It seems that people are talking a lot about *probiotics . If you haven’t yet heard the term, probiotics are good bacteria and yeast that live in our digestive system. Scientists discovered that our gut is 80% of our immune system and that our immune system contains trillions of good bacteria and yeast—also known as probiotics.
In case you don’t know, Kombucha is a fermented, sweet tea that was brought to the United States from Asia in the 1980’s when President Reagan developed cancer. At least according to legend, that’s how it came to the US. And when I say legend, I really mean ‘the Internet.’ When I first tasted it, I wasn’t impressed. It has a tart, vinegar-like taste. Actually, it’s quite easy to over-ferment a batch and turn it into vinegar.
High-Dose Antibiotics For Chronic Lyme Disease
While on high-dose antibiotics for Chronic Lyme, I suddenly loved the taste and somehow couldn’t get enough. At the same time, I continually forgot to take my high-dose, high-end, expensive, probiotic capsules. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any adverse symptoms that taking antibiotics can cause – mainly diarrhea. Occasionally, I remembered to take my capsules.
If you don’t have time for making fermented foods, you can always purchase probiotic capsules. Keep in mind that some probiotics will die at high temperatures (think about those box trucks in the desert in the middle of summer).
We have at least 500 different bacteria in our guts and a probiotic capsule contains, at most, a few different strains. I had to ask myself, if I’ve taken antibiotics that kill all the good bacteria, how do I put back those 500 different bacteria? And how do I put them back in both high quantity and high quality? Even yogurt only contains about five transient (meaning they need to be replaced daily) bacteria strains and some commercial yogurts don’t contain any. It turns out we have transient bacteria (that stay only for a short time) and we have bacteria that can colonize the gut.
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Back To My Story
I knew taking antibiotics could kill all the good bacteria in the gut and cause something called “c. diff.” The first time I learned about c. diff was when I learned a relative had almost died from it. Later, I heard about it again when a good friend developed it after a course of high-dose antibiotics for Chronic Lyme. If you’ve never heard of it, c. diff is short for Clostridium difficile—pronounced ‘klos trid ee um ~ diff uh seel.’ It’s a nasty infection that occurs when the good bacteria and good yeast in our guts are wiped out. This typically happens during or after a course of antibiotics.
I recently heard c. diff is said to be contagious. This didn’t make sense to me since it’s something we usually live with symbiotically until we purposely kill off the good bacteria, like when we take antibiotics, which then allows it to take over and grow out of control.
According to NHS Choices,”C. difficile does not usually affect healthy children and adults. This is because the bacteria normally present in the healthy bowel keep it under control.” Sounds simple to me. This means that, contrary to popular rumors, c. diff is not “contagious.” It would only be “contagious” if both:
a. we didn’t already have that bacteria in our guts
b. our good bacteria and good yeast were wiped out
C.diff can live in our guts harmoniously until we deplete our good bacteria and yeasts, then the bad bacteria have a chance to take over. When my friend told me this happened to her, I felt lucky it hadn’t happened to me, especially since I kept forgetting to take my probiotic capsules.
My homework taught me that saccharomyces boulardii (aka s. boulardii) is the yeast that combats and keeps C. diff in check. And guess what? Kombucha is full of s. boulardii! In fact, G.T.’s Kombucha lists that it contains two billion s. bourlardi in their 16 oz. bottle! No wonder I was so lucky! I was drinking no less than 32 ounces of Kombucha per day. I just couldn’t get enough!
But Wait – There’s More!
The politically incorrect book – Nourishing Traditions, may have been one of my best purchases. I already knew much of the information contained in it – like the fact that humans are made to eat REAL food rather than processed, man-made Frankenfoods. I already knew that saturated fats, eggs WITH the yolk, raw milk, etc. are actually healthy food choices.
What I had never even thought about, is the fact that we are supposed to be eating fermented foods. Fermented foods contain good bacteria and good yeasts, known as PROBIOTICS. Capsules are a good backup, but we should be eating our probiotics in fermented foods. I felt a light bulb go off (as it has so many times along my food-learning path) while reading about this in Nourishing Traditions. When canning became popular, we lost a venue that kept bacteria in our guts. I believe it happened to be about the same time frame when antibiotics become vastly popular. Eating fermented foods on a daily basis is a great way to keep the gut populated – foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, and fermented vegetables in general. Aside from salt, it wasn’t all that long ago that fermenting was one of our main ways to preserve food.
According to Cultures for Health, “The beneficial bacteria found in yogurt helps keep the digestive tract clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria found in a healthy gut. They are called transient because they pass through the digestive tract. The bacteria in water and milk kefir, on the other hand, can actually colonize the intestinal tract.”
100 Trillion Bacteria
Our bodies have an estimated 100 trillion bacteria. It seems if we take a capsule containing only a couple different strains and only a total of 15 billion, and without actually doing the math, it would take about a gazillion capsules to recolonize those 100 trillion bacteria. If we want to keep our gut colonized, we need to be eating/drinking fermented foods on a daily basis. When I started drinking milk kefir, it was just like Kombucha-I couldn’t get enough.
Nourishingplot.com reported in an article: “Dr. Mercola sent his sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the finding of probiotics saying, ‘We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.’ ” It sounds like sauerkraut is a great way to get trillions of good bacteria back into our guts.
If you don’t have time to make fermented foods, check out Tropical Traditions’ sauerkraut. If you’re a new customer and use my affiliate link, you can get Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! for free with your first order.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and none of my statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of my statements or anything on this site is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease nor replace guidance from a medical professional. Before eating/drinking fermented food, PLEASE get clearance from your doctor.
PLEASE do NOT eat any foods that don’t taste right!!!
One of my favorite books is Nourishing Traditions. This is my affiliate link:
Sauerkraut Test Divulges Shocking Probiotic Count,Becky Plotner, nourishingplot.com
Causes of Clostridium difficile infection, NHS Choices, nhs.uk
Probiotics: One of The Most Important Supplements You Can Take, Dr. Mercola
The Case for Healthy Bowels: The Vital Connection Between Your Gut and Your Health, Dr. Mercola