I have been following Dr. Joseph Mercola‘s articles for a while already. He is an osteopathic physician, health activist and entrepreneur practicing near Chicago. His alternative medicine dietary and lifestyle approaches to health is often controversial, but I find some of the articles are quite good and make you do a lot of thinking after reading it.
In this below article he is commenting on a new study shows that probiotics can modulate immune responses via our gut’s mucosal immune system. In the last part of the comment, he touches about the issue of culture & fermented food are better than probiotics supplement. enjoy your reading ………..
I wonder what western physician will say about our homemade enzyme juice which is indeed another form of probiotics.
Below are the excerpt, detail article is here.
Probiotics Found to Help Your Gut`s Immune System
Most people, including many physicians, do not realize that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health. Remember, a robust immune system is your number one defense system against ALL disease.
The Vital Functions of Probiotics
The friendly bacteria that reside in your gut have a number of very important functions, including:
- Digesting and absorbing certain carbohydrates. Without good gut bacteria, your body cannot absorb certain undigested starches, fiber, and sugars. The friendly bacteria in your digestive tract convert these carbohydrates into primary sources of important energy and nutrients.
- Producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins. Probiotics help in the production of both vitamin K and B vitamins, and promote mineral absorption. They also aid in metabolism and the breakdown of toxins.
- Keeping bad bacteria under control. A large part of the influence of the “bad” bacteria is on your intestinal lining (mucousal barrier) that is over 300 square meters, or about the size of a tennis court. Simply stated, friendly bacteria compete with the bad guys for room and board, but since beneficial bacteria are more at home there, they win most of the battles for nutrition and attachment sites within your colon.
The good bacteria tell your body how much nutrition they need and your body responds by supplying just that much and no more – so that any excess bad bacteria are starved out. The helpful bacteria also produce a substance that kills harmful microbes.
- Preventing allergies. Friendly bacteria train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately. This important function prevents your immune system from overreacting to non-harmful antigens, which is the genesis of allergies.
- Providing vital support to your immune system. Beneficial bacteria have a lifelong, powerful effect on your gut’s immune system and your systemic immune system as well. The bacteria play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.
What’s Even Better Than a Probiotic Supplement?
Historically, people used cultured or fermented foods to support their intestinal and overall health, way before the invention of the probiotic supplement.
Cultured foods like yogurt, some cheeses, and sauerkraut are good sources of natural, healthy bacteria. And fermented foods, such as natto, can give your body the similar benefits of consuming a whole bottle of good bacteria, at a fraction of the cost.
One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is to obtain raw milk and convert it to kefir, which is really easy to make at home. All you need is one half packet of the kefir start granules in a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature over night. By the time you wake up in the morning you will likely have kefir. If it hasn’t obtained the consistency of yogurt you might want to set it out a bit longer and then store it in the fridge.
A quart of kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotics supplement, and it is very economical as you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about ten times before you need to start a new culture pack. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir.
Don’t even think of using pasteurized milk, however, as pasteurized milk has its own set of negative health ramifications and should be avoided at all cost.