Probiotic supplements are gaining in popularity as more people become aware of the benefits of this “good bacteria” for digestive and immune system health. In fact, did you know that more than 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive system? And the health benefits of probiotics “friendly bacteria” don’t stop there. Researchers are finding that the benefits of probiotics can be far reaching, including oral health, urinary tract health, and vaginal health.
Maintaining 85% Good Bacteria in the Body is Key
The body is made of an estimated 100 trillion good and bad bacteria. When there are not enough good bacteria in the body, an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria can occur, which can cause illness and disease. For optimal health, the key is to maintain at least 85% good bacteria in your body to ensure:
- An efficient immune system
- Protection from overgrowth of microorganisms such as Candida (fungi), parasites and bacteria that cause illness.
- Proper production of vitamins
- Efficient elimination of toxins
- Prevention of allergies since good bacteria allows the body to distinguish between harmful and healthy substances.
Replenish Good Bacteria with Probiotic Supplements and Foods
Probiotics containing active, healthy bacteria are available in yogurts, juices, cereals and other food products, as well as in probiotic supplements. Many consumers prefer the supplement form because they are low in calories, convenient and easy to take in capsule form, and more importantly, they have a longer shelf-life than dairy products. Probiotic supplements are also a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant.
Another way to replenish good bacteria in the body is by eating fermented foods such as yogurt or sauerkraut. But note that these foods must not be pasteurized since the pasteurization process kills the good bacteria and their benefits.
Avoid Killing Off Good Bacteria
Just as it is important to fortify with good bacteria, it is equally important not to kill off good bacteria in your body. One surefire way to kill the good bacteria and allow unhealthy bacteria to proliferate is to consume a diet high in processed foods and chemicals. Eating mostly cooked foods instead of raw foods can also create a bacterial imbalance.
Antibiotics are another big threat to a balanced digestive system because they kill off all bacteria—good and bad. So while they may kill the unwanted bacteria at the source of an infection in one part of the body, they also kill off the good bacteria throughout the entire body. This enables unhealthy bacteria to quickly reproduce and can lead to illness and disease. The overuse of antibiotics and consuming unnatural, chemically processed foods are two of the greatest causes of modern day illnesses. Other causes of an unhealthy imbalance of the body’s bacterial flora include the birth control pill, steroids, environmental pollution and life stress.
Make Sure Probiotic Supplements Contain 10 million-plus “Live” Bacteria
When choosing a probiotic supplement or food, make sure it states “LIVE” or “ACTIVE” on the packaging, meaning it contains good, live bacteria, and check the date to ensure it is not past the date of expiration. Experts say probiotic supplements should contain at least 10 million live bacteria from one or more of the Lactobacillus family strains, which are some of the only friendly bacteria robust enough to survive harsh stomach acids and make it to the large intestine where they need to be.
If you’re looking for a quality probiotic supplement, Healthy Choice Naturals Balanced Probiotic GI Support Formula provides 5 billion live, good bacteria in all seven Lactobacillus strains proven to support optimum digestive and colon health.