Probiotics. Everyone knows that they help with good bacteria in the gut right? Most people I speak to currently are or have been on probiotics at one stage on their health journey. But how much of the good bacteria that we consume actually stick around and make our intestines their home?
Probiotics are undoubtedly beneficial in most instances but to get the real benefits from probiotics,we want to be sure they are actually adhering to the bowel wall, not just hitching a ride on the poop train only to be expelled with the next bowel motion.
I see many stool tests come back showing that the patient has low or NIL good bacteria despite sometimes years of probiotic supplementation. I am not saying that the probiotics didn’t help whilst ‘in transit’ but the idea is for them to stick around for a while.
Whether good bacteria stay in your gut or are pooped out depends upon how well your bowel does its housekeeping. If the bowel walls are relatively clean from old faeces and mucous, you will attract the good bacteria and they can proliferate in their correct balance.
If housekeeping is only partially done then the bad bacteria (or as we refer to them, ‘the squatters’ ) come along and thrive in the chaos of an unclean bowel .
Squatters can be broadened to include other opportunistic organisms such as parasites, yeasts and mycotoxins – basically any unwelcome guests that take up residence in our gut.
Most stool results I see reveal a combination of undesirable squatters that will slowly erode the health of the host and prevent the adhesion of good probiotics unless otherwise treated.
If you feel that all your probiotics and fermented foods aren’t giving you the results you expected, then perhaps it is time to do a little housekeeping and create the environment that the ‘goodies’ will thrive in.
Yours in health,
Natasha Martin, ND