Did you know that we swallow millions of microbes each day? As we eat and drink we swallow live organisms that affect our digestive systems. The digestive system is already made up of millions of different bacteria and fungi, so when new microbiota enter the system, it can disrupt the normal balance within the body.
When microbes enter the body, different variables can affect the way that they move throughout the digestive tract. Things like oxygen concentration, pH, and transit time can all affect whether or not microbiomes will have a positive or negative affect on the digestive system. Most times, digestive enzymes and bile are able to reduce the population of microbes and keep things running smoothly, but sometimes there are other factors that make it more difficult.
Certain lifestyle habits such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and certain medication use can lower the amount of good bacteria in the gut making it harder to break down microbes as they pass through the digestive system. This means that more harmful bacteria can grow and lead to inflammation within the digestive tract. When there is inflammation in the gut, it can affect the body’s immune response and lead to overall poorer health in the rest of the body. The growth of harmful bacteria can also lead to digestive distress, or in severe cases, chronic digestive conditions.
To help the body break down harmful bacteria and to foster the growth of good bacteria, you can take certain digestive supplements. Some of the most popular supplements are probiotics which colonize the digestive tract and make it more difficult for harmful bacteria to colonize. This can also help to foster the growth of good bacteria and get the digestive system back into balance so you can feel your best.
There has been research done that has proven that probiotics can help reduce rotavirus, clostridium difficile infections, antibiotic related conditions, and overall symptoms of digestive distress. 72% of Americans report that they regularly experience symptoms of digestive distress, but probiotics can work to reduce this percentage.
If you regularly experience symptoms such as bloating, cramping, heartburn, or general stomach pain, you could benefit from probiotics. Talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or starting a new supplement to make sure you are doing so in the healthiest way possible. To learn more about how microbes affect our digestive systems, and how probiotics can help, take a look at the infographic below: