These are also known as probiotics, or gut flora, and are beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines and help us to break down food.
You may think that you digest your own food, and it is true that the stomach does release digestive enzymes that help with the process, but most of the work is done by probiotics, in exchange for a warm home and a share of supper. They are also an important part of our immune systems, protecting us from disease causing “unfriendly” bacteria and fungi in the gut. So its worth being nice to them.
All the while you have a happy, healthy balance of these good bacteria in your belly then everything runs smoothly and all is well. Problems arise when the balance is disturbed. This can happen through a diet with too much sugar or alcohol, taking antibiotics which kills the probiotics, or an overgrowth of candida, a type of yeast. All of these can allow bad bacteria or yeast to take over, preventing the probiotics from digesting your food properly. Bloating, abdominal pain, wind and constipation are all signs that your friendly bacteria are not happy, which means you will not be absorbing nutrients properly and are also more open to infections.
So how can you keep your bacteria in balance?
Eating foods that contain beneficial bacteria like live yoghurt, kefir and miso can help, but if you are prone to stomach problems or have just taken a course of antibiotics then the best way is by taking a probiotic supplement. These contain millions or even billions of the correct type of bacteria, so can maintain healthy populations, or help to redress the balance if the baddies have taken over.
Our best selling probiotics supplements are Optibac Probiotics, Udo’s Super 8, Biocare’s Bio-acidophilus, either of which are perfect for maintaining digestive wellbeing and rebalancing your gut flora. For a serious candida overgrowth a stronger product like the Biocare Replete may be needed.