Without healthy bacteria living in your gut you can experience all kinds of health problems. But did you know that there are roughly 100 TRILLION living bacteria living within your gut right now? And researchers are finally realizing that maintaining the ideal ratio of “good bacteria” (known as probiotics) to “bad bacteria” might be the single most important step you can take to protect your health.
The ideal ratio of “good” to “bad” bacteria in your gut is 9 or 10 to 1
That means that for every bad bacteria you need at least 9 probiotic bacteria to keep them in check. A recent article in the UK Dailymail said that even diseases that you wouldn’t think could possibly be related to your gut may have roots in your intestinal health.
“A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience from The Great Plains Laboratory, has shown that HPHPA levels – the chemical byproduct of the clostridia bacteria – are much higher in the urine of autistic children.”
“In some patients, the strep bacterium has been linked to OCD in a condition known as PANDAS – an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections.”
“In one 2010 study at McMaster University in Canada, published in the journal Communicative and Integrative Biology, scientists found a link between intestinal microbiota and anxiety-like behaviour.”
Could this be the Cause of America’s Weight Problem?
Several studies have analyzed differences in gut bacteria of obese people compared to their slimmer counterparts and found higher instances of “bad” bacteria and lower levels of “good” bacteria within obese individuals. So they not only don’t have the proper ratio of 9 good to 1 bad but actually may have more bad bacteria than good! And many diet foods don’t help. For instance many artificial sweeteners used by overweight people actually kill good bacteria and promote the growth of bad bacteria!
That said, correcting this imbalance can have an IMMEDIATE waist-slimming effect. For instance, a recent double-blind study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that test subjects who took active measures to re-balance their gut bacteria ratio were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5 percent, while the “control” group experienced no positive changes in body fat levels at all.
Many Fermented Foods Promote the Growth of Good Bacteria such as:
- Pickled vegetables like cabbage (sauerkraut), turnips, eggplant, cucumbers (pickles), onions, squash, and carrots
- Plain, unsweetened yogurt
- Kefir (fermented raw milk)
- Kimchi (fermented Korean vegetables)
- Lassi (Indian yogurt drink)
These foods are all rich in “good” bacteria and eating them regularly will help to promote good gut bacteria. Unfortunately, processed “light” yogurts are loaded with artificial sweeteners which have been shown to actually DAMAGE your gut bacteria ratio instead of help it.
Another big downfall of fermented foods is that many people don’t like their taste so they won’t eat enough of them. Plus the amount you have to eat in order to get any real benefit is impractical for the average person. Because your stomach acid kills a major portion of the bacteria, in order to get enough good bacteria into your intestine from yogurt, you would need to eat between 10 and 30 servings of plain, unsweetened yogurt every day! Plus, regular yogurt is lacking in several key strains of good bacteria, so even 10 to 30 servings wouldn’t give you all the good bacteria!
Fortunately, there is a MUCH easier ways to resolve this problem which we’ll look at in a moment, but…
First Let’s Look at some signs that your intestinal balance is out of Whack:
- Do you have lots of gas and/or bloating? Does it smell really bad?
Research is showing that gas is not normal in a healthy digestive system, although it is so common that many doctors believe it is “normal”. If you search Google for “Causes of Foul-smelling stool” you will find:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Lactose intolerance
- Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Plus More
But I believe that the underlying cause of all of these “diseases” might be related to bad intestinal flora or a lack of “balance” in the intestines.
2. Do you have Constipation and/or diarrhea?
Once again this could be a symptom of the above “diseases” or it could be poor intestinal flora.
Other signs that your bacterial balance may be out of control:
- Inability to lose weight
- Sugar cravings
- Acid reflux
- Skin problems
- Overall feeling of unwellness
- Urinary tract infections
- Trouble sleeping
Modern Lifestyle Promotes Intestinal Imbalance-
Unfortunately, the modern diet and lifestyle promotes the growth of bad bacteria and may actually kill the good bacteria. We’ve already mentioned the effect of artificial sweeteners like Sucralose (Splenda) which are getting more difficult to avoid. It seems to be in everything from Diet drinks to non-diet products like “Swiss Miss”, toothpaste and chewing gum. But even good old sugar can promote the growth of yeast which when it grows out of control is part of the problem.
Other factors that can kill both the good and the bad bacteria allowing the bad bacteria to get the upper hand are antibiotics, chlorinated water, pollution, antacids, laxatives, chemicals and pesticides. In addition, there are processed foods and alcoholic beverages which can promote yeast growth and/or kill good bacteria.
To regain the balance lost by the modern lifestyle, you could eat an entirely organic diet, completely avoiding all sugar and sugar substitutes but even then you would have to avoid antibiotics, and find some way to avoid household chemicals and breathe only pure pollution free air.
So what can you do? Will Taking a Probiotic Supplement Help?
Remember probiotics are living, growing bacteria active and thriving enough to keep the bad bacteria in check. Unfortunately, 93% of the probiotics contained in traditional probiotic supplements will be DEAD before they ever reach your gut. And of course, dead probiotics are completely worthless in the battle against bad bacteria. Many manufacturers have good intentions but they face several major challenges in getting the delicate probiotic cells into your intestines fully intact and alive.
Because probiotics are living organisms, they are sensitive to changes in heat and light, etc. In fact, research has shown that after a year on the shelf at room temperature, a sealed bottle of conventionally produced probiotics will only have 32% of its potency survive. And unfortunately most of the probiotics on store shelves are over a year old already–some even as much as two years old. You see, in order to keep costs down, big companies produce hundreds of thousands of bottles and then warehouse them for months (or more) before they ever even get to the store. And then depending on the volume of business your local store does, they may sit on the shelf for… who knows?
But it Gets Worse… Stomach Acid
Imagine surviving long hot months on a store shelf only to be faced with a vat of acid. That’s the fate of most probiotics. Except it’s not in a vat it’s in your stomach.
Stomach acid serves a good purpose and gets a bad rap from antacid commercials. It helps break down foods and keeps many bad bacteria from reaching your intestines. If it wasn’t there the balance would probably shift dramatically in favor of the bad guys. Remember the last greasy spoon, or street vendor you ate at and just think how much food poisoning you would get if you didn’t have stomach acid!
But in addition to stopping bad bacteria, 80% of the surviving good probiotic cells in traditional probiotic supplements fall prey to stomach acid. As a result, you may start with billions of active cells, but will only wind up getting a measly 6.4% of them alive and well to your gut. That won’t do much to combat an exploding army of sugar fed bad bacteria.
Fortunately, There is a Solution…
My friends at BioTrust developed a cutting edge technology called, Microencapsulation Technology™ that allows the fragile probiotic cells to survive the acid bath. This process encases each live cell in a lipid matrix to protect them from oxygen, light, acids, bile, and the like. The end result is that these microencapsulated probiotics have dramatically enhanced chances of surviving both on the shelf and through the stomach.
Not only that, but with BioTrust’s Pro-X10™ they recommend 2 doses daily for further enhanced absorption, effectively delivering TEN TIMES more live, healthy bacteria to your gut than traditional, non-microencapsulated probiotic products.
They have also added Actazin™ which helps regenerate and protect gut-lining cells. This means that even if your gut lining has been damaged by exposure to harmful compounds, like gluten (which most people’s guts have), Actazin™ could help heal the damage and return your gut to normal.