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A Missing Link To Good Health

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Researchers have found an interesting difference in the bodies of some lean vs.
obese people, and it’s not that they have different genes. It’s something that most
people never even think about, but this one thing plays a significant role in your
health, hormone levels, and immune system function.
That one thing is the colony of beneficial bacteria you have living in your gut.
The reason why gut bacteria may play a role in obesity is because more and
more research shows they play a role in just about everything in your body from
hormone levels, depression and mood, immune function, digestion, vitamin
production and absorption, and more. There are actually about ten times as
many bacteria in your gut as there are cells in your body!
In other words, they’re kind of a big deal.
The problem is that because of stress, antibiotics, and a diet lacking in cultured
foods, most people have an imbalance in their gut bacteria resulting in an
overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi. The “good guy” bacteria that are
supposed to be protecting you are missing, and no amount of healthy foods and
lifestyle intervention can make up for their absence.
This is why increasing your intake of probiotics is so important. But before you
think that eating a little bit of yogurt is going to take care of you, realize that
most store bought yogurt has minimal intact probiotics. To complicate things
even more, there’s between 500-1000 different species of probiotics in the
human gut while foods and supplements may only have a few strains.
Scientists find that not all probiotic strains are created equal. For instance, there
are many different strains of lactobacillus acidophilus which research shows has
differing effects depending on which strain is ingested. So just because a person
took something with “acidophilus” and didn’t notice any benefits, doesn’t mean
a different strain of acidophilus like DDS-1 couldn’t be highly beneficial.
It appears that the best protection is to avoid pharmaceutical antibiotics
whenever they’re not necessary as they will kill the healthy bacteria along with
the bad. Unfortunately, for many people the damage has been done.
The most effective option for probiotic restoration is not something many people
would consider, and that’s fecal transplants. Literally taking feces from one
healthy individual and putting it into someone else to recolonize the gut. While
this is, to the best of my knowledge, one of the most effective means we
currently have of effectively restoring proper gut bacteria, it is a lesser known
and little practiced technique for probably a variety of reasons unrelated to its
effectiveness.
Regardless of whether or not one wants to go that far, it’s very good to include
cultured foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir into one’s diet which you
can make yourself at home with a starter kit from bodyecology.com. You may
also find these foods at farmer’s markets and health food stores, albeit they’re
usually much more expensive than what you can make yourself.
Finally, probiotic supplements can be used to fill in the gaps and target certain
health issues like poor digestion. But the number of living bacteria per capsule
is much smaller than in cultured foods and may not repopulate the gut as readily
as food based probiotics like kefir and sauerkraut.
Here are some of the best probiotic supplements out there. While there are many
good products out there, these are some of the best for various needs.
Saccharomyces Boulardii: This is an important probiotic to take because it
stimulates sIgA production. sIgA is needed for proper signaling to the
immune system which bacteria are currently in our gut. To make a long
story short, this enhances the benefits of all the other probiotics you will
take. Without adequate sIgA signaling however, the probiotics won’t do
their job as well. Read more about this at
http://www.nutricology.com/infocus/pdfletters/InFocus_2009Oct_Probiotics.pdf
Lactobacillus GG: Lactobacillus GG (brand name Culturelle) is one of the
most researched and time-tested strains of bacteria with over 400 studies
done on it. It’s well noted for its immune enhancing effects, improvement
of digestion, and its ability to successfully survive the digestive track intact
to colonize the gut. It has been shown to aid in fighting infection and
improve the skin with conditions like eczema. It is my number #1
recommendation when starting probiotics as there are few if any that can
match the research backing it has.
Bifantis – Bifidobacterium infantis: Bifantis (brand name Align) is wellknown
for its benefits on digestion. It is great for those suffering from
irritable bowel syndrome. This is typically the first probiotic to recommend
for digestive issues.
L. Acidophilus Strain DDS-1: The DDS-1 strain is a highly researched
strain of L. Acidophilus that is of human origin. This means it works well
within the human body and can tolerate transition through the digestive
track. Like other strains, research has shown it is extremely beneficial for
gut-health as well as enhancing the immune system.
Jarro-Dophilus EPS: The #1 probiotic blend in the US.
Natren Trinity: Natren is also the only company I’ve seen to have the
Malytho superstrain of Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Wondering which probiotic to take? I suggest using a single strain to begin with
and assess how you feel. This could be Saccharomyces to begin with, then trying
Culturelle, DDS-1, and/or Align one at a time to see how you feel on each.
Eventually, you can try moving on to a blend. Several good brands for probiotic
blends also include Custom Probiotics, New Chapter, and Dr. Ohhira’s.
Just because one probiotic product doesn’t work well for you, doesn’t mean
another one couldn’t be the “missing link” you’ve been looking for. That being
said, sometimes people don’t respond well to any probiotics. This could be a sign
of gut damage and inflammation. Glut Immune (a type of Glutamine) and NAceytl
Glucosamine are two of the most powerful things I am aware of for
repairing the digestive track.

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