Gut Health – Poop 'n Probiotics

via Bryce Wylde


Your poop is important to understand because, guess what, we’re all full of it. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know s**t. We produce over 1,000 pounds of feces every year (approx weight of a concert piano)! Furthermore, at any given time, four pounds of our poop is made up of bonafide bacteria. Thats right, bacteria. But not all bacteria is bad. In fact, if it wasn’t for the good and the bad – we need ’em both – our immune systems would be dysfunctional.
Interestingly, most of our immune system is found tied up in our guts. It’s known as G.A.L.T or gut associated lymphoid tissue. What may surprise you is that our guts are also chemically similar to our brains in that they share similar neurotransmitters. Intestines are loaded with nerves that stimulate the muscles that line your pipes to move food down the line. So, if our guts ain’t happy, nor are we.
There are important factors to consider when you take audit of your poop.
First, pre and probiotics. Although you can’t see them with the naked eye in order to audit these buggers, they do need to be accounted for. Prebiotics are key elements found in foods like onions, garlic, asparagus, and artichoke which all contain inulin that feed the beneficial probiotics in question. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria – sometimes called the “friendly germs” – that help maintain a healthy intestine, where it is believed that up to 80 percent of our immune system lives. There are various tests to help your health care practitioner determine the health of your poop, including what amount and types of bacteria – good and bad – grow there.
There may be an unhealthy war against bacteria these days. It may be hight time to summon our natural allies. If we don’t pay close attention to the balance of power that is in our guts, then bacteria will learn their way around our most powerful medical weapons and our most prudent methods of hygeine prevention. Rather than a futile effort to eradicate 99.99% of germs on our countertop and sparying our fruit and veggie crops with such harsh pesticides, perhaps we should pay some attention to our own immune systems. Take for example antibiotic resistant bacteria. They may be small, but they’re not “dumb”. Bacteria have evolved for billions of years with an M.O. to survive. And, yet, is is the natural health products that play an important role in slowing the development of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or MRSA) and similar bacteria. Rather than throwing powerful antibiotics at nearly everything that presents as an infection – including viral infections, which are not affected by antibiotics – we should consider using antibacterial and antiseptic herbs, homeopathics and nutraceuticals as a first line of defence. These are far less likely develop resistant strains. Save antibiotics – which can be life saving – for when you really need them.
Some excellent modern research shows that probiotics help maintain a healthy intestine by keeping harmful bacteria and yeasts in the gut under control. Probiotics can be taken as capsules, tablets, beverages, powders, therapeutic ‘yogurts’ and other foods. An increasing number of studies support the use of probiotics as a supplement to antibiotic therapy and even treatment in C.Diff infection which causes sever diarrhea. Sadly, there was an outbreak of C.Diff infection at a hospital in southern Ontario resulting in one death and eleven more palced in isolation at the time this article was written. Some probiotics may also help prevent the development of antibiotic resistance and evidence with daycare children given probiotics suggests a reduction in the number of sick days, the frequency of respiratory tract infections, and the frequency of related antibiotic treatments.
An interesting recent study suggests that supplementation of infant formulas with probiotics is one approach for the management of cow’s milk allergy. Probiotics have been found to enhance the digestion and absorption of proteins, fats, calcium and phosphorus. It may also turn out that they can help to overcome lactose intolerance.
Probiotics also help you to fend of colds, bacterial infections, and other diseases. Food, hormones, stress, and exercise all influence composition and activity of probiotic status in your gut. And other than C.Diff, probiotics also help prevent and treat Allergies, prevention of Atopic Dermatitis, IBS, IBD, UTI’s, Yeast and other Vaginal infections.
I think there is merit and excellent science worthy of your consideration in the following products: VSL#3; Bio-K; Jamieson’s 30 billion; and BioGaia
Here are even more factors to consider for maintenance of healthy bowel function:
SHAPE: should be S-shaped when it hits the toilet bowel (shape of your rectum as it nears your anuns)
FORM: feces need bulk so that your intestines can squeeze on it.
LISTEN: it should enter the water like an Olympic high diver – no splash. NOT like gun rounds or explosions!
A slow sink is optimal. Floating means too high fat. Fiber makes it fall.
Eat corn. Take note of the time you eat it and the time you see it in the toilet bowl (yes, nobody digests corn fully – that’s normal!). Your transit time should be about 24 hours.
Bowel movements among normal, healthy people varies from three a day to three a week, and some perfectly healthy people fall outside both ends of this range. I call this the 3-3 rule.
Get over being embarrassed when talking to your doctor about your stool. If it seems unusual or it’s different, it could be a problem. Talking about it could mean the difference of life or death!

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