Greetings. It’s naturopath Eric Bakker from New Zealand, author of Candida Crusher. Thanks for checking out my video today. We’re going to talk about probiotics today.
This is one of many, many videos I’m going to complete on probiotics just to inform you and just sort of separate fact from fiction because there is so much BS out there when it comes to probiotics. I hope this is going to be one of many different videos to come. I’ve got some notes I’m going to read off here and then speak along with those. I want you to appreciate that your gut microbiome, the stuff that lives here in the gut basically, is an organ in its own right. It’s estimated to weigh between 1 to 1-1/2 kilograms. That’s 3 pounds of bacteria, 10 to the power of 14 plus. So Imagine 10 with 14 zeros behind it. That’s how many bacteria there are potentially in your gut.
It’s estimated that we have anywhere up to 1,000 or more species of bugs in our gut. And it’s also estimated that people who live in underdeveloped countries can have even twice this amount. People who don’t drink Coke Zero. People who don’t listen to iPhones with music screaming all day or check their emails constantly. People who don’t drink coffee five or six times a day. Who don’t go to MacDonald’s. People who tend to live more according to the laws of nature. These people tend to have a more complex ecosystem of their digestive system. They tend to have a more powerful effect in their gut when it comes to protecting their health, unlike us people.
It is also estimated that as we progress through successive generations from now, we’re going to have less and less bacteria. Because every time we have offspring with future generations, it’s believed that we’re going to have less and less bugs as we go along through the kind of crazy lifestyles that we lead. The gut microbiome or this massive organ rivals the liver in a number of biochemical reactions, which is incredible when you think about it.
We also live in a mutually beneficial relationship with these bugs. We need them and they need us. It’s very important that we have bacteria because they perform an incredible amount of functions in our digestive system. So we really rely on these things to keep us healthy. The gut has been termed the “second brain,” which is interesting. And we know, for example, that more serotonin is produced in the small intestine than actually is in the brain. That’s worth thinking about. Because you know that serotonin is a hormone responsible for making us feel good, so now you can understand why if you’ve got a terrible digestive system, you might not really feel good about life in general. There are two types of dysbiosis. You’ve heard of SIBO, but what about LIBO. What about large intestinal bowel overgrowth? So the colonic bacteria tend to be more important for human health than the bacteria that reside in the small intestine according to a lot of experts.
I attended a very interesting conference in Australia last weekend where we had two professors and one PhD, all these academics, talking on the gut. And all these academics are arguing amongst themselves. But one guy wasn’t arguing because he was a clinician and researcher. And the other two guys were arguing about who was right and who was wrong. In the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s ridiculous all these arguments that these researchers have.
Let’s have a look at what these bacteria actually do inside our digestive system. What are some of the functions and roles they play, and why is it so important for you to have a very good presence of beneficial bacteria in your gut? These bacteria modulate our immune system. If you’ve got very low levels of lactobacilli, for example, you’re going to have a low ability to really keep your immune system powered up. Non-specific immunity is very reliant on good bacteria. So the ability for you to kill a lot of bugs in your system is dependent on how many probiotic bacteria you’ve actually got there in your gut. Very important.
Upregulated non-specific immunity and IgA production. Circulatory IgA is an immunoglobulin or antibody that is produced. There are several grams produced per 24 hours in your gut to help protect against invading pathogens, bacteria, parasites, and things like that. It protects us also against things that may cause us allergies. The bacteria in our gut also play an important role in GIT motility. Peristalsis or the ability of stool to move through the bowel is dependent on good bacteria as well. You’ll find with very good bacteria levels, you’ve got minimal gas, no bloating, no cramping, and no pain. You should have no sensation in your gut. You should not feel any pain. If you feel pain, it can often be a sign of gas, pockets of gas pushing on various nerve Plexi here in the gut, creating that kind of pain sensation.
Bacteria, the good ones, also improve nutritional status, so they’re very important for the production of Vitamin K that really helps our blood clot quite well. They also produce B vitamins. So this is why people with lots of bloating and gas and constipation and diarrhea are tired all the time. They just haven’t got a lot of energy. Their brain is not functioning well. They get mood swings. Because B vitamins play key roles in all these different areas. Vitamin B6, B2, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, all of these B vitamins can be produced to some extent in the gut. So now you understand why gut problems can lead to fatigue because B vitamins are particularly important for energy production.
Mineral absorption. Experts believe that calcium, magnesium, and particularly zinc, require good colonic bacteria to be absorbed and function really well in the body. And energy salvaging because you’ll find that people with very good digestive function have an ability to produce energy and maintain energy as well and restore energy, it’s like recycling energy. And they’ll do so by things I’ve mentioned here, by proper absorption, digestion of nutrients.
Xenobiotic metabolism. Xenobiotics are basically chemicals that are not really good for the body or foreign to the body. Foreign to life. Xenobiosis. Phytoestrogens, polyphenols, glycosides, so different chemicals can be metabolized more easily. Some of these chemicals if they’re not broken down more easily can result in the potential for colon cancer.
Production of short chain fatty acids. These are particular types of things that happen in our bowel. Short chain fatty acids are produced by bacterial fermentation in the colon, and we need them for really good health. And they’re also dependent on good bacteria. Weight management, mood management; help us live longer, so the list really goes on and on. So you can start seeing the picture now of how important it is that we have bacteria in the gut and why we need them to thrive.
I hope that gives you a little bit of an insight into the importance of the human microbiome. Thanks for tuning in.