Good Gut Bacteria: Why Are We Finally Paying Attention?
Until recently, most people thought bacteria were to be avoided and killed at all costs and the term probiotic was relatively unknown. Finally, we understand that we need a healthy gut microflora to survive. So we ask: why are we finally paying attention to them now?
Why the need NOW for Probiotics?
The answer is simple: to combat our modern lifestyles.
Overuse of antibiotics, pesticides and a constant diet of processed and refined foods have taken their toll on our body’s microbiome, immune systems and overall health.
Well, anything that is fermented has bacteria (and often times good ones) since fermentation is what naturally occurs when you give microbes the chance to thrive in a food source. There are also sources in our diets that can harm or reduce good bacteria in our gut flora including processed foods, refined grains, agricultural chemicals and pesticides and diets high in sugar and fructose. That is the diet of most North Americans!
That’s right, only a small percentage of bad microbes have until recently given all bacteria a bad name. Traditionally, cultures around the world ate many fermented foods such as kefir (which is fermented milk and delicious) and sauerkraut in Europe, and kimchi and tempeh in Asia. Until recently, dietary preferences in North America strayed further and further away from such foods to the point that “fermentation” was seen as an “icky” word, much like “bacteria” was (and still is to many people).
Only now is the term “fermented” becoming highly sought again by those who are health conscious. Instead of eating natural whole foods – containing good bacteria and all – we evolved into a nation that eats overly processed and pasteurized foods. In fact, it’s still illegal in Canada to sell raw milk!
Obviously not all bacteria are good for you but did you know that out of the millions of known bacterial strains, only 1400 have been identified as “bad”? Unfortunately, antibiotics do not discriminate against good or bad microbiota and kill them all. Probiotics taken on a regular basis can help recolonize the gut and start doing the job they were meant to do; keep us healthy.
The overuse of pesticides, introduction of GMO’s, and the refinement and processing of our food sources have introduced new variables into our digestive systems have are not fully understood, sometimes with adverse effects on our natural gut flora.
There is clearly a need for a better understanding of what is put in our digestive system and how it affects the web of organs connected to the gut including the stomach, brain, kidney, liver and intestines.
Scientific evidence supports probiotic therapy
Major leaps forward in probiotic therapy have been made in the last ten years, in understanding how and why probiotics are important not just to our gut-health but to our overall health. Scientific articles have jumped from just a few per year in the late 90’s to almost 2000 articles expected to be written this year. These studies have proved just how important probiotics are as a health supplement and health therapy for intestinal disorders.
Multiple clinical studies support using probiotic therapies to limit, prevent or reduce the effects of the following intestinal disorders*:
- Acute Onset Infectious Diarrhea – it has been proven that probiotics limit and reduce symptoms.
- Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea – probiotics have actually shown to help prevent this type of diarrhea in children and adults.
- C-Difficile-associated Diarrhea – reduces recurrent CDAD in older patients, with possible use in preventing future cases.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome – use of bifidobacteria species is the best option to reduce symptomatology in certain patients.
- Ulcerative Colitis – probiotic therapy has modest efficacy in inducing and maintaining remission for mild to moderate cases.
- Pouchitis – proven that probiotic therapy is effective in preventing recurrence.
However there are many other uses for probiotic therapy that have been discovered in other scientific studies that support a more expanded role for probiotics in your life. The following therapies have been effective in at least one scientific study and can be tried for yourself.
- Preventing Allergies – probiotic supplements for pregnant mothers have been found to help with atopic sensitivity in infants.
- Limits Lactose Intolerance – with probiotic therapy more lactose was tolerated by test subjects.
- Better Cholesterol – possibly lowers bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol, bettering the HDL/LDL ratio.
- Lowers Blood Pressure – modestly in normal blood pressure ranges, but more significantly in those with elevated levels of blood pressure.
- Boosts Immunology & Reduces Infections – researchers have shown that antibiotics kill off the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut which are linked to keeping our immune systems effective at fighting infections. By taking probiotics it helps recolonize these ‘good’ bacteria possibly preventing infections and boosting the immune system.
- Reduce Eczema – probiotics helped manage Atopic Dermatitis (eczema) in children, especially those allergic and higher IgE levels.
- Increases Vitamin production – actively consuming probiotics help produce vitamins K and B12 and folic acid.
- Prevents Bacterial Vaginosis – aids in preventing vaginosis and is effective in reducing recurrence rates.
These are the most prevalent and published articles and studies on the efficacy of taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotics of the future could include treatments for diabetes, cancer prevention, allergy control, oral health and many other areas that are currently being studied. Of course consuming your daily dose of Vita Biosa 10+ now can only put you ahead of the curve.
Of course science usually follows anecdotal or observational science and in these areas, sometimes the best ‘proof’ is that given by overwhelming public support about a particular product and its results.
What is even more important is to realize that there are very few negative side effects of taking probiotics. Even the known side effects are very mild; drinking liquid probiotics on a daily basis by most accounts will help balance your gut microbiota.
Digestive Health is So Important
With all of the health issues today that are related to our overall gut health, it’s clear to see that something has changed in our environment. What’s also clear is that probiotics supplements have become a necessary thing for many people.
Even though we don’t really think of Vita Biosa10+ as a “supplement” in the multi-vitamin pill sense it does, like any probiotic food or drink, supplement the microflora in your body.
Truly we’d prefer to live in a world where people didn’t need our products. Perhaps one day that will be the case and people will just drink Vita Biosa10+ because they love the taste and find it to be an invigorating beverage.
* Note, the studies referenced in this article were on probiotics in general and not specific to Vita Biosa10+.