What are Probiotics? Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Your digestive trace is home to more than 500 different species of bacterial, ideally 80 are the bad ones. There are literally trillions of individual bacteria residing in the digestive tract with the majority of the population living in the large intestine. The two most prevalent probiotics are Lactobacilla, which make up the majority of the probiotics living in your small intestine and Bifidobacteria, the most prevalent probiotic living in your large intestine.
Well, for starters, did you know that 70 of the good bacteria in your system. You receive good bacteria through your diet. Fermented dairy and vegetable foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut are high in good bacteria. If you want to increase good bacteria, eat those foods and more importantly, eat a high fiber diet (25 grams or more per day). Why? Because good bacteria love to eat fiber. When they eat soluble fiber they multiply and when they multiply, the crowed out bad bacteria and maintain the proper balance. You can also support your bacterial balance by taking high potency supplements formulated with the correct balance of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Remember: (1) Eat fermented foods. (2) Eat plenty of fiber. (3) Take a high potency supplement with the proper balance of Bifidobacteria to Lactobacilli.
Small Intestine: Lactobacilli
In a healthy small intestine, the most prevalent probiotics are Lactobacilli. Lactobacilli help to regulate the immune system, digest nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and milk sugar and produce compounds and acids that create an unfriendly environment for potentially harmful bacteria (which are always present and fighting for more space). Lactobacilli are also the most prevalent probiotic in the vagina where they create acidic compounds that help keep other organisms in minimal numbers.
Large Intestine: Bifidobacteria
In a healthy large intestine, the most prevalent probiotics are Bifidobacteria. Because the large intestine has less constant movement than the small intestine, it is easier for potentially harmful bacteria to take up residence here and to multiply. Bifidobacteria are your major line of defense against bad bacteria in the large intestine. They fight bad bacteria with their sheer numbers. They also produce acidic compounds that help reduce bad bacteria’s ability to multiply. Bifidobacteria also ferment soluble fiber; a dietary substance that would otherwise be useless to the human body without the help of bacteria. Bifidobacteria ferment soluble fiber and produce compounds including short chain fatty acids, Vitamin B and Vitamin K. Unfortunately, as important as Bifidobacteria are in sustaining the health of the large intestine and protecting us from harmful bacteria, studies show that the population of Bifidobacteria in our gut declines with age. Many researchers are exploring the link between the decline and the adverse effects of aging. Colon polyps and colon cancer is a predominate reason for a healthy intestinal tract.