So I have a 3 year old with a “sore belly”. We have had some issues with her digestive system from the day she was born. I had a c-section and like most c-section babies, she had a little lung and sinus congestion. But her congestion never got better and then started to affect her digestive system. Like her cousins, she had inherited a not so perfect digestive system. We became obsessed with probiotics.
There are over 10 000 unique species of good bacteria in our digestive system. Each of us has a number of certain strains that are as unique as a fingerprint. The ecosystem of good bacteria in our bodies is called our microbiome.
Researchers have found that they can predict obesity in a new born by taking a stool sample and testing for certain strains and amounts of good bacteria. We now know that these strains can do everything from help us digest our food to help control our cholesterol and mood.
We are not born sterile. We get our mother’s bacteria while we are still in her belly. Our mother got bacteria from her mother and so on. We get more exposure to good bacteria through breast feeding and vaginal birth. Studies show that mothers who take probiotics have children with significantly less asthma, allergies and eczema.
Dr. Nigel Plummer PhD says our digestive system is set by age 2. Children born by c-section have higher E. coli, staph and clostridium species in their bowel. The really strange part is that if we don’t intervene by the time a child is 2, those bad bacteria are apart if the genetic code of the digestive tract.
So my suggestion is to take as many strains as early as a child can to optimize on our microbiome. I suggest human strains not cow strains and plant or soil strains can go down the hatch too. Let’s start planting our perennial garden of good bacteria. This is our investment in our health and a great tool for disease prevention.
Companies I love include Ferring pharmaceuticals (Bio-Gaia), Culterelle , Cytomatrix, NFH, Metagenics, Natren, Genestra, xymogen and Douglas. I’m sure there are others but everyone has favourites.
Culterelle has a strain of bacteria that breaks down gluten and dairy. Bio-Gaia has been shown to be the best for colic. Acute Care from Metagenics is amazing for dairy and yeast infections.
All probiotics can stimulate the immune system to reduce the incidence of colds and decrease he time and severity of the cold. So probiotics are great for the fall and winter plan for a healthy season. After age 6 months, we suggest adult dosages. No harm can come to having too many probiotics and in fact no one has enough in this age of antibacterial soap, toxicity, don’t get me started on how genetically modified foods eat at your microbiome, and use of antibiotics.
Oh and did I mention that good bacteria can make up to 10% of a persons body weight. They are a big part of you. Well a little part, but very many little parts. We can’t live without them so don’t bother being grossed out. Just make friends with more and make them a happy home and they will take care of you.
Dr. Carissa, Natural Care Clinic