Probiotics and fermented foods

Dr Dae explains that dysbiosis is an imbalance of the digestive flora that causes pain and discomfort in the digestive area. She recommendsd probiotics as one part of the solution.

She tells us that probiotic is a generic term used to describe the beneficial micro-organisms that live in our digestive tract. She clarifies that the term includes several different species that live and populate our colon. Traditionally these micro organisms, or beneficial flora, would continually be repopulated by the foods that we ate as part of our normal diet.

The beneficial flora is obtained readily through eating fermented foods. Interestingly enought, most cultures have daily foods that are fermented. e.g. Italians eat antipasto, Japanese eat miso or tempeh, eastern Europeans eat kiefer or yogurt, Koreans eat kymchee, Germans eat sauerkraut.

Eating these foods as part of a balanced diet helped to maintain the normal digestive process for these cultures for centuries. Unfortunately the Standard American Diet (SAD) does not have any elements of a fermented foods as a staple part of it’s foundation.

She comments that our highly processed, highly refined diet actually tends to create an ideal environment for harmful micro-organisms to flourish.

Yogurt commercials explain the benefits of probiotics. They only mention one of the beneficial strains called Lactobacillus Bifidus. There are other strains like Lactobacillus acidolphilus, L. fermentum, L. casea, L. salivores, L. brevis and L. plantarum. All of these in combination are important to have the good flora in the digestive tract.

Dr. Dae tells us that probiotics are an important part of a healthy digestive and immune system so it is worth investigating how balanced your digestive tract is.

Daemon "Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who completed her training at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.

August 25th, 2009