Nourish Your Gut With Probiotics
Why is the Human Gut Microbiome Important?
The human gut microbiome contains about 100 trillion bacteria. That’s ten times more cells that make up the human body. So much research now focuses on investigating the connection between these microorganisms and their benefits for human health. With these findings, probiotics are very important to add to our daily routines.
Types of Microorganisms
We know that microorganisms are everywhere, some are good and helpful, some are bad. The microbiome consists of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses that live on and inside the human body. Not only in your gut, but you can find it in your mouth, lungs, skin, and urinary tract. Our ancestors got their probiotics from the environment around them. When there was no fridge, fermentation was one of the ways to preserve food. Fermentation is a natural process that increases beneficial bacteria i.e., probiotics. In addition, our ancestors also worked with their hands in the land, food had fewer preservatives or additives that interfered with good and natural bacteria in the body, and life wasn’t as stressful, a contributing factor that disturbs our gut microbiome.
The Human Gut Microbiome - A Potential Controller of Wellness and Disease
The bacteria in the gut are very important. They naturally help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against disease-causing bacteria, and produce vitamins including vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation. Your gut bacteria also help in the production of bioactive metabolites such as SCFA (short-chain fatty acids - acetate, propionate, and butyrate which have so many benefits for intestinal barrier integrity, help in mucus production, and provide protection against inflammation.
Each person has his or her distinctive pattern of bacterial varieties that can be inherited from parents’ genes at birth in delivery, by dietary habits, or lifestyle. Our gut microbiome is like a garden. It’s like growing flowers or allowing bad weeds to thrive. When you feed your gut with healthy options you are allowing flowers to grow in our hypothetical garden, where these flowers represent our good gut bacteria. Bad and unwanted gut bacteria thrive when you choose to consume food full of preservatives and additives, food that doesn’t have any health value but is also harmful.
To feed your healthy microbiome you need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of all colors. Try new food and those strange-looking vegetables that you always wondered about. Grab it and try it. I make it a habit to try a new vegetable or fruit every few weeks. Going outside and walking in nature also helps maintain a better microbiome. And finally, adding fermented food like sauerkraut or Kefir introduce essential probiotics that further nourish our healthy microbiome.
Signs probiotics are Working
The main function of probiotics is to blend with our microbiome that colonizes the human gut. These probiotics interact with the host cells and the pathogens that exist.
While probiotics help the host cells to function, it fights against pathogens by producing compounds that kill the pathogens and decreasing the pH. It also competes to attach and colonize the gut.
Common Types of Probiotics
While some probiotic strains usually come from plants or dairy, the most common bacteria in many supplements are “human strain” probiotics. Human strains of probiotics mean that they are simply strains of beneficial bacteria that have been found to live in the human digestive tract. There are two major types of these strains. First, Lactobacillus, which is found mainly in the lower part of the small intestine, and Bifid bacterium, which can be found in the large intestine. A probiotic strain is usually identified by the genus, species, subspecies, and an alphanumeric designation that identifies a specific strain.
Scientists now are looking for the connection between the gut and the brain and many studies have shown the effect of probiotics in boosting mood and alleviating cognitive functions.
In conclusion, our good microorganisms can support us to maintain health in many amazing ways. Let's support them by eating good quality food with various varieties, trying to reduce stress, go walk in nature and adding fermented food to your diet. And when needed, supplement with a good probiotic that supports your recovery.