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Conventional health propaganda has caused the general public to think that germs are bad things that should be killed and avoided at all costs.
The reality is that our bodies are constantly in intimate contact with countless billions of germs both internally and externally. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms from over 500 different species can be found in the bowels of every normal healthy individual. They are inescapable and essential to optimal health. The overwhelming majority of these germs are friendly and only a few are normally dangerous.
The key factor is balance. Science now tells us that these different germs form a complex and delicate eco-system in our bodies. In simple terms, the good germs keep the bad germs in check and they all live together in harmony when conditions are healthy. There is evidence to suggest that the really bad germs (pathogens) are often the result of man’s interference with nature e.g. excessive use of antibiotics, leading to an imbalance. On the other hand, good germs called probiotics have been used to improve our health and treat disease.
What are Probiotics
The Word Health Organization defines probiotics as "Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit". Lactic acid bacteria andbifidobacteria are the most common types of probiotics but others may also be used. They are often referred to as "friendly bacteria" or "good bacteria." Probiotics are commonly consumed in fermented foods with active live cultures like yogurt, miso, tempeh, and some soy beverages, or as dietary supplements.
Probiotics for Digestive Health
The current medical view is that peptic ulcers and gastritis are caused in large part by an infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) that can live in the stomach. This is the basis for the modern use of potent antibiotics and acid-suppression drugs to "treat" ulcers.
Instead I recommend the use of probiotics that in a natural non toxic way restores the balance to the digestive tract, effectively helping to correct common problems like heart burn, indigestion and even peptic ulcer disease. Probiotic organisms can control the H.pylori bacteria while facilitating the healing of the damaged stomach lining. Other digestive system disorders that benefit from probiotic treatment include: Infectious diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease and inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The probiotic bacteria actually produce substances that nourish and heal the cells lining the walls of the intestines. They produce vitamin B12 and vitamin K as well as natural immune stimulating substances.
Probiotics for Immune Support
From the mouth to the anus, two thirds of all the cells of the body’s immune system are found around the digestive tract. The vast number of bacteria in the digestive system itself exerts a profound effect on the immune system.
For example a type of fungus called Candida is one of many germs commonly found in the digestive tract and genitals of healthy women and men. Usually these organisms cause no problems but yeast can overgrow and create havoc with the immune system leading up to bad allergic reactions and dis-ease. Healthy probiotic bacteria are used in the prevention and treatment of yeast infections and to promote healthy immune function.
Probiotics for Kidney Support
The kidney’s main role is the excretion of waste substances from the body. When the kidney malfunctions, these waste materials accumulate, leading to toxicity and life threatening illness. Special strains of probiotics may help in the elimination of accumulated waste and in maintaining healthy kidney function. These probiotic bacteria break down nitrogenous waste products (like urea) in the bowel, and thus complement the excretory function of the kidneys.
In 2008 researchers from Boston University found that a probiotic bacteria called Oxalobacter could reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by 70 percent. Approximately 80 percent of all kidney stones are made of the compound calcium oxalate which the oxalobacter organism can breakdown.
How to use Probiotics
Eating foods containing probiotic bacteria like yogurt, miso and tempeh, is a good starting point. However, even greater benefits may be had from taking a probiotic supplement. The most useful probiotics supplements contain Acidophilus, Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacteria. Probiotics supplements work best when combined with prebiotics (substances that promote the growth of the bacteria).
Prebiotics include insoluble fiber and a healthy sugar called fructooligosaccharide or FOS. FOS is found in fruits, legumes, and whole grains as well as some nutritional supplements like high quality meal replacement shakes. Also a very special probiotic found only in the aloe vera plant called Acemannin powerfully nourishes the good intestinal bacteria.
In my medical practice I use a supplement called FloraFiber that is a blend of the healthy probiotic bacteria and a prebiotic fibre. I combine this tablet with an aloe vera drink called Herbal Aloe for optimal results. This is a great way to restore the natural balance to the body while minimise the use of powerful drugs.