Welcome!

MY STORY

Hi I’m Gerard. I’m a middle aged guy born with a love for nature and the outdoors. I have lived and worked in some amazingly beautiful places and can truly say my work as an environmentalist and conservationist is my passion.

I have a sixteen year old son who is just amazing and means everything to De Beer & me snowme. He’s not a typical teenager, he is tall, beautiful, mature and intelligent and I’m very proud of him.

I am a bit of a health nut because my environmental consulting work requires that I’m fit and healthy. I also plan to hike around nature until forever, with him when possible.

Until disaster strikes

Alas we don’t stay young forever I guess, so when I started experiencing stomach pain, fatigue, brain fog, depression and bloating it really derailed me. I thought, “this just isn’t me” you know? I need to keep going for a long time to come! I want to enjoy life to the full with my son beside me!

So tests revealed that I had decreased numbers of good micro organisms in my gut and increased numbers of bad ones and have developed intolerance to a range of food types. This condition is called Dysbiosis. And I used to brag that I could eat anything that stands still long enough!

I went on a whole journey of treatments which included mainstream western medical treatment (which has its place), alternative medicines and a lot of research and speaking to other people who suffered from similar health problems.

What I learned was that much of what ails us starts in the gut, specifically with the trillions of micro organisms living there. I’m talking about a wide range of diseases, including anxiety and depression! It turns out there’s an ecosystem living inside of us that needs to be as balanced and healthy as the ones I’ve spend my life protecting in the outdoors.

What I also learned was that nature has been providing the answers for being healthy for thousands of years, but so many people just don’t realize it!

Nature provides the answers

Man and natureI’m not saying western medicine doesn’t work, it does! But it often targets the offending pathogens only, disregarding the conditions that caused an imbalance in the first place. It tends to treat diseases not people. Antibiotics are seen as a cure-all, but can actually be the cause of the imbalances in your gut microbiome.

Balancing your gut microbiome can assist greatly in giving you your health back by increasing the good bacteria if they become reduced for any reason. The good bacteria fight the bad ones as well as overgrowth of fungi, re-establishing the balance. This can restore the proper functioning of your immune system and put you on the path of addressing food intolerance.

It can be achieved by foregoing foods you are intolerant for for a while, eating healthy fresh food, getting exercise and taking supplements (prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes) until you get better.

These are not medicines, they are live beneficial organisms. Let nature do its work!

INFORMATION IS KEY

In this website I will provide some information about gut health in humans, including what it is, how it works, how it may relate to your general health or specific diseases you may suffer from, and how it may be remedied.

Some fantastic NATURAL products have been developed and are constantly being researched that can normalize the gut environment in people suffering from a range of physical and mental illnesses.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out, or point you in the right direction.

All the best,

Gerard Pretorius
Heal-your-gut.com

How to restore gut health, the natural way

The phrase “you are what you eat” was most likely coined from an article written by nutritionist Victor Lindlahr in 1942. In recent decades the phrase has stuck and is often used in relation to gut health, the lack of the latter affecting millions of people in the modern world.

Healthy gut dietThe term is in fact literally true, as our general well-being and health is tightly linked to how healthy our digestive systems are. This in turn obviously relates to what we eat and drink, but also how our bodies respond to what we eat and drink.

Although older generations were correct about diet and our health, they did not necessarily                                                                                               understand why.

Surprise! Your gut is an ecosystem

Decades of advertising disinfectants and chemical cleaning agents has firmly entrenched in our minds the notion that everything so small that you can’t see it is a “germ” or a “bug”. They are bad by nature, are out to get us and the only way for us to be healthy is to kill as many of them as possible.

Healthy gutMore recently however it has been discovered that our intestines are in fact inhabited by ten of trillions of micro-organisms, most of them not only living in harmony with us but actually necessary for our health.

This is called the microbiome. The microbiome consists of micro organisms (mostly bacteria, formerly known as “gut flora”) belonging to more than 1000 species, totaling ten times more than the cells in your body and can constitute up to two kilogram (4.4 lbs) of you body weight.

While about a third of these micro organisms are common to all people, the exact mix is unique to every individual person, almost like a fingerprint.

What do the microbiota do in our gut?

