Scientific discoveries in recent years regarding gut function, probiotics, & the human microbiome (intestinal environment) have validated an important concept that I was taught many years ago while studying natural health care and clinical nutrition practices. That concept is related to DIGESTION & GUT HEALTH and how closely related they are to our digestive, immune, and overall health.
Simply put, overall human health is grounded in a healthy gut environment. Supporting a healthy digestive and gut immunity is one of the simplest and yet most important things we can do for our health. How to promote support a healthy & balanced intestinal environment?
It is now known that many (hundreds) types of micro-organisms are present in our small & large intestines and they have multiple functions in supporting and maintaining our digestive, bowel, and immune system health. One important goal and concept in helping to support digestive, bowel, and overall health is to maintain a diverse group of healthy & supportive bacteria and micro-organisms in plentiful amounts. Probiotics are a group of healthy bacterial strains that help us to do just that.
Intestinal “dysbiosis” is a state or condition where there are imbalances between healthy organisms, which are supportive for our system (lactobacillus acidophilus & bifidus are common examples), and unhealthy organisms (bacteria, yeast, parasites, for example). This can lend towards a wide range of health and digestive symptoms and problems: gas, bloating, loose stools, constipation, inflammation (Irritable Bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, celiac), autoimmune conditions, malabsorption of nutrients, intestinal permeability/”Leaky Gut” syndrome, food sensitivities, certain skin conditions, and lack of optimum health.
There are a few simple and effective ways to regain and digestive, immune, and overall health. One of the most important, safe, well researched, and cost effective components is to maintain a healthy intestinal environment. And the easiest and most practical way is by utilizing pre and probiotics on a regular basis. “Prebiotics” are foods and nutrients that support the growth and sustenance for healthy probiotic colonies and they also promote healthy bowel movements. Some examples of prebiotic foods: yogurt (dairy, non-dairy options), kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchee, chicory, and inulin. It is a good idea to consume some of these foods on a regular basis to maintain healthy digestion and bowel function along with foods and supplements with fiber.
Probiotics are easy to take and can benefit almost everyone. They are safe to take at all ages and modern strains are potent, viable and formulated in various ways to address a wide range of ages and conditions, from infants to seniors. Some formulas require refrigeration while others do not and they come in capsules, chewables, and powders. It is important to use a high quality probiotic formula and one that is specific to an individual’s needs.
- Promote general, digestive, and immune system health.
- Promote and support healthy digestion, absorption of nutrients, bowel function.
General beneficial effects of supplementary probiotics:
- Supports a positive immune response to various types of intestinal imbalances, traveler’s diarrhea, chronic illness, aging, and many autoimmune conditions.
While probiotics are recommended preventatively for almost everyone, they are especially beneficial for people:
- Taking antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, and various other medications.
- Dealing with chronic illness and/or digestive, bowel problems.
- Dealing with autoimmune or deficient immune systems.
- All of whom are 60 years of age or older.
- Most infants, children, and teenagers
There are also a number of modern diagnostic tests available to help determine a person’s bowel and flora/probiotic and functional digestive status. These, along with additional functional diagnostic tests and interpretations (Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, Leaky Gut/Intestinal Permeability, Parasites, Food Sensitivities) are all available at Lotus Healing Arts. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any further questions regarding these topics.
NOTE: In our on-site natural pharmacy at Lotus Healing Arts, we carry a comprehensive line of high quality, natural supplements, therapeutic herbs & probiotics. For the next 2 months, we are featuring 4 excellent probiotic products at a discounted rate.