By Gerald Chuah
PROBIOTICS are a must if you want to remain healthy. A probiotic is an organism, also known as `friendly' or `healthy' bacteria. A probiotic helps to balance the intestinal tract by killing the unhealthy bacteria. Ideally, the microflora colony in the digestive tract should be made up of 85 percent friendly bacteria to 15 percent harmful bacteria.
Taking a probiotic supplement maintains a healthy intestine by helping our body's naturally occurring gut flora to reestablish themselves, thus preventing illness and disease. It also helps buffer our stomach acid and intestinal bile, increasing the chance of good bacteria surviving.
Among the benefits of probiotics include: improving food digestion, enhancing the absorption of vitamins, produce enzymes, killing viruses and parasites, increasing resistance to infection, inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, and regulating pH value by producing lactic acid in intestine.
Probiotics can be found in most yoghurts and yoghurt based drinks. They are also found in lots of other foods at supermarkets like fermented milk, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, juices and soy beverages.
The most common probiotic today is called `acidophilus' and is available in capsule form. These healthy bacteria can prevent digestive problems and is also known to help Crohn's disease sufferers.
However, everything we do these days has an effect on our good bacteria from chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, herbicides, birth control pills, stress, alcohol, pollution and the list goes on.
Don Chisholm, a health professional from Australia and author of the book "Have You Got The Guts To Be Really Healthy?" said: "Many people live in the illusion that we are what we eat", but he now works on: "We are what we absorb" which takes us into a new dimension of what one has to do to be healthy."
Once seriously ill, Chisholm used probiotics to completely heal himself. The knowledge gained from his recovery allows him to help children and others with chronic fatigue and learning difficulties such as Autism, ADD and ADHD. Over the years he has seen many people recover from severe conditions and clients respond to levels they never thought possible.
* The Role Of Good Bacteria.
Chisholm said research has shown that bacteria plays a significant role in the prevention of variable illnesses. In most cases, the body lacks certain strains of bacteria. Once this happens, there is an imbalance and different illnesses may take hold.
"Every living thing survives because of bacteria. In other words, Probiotics. Science is just beginning to understand the importance of the bacteria kingdom and its significant role in keeping us alive and healthy,
"No living thing can survive without its life-giving bacteria. Humans must have about two kilos of good bacteria in the guts alone to be healthy. As soon as this is compromised, we start to lose the ability to break down food. If we can't break down our food successfully the nutrients, minerals and vitamins cannot reach our cells,
"However this balance is affected by the use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, steroids, exposure to radiation consumption of chlorinated water, and unhealthy diet amongst others," he added.
The most common signs of bacteria imbalance are digestive problems with constipation or diarrhea, food allergies and sensitivities, sugar and carbohydrate cravings. Often the person is fatigued with poor immune system. Acne, eczema, fungal infections and inflammatory disorders are also common signs.
* How to Choose Probiotics
You do not need a prescription to take probiotics, as they are available in grocery stores and health food stores. Taking probiotics when your body does not actually need them won't cause you any harm. Consider the following when looking for a probiotic:
* The type of bacteria, including the genus and species.
* The potency or number of bacteria per dose.
* The purity.
Chisholm said some commercials promote acidophilus as if it is the only bacterium needed for the entire body. "Acidophilus is only one strain of bacteria that inhabits a specific part of the digestive tract. What about the other 500 strains and the need to replenish the entire body? You could compare it to watering versus fertilising one area of a botanical garden,
"Having good bacteria from food is essential as this is the source of a lot of bacteria. Find a probiotic that is cultured from food, not dairy or from a laboratory," he added.
* Probiotics for Autism, ADD and ADHD
Chisholm said every time the bacteria in our gut are compromised, the closer we are to becoming ill as 80 percent of our immune system is in our gut. Compromise our immune systems and we compromise our health.
"Of the 500 species that we know, each one plays its specific role in keeping us healthy. For example, it is known that the Lactobacillus Plantarum is missing in Autistic children. I have seen improvements in Autistic children with the introduction of nutrition that has this Probiotic in it,
"Bacteria are all over us, for example our elbows have at least six different varieties on that part of the body alone,
"The gut alone is host to over 500 species of bacteria and more are discovered every year. By now, you should be aware that without bacteria we would just not be alive, those who have compromised bacteria are bound to have one complaint or maybe a few."
Chisholm said: "I believe health has a two-fold effect. The first is through the value of the Probiotics and the second is the foods that have been broken down as a good gut should have. This is the fastest way I have ever seen to change the state of a person's health, and it's only through using the basics: good absorbable food and a viable food based bacteria."
Benefits of Probotics
What we eat is relevant but unless the foods can be broken down then they are of little use.
We need the nutrition to get to the cells.
Don Chisholm has seen success with Autistic children, ADD and ADHD children, chronic fatique and bowel issues, using affordable means of nutritional products.
Success stories of sugar cravings curbed, energy increased, short term memory improvement, 47 years of diarrhea gone in 60 days, autistic children going to normal school and operations cancelled.
Probiotics do much more than counter pathogenic or unfriendly bacteria. They also provide us with powerful benefits such as:
* Manufacture vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A, D and K.
* Aid in the digestive process by helping digest lactose (milk sugar) and protein.
* Clean the intestinal tract, purify the colon and promote regular bowel movements.
* Produce natural antibiotics and antifungal that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.
* Contribute to the destruction of moulds, viruses and parasites, and increase the number of immune cells.
* Create lactic acid, which balances intestinal PH.
* Protect us from environmental toxic waste at the cellular level and stimulate the repair, mechanism of cells.
* Help maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and break down and rebuild hormones