Your body is the host of a hundred trillion bacteria that are the basis of your health.
The importance of bacteria in our gut
Good bacteria are important to stay healthy. Your intestinal flora is the engine of your immune system and you do not want that engine to falter. Bifiobacteria and Lactobacilli are examples of good bacteria. Bad bacteria can make us sick. Because the good bacteria are in abundance and the gut populates well, there is no room for the bad gut bacteria to grow. That is only with a healthy intestinal flora! In our current society and with our modern way of life we are getting less and less good bacteria species. For example, unprocessed and varied food and drinking plenty of water remain very important. Due to our production techniques for food, which are also very clean, you also lose good essential bacteria, fungi and yeasts that occur in nature during this process.The lack of good bacteria is more a cause of intestinal problems than an excess of bad bacteria. Ultimately, the bacteria help us digest food, protect against infections, provide us with vitamins and fatty acids and keep the intestinal flora healthy.
Under favorable conditions, a bacterium can make 16 million copies of itself in eight hours!
Gut bacteria species
There are about one hundred and fifty different gut bacteria species that make up the microbiome. A healthy intestinal flora consists of many bacteria of many different types. Which of those one hundred and fifty bacterial species live in your gut differs per person. As a result, everyone has their own unique microbiome.
Good gut bacteria
These are also known as anaerobic bacteria. They help digest food and keep pathogens at bay. 95% live in the gastrointestinal tract of which 80% in the lower large intestine. They mainly feed on the food you ingest. You have them from birth, they are a part of you but you can also pick them up somewhere. With a family in the house, for example, you often see that their own bacterial species float and live through the house. A hug, a hand, a collision, a sip of someone else’s glass, actually you can’t escape it. If these bacteria are good, they increase diversity and the guests are welcomed. Of course, your stool is full of bacteria!
Bad gut bacteria
Bad bacteria also live in your intestines, you cannot escape them. But if the large group of anaerobic bacteria are present, the intestinal flora does not give them space and they are neatly cleaned up. If the correct number of good bacteria has already been weakened and decreased in number, the bad bacteria are given space to take up places in the intestinal wall and multiply. Your problems will get bigger and different intestinal flora-related complaints will arise per person.
How can you influence gut bacteria?
You are what you eat is not just an expression. The food is the fuel for all bacteria to do their job properly. If you do not feed the right bacteria, the composition in the intestinal flora can change. Bacteria simply have no choice but to feed on what they are served. Eating a lot of fiber, vegetables and nuts helps to grow healthy bacteria. Eating a lot of processed products and refined sugars causes the bad bacteria to increase in number. Disease-causing bacteria such as clostridium and candida thrive in an eating and drinking pattern with a lot of refined sugars. They cause intestinal complaints such as bloating , changing stools, abdominal pain and flatulence. It is estimated that only 10% of the Dutch consume enough fiber on a daily basis. And fiber is also very important for a healthy intestinal flora. The insoluble fibers give volume to the intestinal contents and ensure smooth bowel movements, which in turn is conducive to easy bowel movements. Fiber can be found in all types of cabbage and, for example, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots, peppers, beans and nuts. The soluble fiber is an excellent food source for the intestinal flora. You can find them in sweet potato, onion, banana, pumpkin and oats. And drink enough water a day if you eat a lot of fiber, so that they can bind to the fluid again and you don’t get constipated.
Unfortunately, the intestinal flora is negatively influenced by, for example, an infection or treatment with drugs. For example, antibiotics not only kill the harmful bacteria in an infection, but also the good bacteria from the intestinal flora. It is like a shot of hail where you hope that the culprit will be hit, but where many innocents will also die. This creates empty spots on the intestinal wall. The harmful intestinal bacteria then seize the opportunity to multiply and the intestinal flora becomes imbalanced, which can cause complaints. A poo transplantis an underestimated solution for a disturbed intestinal flora. If the good bacteria can no longer be fed with food, if the imbalance is too great, because the group of bad bacteria is too large, then that balance can be restored with someone else’s healthy intestinal flora.
Get your gut back on track!
If you’re patient and have the right strain that can solve your problems, a probiotic can get you back on the right track. But probiotics are seen as a vacationer. She pops in and then leaves again while a poo transplant is another story. These are immigrants who build a house with a foundation. Poo contains a lot of bacteria. In the enteric-resistant capsules, they safely pass the deadly acidity of the stomach and thus arrive directly at their destination. Colonizing and multiplying is fast!