PREBIOTICS, PROBIOTICS, AND GUT HEALTH
What do the terms PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS refer to?
The term PREBIOTICS refers to the good food for the good bacteria. Good bacteria like to multiply and the love PREBIOTICS (such as fructooligosacharides - pronounced: frookto-ahleego-sakarides) for food. Fortunately for us, we don't have to pronounce it, we just have to provide it. And where are all these fructoligosacharides lurking?
In all the plants we are capable of eating. PREBIOTICS are found in all fruits and vegetables.
PROBIOTICS love to reproduce in an environment loaded with PREBIOTICS and other PROBIOTICS for friends and lovers. Since they're the good bacteria, we want a fit family of friendly flora.
The bacteria that reside in our gut are, in effect, an organ of the body. Each of us has over three pounds of bacteria in our small intesting alone. Our conventianal high-carb diet in America, being heavy on sugars and processed foods, is a formula for digestive dis-ease, also known as DYSBIOSIS, or poor digestive function.
The term PROBIOTICS refers to the good bacteria, or probiotic organisms, that reside in a person's gut. PROBIOTICS help the digestive processes stay smooth and help support efficient overall digestion and utilization of the energy consumed. PROBIOTICS have a reputation of being able to help with one's ability to manage internal stressors and inflammation. Probiotics are happiest when there is more of them and fewer bad guys. When the bad bacteria overruns the good bacteria, that's when there's possible trouble brewing.
Like a volcano sometimes. Been there done that, thank you very much. Had to cool down the hot lava, if you know what I mean.
In addition to eating my fruits and veggies on a daily basis, with each meal, I have found a PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT that I also take.
I take a PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT that has been combined with a PREBIOTIC (fructooligosacharides) so as to help the probiotics on their way to the small and large intestine. Remember, they have to get through the bath of stomach acid, survive that, and then colonize in the lower intestines.
A CAUTIONARY NOTE ABOUT PROBIOTICS
Always consult your doctor before introducing any supplements into your food choices.
Supplements can have unpleasant side effects or conflicts with any medication you're now taking.
When I first started with PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION, I didn't know what to expect. What I discovered was that it's a delicate balance of bacteria in my gut. I noticed at first that there was extra activity in my gut. Noises, flatulence, gas. I learned that this is a common reaction in the first phase of PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION.
What I pictured was going on was something like this: There was inflammation and damage and there was a lot of work to do. Things down there had been badly connected. Things were shredded, inflamed and not able to do their job. Well, probiotics were the reinforcements, the cavalry so to speak, coming to the rescue of my poor depleted gut. And for the first week, it was farty party time.
My gut was overrun by bad bacteria. I sent in the good bacteria which went to work immediately at cleaning up the toxins and waste and bringing balance back to my gut. PROBIOTICS are extremely hardy and hard working. But to overcome the advantage that the bad bacteria had, the good bacteria had to both colonize and get rid of the bad bacteria. In the beginning this was a heavy lift.
I learned the extra gas and flatulence I was experiencing was a common reaction that many people have.
Good thing was, when the good bacteria got back into balance and took over ruling my gut, all the gas and flatulence went away. It was like the good guys, the good bacteria, was working in an immune system that had become a sewer of criminal bad bacteria guys. It took a while for the good guys to kick the bad guys out. That noisy gas and flatulence was only temporary, yet a logical consequence. For me, it lasted less than a week. I continue to take them regularly although not every day. Now that my system is built up again, fruits and veggies do a great job without PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION.
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
If I took an extra capsule (say I took two instead of one), it was like I put party hats on all my good bacteria. They worked TOO well to the point that they were causing me to have an extra urgency to go when I had to go. It was like they were so happy, they couldn't wait to get my ass to the bowl to show me.
So, because I'm always listening to my body, I cut my PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION down to just one pill (even though the dosage is for two). When I take my PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT of one capsule, I found that's just right for me. Presently, because I get most of my pre- and probiotics through the consumption of fermented dairy, fruits, nuts, and veggies, I now supplement with pre- and probiotics 4 days a week, average. It's all about balance. And it's an everyday process.
If you decide with your doctor that PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION is a course for you to take, be aware of these possible reactions. For me, the gas and flatulence was temporary and cleansing in the short run. I wasn't afraid of the gas knowing that it was the result of the PROBIOTICS doing their work.
And now you know why broccoli might give you gas: PROBIOTICS. You just can't stop them from doing their work unless they're overrun by the bad guys. Unless, of course, you followed your steak and broccoli with that hot lava cake ala mode.
FINAL NOTE OF CAUTION REGARDING PROBIOTICS
If you've never taken probiotics before, and your doctor has given you the ok, follow your doctor's orders.
Supplements can have powerful effects and you'll want to ease into them. No two of us respond the same way.
I found that, for myself, I go slowly at first with any new supplement I want to take. Whatever the bottle says, I cut the dose in half. I take this half-dose for about a week to see how my body responds. At that point, I usually know how well my body is tolerating the new addition.
So, for me and only me, a daily multi-strain probiotic is essential to me managing my inflammation and gut health. Doctors are slowly beginning to understand the benefits of taking PROBIOTICS after a dose of ANTIBIOTICS. When you have to take an antibiotic, many doctors are now advising their patients to follow your antibiotic 2 hours later with a quality, multistrain PROBIOTIC. It will help the good bacteria stay strong in spite of the onslaught of antibiotics.
Ask your doctor about all of this nonsense, of course.
REMEMBER, ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT ANY AND ALL OF YOUR HEALTH CONCERNS. I AM DEFINITELY NOT A DOCTOR OF ANYTHING. I MAY BE AN ALIEN FROM ANOTHER PLANET. I'VE BEEN ACCUSED.
Dr. John Bergman gives an overview of the prevalence of anti-bacterial agents in our environment and food and how to counteract the effects through avoidance as well as consuming probiotics through the foods we choose. Discusses the benefits of home-fermentation of veggies. Imperative protocol in the search for gut healing.