If you go to Webster’s Dictionary, the word Probiotic means “For Life.” Most Americans are unfamiliar with the function of probiotics. On the other hand, almost everyone knows of the opposite: Anti-Biotic, “Against Life”. Probiotics are the good beneficial bacteria that compose and make up your intestinal wall called the mucosa membrane or mucosa lining. Every physical illness can be traced back to the gut. Our intestines are over 25 feet long and are responsible for digesting, breaking down and absorbing all of our food. Even those with the healthiest diets may have issues with absorption, when their intestinal tract is not running at peak efficiency.
We need this lining and protective shield of good flora to defend us. It defends us from the onslaught of bad bacteria, undigested foods and stomach acids. Did you know that your body was designed to have about three pounds of “friendly bacteria” in your intestines at all times? These “friendly bacteria,” are known as flora, good bacteria or probiotics. They live to control over 400 harmful bacteria that bombard our body. It is this defense system of probiotics, that is commonly referred to as your “second immune system.”
There are lots of different kinds of bacteria, but only TWO sides
What does this mean “two sides”? Each person has anywhere from 75 to 125 trillion bacteria in their gut. There are lots of different strains of probiotics and bacteria. Like it was said above, there is friendly ones and not so friendly ones that can make us sick. But that is not the “two sides” I am talking about. Even probiotics- the good guys- have two sides.
Some are living ones and some dead
- The bacteria that comes from decay or death, like those from fermented foods such as: kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kiefer thrive off death and not life. The bacteria that comes from these comes from foods that are no longer alive. They will not harm you, but they are of no use to your gut and are not giving you the benefits you think. They can not bring the life and healing to your gut and build your immune system.
- The other side are those from living plants, the ones that thrive on life. These bring restoration and healing to your gut. They have a life force that the bacteria from fermented foods do not. These contain energy from God and the sun. They come from life, and thus bring life. These will rejuvenate and restore your gut more than anything else. They come from fresh, living foods. The best source for these is sprouts. Sprouts like alfalfa, broccoli, clover, lentil, kale when sprouted are living gardens where the living probiotics come from. They also live on the surface and the skin of fruits and vegetables. You do not want to wash the produce from your garden too much so you do not wash them off.
Obviously, this all depends on where you are getting your produce from. If from the store then you need to wash them clean of chemicals and parasite eggs, but then you loose the good bacteria. Try and buy from local farmers markets and ask about spraying and chemicals. These two sides have vast differences, it does matter where you get your probiotics from.
When the good and bad bacteria are out of balance, it can cause these types of symptoms:
- Excess gas,
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Abdominal discomfort
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine
- Lactose intolerance
- Serum cholesterol
- Herpes simplex of the mouth
- Urinary tract infections
- Candida and many other problems
How do we get out of balance?
It is our diets and lifestyles that are high in fats and sugars, carbonated drinks, alcohol, emotional or physical stress, and anti-acids that will cause significant depletion or even completely destroy the beneficial flora or mucosa lining in our intestines. This leaves your system and body defenseless against all of the harmful bacteria in your body.
The worst thing you can do for all the good flora in your system is antibiotics. Antibiotics do not know the difference between friendly and harmful bacteria, and therefore kill them both. Anyone who uses antibiotics has significantly depleted their flora supply. As well as significantly weakened their immune system. You might say, “I don’t take antibiotics.” Did you know that virtually every meat producer in America injects their animals with antibiotics? When you eat the meant injected with these antibiotics, those antibiotics are passed on to you!
No one can say they have no emotional or physical stress. Adding the antibiotics we are always put on and our diets, makes taking probiotics a necessity. Do not take antibiotics unless it is necessary, and if you have a viral infection or illness they will not help anyway. Do not weaken your system out of ignorance.
What should you look for in a good probiotic?
I am all about not wasting my money and time. Here are some guidelines when buying probiotics: When choosing a probiotic supplement, make sure that it is from a stabilized source. This means it can survive the stomach acid and temperature. Many of the probiotics sold today cannot withstand even room temperatures. They need to be refrigerated so that the live culture bacteria are not destroyed. You do not want to buy these ones. How can they survive a 98.6 degree body if they have to be kept in the refrigerator to be kept alive?
You are also looking for not just the flora to be able to withstand the heat, but also the capsule. It needs to be able to make it through the stomach acids and salts. The bacteria needs to end up in the gut where it can replenish your system. You also want each capsule to contain a minimum of 35 Billion active CFU/g or Colony Forming Units. And contain a pre-biotic which will act as food for the friendly bacteria and aid in growth, and rebuild.
There are two companies that I have researched and know that meet these qualifications. It is the capsule that will not break in the stomach that I am looking for, as well as the stability of the flora.