Probiotics, often referred to as “friendly bacteria,” help restore the flora balance in our digestive systems.
The rigors of daily life, and the choices we make, can sometimes disrupt colon and digestive health. Beneficial bacteria is negatively affected or destroyed by the following:
- Drugs and antibiotics
- Viruses and illness
- Poor eating habits
- Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as yeast overgrowth
The loss of probiotics in our digestive systems can lead to several digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea and food intolerances, as well as other health conditions.
There are billions of probiotics in our digestive systems. In fact, it is estimated there are more beneficial bacteria in our intestines than there are cells in the body.
Probiotic organisms impede the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. They also increase the pH of the colon to inhibit tissue changes.
In digestion, probiotics aid in breaking down lactose, fiber and proteins. They help the body properly absorb vitamins and essential nutrients.
A study from New York University’s Langone Medical Center connects gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus with bacterial balance in the throat.
Researchers found that subjects with esophageal disease had bacteria in their throats that are usually associated with the stomach, according to Forbes. Healthy throat bacteria include Streptococcus.
The Forbes story asserts unhealthy bacteria in the throat could be the cause of GERD and possibly be connected to acid reflux. Barrett’s, a result of chronic GERD, is a precancerous condition of the throat.
The report ends with a profound statement: “Scientists hope they might someday treat and prevent disease by shifting the bacterial balance.”
Probiotics, or friendly bacteria, might be essential to maintaining systemic health.