Probiotics and weight loss, what's the key?
Our society places much emphasis on destroying bacteria. Our cleaning products, hand sanitizers, and over-prescribed antibiotics abound. But the fact is that certain bacteria are beneficial and essential to our health.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the gastrointestinal tract is the friendly bacteria it employs to maximize the nutritional benefits of the food you eat. There are over three pounds of these little microorganisms that not only help to break down certain substances that escape digestive fluids, but also to manufacture healthful compounds that are reabsorbed into the blood.
Our health depends on the proper balance of these micro organisms. The flora should contain 85% friendly bacteria and 15% "unfriendly bacteria," but usually the reverse is the case.
Deficiencies of these friendly bacteria are not uncommon due to sickness, bad eating habits and antibiotic use. Fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, provide some of these friendly bacteria, but probiotic supplements contain much greater amounts.
With probiotics and weight loss we are most concerned with the first three health benefits. If you are not digesting your food properly and if the absorption of nutrients is compromised, you will lack vital vitamins, minerals and nutrients which will cause you to constantly feel hungry. As mentioned above probiotics also increase the nutritional value of the food you eat. You can not feel satisfied until your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
A healthy diet and a balanced intestinal flora are two essential components in your natural ways to lose weight.
If you have...
It is best to keep your probiotics in the fridge but not in the freezer. Acidophilus can die at high temperatures. You can take in capsule form, or open the capsules and eat the powder with some food, or mix with a little water. It is best to take probiotics on an empty stomach in the morning and one hour before each meal, so 3 times per day. if you are taking antibiotics do not take them at the same time. 1
Do not use probitotics when experiencing of severe abdominal pain, nausea, fever, vomiting or bloody diarrhea. Do not use if you have an immune-compromised condition (e.g. AIDS, lymphoma, patients undergoing long-term corticosteroid treatment).
1. Balch, A. Phyllis. CNC Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fourth Edition(New York: Penguin Group, 2006) 85.