Probiotics: Friendly Bacteria That Lives With Us

2011-04

Dr. James Leung, Board certified physician for Anti-aging and Functional Medicine

During the evolution of the human body, there are over 400 resident flora (normal flora) in our bowels. Since our birth, various microbes start to colonize our body. Bacteria that colonize our body earlier on would affect one’s future immunity. In fact, although we do not usually realize their presence, we live with these floras for our mutual benefits by providing the essential nutrients and vital functions for each other.

 

Bad Bacteria In Power – Health Red Flag!
In general, bacteria in our bowels can be divided into three types. The first type is ‘probiotics’. They provide beneficial service for our body, including: boost metabolism and improve immunity, assist peristalsis and defecation, lower toxin levels and balancing the pH value in bowels, facilitate digestion, provide nutrients for colon cells, activate tumor-suppressor genes, make vitamins (B complex, A, K..etc.).

The second type is ‘symbiotic bacteria’. They live with us but do not provide any service, and are not harmful to human body. However, when flora imbalance occurs, they might change their character and become harmful bacteria.

The third, and the worst type, is ‘parasitic bacteria’ or ‘pathogenic bacteria’. They would release toxins and harmful metabolites, leading to chronic inflammation. When particular parasitic bacteria occur in bowels of people with certain genes, it would induce Ankylosing arthritis.

 

What should we do deal with Floral Imbalance?
In fact, long term flora imbalance would lead to chronic intestinal inflammation, thus affecting health. Moreover, some pathogenic bacteria would produce carcinogen or lead to problems of the nervous and immune systems. In general, the reason of flora imbalance is closely knitted to the modern lifestyle. The two main reasons are long term exposure to stress and imbalance diet. Flora imbalance would also lead to various health problems, affecting different organs and systems, including the digestive, skin, arthrosis, immune, cardiovascular and endocrine systems. It could also induce a number of chronic, degenerative and aging diseases, causing pathological aging. Therefore, we must be aware of the flora balance in our body. Apart from avoiding food that can cause allergy or with bad bacteria, we can also consider taking probiotic and digestive enzyme supplements, changing our eating habits, by reducing carbohydrates and fat and increasing dietary fiber intake, and enhancing our liver detoxification capacity, to remedy the flora imbalance situation.