Did you know that there are 20 times more bacteria than cells in your body? In fact, at any one time, you have more bacteria in your body than the total number of people who have ever lived on the planet. So the next time you step on the bathroom scale, you need to remember that 1 pound of that weight is not you at all, but the billions of bugs that live in your gut. This may sound alarming, but many of these organisms are crucial to good health.
The word "Probiotic" simply means for life which explains why these nutrients are so important. But if you want the proper scientific definition of a Probiotic here it is:
A live microbial feed supplement, which beneficially affects the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance
New research is establishing how important the supplementation of probiotics can be for a variety of conditions. Probiotics enhance the immune system by favorably altering the gut micro-ecology and preventing unfriendly organisms from gaining a foothold in the body. They prevent the overgrowth of yeast and fungus and produce substances that can lower cholesterol.
Probiotics are widely recommended for the treatment of Candida - a fungal infection - because they establish large, healthy populations of friendly bacteria that compete with the Candida that is trying to take up residence in the intestine. Probiotics are also essential in the treatment and prevention of thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and athlete's foot. Good health depends fundamentally upon the more than 400 types of friendly, symbiotic bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract.
Two of the most damaging substances to the delicate intestinal flora balance are chlorine and sodium fluoride , present in most treated city water , and thus also present in most beverages which one gets at restaurants. The drinking of alcoholic beverages also contributes to the destruction of the intestinal flora. Medical antibiotics, birth control pills and many other allopathic drugs cause damage to the intestinal flora and to the tissue in the intestinal wall.
While it's true that non-beneficial bacteria are naturally occurring in the intestinal tract, problems begin when their growth goes unchecked and probiotics play an especially important role in keeping in check the pathogenic bacteria that cause disease.
A good probiotic supplement will contain millions and millions of live bacteria to bolster and replenish levels of the health promoting good bugs in your digestive tract. Once there, these probiotic reinforcements join forces with the existing friendly bacteria to help inhibit the growth of more harmful microbes.
Here's a summary of what probiotics can do:
The answer is, that while it is true that certain foods - especially live yogurt, Japanese Miso, Tempeh and some cheeses have a probiotic action in the gut, you can never be sure what strain of bacteria you are eating or exactly how much is contained in these foods. And there is no way of knowing just how many of those replacement bacteria are going to survive and make it all the way through the acidic and bug-killing environment of the stomach to the colon .
There are other foods, such as bananas, garlic and onions, which can also help repopulate levels of the good bacteria in the intestine. But we do not yet know how many you need to eat for the best results and, you can only eat so much garlic in a day!
a good probiotics supplement
The single most important thing you need to remember, is that even if all probiotics products contain what they promise on the label (and it appears that, according to clinical tests, many do not), only those probiotics which have a special coating to protect them as they pass through the stomach and small intestine will really hit the spot.
This is because the stomach is a sterile and acidic environment and has been designed to kill off bugs - the good ones along with the bad. And if the good bugs cannot get to the large colon - that part of the intestine where they are most needed - then you will not get the full benefit.
One way around this problem is to make tablets that are enteric-coated. This means the tablets are coated with a special protective layer to ensure the microbes will survive en route through the stomach and will get to the lower part of the intestine. This is where levels of existing bacteria, good and bad, are at their highest.
So, if you plan to take a probiotic, buy smart and buy one that has been enteric coated.
The lowest price on the internet on high quality probiotics can be found here .
Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
© 2009 Healing Daily