  • The human stomach and small intestine can not digest all types of food, the micro organisms help with the digestive process.
  • The GOOD bacteria kill the BAD bacteria and fungi (like Candida albicans) and maintains a healthy balance in our gut ecosystems. This is important to keep the intestinal mucosa (a kind of barrier that keeps pathogens out) in place.
  • Micro organisms manufacture some vitamins like K and B.
  • They play an important role in maintaining the immune system.
  • Good digestive functioning is maintained by a healthy and balanced gut microbiome.

Where do they come from?

We are born from a sterile environment so are born without them. However a baby starts picking them up in the birth canal already, and then from being breast fed and from contact with the general environment. As we age the balance of micro organisms evolves so as we get older the mix of species in out gut changes as determined by our diet and environment, and differs from one person to the next.

What happens when an imbalance occurs?

Sometimes the balance between good and bad microbiota in our guts gets disturbed, leading to a condition called Dysbiosis. This is linked to bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and diabetes. In fact there is a whole range of disease and health conditions that can be linked to dysbiosis. Recent research even indicates that mental issues such as depression and anxiety can be linked to dysbiosis.

Healthy gut bacteriaOur general health, immune system, food allergies and intolerance, and our mental health are all interlinked and it may be difficult to determine what the source of an imbalance might be.

Causes of gut health problems

In modern times “we are what we eat” means we ingest a lot of highly processed, genetically modified, sweetened and chemically preserved foods low in nutrients. It’s no wonder we are getting sick! Also, modern life puts a lot of stress on us on a continuous basis leading to a range of health problems. While a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can provide our gut microbiome with all it needs to be balanced and healthy, the fact is that our diets do not include enough of it. And a lot of what we eat actually promotes disease.

Processed food
        The modern diet

Agricultural food production has systematically focused on commercial scale production of food that “looks” better, lasts better (for transportation across the globe), and is nuked with all kinds of synthetic substances for fertilizing and pest control. The number of different species of plants farmed has also shrunk to a fraction of the variety available 100 years ago, so we’re simply not eating food with enough variety.

Western medicine also sometimes contributes to the problem by concentrating on trying to kill the pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi) responsible for disease without treating the PATIENT. How many times have you been given antibiotics without the doctor giving you instructions on what to eat or prescribing probiotics to counter the effects of the medicine?

(The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) define probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”). Prebiotics are basically compounds that act as substrate for probiotics in the large intestine.

Antibiotics kill the good as well as the bad bacteria so you have to replace them with probiotic-containing food and supplements if necessary.

How to restore gut health

  • As far as possible, include a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit (include fermented foods) in your diet to restore the balance of micro organisms in your gut. Fermented foods include sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, kefir, aged/raw cheeses, pickles, tempeh, natto,  and kimchi. Apple cider vinegar and wine also contain probiotics.
  • If you are aware that certain foods make you feel bad, depressed, cause headaches or stomach cramps you may be intolerant to them. Avoid those foods. Consider having tests done for food intolerance. Food allergies and intolerance is a broad topic that requires more discussion. You may want to consider following an elimination diet to determine which foods you should avoid.
  • Stress can cause imbalances in your gut (and vice versa), look after your mental health with appropriate therapies.
  • Get enough exercise. Exercise is vital to maintain gut health and boost your immune system.
  • Take high quality supplements. As discussed, modern lifestyles don’t always make it easy to achieve all the above. Fortunately there are some excellent natural products out there which are a convenient way to help you restore a healthy gut. They will help you balance your gut micro organisms and your health can improve accordingly.

To sum up

Gut health is a very neglected area of focus when we get sick and are diagnosed with a large variety of illnesses. Gut health is dependent on a proper balance of micro organisms in the digestive tract. Imbalance can be caused by a modern lifestyle and eating habits, lack of exercise, stress, toxins in our environment and medicines like antibiotics.

Healthy gutRemember, WE ARE WHAT WE EAT. If you are unable to eat healthy fresh fresh foods all the time due to lifestyle pressures you will have to supplement your diet with prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes to help restore and maintain your gut health. Fortunately natural high quality products are available from reliable sources. It is worth the cost because you’ll be visiting the doctor less frequently.

