Traditionally in America, we make a visit to the doctor when we feel sick, and spend oodles of money for their diagnosis and eventual prescription of some form of antibiotic to destroy the bacteria that infested our body and made us feel that way. I say 'in America', because many other (healthier) countries take the time to understand, and open their minds up to alternative treatments as a way to proactively take control of their personal health. One thing about Americans is that we are very 'reactive' when it comes to most things, and personal health is certainly one of them.
Our bodies are filled with millions of bacteria, some of which are essential to life, while others cause disease and illness. The human digestive tract carries over 400 distinct microorganisms, making it possible to digest food, absorb nutrients, and fight off infections and disease. The number of microorganisms in the body far exceeds the number of tissue cells, making up nearly four pounds of body weight.
Too often, antibiotics are over-prescribed to patients who visit the doctor feeling ill. Antibiotics, while sometimes life-saving, can have negative attributes as well. Antibiotics do not target specific infectious bacterial strains, thus they also destroy essential strains of 'good' bacteria needed for proper immune function and digestion. Overuse of prescription antibiotics,as well as diets high in sugar and other carbohydrates, can cause more problematic conditions like candida yeast build-up, and Leaky Gut Syndrome or LGS. After taking antibiotics, our bodies must work overtime to regenerate the good bacteria that are so important for optimal health.
Commercially-raised animals for meat and dairy products are exposed to some 30 different antibiotics during their lifespan, all approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These antibiotics are as detrimental to good bacteria as they are to the bad. The western diet, which contains high levels of processed flours, sugars, preservatives, and chlorinated water, is just one factor that can lead to an improper balance of intestinal flora. Giving antibiotics to the animals from which we get our dairy products is also another negative in the balance of good vs. bad bacteria. Now more than ever is there a need to replenish the beneficial flora missing from our diets.
Probiotic is a term referred to 'friendly bacteria' or 'microflora'. Without microflora, our entire digestive system would collapse after eating a piece of fruit that hadn't been properly washed. Intestinal microflora make it possible to fight off toxic bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, and pass waste matter efficiently throughout the body, and ultimately regulate a healthy immune system. Without sufficient microflora available, the nutrients we consume would virtually pass right through us, leaving us starving.