Did you know that we literally carry around 1 kg of bacteria with us at any one time! The bacteria in our bodies help to break down the food we eat and enhance absorption of many nutrients.
The use of friendly bacteria was first studied by the scientist Ellie Metchnikoff, who wrote a thesis on ‘Prolongation Of Life’ in the late part of 1800s. He noticed that the Bulgarians lived to the ripe old age beyond a hundred and found that their diets consisted mostly of sour milk with lactic acid bacteria in them.
Initially he called the bacteria the Bulgarian bacillus, later renaming it Bacillus bulgaricus. In recent years, the lactic acid bacteria has come to be known as ‘probiotics’, meaning ‘for life’ (as opposed to antibiotic, which means to kill bacteria).
Today, probiotics are known to contribute to good intestinal function, aid digestion and help to regulate the immune system. In this way they help to maintain overall good health.
Unfortunately, our 21st century lifestyle puts us at risk of damaging our intestine’s friendly bacteria.
Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive use of antibiotics are all potential factors that may contribute to decreasing the friendly bacteria in the body.
When that happens, the bad bacteria that co-exist with the good bacteria in the guts will leap into action to colonise the good bacteria. When these bad bacteria multiply, they may create a toxic situation that disrupts the body’s normal functioning. This results in a multitude of diseases such as gastrointestinal and immune disorders.
Many healthcare professionals now recognise the importance of supplementing our diet with probiotics so as to keep the bad bacteria in check and restore a healthy balance in the gut.
- Alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance.
- Prevent and shorten antibiotic-associated diarrhea and acute diarrhea.
- Relieve symptoms of ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ [IBS].
- Strengthen the human gut defense mechanism.
- Shorten duration of common cold symptoms by 20% and reduces severity of symptoms.
- Reduce recurrent infections of vaginal thrush.