Friendly Bacteria Benefit the Human Body
Friendly bacteria benefit the human body in so many ways. Briefly summarized, they:
- ACIDIFY THE COLON: The ideal pH of the colon is between 6.7 and 6.9. Acetic acid and lactic acid are some of the byproducts that help create this. The acid environment inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria such as salmonella, which causes food poisoning; shigella, the main cause of diarrhea; and e. coli, which can cause intestinal disease and kidney failure. Good bacteria also produce a volatile fatty acid which, along with the other acids, make it difficult for fungus and yeast (candida) to survive.
- NORMALIZE BOWEL MOVEMENTS by decreasing the time it takes for waste products to move through the digestive system. They also stop diarrhea and correct constipation.
- IMPROVE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Good bacteria help stimulate the formation of antibodies which protect our bodies against infectious disease.
- HELP PRODUCE VITAMINS. Good bacteria help produce vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and the formation of new bone.
- AID IN PRODUCTION OF LACTASE. This is an enzyme necessary to digest milk and milk products. Without lactase, milk allergies are a sure thing.
- REMOVE TOXIC ELEMENTS. Lactobacillus acidophilus deactivates various toxic compounds produced by other organisms or in foods.
- Are instrumental in reducing cholesterol. A high-fiber diet and good bacterial flora can lower cholesterol levels, protect against colon cancer, and even improve fat digestion by providing more bile acids.
- Help eliminate gas problems. Proper bacteria in the colon eliminates bowel gas and sweetens the breath. Bad breath (halitosis) is frequently caused when "bad" bacteria take over in the colon and produce foul-smelling waste. These gases can be expelled or reabsorbed in to the blood and carried to the lungs and exhaled. All the breath mints in the world won't correct bad breath caused by bowel problems. I knew a former neighbor who just reeked of bad breath and body odor. His wife kept asking me what supplement I could give her husband to stop his stinky breath. This woman had tried every over-the-counter remedy for halitosis known to mankind and nothing had worked. Knowing this man and his diet, I knew that his bowel was just loaded (he had what I call an "ol' poop belly" --huge and hard) from years of incorrect eating. He was not willing to consider bowel cleansing as I'm suggesting here, so he and his bad breath (and his disappointed wife) just went on as usual. We will discuss autointoxication in Chapter.
Again, a proper balance of friendly bacteria is essential for optimal health and a good digestive system. An imbalance may make the body susceptible to such ailments as digestive problems, skin problems, acne, reduced immunity, arthritis, liver and gallbladder problems, failing memory, hypertension, fatigue, and migraine headaches, to name just a few.
Many people think the only reason to take lactobacillus acidophilus as a supplement is if they have some type of bowel or digestive problem. The truth is the friendly bacteria in your bowels have some far-reaching effects you've probably never dreamed of. These hard-working organisms produce a variety of substances that can prevent cancerous tumors, inactivate viruses, produce natural antibodies and vitamins, and reduce cholesterol. New research has linked theses bacteria with even more wonders.
A final note on "gardening". Keep in mind that lactobacilli acidophilus are living organisms, and as a result they are highly susceptible to dying off and losing their effectiveness. Most cultures you purchase need to be kept refrigerated or frozen to maintain their viability. There are some brands that do not have to be refrigerated (which is convenient when traveling), and they activate in the gut. They should be taken on an empty stomach 20 to 40 minutes before meals when your digestive acids and juices are not being produced in large quantities. I suggest taking these living organisms first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so it coats the intestinal tract.
Oh yes, you will need to forgo your morning cup of coffee because it will destroy all the good bacteria in your intestinal system!
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