Building Healthy Gut Bacteria

Whether allergy, cold, rheumatism or cancer, an imbalance in gut bacteria can cause many diseases. The intestine plays a key role in the health of the entire body, both physically and mentally. Intestines contain about 100 trillion bacteria to keep our digestion going. Together all of these intestinal bacteria, which mainly colonize in the large intestine, is called intestinal flora, or intestinal microbiome.

There are more than 1,000 types of bacteria. There are 10 times as many bacteria in our intestines as there are cells in our entire body. The more diverse the microbial composition, the healthier we stay. Depending on age and nutrition, intestinal flora differs from person to person. Various internal and external factors can upset the balance of gut bacteria. Poor nutrition and the use of antibiotics particularly have a negative impact on gut bacteria.

With the targeted administration of probiotics and prebiotics, a healthy intestinal flora can be restored. The bacterial strains contained in probiotics are mainly bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. To obtain benefits with probiotic preparations, it is important to consume between 3 to 10 billion probiotic germs daily over several months. An imbalance in intestinal flora needs time to regain its balance, and the same germs should always be taken over a longer period of time, because constant change hinders any colonization.

The intestine is an open system. That is why nutrition plays a major role in the successful colonization of healthy intestinal bacteria. Quickly available carbohydrates such as sugar, white flour and alcohol should be avoided as much as possible. Rather, eating vegetables and whole grain products, taking prebiotics -- the food for healthy bacteria -- and drinking at least two liters (8 cups) of water a day will promote the growth of good bacteria and ensure continued success.