It was previously believed that the only good bacteria were dead bacteria.
Our bodies are actually designed to have proper bacterial balance. Unfortunately, due to numerous aspects of modern-day living, a dangerous imbalance can occur. A variety of factors can tip the scales in favor of the harmful bacteria, including:
- Overuse and misuse of antibiotics
- Excess stress
- Poor nutrition
- Lack of physical activity
- Overuse of antimicrobial products
- Serious illness
When the bad bacteria outnumber the good, the resulting imbalance, also known as dysbiosis, can lead to a whole host of problems.
“Only by understanding the symbiotic aspects of our long-standing relationship with microbes can we find lasting solutions to infectious disease and, at the same time, rectify the imbalances that have produced a modern epidemic of allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other inflammatory diseases,” explains Jessica Snyder Sachs, author of Good Germs, Bad Germs.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) reports that sales of probiotic supplements in the United States nearly tripled from 1994 to 2003. The NCCAM found encouraging evidence for the use of probiotics for:
- diarrhea, especially in infants
- urinary and female genital tract infections
- irritable bowel syndrome
- bladder cancer prevention
- intestinal infections caused by Clostridium difficile
- pouchitis (acute inflammation that can occur after colon removal)
- eczema in children
Probiotics are found in foods and dietary supplements. Gregor Reid, PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada explains that one of the biggest misconceptions is that probiotics are inside us. “They are not inside us unless we ate some,” he says. Friendly bacteria are created through a process of fermentation.
This article was summarized and encapsulated by Assia Mortensen, iHerb copy editor, from a booklet called Probiotics by Karolyn A. Gazella. Read the entire booklet in the iHerb Library free at: http://iherblibrary.com/probiotics-book
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