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Friendly Bacteria and Their Benefits

Posted Dec 07 2009 12:00am

A human bowel houses more than 400 different kinds of bacteria weighing around 1.5 kilos. Around 30% of the mass of a stool is made up of these bacteria. Most of the bacteria present in the bowel are harmful and disease causing but there are a few bacteria that are beneficial to our body. Those friendly bacteria are known as Probiotics. The literary translation of the word 'probiotics' is 'for life'. The two major friendly bacteria present in our bowels are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. They are found throughout the digestive tract of the human body including the stomach, esophagus and mouth, but they reside mostly in the large and small intestines.

Protection and cleansing of the human system is a result of their metabolism.

These two friendly bacteria keep a check on the harmful fungi and bacteria like candida albicans. Incase there are more harmful bacteria than friendly in the bowel then it might lead to less production of vitamins and enzymes in the body and the toxin level of the body also increases. If the toxins in our body increase then it might lead to liver and kidney diseases, high blood pressure, artery disease, cancer and a poor immune system.

Benefits of Probiotics or Friendly bacteria

Probiotics are beneficial for the human body in the following ways:

• Help in the treatment of various diseases and infections

Friendly bacteria help in the treatment of various diseases and infections like Eczema, Psoriasis, colitis, gastritis, duodenitis, diverticulitis, vaginitis, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.

• Normalize the Bowel movements
Friendly bacteria are a great help in the processing of human body wastes. They decrease the time taken by the waste products to travel through our body; ingesting them helps to relieve constipation.

• Produce Acids in the Colon
They produce byproducts of acetic and lactic acids along with the production of an unstable fatty acid. The byproducts of acetic acid and lactic acid help in fighting the harmful bacteria like Shigella, Salmonella and E. coli. The fatty acid produced by the probiotics makes the growth and survival of harmful fungi and yeast cells difficult.

• Help in Vitamin Formation
At least 7 important B Vitamins are produced with the help of friendly bacteria. They help in the formation of Vitamins like folic acid, biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, cobalamin and pantothenic acid along with Vitamin K.

• Help in Improving the Immune System
They speed up the creation of antibodies. These antibodies help in fighting the harmful bacteria and fungi, which would have been the cause of various diseases and infections.

• Help in the Creation of Lactase
Lactase is an enzyme that helps in digestion of milk and milk products by the human body. No Lactase formation in the body can cause milk allergies.

• Help in Regulating Hormone Levels
Lack of friendly bacteria in the body can result in unregulated and unbalanced hormonal levels. Unbalanced hormones can lead to hair loss, prostrate trouble, breast enlargement and irregular fat distribution in men.

• Help in Regulating Cholesterol Levels
Friendly bacteria help in reducing the deposits of cholesterol in our bloodstreams and helps in the excretion of cholesterol through our bowels. Without the help of probiotics, cholesterol level in the body would increase and accumulate in our bloodstreams.

• Reduce Intestinal Gas
Harmful bacteria produce stinking waste products and cause pain in the abdomen due to intestinal gas. The probiotics prevent the harmful bacteria from dominating the colon and thus, reduce gas.

• Kill Cancer-Causing Compounds
Various cancer-causing compounds enter our body through ingested food and as byproducts of many other organisms, the friendly bacteria kill these.

• Help in Managing Food Cravings and High Stress Levels
Help in the management of high stress levels and reducing food cravings in the body

Friendly bacteria have also proved to be beneficial during pregnancy, labor and postpartum period.

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