The Gut and Brain Connection

What is the gut and brain connection? Also called the “gut-brain axis”, it is the two-way nervous and chemical link between your gut and your brain. This connection works both ways, so disturbance in your gut can affect your brain and vice versa. Researchers have found that there is a complete nervous system running along the entire length of your gastro-intestinal canal, called the enteric nervous system or “second brain”. 

There are two ways the gut and brain communicate with each other:

  • Physically through the vagus nerve which controls messages between the brain and gut as well as other vital organs.
  • Chemically through neurotransmitters and hormones that send messages.

The gut microbiome connection

In other discusions we have described the gut microbiome which consists of billions of bacteria, fungi and virusses that form a balanced ecology in a healthy person. These organisms can promote health, be harmless or harmful. When an overgrowth of harmful organisms occur the result is an imbalance called dysbiosis which can lead to a multitude of physical and mental problems.

It stands to reason that an unbalanced gut microbiome is intricately linked to disturbances in the chemical and hormonal functioning of your gut directly, affecting the messaging between your gut and brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry signals between the gut and the brain. One example is serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter which is mostly produced in the gut, and most of it by gut bacteria.

Gut microbes also produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as butyrate, propionate and acetate by digesting fiber. SCFA influences brain functioning in a variety of ways. Propionate for instance can keep your appetite in check by reducing the activity in the brain related to reward from high-energy food. 

Butyrate and the microbes that produce it play an important role in forming the barrier between the brain and the blood, also called the blood-brain barrier. Bile acids (chemicals produced by the liver) and amino acids are also metabolized by gut bacteria and affect the brain. 

Gut health and mental health are linked

So there is a relationship between experiencing mental problems and digestive problems. The stress response, also called the “fight or flight response”, leads to a huge number of physical and mental effects that are actually designed to assist you through the stress situation, as long as it passes in a reasonable period of time. The problem with modern life is that stress and anxiety is often an ongoing condition, and the stress response actually makes us sick after a while. We can turn on the stress response by worrying unnecessarily, ruminating on negative issues too much and feeling anxious all the time.

For many people like myself the effects of stress and anxiety are mostly felt in the gut. It can becomes a vicious cycle; anxiety leading to gut problems and pain, leading to more anxiety and so on. 

Similarly an unhealthy diet, drinking too much, lack of exercise and medicines like antibiotics can disturb the gut microbiome balance, leading to stress, depression and anxiety. Even if you suffer from pre-existing mental conditions, that disturbance can make it worse.

An unhealthy lifestyle can trigger your immune system for long periods which can lead to inflammation, which in turn has been associated with mental disorders like depression, dementia and schizophrenia. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an inflammatory toxin made by certain bacteria can cause inflammation if too much of it passes from the gut into the blood. A balanced gut microbiome helps to regulate your immune system and inflammation by controlling what is absorbed by the body and what is excreted. 

Sources of good bacteria

As mentioned in an earlier post, healthy bacteria are called probiotics which can be found in the following foods:

  • Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and cheese,
  • Foods high in omega 3 fats like oily fish,

Prebiotics are food that is digested by your gut bacteria and keeps them healthy. They have been shown to reduce stress hormone in humans:

  • High fibre foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables all contain prebiotic fibers that are good for your gut bacteria,
  • Foods rich in polyphenols which can improve cognition, like green tea, cocoa, coffee and olive oil.
  • Foods rich in tryptophan which is turned into the amino acid serotonin by gut bacteria.

Maintain your mental health 

Providing psychological advice is beyond the scope of this  website, but remember that your mental state can affect your entire body, including the most important part – your gut! Find ways to calm yourself. Constant worrying, negative and circular thinking, anxiety and stress will ultimetely affect your health. Peoples’ lives differ greatly and each person has to find what works for them. From my personal experience I can advise the following:

  • Start by being active as much as you can. Get exercise! It will make you feel better.
  • Breathe! Conscious breathing works miracles. With practice it can be utilized in times of high stress to help you centre yourself and stay calm. It becomes a “triggered response” with immediate benefits.
  • Meditate. Most meditation techniques also include breathing techniques. It does not have to be esoteric or strange. A boxer meditates when he visualises a fight before a competition. Just get your mind focussed.
  • Do yoga. There are a myriad different practices and they basically combine exercise with meditation.
  • Take a walk. A 10 minute walk does wonders for your mental health.

