What are probiotics?
- Probiotics are organisms that live inside of all of us, and on us, that provide beneficial function for our health, regulate our immune system, our mental wellbeing, and are vital for our survival.
- There are THREE different TYPES of organisms: Beneficial, Commensal, & Pathogenic.
- An imbalance in the microbiome (Gut) can lead to an increase in the PATHOGENOIC type.
The primary role of probiotics in the diet are:
- They help PROTECT against an overgrowth of pathogenic organisms and this way prevent infections.
- They SUPPORT our immune system.
- They help maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining (prevents “leaky gut”)
- They support a HEALTHY inflammatory response.
- The enhance the bodies OWN DETOX systems.
- They produce SHORT-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS, which have: Anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, anticancer, cardiovascular protective, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective activities, AND support colon health.
- They support digestion and produce B and K vitamins and possibly also VITAMIN D.
- They support healthy BRAIN FUNCTION.
There are DIFFERENT probiotics
- Probiotics have THREE names: Genus, Species and Strain
- The functions of different types of probiotics VARY at the STRAIN level.
- There are thousands of different strains of probiotics, and most have not been isolated or named.
- We NEED multiple STRAINS for optimal and vibrant health.
- The more strains we have, the better our health and stronger our immune system.
Probiotics EAT prebiotics
- Probiotics need “food” to thrive and flourish and that “food” is called prebiotics.
- Not all probiotics metabolize the same “food”, or prebiotics.
- A variety of prebiotics is critical for optimal health.
- Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that feed the “friendly” bacteria in your gut.
- There are different types of prebiotics, common prebiotics include: Fructo-oligosaccarides (FOS or fructans) and Galacto-oligosaccardes (GOS)
- Inulin is the most common type of Fructo-oligosaccarides (FOS or fructans)
- Inulin is found in: Vegetables, Herbs, Grains and Roots.
- Galacto-oligosaccardes (GOS) is found in: Fermented dairy products like yogurt, buttermilk and kefir and is also found naturally in breast milk
- Prebiotics are also naturally found in herbal supplements (herbal formulas)
What are POSTBIOTICS?
- Postbiotics are the bioactive compounds the probiotic bacteria produce when they consume prebiotics (fiber).
- There are various types of postbiotics: Short-chain fatty acids, lipopolysaccharides, exopolysaccharides, enzymes, cell wall fragments, bacterial lysates (a mixture made from bacterial components), cell-free supernatants (a mixture of compounds produced by bacteria and yeast) and various other metabolites such as vitamins and amino acids
- These various types of postbiotics offer health benefits that are similar to those of probiotics.
- The microbiome is the name for the probiotics in our bodies
- The Microbiome consist of trillions of microorganisms (microbes) of thousands of different species.
- The microbiome is not just friendly bacteria but also friendly fungi, parasites, and viruses.
- In a healthy person, these “bugs” coexist peacefully in a SYMBIOTIC relationship
- The largest numbers of microbes are found in the small and large intestines but also throughout the body, and on the skin.
- The presence of the microbiome is so significant that it is labeled a “supporting organ”
- Each persons microbiome is unique
- The first exposure to the microbiome happens in the birth canal, and then in the breast milk.
- Which microorganisms the infant is exposed to depends solely on the species found in the mother.
- Environmental exposures and diet change one’s microbiome to be either beneficial to health, or place one at greater risk for disease.
- The microbiome is reduced by the use of antibiotics
The soil microbiome
- Microbes in the soil benefit plants by increasing nutrient availability.
- Just like humans, plans rely on the soil biome for their health and ability to withstand stress, and parasitic infection.
- A spoonful of agricultural soil contains 30,000 taxonomic varieties of microbes.
- The health of the plant is equal to the quality of probiotics that the human microbiome feed on.
- Plants lacking in vital microbes and solutes don’t produce the same quality probiotics as a plant grown in a healthy soil microbiome.
- The soil microbiome is damaged by: over-farming, and not rotating crops, the absence of livestock around fields, type of land use, prior land use, contamination of agricultural soils with pesticides on farms and in gardens, use of toxic chemicals and heavy metals
- The human microbiome evolved in tandem with the soil microbiome, and our bodies microbiome is supported by the soil microbiome.
- A disruption in the health of the soil microbiome has resulted in diseased human bodies.
- The same molecules are used for the health of the plant in the soil as the health of the human in the gut.
- The soil microbiome is also damaged by over-use of antibiotics in farming.
- There is a microbiome for water and air as well!
- The microbiome in water and oceans is also being disrupted by human unsustainable practices.
- Ocean microbiomes are damaged similarly, by harmful human practices, with the addiction of over fishing and of the presence of toxins and pharmaceuticals in waste water.
Our human health is directly tied to the health of the planet
Figuring out how to restore, protect and nurture the microbiomes, in soil, in people, in oceans, and air will be the work of humans for many years to come,.
This can not be done on just a personal level, it is the responsibility of all of us together, to restore a style of governance that sustains individuals and the soil.
The microbiome is essential to supporting all life on our planet.
“Nurture your ecosystem, and it will take care of everything else.”
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