Probiotic (essential)- A type of bacteria which we require to assume both a healthy immune system and digestive system. There are few bacteria that are commonly harmful to us and many bacteria that are very healthful and actually essential for our health. If you consider someone who is healthy they likely have a significant amount of good bacteria living within their bodies and a relatively small amount of ‘bad’ bacteria.
It is important to understand that we have 10 x more bacteria cells in our intestines than we have cells in our entire body. This fact leads us to understand that we need to optimize our probiotic intake so that we have a healthy and dominating base of good bacteria in our intestinal tract to help with digestion and optimize our immune function.
Another interesting fact is that probiotics also produce some of our vitamins and short chain fatty acids. Today we consume only one millionth of the bacteria on a daily basis that our healthy ancestors did. Our ancestors would ingest these essential probiotics from foods grown in untainted soil and from the animals that they ate. Because of modern farming practices (i.e. sprayed herbicides, pesticides and soil irradiation…Read: ‘sanitizing’) we no longer get adequate amounts of the essential good bacteria from the environment and now need to ingest them through supplementation. Humans can only express optimal health with sufficient amount of ingested probiotics. The best way to consume probiotics is with a meal.
Bengmark, S. M.D. Ph.D. 1998 Immunonutrition. Role of biosurfactants, fiber and probiotic bacteria. Nutrition. 14:585-594