To conclude

The gut-brain axis is the physical and chemical connections between your gut and brain. There are nerves and neurons running between your gut and your brain. Chemicals such as neurotransmitters are produced in your gut but can affect your brain and your brain can induce the stress response affecting your gut.

Restoring a balanced gut by altering the types of bacteria in your gut can improve your general health including your mental health. Eat probiotic- and prebiotic rich foods (those that you are not intolerant to), and take supplements if necessary.

Look after your mental well-being by developing coping mechanisms and staying centred and calm. Keep doing it, like everything else it comes with practice.

Best probiotics for gut health

It has been shown beyond doubt that an unbalanced gut microbiome can lead to a condition called Dysbiosis, which in turn can be the cause of a whole range of disorders like Diarrhoea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), Chronic Fatigue, Brain Fog, Abdominal Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Itchy Skin and many others. I have to mention that these conditions are strictly speaking not categorized as a “diseases” but a “functional disorders”, but that distinction means little to the person suffering from it and probiotics can still treat it. Dysbiosis itself can be caused by certain medicines like antibiotics, sudden changes in diet, toxins in your environment, too much alcohol, stress and anxiety.

Look, the whole gut environment is a very complex and as yet scarcely understood system and disorders in it are not discrete and easily identifiable. Treatment is therefore also unlikely to be as simple as taking a pill for a single symptom. People live such varied lives, and conditions leading to imbalances vary accordingly. What you eat and drink, how and if you exercise, how you handle stress, what toxins are present in your environment, what medications you are on, it all plays a role. Some people flourish on a vegan diet and some on a carnivore diet, and many on all the variations in between. What you eat (and don’t eat) will need to be part of your therapy. But when things go wrong it’s likely that taking probiotics will be beneficial to you and play a large part in your recovery.

Treating conditions related to gut imbalances with pharmaceuticals may bring immediate relief of specific symptoms but they do not address the cause, which is the imbalance of good vs pathogenic bacteria in the gut itself. When you have symptoms of pain for instance it may be necessary to take pharmaceuticals in the short term to relieve the pain, but you should definitely start addressing the dysbiosis itself by re-establishing the balance of good versus bad bacteria in you gut.

Top up on the good bacteria

Although the functioning of probiotics in the gut and supplementing them has not received the same attention as pharmaceutical research, the growth of the probiotics industry is an indication that more and more people are using them, and this is increasing the amount of research on probiotics and their benefits. Currently probiotics are not regulated like medicines in either the USA or Europe, but it’s use is fast increasing as the gut/brain interface and its relationship to physical and mental disease is being researched and better understood.

In theory increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut will decrease the pathogenic ones because they actually kill them. It has been shown experimentally that one of the good ones, Lactobacillus plantarum, reduces the populations of high gas-producing (bad) bacteria like Veillonella and Clostridia in the gut. This is preferable to trying to kill the bad ones with pharmaceuticals because almost all medicines have other unpleasant side effects which may worsen your dysbiosis.

Probiotics available on the market can be made up of a variety of beneficial strains which seem to improve specific health conditions such as general gut health, improving your immune system, relief for IBS and IBD, recovery after antibiotic use and so on. However trials have conclusively shown that a combination of strains are more effective than single strains. Research is still lacking to conclusively link specific probiotics to the successful treatment of specific conditions. However clinical trials on some products have shown that a variety of strains together can be an effective treatment for many disorders. The higher the diversity of good bacteria the better for your health, just like a variety of foods is better for your health.

Although there are hundreds of good bacteria strains in our guts and the exact mix differs from one person to the next, a number of strains are commonly grown and included in probiotic products.

Common probiotic strains in supplements

The two main types of probiotics found in supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These are common to most people and are generally present in greater numbers. This is not a complete list but the following types may often be found in probiotic products:

    • Lactobacillus plantarum:

Commonly used because it is of human origin and abundant and survives in the human gut. It is also easy to grow. It has significant antioxidant properties and also helps to regulate gut permeability. It helps to suppress the growth of gas-producing bacteria in the intestines and is beneficial for people suffering from IBS.  It is useful for establishing and maintaining microbial balance and stabilizing digestive enzyme patterns. Experiments have shown that it can  increase hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor, which means it may have a beneficial role in the treatment of depression. They are present in yoghurt, meat and some fermented plant foods.

