Our gastrointestinal system hosts an important ecosystem of good bacteria and pathogens. It is important to preserve the correct beneficial charge for our well-being. Let’s find out how.
The intestinal bacterial flora is made up of billions of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that cooperate. For our body to take advantage of the human microbiota (the set of these microorganisms present in the intestine), it is good to take care of it. Let’s find out how.
Bacterial Flora, what is it?
The gastrointestinal bacterial flora is actually a real fauna. It is a microcosm populated by many bacterial species, about 400, including aerobic, anaerobic, viruses, clostridia, and fungi.
The bacterial load increases progressively as we descend from the stomach to the intestine, representing an indispensable protective barrier for our body.
It is important to take care of it and preserve it from alterations, and dysbiosis, which could weaken our defenses in the face of pathogenic attacks and make us tired, exhausted, and vulnerable. How can we, therefore, intervene in advance to prevent this from happening?
Simply by introducing prebiotics and probiotic supplements in our diet able to preserve the bacterial flora, avoid unpleasant migrations of infectious bacteria to other districts such as the urinary tract or stomach, and protect our body when we are subjected to pharmacological treatments with antibiotics.
Prebiotics are substances not absorbed in food but used by the intestinal flora to promote the growth of “good” bacteria, such as Bifidus bacteria and lactobacilli.
Prebiotics are oligosaccharides, especially fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, and galactooligosaccharides (GOS), which we find in fruit and vegetables.
Nutrients rich in prebiotics to be introduced into the diet are onions, garlic, asparagus, artichokes, wheat, soy, bananas, chicory, and endive.
The inulin then undergoes a fermentation cycle that leads to the growth of good bacteria on the one hand, and on the other hand, the waste product of the fermented product is an energy element for the cells. We can also find prebiotics in pharmacies or from herbalists to help the right supply to the intestinal flora.
According to the WHO definition, probiotics are “live organisms that, when administered in adequate quantities, benefit the health of the host.” These are good, non-pathogenic bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria or bifidobacteria.
They can strengthen the immunity response, stimulate intestinal permeability, enrich intestinal flora, and assist the fermentation of food residues.
We can find interesting proportions of probiotics in fermented foods, such as whole white yogurt, acidophilic milk, kefir, and live ricotta. In herbal medicine and pharmacies, we can easily find probiotics in various forms, powder, fluid, or tablets, capable of further enriching our bacterial flora with more than a billion new elements.
When to treat yourself with pre and probiotics
It is good to integrate the intake of prebiotics and probiotics:
- In seasonal changes, in which a greater effort is required on the part of our immune system to climate changes;
- during treatment based on antibiotics which, on the one hand, fight infections, on the other, impoverish the bacterial flora and weaken our organism;
- In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, Helicobacter Pylori or Escherichia Coli is present.
Undergoing cycles of probiotics is always a beneficial practice to take care of the intestinal flora and preserve our state of well-being.