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Probiotics for a healthy intestinal flora

Probiotics for a healthy intestinal flora

The use of probiotics to increase general health has long been underestimated. However, the fact is that the intestinal flora has a tremendous impact on both physical and mental health. Thus, the intestinal bacteria living in us control not only our immune system, but also our emotions. However, if the intestine is weakened by an unhealthy lifestyle, harmful microorganisms outgrow and displace the beneficial intestinal bacteria - the environment in the intestine gets out of balance. Our defenses sink and pathogens have an easy game. Probiotics can help here.

What are probiotics?

A probiotic is a preparation of living microorganisms (eg lactic acid bacteria) which have a health-promoting effect on the human organism, in particular on the intestine.

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Probiotics and the healthy gut

In our gastrointestinal tract exist between 400 and 500 kinds of bacteria. If the gastrointestinal tract were laid flat, it would be about the size of a tennis court and the bacterial colonies living there would weigh about three pounds.

Looking at these dimensions, it seems logical that our gut and its inhabitants play an important role in our health.

For a long time, however, the importance of intestinal bacteria was completely underestimated, because probiotic bacteria have many more functions than just help with digestion.

For example, probiotics activate immune responses throughout the body, including activation of certain weedy cells - the so-called T cells.

In a healthy gut, about 85% of the total intestinal flora should be made up of beneficial bacteria, while a maximum of 15% of the bacteria may be pathogenic. Since about 80% of our immune system is in the intestine, this bacteria ratio also plays a major role in our defense.

Studies also show that the composition of the intestinal flora even has a tremendous impact on our emotions and mental performance. (More on this topic can be found here: The gut controls emotions)

The use of probiotics or probiotic foods actively supports the development and maintenance of our intestinal flora and can therefore increase our physical and mental health. In the following section, we will give you 10 reasons for taking probiotics daily, which illustrate their role very well for our body.

Ten reasons why probiotics are important

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1. Improve immune function

A clinical double-blind study in ICU patients has shown probiotics to be multi-organ failure (MODS). Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome), thus helping to prevent a condition that is considered the leading cause of death in intensive care patients.

If probiotics do that, one can imagine how they can protect against simple colds or the flu. If the intestine is healthy and its environment in equilibrium, so is the person in question healthy.

2. Against allergies, skin diseases and asthma

Effective probiotics, which regenerate the intestine, lead to a strong immune system and thus to more health. The consequence is that humans are also less susceptible to allergies that attack the skin, for example.

A 2009 study has shown that probiotics can strengthen the body's defense against skin allergies. The study targeted infants and toddlers who were prone to eczema or other skin allergic reactions.

In the last six weeks of pregnancy, 150 pregnant women in whose families allergies were the order of the day were given three different types of probiotics or an ineffective placebo (drug-free agent). Neither the participants nor their doctors knew what they were getting.

After the women gave birth, most of their children remained under medical observation and received probiotics (or placebos) for another 12 months.After just three months, it was found that those taking probiotics were less likely to suffer from eczema than those taking placebos.

At the end of the twelve months, both probiotics and placebos were discontinued. Children were observed until the age of two, and there was still a clear difference between the groups when they reached that age.

Although the former probiotics group has also shown a higher susceptibility to skin allergies than was the case during their probiotics, they still displayed a stronger resistance to eczema than the placebo group.

These study results indicate that probiotics may have beneficial effects on the offspring of allergy-prone mothers.

The positive effect of probiotics on children's immune function is also enhanced by breast milk when the mother takes probiotics daily during and after pregnancy. If breastfeeding is not possible for the mother, pro- and prebiotics can also be given to baby food. (More about this topic can be found here: Probiotics for the baby's intestine)

But not only allergies and skin diseases, but also asthma can be prevented and alleviated by a healthy intestinal flora. Find out more here: Asthma

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3. Against food intolerances

in the Journal of Nutrition In 2009, a study was published in which mice had been given probiotics to investigate their influence on possible food allergies. The mice all suffered from a milk allergy, which manifested in skin rashes as soon as they drank milk.

Now they were given probiotics and prebiotics * at the same time as the milk. Immediately, the milk intolerance of the mice improved visibly - there were almost no skin reactions.

Today, up to eight percent of children have various chronic food allergies. Extending this study to humans would help determine if probiotics are also useful in preventing or even curing food intolerance in children.