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus: 

This probiotic can improve general gut health by restoring and maintaining microbial balance, preventing overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, protecting the gut lining and supporing the immune system. In combination with other probiotics and prebiotics it can help lowering cholesterol, reducing the symptoms of IBS, fight colds and flu, treat vaginal infections and assist with weight loss. It is present in many fermented foods.

  • Lactobacillus casei:

This is the dominant bacterium used in fermentation of cheddar cheese and fermented Sicilian green olives. It is also widely used in the dairy industry. As a probiotic it can help with treating antibiotic-related diarrhoea, especially in children, as well as inhibiting the growth of ulcer-causing pathogen Helicobacter pylori in the gut.

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus:

This bacterium is commonly found in the human gut where it is able to persist naturally. It is also found in female reproductive systems. As a probiotic it can help with different kinds of diarrhoea including traveler’s diarrhoea, antibiotic-induced diarrhoea and rota virus diarrhoea in children. It helps to balance the gut microbiome and has been shown to establish a harmless relationship with Helicobacter pylori by competing with it for substrate and binding surface on the gut lining.

  • Lactobacillus salivarius: 

Generally present in the gut, this bacterium is effective in suppressing a range of pathogenic bacteria. As a probiotic treatment in combination with other strains it can treat IBS and bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, and has been   used in the treatment of pancreatic necrosis.

  • Lactobacillus reuteri:

This bacterium is the most prevalent Lactobacillus species in the gut of healthy mammals and birds. It produces a natural broad-spectrum antibiotic which is effective in fighting pathogenic organisms (bacterial, fungal and protozoic) in the host. Although not present in the gut of all humans it can effectively colonize the gut after oral intake. It can treat a variety of diarrhoea diseases in adults and children. It has been shown to improve dental health and is considered by some to be the most effective probiotic against intestinal infections.

  • Lactobacillus paracasei:

This bacterium is able to survive the gut environment better that some others and helps with digestive function, boosting the immune system and energy levels. One study even showed that the strain could be helpful for fighting infections.

Once in the body, L. paracasei moves into the gut, where it, like other strains, starts to work its magic. Research suggests it could be a natural approach for infant diarrhea and because of this, some infant formulas already contain this probiotic strain. There’s also a promising study examining its effectiveness for relieving symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum:

This is one of the first bacteria to colonize the gut of breast-fed children, and is associated with maintaining good health in children. Prevalence decreases with age but supplementing it as a probiotic has shown to be effective in balancing the gut microbiome, treating diarrhoea and assisting with the digestion of food and the uptake of vitamins and minerals from food. It is often used as part of a mix of strains in probiotic supplements.

  • Bifidobacterium lactis:

As a probiotic this bacterium can assist with iImmune system modulation. It also helps with balancing the gut micrbiome and relieving the symptoms of IBS and diarrhoea. A particular strain of B. lactis, known as HN019, has been shown to have a significant impact on people with metabolic syndrome. It can improve dental health and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Bifidobacterium breve:

This bacterium forms a major part of the microbiome in the colon of breast-fed babies. It decreases with age but can be supplemented as a probiotic. It has strong anti-inflammatory qualities. It can assist with treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders like IBS, IBT, antibiotic induced diarrhoea and intestinal irritation. It can strenghthen the immune system and is a strong suppressor of the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans.

  • Bifidobacterium infantis:

This bacterium alters the balance of several types of bacteria in the GI tract in ways that may help reduce inflammation.
They are thought to have actual physiological effects on GI tract and helps with gut conditioning. They improve the gut environment, suppresses gut putrefactive substances, and improves the fecal properties and defecation state (remission of constipation or diarrhea). They produce acetic acid with a strong bactericidal action, which impedes the growth or colonization of harmful bacteria within the colon. It also helps to modulate the immune system.

