Few facts on probiotics and human gut flora

  • What are probiotics ? 

Probiotics are micro-organisms that show health benefits when consumed. 

Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics but certain yeast and bacilli may also be used.

  • Probiotics and the human body – what’s the link?
A human body is like a planet inhibited by huge numbers of various micro-creatures. The diversity and richness of this life on every one of us is probably as amazing as the life on earth itself!
Our digestive system, skin , eyes, respiratory and excretory organs are happily coexisting with trillions of invisible lodgers, making one ecosystem of macro- and micro-life, living together in harmony. It is a symbiotic relationship, where neither party can live without the other.
Let me repeat it: we humans cannot live without these tiny micro-organisms, which we carry on and in our bodies everywhere.
The largest colonies of microbes live in our digestive system.
A healthy adult, on average carries 1.5 to 2 kg of bacteria in the gut.
All these bacteria are not just a chaotic microbial mass, but a highly organized micro-world with certain species predominating and controlling others. The numbers of functions they fulfill in our bodies are so vital to us, that if our gut got sterilized, we would probably not survive. In a healthy body this microbial world is fairy stable and adaptable to changes in their environment.
  • Why do we need to maintain bacterial balance in human digestive tract? 

As many scientist point out the health of digestive tract is tightly linked to the composition of bacterial gut lining.
Where there is a destruction of healthy beneficial flora in human digestive tract, we see that ‘bad’ or opportunistic bacteria invades the digestive tract and starts causing damage to the tissues and the threatens the integrity of gut.

  • What affects adversely the beneficial bacteria in our gut?
  • Antibiotics
  • Sugar
  • Oral contraceptive pill
  • Stress
  • Viral/bacterial infections
  • Poor diet
  • Is there need to maintain supply of beneficial bacteria ?

Absolutely! You can consume fermented foods that are naturally rich in probiotic bacteria.

  • What are the most common fermented foods that supply us with probiotic bacteria that protects integrity of our gut?
  • Coconut Milk Kefir
  • Water kefir
  • Milk Kefir – (dairy)
  • Yoghurt
  • Kambucha Tea
  • Fermented Vegetables:
  • Kimchi (Chinese Cabbage)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Natto – fermented soybeans
  • Natural vinegars, wine, beer

You can learn how to make probiotic foods in my cooking class ~ Heal Your Gut with the Lost Art of Fermentation & Probiotic Foods at TRUPP COOKING SCHOOL