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Probiotics…Do You Need Them?

Bacteria…the name itself makes you think of germs, doesn’t it? We’ve probably all taken antibiotics at least once, and probably more times, to kill a bacterial infection. So isn’t it weird that we might want to invite MORE bacteria into our lives? Well, there are good bacteria that live within our digestive system and throughout our bodies with which we have a symbiotic relationship that is mutualistic, meaning both the bacteria and the host (you) benefit. In fact, there are actually more bacteria living in and on our bodies than cells that make up our physiology.

Probiotics are the beneficial live bacteria found in your gut. A good amount of your immune system lies in your gut and probiotics are said to help support a healthy immune system and a healthy digestive tract. Out digestive tract needs a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria and when that balance s disrupted and the bad outnumber the good, trouble occurs.

How does such an imbalance happen? One only has to look at our poor dietary choices in the Standard American Diet to see one of the major causes of this imbalance. You can also point to stress, sleep deprivation, environmental factors and of course our overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics don’t discriminate when they go after bacteria. They will kill all bacteria in their path, including the beneficial ones.

When the gut is healthy, it can filter out harmful things like bad bacteria, chemicals and other toxins, and harmful waste. But when the gut has been compromised by the factors previously mentioned, the imbalance occurs and the filtering system breaks down.

Are probiotics a necessary supplement to add to your diet? Do you really need them or are they just part of the hype machine? Probiotics can be found in certain foods like kefir, yogurt with live cultures, and fermented foods like sauerkraut. The problem with using the commercially prepared versions of these foods is they may be pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process used in food to eliminate pathogens and extend the shelf life of the foods. But the pasteurization process could also kill the beneficial bacteria growing in the very foods you might eat to promote probiotic growth in the gut.

Many people suffer from bloating, excessive gas, constipation and diarrhea among other digestive ailments. Taking a good quality probiotic that can survive the highly acidic environment of the stomach and make its way to the intestines where it can work its magic can be a game changer for some. If you are not getting adequate coverage from your diet, supplementation may be the right answer for you.

As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.

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