Probiotic, "For Life"

This blog will go over probiotics, CBD and the benefits with a slant on how it may help women. Don't worry. This will not all be in one edition or contain too much medical mumbo-jumbo. Here we go.

Probiotics. What are they, what they may help and what to look for when taking them.

Bacteria are everywhere. They are on everything we touch, eat and yes, inside of us. Dormant versions of these bacteria also exist in the form of spores. A spore is a dormant or vegetative version or product of bacteria (and other small organisms) that can be spread around easily and survive in harsh conditions. This is not exactly the same as a seed, but you get the general idea. This is an important concept which we will revisit.

There are possibly over one thousand different species of bacteria in our digestive system with millions of individual bacteria. Why aren't we sick with all this bacteria in there? Well, some bacteria are bad, some are good and some we just don't know. Normally, this bacteria does not leak from our digestive system to elsewhere in the body. Such leakage could be fatal. A ruptured appendix fits this bill.

So what are probiotics and how do they fit into all of this? The word "probiotic" taken apart to its Latin roots means "For Life". This term has been applied to bacteria that appear to be good for us for any of a variety of reasons. There is some history here but I will keep it brief. Scientists noticed a while back that children with diarrhea had a different bacterial makeup of their digestive tract. It also seemed that the normal bacteria had a role in preventing the bad bacteria from taking root. One of the most basic functions of this good bacteria therefore may be to prevent the bad or pathologic bacteria from taking hold in our gut. The presence of a significant number of the pathologic bacteria will at the very least make us feel poorly. In extreme cases, one can die. An example we all may know is the recurrent E-coli scares. Taking antibiotics often upsets our digestive tract bacterial balance and gives us diarrhea. This has devastating potential but fortunately seldom gets that far.

Little by little, researchers began studying the effects of various species and the foods containing them on not just our digestive tract but beyond. We still have a lot to learn.

Probiotics have been shown impact on many levels. First and foremost is the maintenance of homeostasis. There is evidence that probiotics impact fat storage, digestive tract blood vessel growth, inflammation and even our brain to mention a few for starters. As such, there is potential for probiotic use to aid in obesity, Crohn's disease, and depression.

Important things to consider are what specific probiotic(s) you are taking, the purity and the form. As mentioned in a previous post pertaining to CBD products, the same issues of purity apply here. It can be a jungle out there. Make sure whatever you get is certified by a lab. You want to get what you are paying for and not get poisoned in the process. The form is important also. This brings us back to spores which we mentioned at the beginning.

One of the purposes of our stomachs may be to protect us from what we eat by soaking everything in acid. Since spores can survive in hostile environments, they are able to survive the trip through our acidic stomachs and can be delivered to our small intestines intact and germinate. (The Use of Bacterial Spore Formers as Probiotics Huynh A. Hong, Le Hong Duc, Simon M. Cutting * School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK First published online 16 December 2004) The "reborn" probiotics are then able to deliver their effects.

So now we have an idea of what probiotics are, an awareness of their benefit to our health and things to look for when purchasing them.

Next time we"ll go into a bit more detail pertaining to some uses. Stay tuned.

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