One Way to Keep Your Immune System Strong
Taking probiotics have been a huge contribution to my health and well being. I notice a difference in my energy levels and immune response when I am taking probiotics and when I take a break from taking probiotics.
From a childhood of antibiotics and resulting weakened colon health, probiotics are a must for my protocol of health maintenance. When I began using probiotics for my daughter, she no longer became sick. She has not missed one day of school from illlness sin two years.
What are probiotics you might ask?
Probiotics the common term for a family of bacteria (lactobacillus), that’s extremely beneficial to human health. They are found in abundance in common cultured foods, but are unfortunately absent from many other foods due to processing techniques.
Probiotics live in the intestinal tract, and not only help us to properly digest and absorb nutrients that are key to our survival, but also manufacture B vitamins, produce substances that inhibit harmful (or pathogenic) bacteria, and strengthen our immune systems.
The intestinal flora is a commonly used metaphor that describes the bacteria living in our intestines. People whose intestinal flora lacks certain bacteria (such as those found in cultured foods), often suffer from Candida, weak immune systems, poor sleep patterns, and many other ailments (both physical and emotional).
To name a few of the factors that disrupt the balance of your Intestinal Flora:
• Antibiotic Medications • Inorganic Antibiotic residues in meat and Dairy products • Chlorinated and Fluorinated water • Continual Stress • Diets high in Sugar and simple carbohydrates (like fast food and junk food) • Estrogen Replacement • Exposure to Radiation (CAT Scans, excessive medical X-Rays) • Oral Contraceptives • Parasites • Poor Digestion / Constipation • Toxic Chemical Intake (such as Steroids)
There are certain signals the body shows when the intestinal flora is out of balance and these include:
• Acne, Eczema, Skin and Foot Problems • Allergies and Chronic Food Sensitivities (such as Lactose Intolerance) • Bad Breath and Gum Disease • Chronic / Unexplained Fatigue • Chronic Yeast problems; Candida Albican overgrowth • Difficulty losing weight • Faulty digestion / Acid Reflux Disease • Frequent colds, flu, and infections • Frequent constipation and diarrhea • Joint pain or inflammation • Peptic Ulcers • Poor sleep patterns / nightmares • Extreme menstrual or menopausal symptoms
Some of the main reasons we do not find adequate sources of beneficial bacteria from our diets is that the food industry’s plants and animals are sprayed or treated with chemicals that destroy these helpful bacteria. Animals are often fed with grains that have been chemically altered, and most of our crops are grown in soil that’s been stripped of all the beneficial organisms necessary to survival. This reality is so sad, but true. Grow your own folks!
Even more upsetting is that the Western food industry has, for many years, over-processed food and food that usually populate beneficial bacteria such as milk and bread. Milk and bread are now engineered with ‘filler nutrients’ that are not only harmful to the intestinal flora, but have no nutritional value whatsoever.
Because of this, we need to re-populate our intestinal tracks by eating natural foods that contain the bacteria we need. This is where cultured foods and ingredients become an important part of any healthy lifestyle.
There are billions of bacteria in the human digestive tract. Science has found that the ratio of good to bad bacteria needs to be at least 85:15. To maintain that balance, we need to provide both Probiotic and prebiotic support for the gut.
It’s clear that probiotic supplementation is vital to support good health. But it’s also important to note that not all probiotic supplements are the same. Some that boast “billions and billions” of bacteria may actually supply too many of one strain, causing the immune system to respond to a perceived threat. Another mistake many consumers may make is to supplement only with probiotics, while failing to take any prebiotics. Prebiotics are substances that help nourish probiotics and, along with organic acids, encourage the supplemented probiotics to take root. Prebiotics also nourish and feed pre-existing probiotic strains that are completely unique to each individual.
Probiotics help support a healthy immune system. Science has established that approximately 70% of immune system cells reside in the digestive tract. Probiotics support those immune system cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests. The gut is the first line of immune defense, and to stay healthy, we need a healthy population of friendly bacteria.
I love to take Dr Ohhira probiotics because live bacteria are guaranteed to take root in the gut and I see a direct response. A probiotic supplement is helpful when the beneficial bacteria actually take root in the digestive tract and support the body’s ability to develop its own unique strains of probiotics. Iichiroh Ohhira, Ph.D., creator of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® an award-winning microbiologist and his probiotics contain viable bacteria (not freeze-dried or centrifuged) that are guaranteed to cohere in the colon.
They also contain a complete probiotic and prebiotic system. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® are fermented for three years using 12 strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) including the proprietary TH10 strain which reportedly is six times stronger than any other known LAB strain. The probiotic supplement is encapsulated along with its prebiotic culture medium of nutritious vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and seaweed and the naturally developed organic acids, which help alter the pH of the colon so the good bacteria can thrive. This provides nutrition and a level playing field for the good bacteria, further ensuring their success. The prebiotic nutrition also feeds the unique probiotic strains that were already present in your gut. Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic blend includes nutrition that supports your own individual microecology!
In addition to prebiotics and organic acids, the culture medium provides nutritious vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Digestive support, bacteriocins, and hydrogen peroxide also help maintain the delicate micro flora garden living in your digestive tract. Being able to take one capsule that covers probiotics, prebiotics, and organic acids provides peace of mind that the supplement will successfully supply noticeable whole health support.
I change my probiotics every three months. Just like exercise, the body seems to get accustomed to one kind of probiotic. I also like the Women’s formula of Raw Probiotics from the Garden of Life. I love to make raw, vegan cheese with probiotics and slip them into my daughters smoothies and food whenever I feel it will not disturb the flavor too much. There are additionally specialized formulas for men and 50+ women and men from the Garden of Life.
Yogurt is not the best source of probiotics. The additional sugar present and protein from the yogurt as well as the diet of the cows and pasteurized milk make yogurt not the best source of probiotics.
I also make coconut yogurt and probiotic drinks from coconut water and kiefer grains, but that will be for another blog post. Take probiotics on an empty stomach if you can before bed and first thing in the morning. Your body will thank you and the ecology of your body will shift with time and consistency. Reducing your intake of fried foods, dairy, processed foods, meat and sugar will all help to create an environment internally to promote health and longevity helping the probiotics to do the work that they need to do to strengthen the immune system from the inside out.