There are many strains of probiotics and many claims that they are good for us and treat everything from depression IBS, immune function to autism.
While some of this has no scientific basis a lot of it does.
But what do probiotics or good gut bacteria (GGB) do? and where are they?
Most GGB colonizes in the large intestine or bowel.
GGB adheres to the lining of the bowel which helps to reduce the spaces that parasites, virus’s or toxic micro-organisms (bad gut bacteria) would attach to otherwise. A strain which is beneficial and amazing at this function is saccharomyces which is a strain of yeast that is shelf stable but this GGB is the best at the start of the re-inoculation of your gut or while traveling or after antibiotic use.
It is important to have a variety of GGB in your gut because if you have to much of one type of bacteria they become what we call opportunistic bacteria which means they over colonize or take over the bowel which causes problems because each GGB does different things.
This is also why some probiotics are shelf stable and some need to live in the fridge, because they originate from different bacteria that grow in different conditions.
Some strains are great for eczema like rhamnosus while others are great for IBS symptoms and the list goes on, the reason we need these a multitude of strains is so they keep the environmental balance that our gut needs.
With out this balance and some GGB become dominant which is not beneficial to us at all and they turn into what we call opportunistic bacteria. Candida is a form of bacteria that is in all of us but can become dominant if we constantly eat an unbalanced diet or if our immune system is low.
Opportunistic bacteria can cause infections pain etc..
Each bacteria eats different food many people don’t know this but our GGB actually help us digest foods, without enough of a variety our food can sit in our gut this is when food starts to ferment which causes gases to arise from the food and this can result in the stretch or pain receptors in our gut to activate.
GGB also helps our immune function. The bacteria communicates with our immune system, GGB alerts the immune system that there are viruses or unwanted bacteria and the immune system responds with out that initial alert our immune system would be too late to react.
Gut bacteria good and bad communicate with our brain to influence mood via altered serotonin activation, sleep disturbances gut bacteria especially bad gut bacteria can alter our circadian rhythms interrupting our sleep cycles.
There are strong links between our GGB or lack of and depression.
read more here on mood and GGB here http://theconversation.com/gut-feeling-how-your-microbiota-affects-your-mood-sleep-and-stress-levels-65107
If you are having gut and mood symptoms and you want help please call 0412241198 and I’ll either be able to help you or send you to a closer resource.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053917/ for an individual list).