Fortunately people are slowly beginning to realize the importance of friendly bacteria and are re-introducing probiotic bacteria into their diets. Good bacteria deal with all the bad stuff and keep the pathogenic strains under control. So how do you get it?
You will find all manner of formulations on the supermarket shelves. You can get powders, capsules, drinks, and yoghurts with manufacturers making all sorts of claims as to their possible benefits and potency. It's confusing.
However, replenishing your probiotic bacteria on a daily basis is essential because many different things including antibiotics, stress, pollution, chemicals, dental work, prescribed medication, contraceptive pills, and old age (to name just a few) destroy them.
If the probiotic bacteria are wiped out it provides a window of opportunity for pathogenic bacteria to flourish, and these are a major source of toxins in the body. Infact, it has been estimated 80% of toxins in the blood comes from the gut and since your blood nourishes your whole body it's not surprising many of us don't feel as well as we should.
Joint pains, heart disease, digestive, skin, behavioural and mental problems all have their roots in the gut, and many people unknowingly suffer from Candida which is a yeast overgrowth. Everyone has it to some extent but allowed to get out of control it can be very debilitating. Don't be fooled into thinking it only gives women the vaginal infection known as Thrush. That's far from the truth.
If you ever go to the doctors with any sort of symptoms you will most likely be asked two questions. The first will be "Are you stressed"? The second will be something like, "Are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables?", But that will most likely be as far as the nutritional advice will go. This is mostly because most doctors aren't trained in nutrition.
They are trained to use medication and since it is generally accepted the pharmaceutical companies run the medical industry, there is no incentive to encourage people to become healthier using food sources. Probiotics are food. We've always had them and should have them. They are necessary for us to function, maintain health and fight off illness and disease. Doctors should know.
However, not all probiotics found in the market place are equal and you cannot believe all the claims about the bacteria counts, which are done in many different ways. Bacteria grow in colonies and many companies shake these apart to do their counts, so include both dead and live bacteria.
The most important thing to know about any probiotic supplement is whether the bacteria are ALIVE. They need to be ACTIVE and have the ability to reach the gut alive and start new colonies. This is problematic for many formulations because the bacteria are killed off by stomach acid. Unless they have been stressed to combat this, some manufacturers encase them in a capsule. This protects the bacteria inside but before the body can benefit from the probiotic it has to break down the capsule. Often this takes so long it has already passed through the digestive tract and out of the body, which negates any possible benefit.
Another thing to consider is manufacturers culture bacterium in different ways. Some come from grains, fruit and vegetables, whilst others grow bacteria from other sources such as faecal matter. I know which I prefer.
Also, bacteria are very competitive and like different foods. If the type they like is not available they will battle with the other different strains to compete for what is, and this can be detrimental to the good bacteria population. It is vital the foods the probiotic bacteria like accompany them in the formulation so the only bacteria they fight are the bad guys.
Lastly, you need to have a variety of different probiotic species, which can work as a team to overpower the many different pathogens lining the gut walls. There are hundreds of different strains and sub strains, and if you only have one or two they can't do sufficient good to create an environment where other sub strains can exist and multiply.
To sum up, bad pathogenic bacteria are responsible for toxins, which lead to illness and disease. If you want to combat them you need to introduce an army of different strains of strong, live, active, probiotic bacteria complete with their own food supply so they can re-colonise and kill off the bad gut flora.
If you want a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby top up your probiotic bacteria every day.