Do Progress and Health Go Together?
You ask anyone that question and you’ll get a look that says “stupid question!” It does seem a stupid question, but it depends on what perspective you view progress from. For example, when it comes to cell phones, we’ve definitely made progress. Ten or fifteen years ago when cell phones became standard equipment, the only thing we could do with them is make calls. Today, cell phones take photos, open email, plug into social networking sites, provide a GPS, and swallow songs.
There’s progress in the energy field too. From the candle to the bulb to fluorescent and LED lighting, we now have energy saving lighting equipment that can run for 4,000-5,000 hours uninterrupted. Our cars today are going from fuel-dependent to hybrid. Even looking for a spouse has become a lot easier. We can hook up with an online matching service and find our soulmates right in the comfort of our homes and right in our pajamas. So of course we’ve made progress!
But wait. Why did we ask that question in the first place?
Reason: Progress does not necessarily equate with good health. Our foods have undergone sterilization and pasteurization – processes that kill off bacteria. Even our health habits – like sanitation measures and overcooking our vegetables have deprived us of healthy bacteria. What do we think of first when we get sick? Antibiotics!
Antibiotics not only kill harmful bacteria but good bacteria as well. When we take an antibiotic and it reaches our bloodstream, it does not put on its “radar detection” and say, “I’m going to look for and destroy only the bad bacteria.” An antibiotic can’t do that. So in the long term, it ends up doing more harm than good.
Benefits of Probiotics
Let’s talk about probiotics. Probiotics are food or dietary sources of beneficial bacteria that are normally found in the human body. If antibiotics kill good bacteria, probiotics replenish them.
There is substantial interest in probiotics because they help in decreasing the frequency of gastrointestinal disorders. While a good, balanced diet will provide us with the bacteria we need, there is no harm taking probiotics when our hectic lives prevent us from preparing nutritious meals. Probiotics can be found in yogurt and cheese, but are also available in powder, capsule, and liquid form. The next time you go to your favorite supermarket, read what the yogurt container says. It will most likely say that it contains live cultures – bacteria – and will include the name of one good bacteria – Lactobacillus acidophilus.
History of Probiotics
History books tell us that probiotics have been around for a long, long time. Different societies looked after their intestinal health by preparing and eating foods that were known for their beneficial bacterial content: fermented foods like yogurt, aged cheese and sauerkraut to stimulate proper digestion. The Romans were particularly fond of sauerkraut. Indians, too, had their “lassi” – a type of pre-dinner yogurt. They cap their meal with curd. This practice constituted a “delivery system” for good bacteria to enter the human body.
It was Elie Metchnikoff – Russian Nobel Prize Winner and Father of Immunology – who first used the word “probiotics” in the 20th century. He argued that a person has 20 times more bacteria than cells in his body and that over a trillion bacteria live inside us – the equivalent of two to three pounds of our body weight.
Known for their longevity, Bulgarians are avid consumers of fermented milk and kefir, while Asians are fond of their pickled foods: bitter melon, turnips and all kinds of greens.
So why not do as the Romans, Bulgarians and Orientals do? Because in the west, we spend a great deal of time making money, instead of making a nutritious meal. That’s an exaggeration, no doubt, but if you really compare our eating patterns with that of other cultures, what do we see? We have a lot more convenience and packaged foods. We spend less time in the dinner table. The Italians, French and Spaniards for example like to linger around the dinner table, treating each meal as a sacred ritual. Us? We run to the nearest kiosk, pick up a bun, and take it back to our desk to eat while we stare at our computer screen. If we do this long enough, what do you think happens to our digestive processes and general sense of well-being?
Do you still believe that progress and health go together like a horse and carriage?
Key facts to consider:
- Some 100 trillion microorganisms live inside us. Not all of them are beneficial.
- A significant part of our immune system – 80% – resides in our gastro-intestinal tract.
- About 20,000 people die every year from bacterial infections; many bacteria are now anti-resistant
- Probiotic microorganisms help the liver detoxify and minimize the duration and intensity of diarrhea
- Good bacteria convert milk into lactic acid which prevents the formation of harmful disease-causing bacteria.
Good Bacteria: Key to Optimal Health
For optimal health, you need to ensure that the proportion of good bacteria and other bacteria fall within the acceptable range. Only when this is achieved is health assured. You can start with your intestinal health, since probiotics are known to do a good job in that department!
When you came out of your mother’s womb, your gastro-intestinal tract was pure, clean and healthy. Good bacteria gradually developed in your stomach, sourced from your mother’s milk. These bacteria were the ones you needed for growth and development. But as we get older, we tend to eat and drink substances that are bad for our digestive system. This is why some of us suffer from abdominal pain and cramps and nausea repeatedly. When we have diarrhea, it’s because we ate or drank something that was most likely contaminated. By consuming unhealthy or contaminated foods, our digestive system becomes a huge garbage dump. Bad bacteria overpower our bad bacteria.
While being health-conscious has its advantages, it looks as if we’ve flushed out good bacteria by an uncanny preoccupation with cleanliness and sanitation. We may have conquered the bacteria war and we should congratulate ourselves for our vigilance. There’s just one problem: our vigilance has “stampeded” our intestinal flora, causing an imbalance which has given rise to various disorders and diseases. All that sterilization has brought about a shortage crisis. What option is open to us?
Our first line of defense should be probiotic supplements. If we care what happens to our gastro-intestinal tract, we should seriously consider probiotics, in addition to adding more cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir in our daily diet.
Fundamental Probiotic: a Powerful Probiotic Product!
We strongly encourage you to try Fundamental Probiotic. It is made in the USA and has over 25 billion good bacteria in EVERY capsule. Not only that. It also contains 12 strains of healthy bacteria, which complement the two most well-known bacteria: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
These 12 strains are:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Bifidobacterium infantis
- Bifidobacterium breve
Note that the Lactobacillus strains (rhamnosus, acidophilus, casei, etc) are ideal for more efficient digestion of foods and nutrients, for lactose intolerance, for minimizing digestive disorders and for female gynecological infections. The bifidobacterium strains help protect against colon cancer and is a booster for the immune system. The Bidifobacterium breve are also known for their anti-tumor qualities.
When Fundamental Probiotic was developed, the bacteria strains were carefully selected so that they survive inside a human’s digestive system tract and hence contribute to intestinal flora. Some strains – while they last in some animals – do not last in a human’s gastrointestinal tract and are therefore ineffective.
You’ve heard the saying “health is wealth.” Instead of waiting for something to happen like a serious disease that requires immediate attention, we can take baby steps today to promote our most important asset.
- Generate a healthy balance between good bacteria and other bacteria, ensuring that bad bacteria do not outnumber the good ones.
- Reinforce and enhance our immune system
- Help absorb minerals and nutrients as well as folic acid, biotin and vitamins B and K
- Assist enzyme activity in digesting carbohydrates and proteins
- Help flush out toxins
- Support the metabolism process
- Produce lactic acid to fight bad bacteria and to cleanse our colon
- Bring about acceptable levels of serum lipid and blood pressure
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the US government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) support the regular use of probiotics provided that individuals who are under medical treatment inform their physician or health care provider about what probiotics they are taking. Americans have tripled their probiotic spending for the period 1994 to 2004. This is a significant statistic and demonstrates that an increasing number of people believe in supplementing with probiotics for the purposes of:
- Treating certain illnesses and promoting general wellness
- Maintaining the bacterial “balancing act”
- Preventing disorders that typically occur in the urinary tract
- Alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and other disorders
- And many other health uses