How to Build Probiotics in Your Gut Naturally
“WASH YOUR HANDS!” our mother often yelled as she called us to dinner. The purpose is to make sure we don’t eat any bad bacteria with our food and get sick. Though many people are afraid of germs causing disease, there are many types of bacteria parasites and viruses that we want and need to help our colon function well.
The colon is the least appreciated organ of the body – until it doesn’t work! People with colon problems can be miserable. The symptoms of colon trouble can include a wide variety of issues:
- And even cancer
The colon is the large intestine. It is the waste dump for everything we eat. The small bowel absorbs all the nutrients from our food and whatever is left over goes to the colon where the waste ferments through multiple types of bacteria. While the small bowel is practically sterile, the colon has a huge store of bacteria – trillions of them! In fact, we have ten times more bacteria in our colon than we have cells in our whole body!
The types and amounts of bacteria we possess in our colon are essential to life. Even though they are residents of the colon, bacteria are very much a part of us, and in some ways make us what we are. They may determine our:
- Body weight
- Hormone status
- And, of course, bowel habits
When we were babies in the womb we were sterile. Our first exposure to bacteria came from the birth canal, which has colon bacteria from the mom, and supplied our intestines with bacteria needed to digest milk. People who are born by caesarian section don’t pick up the bacteria from their mother’s colon. Instead, their intestines start growing bacteria obtained from skin. These bacteria don’t help digest food and can even cause inflammation over one’s entire lifetime!
One researcher concluded:
“Concurrent with the trend of increasing [Caesarean Delivery], there has been an epidemic of both autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis and allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.”
The Wrong Bacteria in Your Colon Can Make You Fat!
Additionally, those who are born by C-section are more susceptible to metabolic diseases and obesity. Multiple studies in rats and humans have shown that bacteria in the colon have a large effect on obesity. One study used mice that had intestinal bypass surgery. Those mice that had the surgery now developed different bacteria. When that bacteria were given to obese mice, they lost weight without the bypass surgery. Essentially, bacteria from a thin mouse caused an obese mouse to lose weight.
Humans also experience weight gain or loss associated with their gut flora. In one study, humans with higher levels of a certain bacteria, M. smithii, were much more likely to be overweight than those with low levels.
The Wrong Colon Bacteria Can Cause Arthritis
Studies on the types of bacteria in the colon suggest that arthritis can be caused or worsened by our bacteria. One study suggested that a single organism can make the difference between having arthritis – or not. The organisms that cause inflammation grow on simple sugars and starches. On the other hand, those bacteria that grow on fiber (prebiotics) create butyrate. Butyrate acts as an energy source for cells lining the colon and reduce an inflammatory response.
Prebiotics are the fiber found in fruit and vegetables. They have certain fibrous carbohydrates that we don’t digest but nourish the good bacteria to help them to grow.
God gave us quite the gift when it comes to prebiotic foods because there are many that have just the right “ingredients” to improve gut function without us having to do anything else but eat them! The most nutrient-dense prebiotic foods are:
- Root vegetables
Prebiotic foods are like fuel for good bacteria. They escape digestion in our small intestine but continue to the colon where the “good” bacteria digest them. These bacteria make butyrate, which prevents inflammation, such as arthritis.
Because of all the benefits of good bacteria in the colon, many have proposed fecal transplants to treat arthritis and obesity, instead of surgery and drugs.
What is a Fecal Transplant?
It is just as it sounds. Stool from one person is given to another person to change the bacteria in their colon. Doctors who do this procedure use a colonoscope to get the bacteria all the way through the colon. And put it where they want it.
The purpose of a fecal transplant is to populate the colon with good bacteria and give it more biodiversity. People with only a few types of colon bacteria have many more problems with their bowels and bodies. We not only need lots of bacteria, but a diverse population of bacteria growing together in harmony. Research shows that this procedure can remedy many different problems such as