Probiotic balance boosts immune system

Digestion

To have an optimally functioning immune system, you need to regularly do the following:

  • Take in enough protective nutrients to support your immune system,
  • Safeguard your probiotic balance so you absorb those protective nutrients, then
  • Expose your well-supported immune system to germs so it gains experience.

To safeguard your probiotic balance, this is what you need to know

Safeguard your probiotic balance to boost your immune system

Every person has a large number of bacteria in their digestive tract (around 2.5kg in an adult). This bacteria is a balanced mix of friendly and harmful types (or strains), with the friendly bacteria commonly called ‘Probiotic bacteria’.

In our modern environment, probiotic bacteria are often destroyed, causing a probiotic imbalance.  This is like a garden where the weeds (the harmful bacteria) flourish with little help, while the plants we want (the probiotic bacteria) must be nurtured.

 

How a probiotic imbalance depletes your immune system

Probiotic bacteria are vital to our health in that they:

  • keep harmful bacteria under control so they can’t multiply beyond safe levels and make us sick – sort of like a police force that keeps the rabble under control…
  • manufacture Biotin (for metabolism of sugars, fats and amino acids and cell growth)
  • manufacture Vitamin K2 (for healthy blood clotting),
  • keep the intestine walls healthy, ensuring optimal food breakdown and nutrient absorption (especially of milk, fats and fat-soluble nutrients, and minerals).

 

When you have too few probiotic bacteria in your intestine, the functions listed above can’t take place properly. Harmful bacteria (immune system enemies) can multiply to unsafe levels, Biotin and vitamin K2 can drop to deficiency levels, and very importantly, you will not absorb enough immune boosting nutrients from your food, this creating a vicious cycle that gradually depletes your immune system of supporting nutrients.

 

This probiotic imbalance can certainly show up as a weak immune system, a low resistance to tummy bugs, or an allergy (in the form of eczema, dry skin, lack of concentration, runny noses, post-nasal drips, barking post-nasal drip coughs… )  In fact, babies often evidence a probiotic imbalance with cradle cap, something we parents usually don’t ascribe any importance to!

 

How probiotic imbalances happen

Over-sterilizing

If you regularly disinfect your surroundings, i.e. you wash with anti-bacterial toiletries (even toothpaste is antibacterial!), or you routinely use bleach and other disinfectants to keep your home, your food and your clothes clean, you are in danger of being too clean and destroying your probiotic balance.

Avoid these products and improve your immune system. Normal soaps that wash without killing bacteria are proven to be just as effective in keeping you clean, getting rid of harmful bacteria without killing your probiotic helpers.

The Hygiene theory offers scientific evidence that children in very clean environments have a much higher chance of developing allergies – the same allergies that show up in a depleted immune system like a probiotic imbalance would cause…

 

Antibiotics

The courses of antibiotics we take to get over an illness, while often very necessary, have a large downside.  The antibiotic kills intestinal bacteria as part of its job, both good and bad.  This is often evident soon after a course of antibiotics when constipation or diarrhea sets in, or perhaps a bloated feeling after meals.

Broad spectrum antibiotics have a stronger effect and kill more strains of bacteria, and having more than one course of antibiotic after each other will also create a greater imbalance. The effect is certainly cumulative and must be addressed.

 

High-sugar diets

Harmful bacteria thrive on the simple sugars that are released from refined starches, glucose and sucrose. On the other hand, probiotic bacteria prefer the environment created by whole foods like fresh veggies, fruit and whole grains. If you eat a lot of refined carbs and sugar, you will gradually cause a probiotic imbalance, and this is commonly seen when someone has an overgrowth of candida – which thrives on sugar – and they have to cut carbs from their diet.

 

Caesar delivery

If your baby was born by Caesar section, they will need help establishing a good probiotic balance. Babies in the womb have a sterile digestive system. When that child is born via the birth canal, they swallow vast amounts of bacteria, effectively kick-starting a healthy bacteria-filled intestine & mouth (and in girls, the vagina). Of course, this assumes that Mom had a healthy probiotic balance herself while giving birth! Breast feeding also delivers small amounts of friendly bacteria with each feed. This would mean that a baby who was Caesar-delivered and formula-fed would have a significant imbalance!

 

How to correct a probiotic imbalance

Taking a probiotic supplement is your first course of action, but you also need to get rid of probiotic ‘enemies’ and consciously safeguard your probiotic balance.

  • Only use antibiotics when you have no other option
  • Only disinfect your environment in exceptional circumstances, rather than as a general rule
  • Eat a whole food diet to foster your probiotic bacteria.

 

Recommended products

Healthy-kids recommends two products to help you keep a healthy probiotic balance

Care Disinfectant GNLD pic

Care disinfectant.

Care is a disinfectant separate from your cleaning materials, allowing you to choose when to disinfect, and when not to. It is also made from the safest type of disinfectant (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) that biodegrade safely into the environment and are safer for humans too.

Acidophilus Plus compressed

Acidophilus Plus probiotic supplement

provides the right strains of probiotic bacteria to kick-start the probiotic balance of babies, children, teenagers and adults – and we know it works. This is important, because many probiotic supplements are not effective.