About 100 years ago, there was a chap called Ilya Mechnikov, who started studying societies that had consistently long and healthy lifespans. (We're talking 100+ years). One thing they had in common, was the practice of eating fermented foods, and bacterial cultures called kefirs. It was he, who invented the term, probiotic.
He was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work, and scientists today, are looking further into his findings.
This is some of the stuff they've discovered...
Up to 90% of all known human illness and disease can be traced back to an unhealthy colon.
The ideal bacterial ratio in the human gut is 85% probiotic bacteria : 15% pathogenic bacteria.
But most people have 15% probiotic bacteria : 85% pathogenic bacteria. This means that most people's immune systems are terribly ineffective. Without the correct balace, some form of physical disease is likely to manifest.
COMMON SIGNS OF A BACTERIAL IMBALANCE:
- Difficulty losing weight, sugar/carb cravings
- Freguent fatigue, poor concentration
- Frequent constipation or diarrhoea
- Faulty digestion, acid reflux and other gut disorders
- Sleeping poorly, and possible night sweats
- Painful joint inflammations/stiffness
- Bad breath, gum disease and dental problems
- Frequent colds, flus or infections
- Chronic yeast problems, candida
- Acne, eczema, skin and foot fungus
- Extreme menstrual or menopausal symptoms
- Allergies and food sensitivities
Bacteria produce something called enzymes. These little tackers are what digest and deliver nutrients to wherever they need to go. Every body has tens of trillions of cells, and each one needs 100,000 enzymes to function correctly.
If we are deficient in friendly bacteria in the gut, we are also deficient in enzymes. Without them, nutrients do not get used. You can consume the best vitamins in the world, but if you cannot digest and assimilate them, then they are useless.
THINGS THAT KILL GOOD BACTERIA IN THE BODY
- Antibiotics (we all know this one already, but the rest of the list might surprise you...)
- Birth Control Pills
- Steroidal/Hormonal Drugs
- Fluoride (found in treated water supplies, and toothpaste)
- Carbonated drinks
- Man-made Vitamins
- Synthetic Ascorbic Acid (synthetic Vitamin C)
But here's the catch...
The strongest bacteria will always kill the weaker ones. And what's more, they compete for food sources. So, most probiotics are a waste of time (and money. They're expensive little pills.), because they provide one, two, or maybe four strains of bacteria, but no food sources with it, so these new bacteria will deplete the number of bad AND good bacteria in your body, as they all compete for food.
One of the best probiotics I've came across, can be found here