With the intake of a probiotic, food intolerances such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance can apparently be alleviated, as a healthy intestinal flora protects the intestinal mucosa against the leaky gut syndrome (permeable intestinal mucosa), which is often responsible for the development of food intolerances.

Prebiotics are substances that feed the microorganisms of a healthy intestinal flora.

4. Against intestinal diseases

Probiotics can suppress ulcers and be used in the treatment of diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and other inflammatory diseases, which also occur due to a lack of probiotics break out.

The treatment with probiotics - in combination with the oral rehydration understood - shortened in studies the duration of diarrhea by one day. At the same time, the risk of diarrheal illness lasting more than four days was reduced by 59 percent.

5. Against the consequences of unhealthy foods

If you take many industrially processed foods and eat very low fiber, it allows the harmful bacteria to gain the upper hand - with the result that the intestinal function is impaired. But even people who eat consciously, take occasionally unhealthy or contaminated food to itself.

A healthy intestinal flora can buffer the consequences of these pollutants. It is therefore highly recommended to take probiotics every day, even if you consciously eat.

6. Against fungal infections

When pathogenic bacteria confuse the 85:15 ratio mentioned above between beneficial and harmful bacteria, fungal infections such as Candida can affect not only the intestine but the whole body. To give bowel fungus and other infections no chance, you should always ensure a healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics help.

7. Cancer prevention

A healthy intestinal flora apparently even helps with cancer screening. There are several studies that confirm the beneficial effects of probiotics for the prevention of colorectal cancer. A 2012 study has shown that probiotics can also counteract the development of cervical cancer in women. It has also been found that antibiotics increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

In addition, a breast cancer-inhibiting effect of probiotics was confirmed in a study in mice.

8. Protection against radiation

A probiotic intestinal flora also prevents consequential damage from radiation on the large intestine and small intestine, e.g. Diarrhea before. In addition, it has been shown that probiotics can also protect the skin from the damage of UV rays by activating the skin's immune system.

9. Protection against damage by antibiotics

Many people take probiotic supplements after antibiotic treatment to rebuild their gut flora.

This is extremely important in order to rebuild the intestinal flora destroyed by the antibiotic as quickly as possible. But not only a multi-day intake of an antibiotic, but even small amounts change the environment in a healthy gut and destroy the sensitive microbial balance of the intestinal flora.

Unfortunately, in some foods - especially in meat and dairy products - antibiotic residues can be found. Therefore, to ward off the harmful effects of antibiotics, it makes sense to take probiotics daily (especially if you frequently consume meat and dairy products).

The ingestion of beneficial bacteria counteracts the intestinal flora destruction namely, by rebuilding the intestinal flora.

10. Against mental and neurological suffering

As mentioned briefly above, the intestinal flora also plays a very important role in our mental and neurological health. But did you know that probiotics can even relieve the symptoms of autism?

There are studies showing that there is a link between autism and the intestinal flora. Case studies show that taking probiotics can cure the signs of autism.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, for example, helped her autism-affected son by taking probiotic bacteria daily. The signs of autism disappeared almost completely.

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How do you provide the body with probiotics?

As you can see, taking probiotics can support our health and prevent or relieve various diseases. One possible method of taking probiotics is to consume fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, kimchi or similar products.

Milk fermented foods such as pickled vegetables (eg sauerkraut) contain high quality probiotic microorganisms. For this purpose, the sauerkraut must be eaten raw, otherwise the beneficial microorganisms die in the heat of the saucepan.

Another solution is qualitatively and quantitatively high-quality probiotics *, which can be used in the form of capsules or liquid concentrate. Which bacterial strains are important and what should be considered when taking probiotics, we have summarized in this text for example: probiotics for health

However, what is not recommended are probiotic yogurts. In addition, many so-called probiotic foods such as yoghurt, cheese, quark etc. often contain antibiotics and at the same time provide all the health-related disadvantages associated with the "enjoyment" of pasteurized and processed dairy products (more information can be found in this text: Milk).

In addition, scientists found that yogurt has no health benefits.

* High-quality probiotic preparations include Combi FloraĀ® or HulupĀ®because they contain all the important bacteria that settle in the intestine in large numbers. HulupĀ® also contains important prebiotic substances and can therefore be called a synbiotic.

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