Probiotics are healthy bacteria, also known as flora or microorganisms that live inside our digestive tract. The role of healthy bacteria is to boost the immune system by maintaining a good balance of the right type of bacteria in the body. These little helpers kill off bad bacteria which is harmful to us. There are several different strains of flora in our digestive tract, and each strain has a specific role within the body. Acidophilus is a well-known strain of bacteria that helps to improve microbial balance.
They are many nutritious foods that contain generous portions of probiotics. You may already be eating some of these foods as part of your diet. Foods that contain high levels of probiotics are yogurt, raw milk, raw goat's milk, and raw cheese. In addition, you will also find many healthy treats and snack bars at your health food store with probiotics added as the main ingredient.
Some strains of flora reduce inflammation in the body. Taking antibiotics actually lowers our immune response because the drug kills both the good and the bad bacteria. It is important to take probiotic supplements right after taking antibiotics, in addition to avoiding antibiotics as often as possible. A good probiotic supplement actually contains ten or more different strains of flora in excess of over 10 billion.
It is very difficult to overdose on probiotics. The conditions within your digestive tract need to be just right in order for probiotics to flourish. Many of these microorganisms are actually killed off so it is important to take doses in the billions with the hope that at least half will survive. You can take supplements containing up to 30 billion total flora per day without causing harm to your body. There are also about 400-500 different strains or flora. A good probiotic supplement contains 10 or more strains of beneficial bacteria. Some of the most common strains you will see on labels are: Bifidobacterium longum, Acidophilus, lactobacillus lactis, lactobacillus reuteri, streptococcus thermophilus, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus rhamnosus, and bifidobacterium infantis.
Some people may experience mild diarrhea or stomach discomfort as their body adjusts to high doses of probiotics. However, you really want as many of these good bugs to survive as possible. In order to increase survivability you may need to do a few things first such as, eating raw vegetables, drinking plenty of pure water pure day, and doing a colon/parasite cleanse. A colon cleanse involves taking herbal supplements, and fiber for one week or longer to cleanse the colon of excess mucous and fecal matter.
If you suffer from IBS, also known as irritable bowel syndrome, or any other type of digestive disorder, talk to your doctor before taking extremely high doses of probiotics and colon cleansing. You may need to proceed with cleansing more slowly that what is recommended on the label. For instance, if the dosage is two herbal capsules three times daily, you may need to adjust the dosage to one herbal capsule three times daily.
Keep in mind that many doctors who practice mainstream medicine are not educated in nutrition or alternative medicine. You can always talk to your doctor, but you may also want to seek the advice of a Naturopathic doctor or another alternative health care provider as well.