Introduction to probiotics

Beneficial Bacteria Support Your Inner Eco-system

ProbioticsIf you happen to be one of those people who think bacteria are all evils to avoided, think again.

If you don’t know any better, it’s easy to think of  bacteria in a negative light. However, our bodies are—or should be—loaded with up to 1,000 species of beneficial bacteria.

That equates to 100 trillion busy little friendly individuals totaling three to five pounds in a healthy body! As was noted in the 4/25/13 issue of Human Events probiotics are “bacteria with benefits.”

Or, conversely, bacteria with benefits are probiotics!

Probiotics are also commonly referred to as ‘friendly flora.’ Whichever name you use, our vital beneficial bacteria are the ‘activator’ process parts essential to good health.

This includes breaking-down food for efficient digestion and elimination, strengthening the immune system and warding off diseases.

They decrease allergies, combat anxiety, improve mood and brain, protect against vaginal infections, decrease likelihood of cancer (fighting off bad bacteria), protect against allergies, help the body to absorb and utilize essential minerals and vitamins, support longevity and help manage diabetes.

These kind of bacteria are the little soldiers on your side, constantly at war to protect you against the ’bad’ bacteria that try to invade and destroy. It’s up to you to provide a battlefield (your body) that aids the ‘good guys.’

Ilya Ilich Mechnikov, born in Russia in 1845, was the first scientist to identify the vital health role of beneficial bacteria. He came to believe that aging was caused by toxic bacteria in the gut.

As a specialist in microbes and the immune system at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he was awarded the 1908 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Mechnikov was the trailblazer. Today we know the bacteria in your gut (gut flora) is where up to 80 percent of your immune system resides!

The gut is far more important than most of us know.

It contains your ‘other’ brain, as Dr. Michael Gershon described in his book about this ‘second brain’. The second brain is in your gut and is commonly acknowledged in scientific circles.  It’s this second brain that monitors inner pressure and the progress of digestion, detects nutrients and measures acid and salts.

Believe it or not, 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is housed in the gut, where it acts as a neurotransmitter and a signaling mechanism, acting as a go-between that keeps the brain in your skull up to date with the second brain in your gut.

Mood-control, depression and aggression stem from the gut; not the brain in your head. And chemical antidepressants raise serotonin levels in the brain in your head, NOT the second brain in your gut!

This misdirection is the source of many mental problems you may think you are addressing when taking too many dangerous chemical antidepressants.

As he conducted his scientific studies, Dr. Gershon became acutely aware of the ‘second brain’ that so fascinated him. He wrote: “Every time I called the National Institutes of Health about grants, I become painfully aware of the relationship between the brain and the gut!”

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines beneficial bacteria or probiotics as “living microorganisms that provide a health benefit to the host when ingested in adequate amounts.”

Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, quoted in the New York Times puts it more eloquently. He said we should regard the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial health.”

Probiotic literally means “for life,” as opposed to anti-biotic, which means “against life.”

Antibiotics become very helpful in situations when the body is unable to fight off a persistent infection caused by ‘bad’ bacteria. But the problem with antibiotics is that they kill all the bacteria—good and bad alike.

So when you find it absolutely necessary to take a course of antibiotics, it is essential that you double up on probiotics, or good bacteria, so that your little ‘worker bees’ can get busy re-establishing your body’s defense system.

Probiotics are nature’s truest form of antibiotics. They prevent damage before it occurs. They are in your skin, mouth, stomach, digestive tract, and ‘private places.’ Or they should be. In fact recent headlines proclaimed, “Are probiotics the ‘new’ antibiotics?”

Unfortunately, as probiotics are studied and recent studies have concluded, Americans and many other modern humans no longer have adequate populations of friendly bacteria in their gut. As one nutritional blogger noted, we live in a “frightening non-nutritional jungle of toxic food and medicine.”

Numerous aspects of our modern “non-nutritional jungle” upset the delicate balance of our intestinal tracts.

They include (as well as antibiotics): steroids, oral contraceptives, radiation, chemotherapy, chlorinated water, refined sugar, refined flour, processed food, microwave cooking (which destroys nutritional value), pesticides, antacids and other over-the-counter drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, and on and on.

Those many insidious influences that surround us, and the harmful and nutrient-empty things we consume, all contribute to imbalances in the intestinal flora—causing the body to become overloaded with toxins and confusing the important ‘second brain.’

Without sufficient probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, partially-digested proteins enter the bloodstream and can cause allergies, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, hormone imbalance, joint pain and migraines.

In addition, deficiency of probiotics allows the overgrowth of detrimental bacteria, yeast and parasites, leading to GI tract problems such as leaky bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, spastic colon and irritable bowel syndrome.

We can’t do a lot about most of the external toxins that interfere with the work of our friendly bacteria and even kill them.

But we can certainly do something about strengthening and replacing them.

Sugars and processed and refined foods in general, as well as radiation and chemical medicines destroy healthy microflora.

Avoid them. Bad food feeds ‘bad’ bacteria.

Genetically modified grains are also implicated in the destruction of gut flora.

Gut bacteria have been found to be very sensitive to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the pesticide Roundup, as gut microbes have the identical pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds!

Therefore, nutritious whole food is absolutely necessary in order to support the friendly bacteria that work so hard for you and your health. A high vegetable, fiber-based diet is a good beginning.

Bananas, garlic, onions, raw honey and artichokes are excellent choices, as well as properly fermented foods such as cultured yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso (made from rye, beans, rice or barley) sauerkraut and pickles.

In the old days, most people didn’t need those supplemental friendly bacteria. Much food was preserved by fermentation and dairy was not pasteurized, which, like antibiotics, kills good and bad bacteria alike.

Our world was not filled with chemicals and food was our medicine.

And so… unless you have an absolutely perfect diet and your contact with chemicals is minimal, which is almost impossible in North America today, a high-quality probiotic would greatly enhance and protect your health.

Like one scientist noted, “My best friends are germs!”

Sources: Human Events,, Mayo Clinic,, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Scientific American, Wikipedia,, New York Times.

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WFMCwShad&Star_175Probiotics are a major component of Whole Food Multi Complete, America’s innovative 6-in-1 supplement. In fact, we consider ‘beneficial bacteria’ so crucial to good health that we have included EIGHT strains of stabilized probiotics in the formula!

Whole Food Multi Complete is a complete supplement program in one bottle, providing vitamins and minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, antioxidant herbs, bone and joint support, and energy balance… all in one complete formula!

Learn more by following link below.