Gut Nourishment with Probiotics
Probiotics are a variety of beneficial living microorganisms called microbiomes, mainly bacteria, fungi, viruses, and archaea.  They live symbiotically with the host and have different roles. One of the fascinating discoveries is the underestimated role of the appendix as an insurance company. “The appendix is packed full of specialized immune cells, protecting, and communicating with a collective of microbes. Inside, these microbes form a ‘biofilm’ and exclude bacteria that might cause harm. The appendix comes in handy at times of strife. The gut can be repopulated with its normal inhabitants, which have been lurking in the appendix.”  An unbalanced microbiome, known as Dysbiosis, is related to many illnesses that we suffer today. So, why our microbiome is endangered, what are the consequences and how we can nourish our gut probiotics are questions that will be answered in the following paragraphs.
What Are Some Roles of Probiotics?
Probiotics break down food to metabolites that the human as a host will benefit from. Our health depends on absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats when broken down to their basic components. Microbiota in certain parts of the digestive system will ferment carbohydrates resulting in short chain fatty acids that ultimately become a source of energy in the body. These microorganisms will promote the breakdown of fat, a process called hydrolysis, thereby preventing fat buildup. One role of the probiotics is to convert glutamate, an amino acid in proteins, into GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, probiotics will synthesize some of the vitamins such as vitamin K and vitamin B. 
Why Is Our Microbiome Weak and How Does It Affect Us?
There are many factors that destroy our gut microbes. Some examples of these factors are water pollutants, medications, antibiotics, antibacterial such as sanitizers, lack of prebiotics, poor nutrition, consuming lots of sugar, etc., As a result, we are seeing many diseases that are common in populations around the world. The following diseases are some examples of unbalanced beneficial microbial populations: SIBO, IBD, IBS, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, Autoimmune diseases, CRC (colorectal cancer), liver diseases, pancreatic disorders and many more. 
Gut Microbiome Nourishment?
We ingest probiotics when we eat natural whole foods. They are offered nowadays in supplements too. However, natural foods contain probiotics and prebiotics (plant fibers); prebiotics are necessary to feed the gut microbes. It is recommended to enrich your gut probiotics by including diverse foods that are fibrous. Examples of foods to consider are fermented foods, legumes, cruciferous or other types of vegetables, whole grains, fruits with low glycemic load. Too much sugar, fruits, or sweeteners are a risk to cause the overgrowth of bad microbes in the gut which lead to health conditions such as SIBO, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.
When to Take Supplements and Why?
- For Maintenance: There are aforementioned factors that disrupt the balance of the probiotics. So, take supplements to maintain healthy populations of a variety of gut probiotics. Start with low CFU, colonies forming units, with as much variety of strains and work your way to higher CFU gradually.
- To Help Treat Certain Conditions: There are probiotics, specifically, formulated to help treat or reduce symptoms of certain illnesses.
- To Replenish While Using Antibiotics: Along with the bad microbes, the good microbes get destroyed with antibiotics. In that case, you will need to take the probiotics supplement either one hour before the medication or three hours after the medication.
- Examples of probiotics´ supplements with different roles and a variety of strains and CFU are IBS Urgency, HMF Travel, HMF Baby B, Complete Care Probiotic, Bio K Extra Strength Probiotic, Optima Digestive Balance 50 Billion Probiotic, Natural Factors Women's Multi Probiotic 12 B, and Nature's Way Fortify Optima Adult 50+ 50 Billion Probiotic.
A Tip: Probiotics supplements are taken on empty stomach to prevent the stomach acid from destroying them. Make sure that your supplements include prebiotics.
As the scientific research continues to unfold the importance of the microbiome and probiotics, we know by now that our health is dependent on these microorganisms. In that case, let us feed these bacteria with the correct food or supplements and stop a broad spectrum of antimicrobial agents.
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