Manage episode 153126039 series 1082177
Probiotics have a very important role in our body, specifically in our digestive tract. When they are lacking for various reasons, like after taking antibiotics, other illnesses and diseases can ensue.
Probiotics generally refers to friendly bacteria or intestinal gut flora that belong in our digestive tract. This is a 30 foot tube from end to end and it contains about 100 trillion of these microorganisms, but this is only if the digestive tract is healthy.
What are the causes of a decrease in intestinal flora? There are many. One example would be when someone takes antibiotics that kill off the bad bacteria, but in doing so the good bacteria or flora are also killed off. Many times this allows fungus to grow because the good flora is not regulating it and the person will develop a yeast infection. You don't have to take prescription antibiotics for this to happen. There are antibiotics present in our food that can do the same harm. There is also chlorine in our water supply that can also kill off the flora in our gut and the end result is the development of disease.
Many functional and regenerative physicians believe that if a person is ill and they don't quite know where to start, they start with the gut. They use the 4 R Protocol, which stands for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate and Repair.
Remove stands for remove the offending agent. Remove offending foods or the offending bad bacteria or virus that is causing harm. Replace means replace the enzymes and acids and other nutrients that have been lost. Reinoculate means the good bacteria have to be replaced with probiotics. Repair they intestinal lining if there has been a lot of damage. This may involve using amino acids like glutamine or cold processed pure bovine colostrum products that help repair.
It is very important to replace these probiotics because it is the body's main immune defense. Some physicians will say that over 70% of our main defense is through the gut. We also rely on these probiotics to digest certain foods such as beans, legumes, and nuts and they usually provide the very last steps to provide the nutrients that we need.
The gut flora is also responsible for reducing inflammation. Patients with diverticulitis, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome often have wiped out gut flora. Healthy bacteria secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines that keep bad bacteria at bay. When the healthy flora is gone then you can see these disorders appear. Once these flora are gone, Leaky Gut Syndrome can occur, which is mentioned in the gut health video. This means that holes have developed in the intestinal lining, which allows undigested food and other pathogens to leak into the body, which causes a whole host of other problems.
At Partell Pharmacy in Las Vegas, you can purchase VSL3, which helps treat Ulcerative Colitis. The sachets in VSL3 (the living shield) are packed with 450 billion probiotics. There are also other pharmaceutical grade probiotics available at their compounding pharmacy. It is important to look at the label when purchasing probiotics. You will find many that have 5 or 10 billion units of probiotics a day and that is why they are so inexpensive. The better quality products will contain more probiotics. Robert suggests taking at least 100 billion probiotics a day and more if you are ill or during allergy season. Why during allergy season? If we reduce inflammation in the gut by taking probiotics, we most likely can reduce inflammation in the entire body.
You can actually have your probiotic flora checked so you know what your gut status is. A Functional and Rejuvenative Physician will know the proper tests to order.
Diet is very important when considering your gut health. You can increase your healthy gut flora by eating lacto fermented foods like sauerkraut and kim chi and some yogurts rich in acidophilus. Avoid sugars and starch in the diet because yeasts and other bad flora can feed off of these types of foods.
by Robert Seik, PharmD