Probiotics and Microflora

















Why are probiotics important? Our intestinal tract contains bacteria, which are vital to our health. There’s trillions of them and some estimate there’s more than 500 different species. They make up from between 30 to 50 percent of the total weight of our intestinal tract. These bacteria are in a symbiotic relationship with us. The friendly microflora protect us against pathogenic organisms such as Candida albicans, produce enzymes, manufacture B vitamins and assist us in digesting fiber and lactose. We give them a place to live and food to thrive.



Bacteria of Human Intestinal Tract, Painted by Jane Hurd
Bacteria of Human Intestinal Tract, Painted by Jane Hurd

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The numbers of microflora can decrease to a point where bad or opportunistic organisms can cause illness. As mentioned, one such organism is Candida albicans. It’s yeast, which can be in our colon in small numbers, but if allowed to grow can burrow through the lining of our intestine and kill off the beneficial bacteria. Illnesses that can develop are irritable bowel syndrome, immune disorders, skin issues, digestive problems and chronic yeast infections. Symptoms can be different for men and woman.



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Magic Yeast, It's "Owl" Right

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Antibiotic therapy is the number one cause for the decrease in our good bacteria. They can’t distinguish between good or bad bacteria so all bacteria die. Even taking an antibiotic one time in our lifetime will cause this to happen. Other drugs that can cause an overgrowth of Candida are birth control pills and corticosteroids such as prednisone. Even a poor diet could contribute. Eating lots of refined sugar can feed the yeast so that it can grow and spread. Diabetics can have sugar in their urine, which provides an environment for the growth of yeast.



Cephalosporins Antibiotics Similar to Penicillin
Cephalosporins Antibiotics Similar to Penicillin

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Prescription Birth Control Pills in Plastic Wheel

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Microflora are similar to enzymes , because they are essential for good digestion. They also make enzymes such as lactase, protease, amylase, and cellulase. This helps in digestion. Lastly, they are important in protecting us from bacteria and viruses that invade our bodies.



What can you do if your good bacteria are wiped out? There is a supplement called probiotics, which you can take. It replaces lost bacteria in your intestine and then they can colonize and grow. There are many selections and they can contain one bacteria strain to many strains. The most common probiotic strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus. They’ve been in use the longest. The problem with these probiotic strains is that they are not very hardy and die easily. That’s why some manufacturers require refrigeration. Unless the label states a guarantee of potency at time of consumption there’s no way of knowing how potent the supplement is. Some bacteria can’t survive the acid environment of the stomach so a supplement in enteric-coated capsules would be a good choice. Two strains of probiotics that can survive the acidic stomach are Bacillus subtillus and Lactobacillus F-19. Other common strains found in supplements include Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus bulgaris, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus longum and Lactobacillus lactis.



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Treating Candida
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The information on enzyme-facts.com is not offered for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease or disorder nor have any statements herein been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We strongly encourage you to discuss topics of concern with your health care provider.

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