still continue this tradition today. Japan is especially know for their keen focus on gut health and ingesting healthy probiotics. Koreans enjoy kimchi (fermented cabbage) on a daily basis.
Northern European nations have been known to and still practice the fermentation of milk into yogurts, kefir, and buttermilk.
Ancient Romans and Germans of today eat sauerkraut.
Both Ancient and Modern Indian cultures drink a yogurt called lassi.
The Ancient Hawaiian and Polynesian Islands both anciently and today ferment the root of the taro plant in a tasty fermented root paste called “Poi.”
Unless you have been eating fermented foods every day since you were three years old, you need to be taking a healthy probiotic and it wouldn't hurt to start eating some healthy homemade healthy fermented vegetables either.
Commercialized Dairy Products:
Yogurt is the number one answer I get when I ask people if they are taking a probiotic. Commercially produced yogurt, the kind you buy from the store, reminds me of a big blob of cows snot. Sorry to be so graphic, but that's about what it boils down to, a big old slug of sugar, and mucus forming milk, that we have been brain-washed into thinking it is so healthy for us, but ultimately causes more distress to our systems than good.
In general I don't recommend using any dairy because unless you are from Holland – you don't digest dairy products very well and should avoid them because they do nothing more than rot in your gut and cause inflammation. Have you ever thought about the fact that cows milk is a baby food for baby cows (calves), yet we as humans go around thinking we are babies and still in need of mothers milk (cow). Apparently if you are still hooked on dairy you haven't weaned yourself off the bottle. It's time to go off the bottle.
The other problem with commercialized fermented dairy is that through the pasteurization process the enzymes that help break down the milk proteins are destroyed, leaving the dairy product as a dead source of food. Many who love their dairy products will argue the fact that the probiotics are added (more like sprinkled) into the dairy product after the pasteurization has occurred which is true. I say sprinkled because if you look closely you will rarely find the actual number of live bacteria found in the “live cultures.” If it is there it is a very small amount. The method of simply adding a small dose of healthy bacteria to a dead product, is not natural nor scientific and doesn't really make sense.
You might ask where do we get this “healthy friendly bacteria” from anyways?
During normal vaginal delivery, a baby receives bacteria from mom while going through the birthing canal. The newborn gets dosed with healthy bacteria which starts the colonization of the infant's gastrointestinal (GI) tract of “good or friendly bacteria.” New research also shows that infants born through the caesarean-section method have decreased health after birth – which leads researchers to believe that it is because of the lack of healthy bacteria in the birthing canal from mom.
I also like to call healthy or good bacteria as “Friendly Flora.” The friendly flora is destroyed by such things as heavy metals (amalgam fillings), chlorinated water, and overly-processed foods.
As I have mentioned in other articles a killer of friendly flora is Triclosan. Triclosan was originally registered with the EPA as a pesticide, but today we use it as an anti-microbial. It is found in 75% of all homes in America. It is the Active Ingredient in some dish detergents, anti-bacterial hand soap, toothpaste, fabric, and causes a myriad of problems besides killing our friendly bacteria like infertility and hormone disruption. Twist the label of your anti-bacterial soap and it might very well say Triclosan.
Considering that we are made up of 10 trillion cells is an incomprehensible number, but the amount of microorganisms in our body is ten times that. To truly stay healthy we need our friendly flora to be just that – friendly. We need to help the good bacteria stay on top as our ally in health.
The studies for probiotics continue to prove that it is not only great for brain, gut, and the immune system, but it also aids in digestion absorption and assimilation. Good bacteria by-products are produced such as the key vitamin in absorbing calcium, vitamin K2. There is nothing like have trillions of friends that are working for you - your microwarriors. Give your body the soldiers you need to live the healthy life.
I started out by recommending taking probiotics. A good probiotic that will bypass your stomach acid and attach to the epithelial cells of the small intestine is what you need to look for. I also recommend anytime you ever go on any antibiotic, you need to be taking specific probiotics to re-inoculate your system with good bacteria. A good place to start is by taking 10 billion CFU's per day. Keep friendly flora happy so you can be both physically and mentally happy.
I am Doctor Nielsen...Live In Fullness Everyday!
wife of a holistic doctor &
Search our websites: