What destroys intestinal bacterial flora?
Our intestinal bacterial flora is affected by our lifestyle and our diet. The health of the intestines is responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system, our overall well-being, health, and weight. So let’s take a look at the different colonies of bacteria and other microorganisms found in our digestive tract.
Our knowledge about the microorganisms found in the human intestines and their role in maintaining health is constantly growing and is now easily available not only to doctors and dieticians but also to patients.
Intestinal bacterial flora, also known as microflora, is a collection of millions of bacteria that live in the human body. This is where our interaction with the outside world and the absorption of nutrients takes place.
The human digestive tract contributes to as much as 70% of human immunity. Everything we eat, drink, and breathe ultimately passes through the intestines, which are filled with literally millions of bacteria that live, grow, and metabolize (digestion and absorption). It’s like an “ecosystem” composed of both beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria. The microorganisms include yeasts, bacteria, and even viruses.
The qualitative and quantitative composition of these microorganisms can affect our health positively (Read: Probiotics can help you lose weight and feel better. Here’s how!) or can act against us due to many factors which we will go into later in this article. When our bacterial flora is sick, the whole body is sick.
So what causes the disturbance of bacterial flora in the gut?
- Antibiotic therapy
Researchers from the Marine Biological Laboratory found that antibiotics destroy intestinal flora not only during antibiotic therapy (usually 5-7 days) but also long after. These adverse changes in the intestinal flora have a catastrophic effect on human health.
Often, within a few weeks after antibiotic therapy, there are new infections, which have to be treated with successive medications and drugs. Antibiotic therapy disrupts the intestinal flora, which is manifested by the weakening of the immune system. A new infection arises that requires antibiotic treatment.
The only effective way to break this vicious circle is to restore the bacterial flora of the gut to a healthy level.
Read: Natural Antibiotics
- Taking medication
- Corticosteroids (oral, intravenous, inhaled steroids, creams, and ointments)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
They can cause ulcerations and increase the permeability of the intestinal lining, as a result of which, you may develop leaky intestines or intestinal dysbiosis.
- Antacids (proton pump inhibitors, histamine blockers, and antacids)
Contraceptives can ruin the microbiota in the intestines of a woman and her child if she breastfeeds while taking contraceptives.
- Excessive consumption of salt
A salt-rich diet generates harmful immune cells, causes problems with autoimmunity, and negatively affects intestinal bacteria. Salt destroys lactobacilli in the intestines and reduces bacteria that metabolize harmful immune cells.
- Too much sugar in the diet
Sugar is food for harmful bacteria. It contributes to an increase in the number of bad bacteria and fungi.
Our task is to nourish all bacteria found throughout the large intestine, but a high-carbohydrate diet based on simple sugars feeds the intestinal flora, mainly E. coli, in the small intestine.
In this situation, although we provide food in the right amount, it is of poor quality, and the bacteria that we need are simply dying. This can lead to overgrowth of bad flora and disturb the natural microbe balance.
- Stress, no time to rest and relax, and less sleep
When we are stressed or depressed, we do not sleep. The natural protective barrier in the intestinal wall weakens and gets inflamed, which prevents the digested particles and bacteria from entering the body, resulting in intestinal dysbiosis and diseases such as insulin resistance, diabetes, depression, mycosis, impaired digestion, and obesity.
- Increased physical activity
Excessive physical activity (above the norm) induces stress and causes the production of free radicals in the body.
- Drugs and other stimulants
Drugs are perceived by the body like poison. Drugs do not nourish probiotic bacteria, and on the contrary, cause their death.
- Heavy metals
Heavy metals and other toxins such as the ones in vaccines damage the lining of the intestines. Garlic, chlorella, spirulina, parsley, and coriander can help the body remove heavy metals.
- A high-calorie diet
A high-calorie diet may weaken the bacterial flora in the intestines and also make a person overweight and obese. Obesity, in turn, increases the possibility of developing cancer.
Alcohol is similar to stimulants – the body treats it as poison. Alcohol weakens the intestinal defense strategy, as a result of which, it is unable to control the population of bacteria in the intestines. These bacteria later enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of liver disease.
- Pesticides and preservatives in food
Processed foods (e.g., canned and processed foods) and foods containing preservatives, artificial colors, flavor enhancers, emulsifiers, and chemicals that increase durability and improve the appearance of products can cause intestinal inflammation, leaks, and diseases. The so-called “dead food” is also a breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria.
Coffee disturbs the alkaline pH of the small intestine. As a consequence, intestinal villi “fall off” and block the intestinal crypts, where the process of absorption of nutrients into the circulatory system takes place. The blood is not properly nourished, which leads to dangerous anemia and hemolytic anemia. In addition, damage to the intestinal villi hinders the regeneration of bones, muscles, and other organs.
Consequences of loss of probiotic bacteria (sterilization of the digestive system)
– Abdominal pain and bloating
– diarrhea or constipation
– skin problems (most often appearing on the face and arms)
– neurological problems, such as migraines
– disorders of the immune system (celiac disease and other food intolerances, rheumatoid arthritis)
– intimate infections
– chronic diseases of the liver, kidneys, skin, and respiratory system
– extremely low resistance
– digestive system problems (heartburn, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite)
– avitaminosis and any diseases related to it
Reconstruction of the bacterial flora may take even more than six months.
A hectic life with coffee in the morning and alcohol in the evening can gradually weaken our immunity. Any person who monitors their health can attest to this fact.
If we start to get sick (which is already a sign of weakening intestinal microbiota), we reach for an antibiotic, which paradoxically, is dangerous to our health. The reestablishment of bacterial flora is a long process, especially after antibiotic therapy.
At the international scientific center of The Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, U.S., such a study was conducted by scientist Mitchell Sogin. He used an innovative and particularly accurate method of genetic analysis to examine 12 participants who underwent strong antibiotic therapy.
The test showed that most of the bacteria returned after about 1.5 months. However, nine popular species of bacteria did not appear even after six months in the majority of respondents. These consequences may even last a lifetime.
Given that we already know so much about the positive effects of bacteria on the whole body, we should take good care of their health. (read: Probiotics can help you lose weight and feel better. Here’s how!)
Also, remember that nature is so great that it gave us plenty of natural antibiotics.