Colonies of "friendly" bacteria must live in the colon for it to function properly. Without these beneficial bacteria, we are more susceptible to harmful yeasts, intestinal toxemia, dangerous bacteria, viruses, and a wide spectrum of other problems. Why? Because without the good bacteria to eat up the toxic waste from food that has not been completely digested and eliminated, the toxins and undigested food particles can enter the blood stream and cause the immune system to work overtime. These substances are treated as foreign invaders that must be either converted into something usable or removed from the body. Over time this can weaken the immune system so that it is unable to handle serious inflections and diseases.
The toxins produced from this waste material can spread throughout your body, literally poisoning you. Your "starved" and poisoned organs and systems can become stressed and eventually weaken to the point where they fail to function properly. This is why so many researchers now believe that "death begins in the colon."
Unfortunately, the friendly bacteria that should populate our colons and prevent this sort of scenario are constantly under attack by an increasingly diverse array of enemies. These include the all-too-common enemies of chlorinated water, the antibiotics we take for illness and those we ingest in the meat and pasteurized dairy products we consume, alcoholic beverages, some chemicals, as well as radiation and chemotherapy.
These "friendly" intestinal bacteria used to be passed naturally from mother to infant. Unfortunately, over the past half-century, in our haste to kill all bacteria, we have also killed the good with the bad. That's why it is so important to regularly reintroduce good bacteria into our intestinal tracts to ensure we keep them healthy. Additional supplementation may also be necessary immediately following use of antibiotics or other treatments aimed at killing bacteria or viruses.
These good bacteria are called "Probiotic". The first three letters, "Pro", mean for and the balance of the word - "Biotic", means life. So a Probiotic bacteria is for life, or pro-life. These important friendly bacteria work primarily in the large intestine, but are present in the rest of the digestive tract as well.
Basically, there are two groups of naturally occurring micro-organisms functioning in the digestive system. The first group is considered beneficial or non-pathogenic, and is actually made up of several hundred different kinds of friendly bacteria. The second group is the potentially pathogenic group, including again hundreds of possible bad guys like E. Coli and Salmonella.
Probiotic bacteria work by competitive exclusion. This means that the greater number of different species of friendly-intestinal bacteria that are present in the probiotic compound, the harder it is for the competing bad bacteria and yeasts to get started. The good bacteria clean out the intestinal tract of waste products from food digestion as well as drive out the bad bacteria. This, of course, leads to better digestion and utilization of the food we eat and elimination of pockets of bad bacteria, that are present in many people's intestines, thus contributing significantly to overall good health. It is estimated that over 400 species of bacteria inhabit the human digestive tract.
Inner Garden Flora
Inner Garden Flora™ is a combination of eleven carefully chosen bacteria that can help to restore the proper balance of bacteria to your intestines while helping the other friendly bacteria survive and flourish. It is excellent for people of all ages, regardless of health. Inner Garden Flora can be helpful while you are traveling to fight pathogens in food and water. (Children need proportionately smaller amounts of this supplement.)
The August issue of Gastroenterology reported on the findings of a double blind, placebo-controlled study that examined the benefits of using probiotics in the treatment of chronic intestinal inflammation. In this study forty patients with chronic pouchitis, an inflammation of the small intestine, were randomly divided into two groups. Pouchitis appears to be tied to lower levels of certain bacteria in the intestinal tract. Twenty patients received a probiotic preparation consisting of four strains of lactobacilli, three strains of bifidobacteria, and one strain of streptococcus Salivarius subspecies thermophilus. The other group of twenty patients received a placebo. During the nine-month treatment phase, 85 percent of the patients in the probiotic group remained free of pouchitis symptoms. All 20 patients in the placebo group experienced recurring symptoms. In the probiotic group, the benefits of the probiotics ceased within four months after the study ended. The conclusion of the researchers was that the study validated the clinical effectiveness of probiotics in the treatment of chronic intestinal inflammation and that long-term probiotic use was safe.
Many modern researchers have found that probiotic bacteria are very important for maintaining intestinal balance. At a European symposium on probiotics, scientists from several countries reviewed studies on the benefits of probiotics. For example, Finnish researchers reported from their research that good bacteria helped strengthen the immune system and helped stabilize the intestines. They felt that probiotics were a viable option for addressing such problems as food allergies, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenteritis, and lactose intolerance. German experts, based on the results of nearly 70 studies, concluded that probiotics were helpful for treating colon problems. Danish nutrition experts found that probiotics were effective for supporting the immune system and helping with blood related issues.
Elmer G. W., Surawicz C. M., McFarland L. V. "Biotherapeutic agents. A neglected modality for the treatment and prevention of selected intestinal and vaginal infections." Journal of American Medical Association (275: 870 – 876): Illinois; March 1996.
Gionchetti P, Rizzello F, Venturi A, et al. "Oral Bacteriotherapy as Maintenance Treatment in Patients With Chronic Pouchitis: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial." Gastroenterology (119(2):305-309); August 2000.
Moneysmith Marie, "Lactobacillus acidophilus? – Beneficial bacteria and probiotic supplements in treatment of digestive conditions." Better Nutrition. Primedia Intertec: Illinois; 2001.
Brudnak Mark A. "The Probiotic Solution: Nature's Best-Kept Secret for Radiant Health." Dragon Door Publications: Minnesota; 2003.
Redmond Cheryl, "Make friends with good bacteria: if bad bacteria are ruling your digestive system, you could be setting yourself up for health problems - Do-It-Yourself Cures." Natural Health. Weider Publications: New York; March 2002.
Sharma A., Mohan P., Nayak B., "Probiotics: Making a Comeback." Indian Journal of Pharmacology. Medknow Publications: India; Nov-Dec 2005.
Tetsuji Hori, et al. "Effect of Intranasal Administration of Lactobacillus casei Shirota on Influenza Virus Infection of Upper Respiratory Tract in Mice." Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology (8:593-597): American Society for Microbiology: Washington, D.C.; May 2001.
Trenev Natasha, "Probiotics: Nature’s Internal Healers." Avery Publishing Group: New York; 1998.