Probiotics: The Latest Health Promo

For 5,000 yrs., India’s Ayurvedic Medical System has claimed the digestive tract as the seat of all illness. Now, our Allopathic System has research that backs up that claim.

Neurologist, David Perlmutter’s most recent book, Brain Maker, cites his research and others who find that a combination of Probiotics and Diet are now relieving many health conditions, not just digestive complaints, and scientific research reveals that “90 percent of all known human illness can be traced back to an unhealthy gut.” The good news is that health and vitality also begins in the gut. That’s something we can do about.

While our problems did not begin with antibiotics, they have certainly been aggravated by routine antibiotic use that kills both helpful and harmful bacteria, hence the term ‘pro-biotics’ which are actually a diverse collection of friendly bacteria. After any round of antibiotic to treat specific infections, we need to reseed our digestive tract with friendly bacteria.

Here’s what probiotic bacteria do for us: they help us digest and absorb nutrients; create a physical barrier to harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites; neutralize toxins we take in with our food; prevent infections; support our immune system; produce enzymes, vitamins, and neurotransmitters; help us handle stress; and control the body’s inflammatory pathways, for starters. The list seems endless.

Not just any old probiotics will do. Lactobacillus strains are needed in the small intestine and Bifidobacterium strains in the colon. Perlmutter offers his protocol but your health practitioner can help you choose an appropriate preparation if you are interested in exploring the benefits. Probiotics don’t require prescription but they are pricey and some question the reliability of claims for what is in a capsule.

Dietary changes are less costly but require more thought and effort. Family lore includes stories about preparing fermented foods such as what Perlmutter recommends: plenty that provide us with natural probiotics: organic, plain yogurt, kimshi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickled fish and vegetables, all of which can be prepared at home in large batches and stored.

Carbohydrates, not fats are the primary cause of weight gain. Since fat, not glucose, is the brain’s main food, he suggests our main food choices: butter, meat, cheese, eggs, abundant above ground vegetables and greens, and cooking with olive or coconut oil. Healthy, monounsaturated fats are in avocado, olives, nuts, wild fish, and some plants (flax seed oil). We also need good saturated fats like butter and coconut oil to recognize and destroy invading germs and to fight tumors.

The problem I have with considering coconut oil is that this new craze depends on the destruction of rain forest trees to supply coconuts. The problem with probiotic capsules is that they are financially out of reach for too many people.

The good news is that we all know what the food ‘hit list’ is: all that boxed, packaged, and bottled food, which is also pricey and can be replaced right now by overconsumption of peas, berries, asparagus, kohlrabi, zucchini, summer squash, greens, tomatoes, and more. We can take a leaf from the animals, load up on what is in season where we live, store some for later, drink plenty of water, and keep every muscle moving.

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3 Responses to “Probiotics: The Latest Health Promo”

  1. feelingmywaybackintolife Says:

    FYI: Ayurveda never said coconut oil is good for everybody. It is ONLY good for people who live in hot climates since it cools the digestive fire.

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