Some lesser known probiotics include:

  • Streptococcus thermophillus:

The mention of the word “Streptococcus” may conjure up some vivid images of terrible disease-causing pathogens; however this particular species is benign and very useful. It is commonly used in combination with other bacteria in fermented milk products. It can survive high temperatures which makes it useful for that purpose, and for the same reason can be useful in the human small intestine, where it is also able to survive anaerobic conditions. Its use as a probiotic is a fairly recent development and it is usually used in combination with other probiotic organisms like Lactobacillus species. There is evidence that it assists with lactose intolerance, IBS and supporting the immune system.

  • Enterococcus mundtii:

This is also a new addition to the probiotic stable of products. It can survive very acidic and hot conditions and may have beneficial properties as a probiotic. They can produce anti-microbial compounds but are themselves resistant to antibiotics. They rarely have pathogenic effects on humans outside of hospital environments but there are some safety concerns about their application as probiotics. For the moment it might be safer to avoid products that contain it.

  • Saccharomyces boulardii:

Saccharomyces boulardii is in fact a nonpathogenic yeast that has long been prescribed for years for treatment of diarrhoea diseases caused by bacteria. Importantly, it has demonstrated clinical and experimental effectiveness in gastrointestinal diseases with a predominant inflammatory component, indicating that this probiotic might interfere with cellular signaling pathways common in many inflammatory conditions. It has also proven effective in Candida albicans fungal overgrowth.

Things to consider when taking probiotics

There are a number of things to look at when buying probiotics products from different manufactures, as they are not all the same:

  • The minimum effective dose (MED) is considered to be 10 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units). Many products have less than this. Some probiotic organisms are better at surviving the journey through the acidic stomach environment and the bile in the gut, but generally the higher the number of CFU’s the better.
  • The organisms in the products must be alive when taken. It is possible that many of them die from the date of manufacture until the time the product it taken. Make sure that the product guarantees the minimum live number of CFU’s until the expiry date. Don’t use the products after the expiry date, they may be ineffective by that time.
  • Die-off of some organisms may be accelerated at room temperature. Keep probiotics in the refrigerator to ensure they stay alive.
  • Although many studies focus on the effects of single organism probiotics, evidence has been found that combinations of organisms have a synergistic effect and may be more effective.
  • Avoid products that contain things that you know or suspect you may be intolerant to like gluten and dairy.

Best probiotics for gut health

While the following list is by no means complete or definitive it provides and idea of what research has so far shown. Levels of effectiveness vary between studies and the parameters between studies also vary. While specific probiotics may prove to be effective or not for specific conditions under different conditions, general consensus is that at least they are not harmful.

Disorder/treatment Probiotic
General Digestive Health

Diarrhoea (including caused by antibiotics)

IBS

IBD

Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus salivarius
Lactobacillus reuteri
Lactobacillus paracasei

Lactobacillus casei

Bifidobacterium lactis
Bifidobacterium bifidum

Bifidobacterium breve

Saccharomyces boulardii

Streptococcus thermophillus

Immune support

Inflammation

Infections

 Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus reuteri
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus salivarius
Lactobacillus paracasei

 Bifidobacterium infantis

 Bifidobacterium breve

Saccharomyces
boulardii

 Streptococcus thermophillus

Combatting Helicobacter pylori  Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus casei
Fungal infections  Lactobacillus reuteri

 Bifidobacterium breve

Saccharomyces
boulardii

Pancreatic necrosis   Lactobacillus salivarius
Regulating blood sugar   Bifidobacterium lactis
Regulating cholesterol   Lactobacillus acidophilus
Dental health  Lactobacillus reuteri

 Bifidobacterium lactis

Chronic fatigue  Lactobacillus paracasei

 Saccharomyces boulardii

 Bifidobacterium breve

Depression  Lactobacillus plantarum

Conclusion

The gut is a very complex environment and how well it functions has a broad range of effects on our health. To complicate it even further no two people’s guts are the same. It is a complex ecosystem where many good and bad (for us) microscopic organisms live in an ever fluctuating balance with each other and us.

There is a growing awareness that human health may be intricately linked with what goes on with those ecosystems living inside and with us. Modern lifestyles, stress, processed food and toxins can cause imbalances in our gut microbiome and have far ranging effects on our physical and mental health.

While correcting those lifestyle issues is necessary to put us back on a healthy path permanently, probiotics can be an important tool to achieve that. They are generally considered harmless so can be taken without undue ill effects as supplements.