By Wendell Fowler
Senior Wire 

Probiotics are your gut's 'good guy' bugs


White hats, black hats, good guys, bad guys. The dichotomy influences TV, classic literature, movies, and your temple. In life, balance is essential. When bad guys gain control of your inner universe, more good guys are required to restore peace. But its success requires your involvement. You’re eating “good guy” bugs when you consume yogurt, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, miso, and fermented kim chi. Kombucha tea is my personal favorite.

Your gastrointestinal tract (GI) is a complex ecosystem where a delicate intestinal balance must exist, otherwise, a constellation of gut wrenching conditions can set roots. The GI tract, the width and length of a tennis court, is a universe inhabited by trillions of friendly and not-so-friendly microbes that must co-exist in balanced symbiosis. When bad bacteria get the upper hand, things like candida take over, as well as a weakened immune system, constipation, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease, and much more. For more than 100 years, probiotic remedies have been used to fight infection.

Lifestyle stresses, a processed junk food diet lacking in fresh produce, pollution, antibiotics, and a lack of exercise can reduce the quantity of good bacteria in your intestine, where 70 percent of your temple’s immune response resides. Alas, much of the good bacteria you’d normally consume through fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk products are destroyed in harsh, modern food preparation processes.

Antibiotics commit genocide on both good and bad bacteria, leaving you vulnerable to bacterial infections and GI disorders as the bad bacteria rule. Probiotic refers to foods containing good bacteria with beneficial effects. Yes, antibiotics fight bacterial infections, although Psychology Today asserts they also exterminate both bad and good. Bummer. Friendly bacteria significantly boost your temple’s reaction to toxins, pathogens and poisons. Wondering why their belly extends, many Americans’ colons are encrusted with accumulated poo – in some cases, as much as 40 pounds swelling your bowels to several times its diameter. Out-of-balance Elvis had 60 pounds in him when he checked out.

Research reveals that friendly probiotic critters can be useful in treating irritable bowel disorder, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, “terminal” flatulence, yeast infections, allergies, colitis, constipation, and bowel cancer. Eating good bacteria keeps harmful microorganisms in check, aids digestion, nutrient absorption, and contributes to a kick-butt immune system.

Good bacteria play a big role in cancer prevention and management by slowing down the bacteria growth that converts pro-carcinogens into cancer-causing chemicals. Hence, every living soul could benefit by routinely consuming a few billion friendly microbial warriors. Researchers in Sweden discovered a group of employees who were given probiotics missed less work due to illness than did employees who were not given probiotics.

Sometimes it’s not what you eat as much as it’s what you don’t eat.


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