When talking about having digestive problems most people with a slim understanding of natural medicine will turn to probiotics in order to repopulate the good bacteria of the gut and fix their digestive issues. However, there is a lot about using probiotics that people are not aware of and is usually not the solution people think it is.
Our digestive system is not only an organ but an ecosystem. Around 100 trillion bacteria live in your gut, this is about 1 or 2 pounds. Considering there are around 37 trillion human cells in the entire body, it is fair to say we are more bacteria than human. This gut bacteria, termed the microflora, plays a very important role in digesting food, regulating the synthesizes of hormones, functioning as an immune system, defending foreign bodies which invade the digestive tract and sending signals to the brain and nervous system. We have a balance of beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria in the gut. It is important to have both kinds present, but it is crucial to have a balance of good outweighing the bad. More often than not, we will have an overpopulation of bad bacteria due to poor diet, lifestyle and living in a sterile environment. This can cause a lot of the symptoms that make people turn to probiotics.
However, these are why probiotics are not the answer… yet.
Most of the time it is not only an imbalance of bacteria that is causing the problem. It is also leaky gut, and when this is the case, the gut lining is permeable, meaning the cellular junctions in the lining are loose and small holes appear,l allowing harmful particles into the bloodstream, rather than being filtered out as they should. When you take probiotics in this scenario, the bacteria of the probiotic capsule or liquid will not have a strong surface to stick to and will either be excreted from the body or will invade the holes in the gut wall and go into the bloodstream. What it boils down to, is the expensive probiotics that you are taking is either going right through you or going into your blood and making the problem much worse.
Secondly, as I said, we have hundreds of types of bacteria in the gut. When you take probiotics you are usually taking only one or a few types of strains. This is because medical research has studied specific strains for specifics benefits and that is what the supplements are based on, which can be beneficial. But it is like fighting a large army of men with one weapon. You are going to be outnumbered.
So, what to do now?
Before considering taking probiotics you first need to heal the gut wall to ensure that leaky gut is not a factor and the gut wall is strong enough so that the bacteria can thrive in a healthy environment. Bone Broth has all the properties to be able to heal the gut wall. This is why in a gut healing protocol, we always recommended starting with Bone Broth for 1-3 months as well as avoiding food which will encourage leaky gut. After this, now it is a good time to take probiotics to repopulate the good bacteria.
There are so many natural ways to rebalance your microflora. The good thing about doing it through natural means is that you are not just getting exposed to one or two strains, you are getting exposed to hundreds at once, which is much more beneficial.
Things which encourage good bacteria
- Fermented foods
- Eating organic fresh produce
- Breathing clean, fresh air
- Walking barefoot in grass and soil
- Swimming in the ocean
- Being in contact with natural surfaces like rock, grass, and sand
Things which encourage bad bacteria
- Using non-natural skin care and beauty products
- Washing your hands multiple times a day
- Hand sanitizer or disinfectant
- Using your chemical cleaning products in your home
- Air Conditioning or controlled temperature environments
- Eating non-organic foods
- Eating highly refined foods