It is commonly believed that all bacteria are bad. But this is not so. Optimal gastrointestinal health depends on the balance of beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. When illness strikes, it is usually because the beneficial bacteria have diminished (oftentimes due to antibiotics, a diet high in sugar, steroids, chemotherapy, or other medications). It is well established that infection and toxins from pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses are one of the causes of cancer.
As long as the beneficial bacteria flourish, they prevent pathogenic bacteria and fungi from colonizing. In this way, beneficial bacteria help keep you healthy through naturally boosting the immune system. They produce natural antibiotics that inhibit the growth and activity of pathogenic bacteria, while increasing the body’s production of gamma interferon (an important antiviral molecule made by T-cells) and increasing enzyme production such as proteases and lipases. However, if our intestinal environment is disrupted, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and parasites move in, multiply, and attack the beneficial bacteria.
Anyone who has ever taken a round of antibiotics should read this. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Antibiotics destroy the normal, protective gut bacteria, allowing intestinal yeast and fungi to grow unchecked. These internal, gut yeasts make toxins, too. This can lead to immune suppression, symptoms of any autoimmune disease, or even cancer.”
That’s right. Antibiotics not only kill off your enemies (the bad bacteria), but they also kill off your bodyguards (the good bacteria). When your bodyguards are lying dead you have no defense, then your digestion will suffer and so will your overall health. You see, we should have a balance of about 85% good to 15% harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract. But most of us today have the opposite ratio, creating a chronically unhealthy condition. But antibiotics aren’t the only culprit. Did you know that chlorinated water not only kills harmful bacteria in drinking water, but also kills the good bacteria in your digestive tract as it passes through. It’s no wonder that we are sick all the time! So, how do you replenish the healthy, protective bacteria in your gut? Probiotics and soil based organisms (SBO’s) are a good start.
Probiotics are health promoting bacteria that, when introduced effectively into the intestinal tract, replenish the good bacteria and help the body to digest and absorb food as well as fight off many different illnesses and disease. Most friendly bacteria come from the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium groups. In 1908, Professor Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize for his work on the immune system. He later discovered lactobacillus (one of the bacterium in yogurt) and stated, “Death begins in the colon.”
SBOs are beneficial bacteria that live in the dirt. Until the 19th century, when food processing replaced ingestion of raw fruit and vegetables, SBOs formed a regular part of our diet. By around 1900, their presence in the food chain has seriously dwindled. Both modern agricultural methods with their over-reliance on powerful pesticides, fungicides, and germicidal chemicals and heat-bases food processing are toxic to SBOs. The gut of every healthy person contains about 3.5 pounds of beneficial bacteria that produce essential vitamins and hormones. These bacteria, of which SBOs are a vital source, help your digestive system beak down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as digest waste. Most importantly they compete with undesirable microorganisms, like yeasts, fungi, bacteria and parasites, to keep their numbers under control.
Some of the benefits of probiotics and SBOs:
- They stimulate activity in the thymus and spleen, which keeps our immune system at an optimal level by prompting the body to manufacture natural antibodies.
- Certain probiotic strains protect against the formation of tumors and promote production of interferon (a hormone that protects against cancer) by both the lymphocytes and the thymus gland.
- SBO’s secret specialized proteins which stimulate your immune system to produce more white blood cells and antibodies that dramatically boost your immunity.
- They both help reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in the in the body, i.e., pathogenic bacteria and fungi that produce their own toxins.
- Both probiotics and SBOs result in an abundance of healthy flora in the digestive tract and enhance the breakdown of food, which results in a more alkaline environment.
Regular supplementation with probiotics and SBOs repopulates your intestinal tract with good bacteria, thus optimizing your immune system and fighting off disease. Any anti-cancer diet should include supplementation with both of these.