5 Secrets about the benefit of probiotics.
1. The Good and the Bad Can Get Ugly
Gut flora is like a rock concert in your belly. Most of the fans are upstanding citizens, there to have a good time. They came to sing and dance along, but not get out of control. These fans are the “good” bacteria living in our intestines. Other fans are rowdy troublemakers—the yeasts and fungi that live in our guts. The rowdies get the crowd going, and in small doses, they’re kind of fun to be around. But when too many mobs the venue, the concert gets out of control. So, we need to make sure there are a lot more upstanding citizens than rowdies in our guts. The “good” bacteria will crowd out the yeasts and keep them in check. If we don’t have enough of the good guys, we leave room for the rowdy ones to multiply and wreak havoc on our guts.
2. Bacteria Are “Good”
Probiotics refer to the “good” bacteria inside our digestive systems, all the way from our mouths to the other end. About 100 trillion bacteria live inside us, weighing in at about seven pounds. We need them to keep our bodies functioning properly. They help us digest our food, keep our immune systems working, produce important nutrients, and much more.
3. Size Matters
In most cases, bigger is better when it comes to your probiotic supplement. The number you see on the front of the bottle, such as “35 billion,” refers to the number of units of flora in the bottle. Why do you want such a high amount? Because not all the flora actually implants in your gut. The general idea is to sell more tickets to the concert than you have seats, knowing not everyone will show up. Take precautions and crowd out the yeast by inviting extra probiotics to your gut. Do this on a daily basis to keep your gut healthy.
4. How They Get There Is Just as Important
One of the functions of stomach acid is to kill bacteria in your food before it makes you sick. This harsh acidic environment makes it hard for probiotics to survive the trip to your gut. But you have options: The enteric-coated delivery system is one. This means the tablet or capsule is coated with a protective layer that takes longer to dissolve, finally breaking down when it reaches the intestines. The second option is to use strains of probiotics that are resistant to stomach acid. Even if the capsule breaks open in the stomach, the bacteria survive and pass through to the gut, where they can get to work. This method is the one to choose if you have slow digestion.
5. Balance Is Essential
All these long Latin names may make them sound like a pain, but the right strains of bacteria are actually friendly and worth getting to know. So which ones do you want to meet? It depends on the specific issues you’re trying to combat. While the human digestive system includes a lot of different strains and substrains, two are predominant: Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. So if you are looking for a general probiotic, make sure it includes strains of Bifidus, such as Bifidus Longum and Bifidus Bifidum, and several strains of Lactobacillus, including Lactobacillus Acidophilus. Bifidus is the strain of bacteria in your intestinal tract at birth. It is the first strain that colonized, and from there, your gut colonized all other strains—so Bifidobacterium is a key player in your gut health and probably your new best friend.