gut health:  why probiotics are sometimes not enough

PROBIOTICS
ARE THEY ALWAYS ENOUGH TO RESTORE GUT HEALTH?

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Bruno Glätsch – Bühlertann/Deutschland – Pixabay

Even the mainstream is starting to catch on.  There is a commercial for a particular brand of probiotic educating us to the fact that 80% of the body’s entire Immune System is found in the Gut, with much of that being made up of bacteria (HERE).  Although physicians prescription habits concerning ANTIBIOTICS are not changing nearly as rapidly as they should be, there is plenty of talk these days about Gut Health and the need to take PROBIOTICS.  The problem is that with many people —- particularly those with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS or AUTOIMMUNITY —- simply taking probiotics is not nearly enough.   These folks will have to go the extra mile to restore the bacterial balance that helps make up “GUT HEALTH“.  How do I recommend going about this?  There are any number of ways, but these would be at the top of the list

  • MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE A LEAKY GUT:  If you do not know what I am talking about here, take a few minutes to read my post about Dr. Oz’s program on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.  If you have a “Leaky Gut” (the medical community refers to this as “Increased Intestinal Permeability”), all bets are off as far as your ability to get well is concerned — unless you deal with it first.  There are now several companies, including Cyrex, who make simple, inexpensive tests for this commonly overlooked, but very serious problem. 

  • CUT THE SUGAR:  If you have any sort of Gut problem or DYSBIOSIS (too many bad bacteria or yeast and not enough good bacteria), you will have to dry up their food source if you hope to make headway.  This will probably mean cutting back not only on SUGAR and HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES, but on many different fruits as well.  This is another of the reasons I so heavily promote a PALEO DIET for most people struggling with Chronic Illness.  Be aware that if you have Candida Yeast, you may have to get crazy strict with your carbohydrate restriction.  Either way you slice it, a Paleo Diet high in both soluble and insoluble fiber is going to help you accomplish your goal, as these are the food-of-choice for the good bacteria living in your Gut.

  • EAT FERMENTED FOODS:  Some of those that I use or have used in the past include Sauerkraut, Beet Kavass (my favorite), Kombucha, Kefier (hopefully you have access to RAW MILK), as well as a host of others.  I strongly advise people — as much as it is possible — to make their own.  The internet is full of information and recipes on this topic.

  • GARDEN:  Gardening is an oft-forgotten link in the whole Gut Health dilema.  The very same bacteria in your organically maintained garden are the bacteria that will be (or at least should be) widely found in your Gut.  This is why I told you a number of months ago to EAT DIRT!

  • EXERCISE:  In case you did not see it, a recent study said that REGULAR EXERCISE dramatically increases both the numbers of good bacteria in the Gut, as well as the numbers of different strains of good bacteria in the Gut.  Both are critical for good health.

  • STOOL TRANSPLANTS:  Gulp!  Did I just say what you think I said?  Yes I did.  HERE and HERE are a couple of articles.  Bear in mind that these articles are for informational purposes only, and should not be acted upon without the express written consent of your physician.

  • TAKE A QUALITY PROBIOTIC:  If you are taking “Acidophilus”, you are probably missing the boat on this one.  Acidophilus is the name of one single strain of bacteria.  We use a probiotic that contains about 20 different strains of HSO’s (Homeostatic Soil Organisms) — the most common bacteria found in organic soil. Just remember; it’s not that probiotics are somehow bad, but that they are probably not enough — especially for those of you who are chronically ill.

It is critical to understand that your overall health is directly related to the health of your Gut.  For more information on this topic, you can comb through the archived articles I have written under GUT HEALTH.

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