What is the Gut Flora?
Trillions of bacteria inhibit and colonize the human digestive system. These bacteria are referred to as the gut flora. In a healthy adult body there is around 2kgs of bacteria. The gut flora or the beneficial bacteria take part in our digestion and absorption of our food, they produce a number of enzymes that break down proteins, carbohydrates, fibre and fats. They can actively synthesise a number of nutrients that are essential for us such as vitamin k2, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid and some amino acids. They also discourage harmful bacteria and ‘bad’ yeasts from invading the body. There are around 500 bacteria species known to science so far, some of these are beneficial, while others are potentially harmful. All of these bacteria live in a highly organized micro world with certain species predominating and controlling others. A balance between the two is vital for good health and well-being.
What Damages the Gut Flora?
There are many factors today that damage the beneficial gut flora. Illness, poor diet, stress, the contraception pill, dentistry work, exposure to toxic substances or toxins in foods. Too much sugar foods and processed carbohydrates. Antibiotics are particularly harmful. Unfortunately antibiotics are unable to distinguish between beneficial and harmful bacteria and they can wipe out the beneficial bacteria which leaves the bowel vulnerable for the invasion of potentially dangerous bacteria. This can lead to side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, involving diarrhea, wind and bloating. A damaged gut flora over a period of time can lead to diseases like auto immune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), ulcerated colitis, Crohn’s disease, heart disease and allergies to name a few.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that are indigenous to a healthy digestive system. A healthy digestive system is primarily made up of these beneficial bacteria or probiotics. Probiotics are available in foods and probiotic supplements ie.capsules and powders. Example of foods containing probiotics are yogurt, fermented foods like sauerkraut and fermented milk, miso and soy beverages. The dominant members of the beneficial bacteria or probiotics are Bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium bifidum), Lactobacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus), Propionobacteria, Peptostreptococci and Enterococci. Some probiotic supplements have a yeast strain within the probiotic blend, the most common is Saccharomyces boulardii which are different from bacteria but indigenous in a healthy gut flora. Saccharomyces boulardii also helps to keep the digestive tract clear and is beneficial to sufferers of diarrhea and Crohn’s disease.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics are live micro-organisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Probiotics work by crowding out the bad bacteria within the digestive system. The probiotics then attach to the intestinal wall where they increase the number of beneficial bacteria regulating and maintaining balance between the beneficial and harmful bacteria.
How Do Probiotics Benefit Our Health?
There are many areas of health in which probiotics have beneficial effects. It is said by many experts that the lack of probiotic bacteria in the gut flora is the main root cause to many diseases of today. Probiotics are best taken as a supplement. Probiotic bacteria are already part of the normal digestive system and are considered safe.
Probiotics support our health by:
· Supporting immune Function. Around 83% of our immunity is located in the gut wall.
· Aiding the digestive system.
· Enhancing the body’s absorption of food and nutrients.
· Repopulating depleted intestinal flora.
· Protecting the gut wall against harmful bacteria that can cause ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut allows pathogens to break through the gut wall causing havoc in the body.
· Keeping your gut clean.
· Supporting vitamin production.
· Supports the destroying of toxins and carcinogens.
Probiotics can help prevent and treat conditions like:
· Auto immune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis)
· Irritable bowel disease (IBS)
· Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g.,ulcerated colitis and Crohn’s disease)
· Vaginal infections (e.g., candida or thrush)
· Ear infections
· Throat infections
The risk of allergies in infants can be reduced by maintaining a good bacterial balance in pregnant mothers or by modulating the intestinal flora of the infant with probiotic bacteria. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and Bifidobacteria strains both have shown to prevent the risk of allergies and to speed up recovery
MegaFlora Plus (awesome probiotic product)
MegaFood delivers actual food-based nutrients that are chemically ‘organic’ in form, making them impressively bioavailable and easy to digest. These are full-spectrum nutrients, not chemical vitamins, and they’re all completely non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and completely free of pesticides and herbicides.
Nourish • Rebuild • Protect
· Supports intestinal health, bowel regularity and immunity
· 50 billion active 14 life-enhancing probiotics
· Provides strains naturally found in the digestive system
· Restores and maintains balance of healthy probiotics
· Recommended after a course of antibiotics or traveling abroad
· Gently filtered from food growth media to remove common allergens
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Certified Gluten Free by QAI
Other Ingredients: Cellulose and Ascorbyl Palmitate.
Suggested Use: 1 capsule per day with a meal.
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