We are all walking around with a good source of probiotics.
Where do you go to get your probiotics? Did you know that all of you are walking around right now with a good source of probiotics? Scientists have discovered over 200 strains of just lactobaci living in the mouth of a normal healthy individual. They are the rod-shaped, lactic acid producing type of bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria are one of the most healthful and health-promoting probiotic bacteria. So if you are looking for a good source of probiotics, look within your own mouth first, because we have them right there.
Your microbiome is up to 3% of your total body mass. That is hard to imagine. There are more cells in the microbiome than you have human cells. That is because these bacteria are so small. It takes a long time to build up a large quantity of symbiotic bacteria in your colon, which is why you need to take care of them. One round of antibiotics will wipe them out. Because of the overuse of antibiotics, our colons have suffered and we are producing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is why physicians today are much more hesitant to prescribe antibiotics to patients. We are running out of antibiotics that even work against these bacteria. We also know much more about the microbiome and its importance to our health. It is very important that we become more cautious with antibiotics.
There are up to 500 species of organisms that commonly inhabit your intestine. Some of them are much more healthy for you than others. So where do those bacteria come from? They generally come from your food source. When we chew our food, it is very important to mix it thoroughly with our saliva. Studies have shown that when we chew our food thoroughly we are more satisfied and we eat less. Our digestion will work better. And because there are so many lactobaci bacteria in our mouth, we are culturing them when we mix our food well with saliva.
The stomach is really the door that lets through or kills off bacteria. The way it does this is with its acidity. The stomach’s ph is about 2. It secretes hydrochloric acid that is very strong. You would not want to get it on your skin. In fact, the stomach does not want to get it on itself. To protect itself from the acid, it secretes a large amount of mucus. There are many types of bacteria that do not survive this high acid environment. Many of these are disease causing bacteria which are destroyed.
An example of one of these disease causing bacteria is clostridium difficile, which causes an infection that produce symptoms which include watery diarrhea, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain. The occurrence of this type of infection is greatly increased when someone turns off the acidity in their stomach. Without high acidity in the stomach, C. difficile is able to pass into the small intestines alive and start multiplying. The main cause of low acidity in the stomach is people taking antacids or proton-pump inhibitor drugs. These things have been linked to increased risk of infection in the small intestine from bacteria that would not have survived through the normal ph of a healthy stomach. So if at all possible, we should avoid these types of things that will increase our risk of infections.
On the other side of things, the healthy bacteria that live on plants such as lactobaci, are able to survive the acid of the stomach and make their way into the small intestine. To get this bacteria from your food, you need to eat the plants raw. This is because cooking vegetables and fruits at a normal cooking temperature will kill most of the bacteria on it. Some will survive, but most will be destroyed. So it’s a good idea to have raw fruits and vegetables on a regular basis to maintain your microbiome.Written by Daniel Baldwin and Ron Meinhardt