According to a Harvard health publication, scientific evidence shows certain illnesses -- including Crohn's disease -- can be managed with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria.
The friendly bacteria are called probiotics. Pro and biota meaning “for life.”
“People are hearing the word 'probiotics' but I don’t think they understand just how important they are for their health,” said Marianne Teitelbaum, who practices Ayurvedic medicine.
After a newborn is breastfed, Teitelbaum says, “the friendly bacteria start to grow in the lining of the intestinal tract.”
“These friendly bacteria are the foundation of not only our immune system but of our total health because they perform many important functions.”
1. Training the Immune System
“The immune system has intelligence to know what to attack, like viruses and bacteria,” said Teitelbaum. “Once you lose your frieandly bacteria, your immune system loses its intelligence and starts attacking your food or body,” which can trigger food allergies and/or autoimmune diseases.
2. Defending Against Invading Organisms
“Every breath you take, there’s infection going in -- strep, flu viruses. And the friendly bacteria are the first line of defense against all kinds of these invading organisms. If you have friendly bacteria it decreases your chances of catching colds and flus; mono and HPV,” said Teitelbaum.
3. Increasing Nutrient Absorption
“Even if you eat healthy food, the food you’re eating has to be absorbed into your bloodstream,” said Teitelbaum. Probiotics help absorb the nutrients essential to maintaining optimal health.
4. Preventing Yeast Overgrowth
“Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection,” according to the Harvard health report.
Teitelbaum adds that an “overgrowth of yeast can lead to a chronic fatigue.”
“If your friendly bacteria are missing, you’re going to be suffering throughout your life,” said Teitelbaum, who says pharmaceuticals, specifically antibiotics, deplete friendly bacteria.
So, it’s important to take probiotics regularly.
Probiotics are found in “foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt,” according to health reports.
To maximize probiotic content, “make your own your yogurt with an active culture,” said Teitelbaum, who recommends the probiotic manufacturer and distributor Natren.