Gut Bacteria: What is it?
“Trust your gut.” This is a phrase you have probably heard many times. Generally, it means trusting your intuition and having confidence in it. These words are not completely metaphorical, in actual sense;
the gut keeps you protected from various diseases. It acts as a barrier that keeps of various disease-causing elements and promotes a healthy immune system. The ActivatedYou website has more information about gut bacteria.
Exactly how Does the Gut Barrier Work?
The intestinal barrier is made up of several layers, just like the skin. The innermost layer of the colon is scientifically known as the mucosa. The mucosa is informally referred to as the gut barrier, just like its name suggests it bars disease causing elements from entry.
The gut is made up of three outer layers, namely, the serosa, muscularis and sub-mucosa. These mainly play the role of protecting the large intestine. The mucosa on the other hand is where microscopic disease carrying elements are neutralized.
The mucosa itself is comprised of several strata. The layers are made up of epithelial cells overlying connective tissue. The outermost layer of the intestinal wall is muscular to allow for physical contraction that propels gut contents (waste) towards the rectum and finally out of your system. The lamina propria (a sub-layer of mucosa) is made up of loose connective tissue and contains cells that destroy pathogenic micro-organisms. However, the hub of microbial activity is the epithelium. It is the final solid layer and acts as an entry to the inside of the intestine. Since most absorption of nutrients, electrolytes and other helpful microbes occur here, the epithelium is porous. However, its structure is designed in a way that it keeps out pathogens.
In a normal state, the epithelium repels and/or destroys unhealthy bacteria, toxins and viruses and allows intake of nutrients, electrolytes and beneficial microbes. However, when gut health is compromised, adverse effects occur. The intestines become inflamed, reactions occur and one becomes pre-disposed to ailments. The good news is that all these can be prevented by maintaining good gut health.
Probiotics is a scientific term referring to bacterial organisms that are good for our guts. It is one of the easiest ways of maintaining good health of our guts. These bacteria are friendly and they help maintain a delicate balance between the active bacteria of the gut. Additionally, probiotics help keep bad gut bacteria in check.
In the market, there are different probiotic strains and each strain is capable of stimulating different internal processes. Even more interesting is the fact that the probiotics can produce cells! Cells produced
by probiotics act as building blocks for antibodies. This means that by using probiotics, your immune system becomes much stronger. Probiotics also stimulate secretion of antibodies. Benefits of probiotics don’t end here; they have the ability to create ant-microbial substance that gets rid of unhealthy bacteria in your gut.
It gets better, by their mere presence; probiotics can make the gut barrier stronger and more effective. Some probiotic strains catalyze protein construction which forms strong bonds with epithelial cells preventing harmful micro-organisms from gaining access. In a different mechanism, the probiotics can form bonds with epithelial cells which leave no room for unhealthy toxins or pathogens.
There are several other ways in which probiotics strengthen the gut barrier as outlined at ActivatedYou. Some can increase the mucus production capacity of the gut while others can alter the PH making the conditions difficult for harmful bacteria to survive.
Getting the Most from Probiotics
It is common for the gut environment to take a toll on probiotics reducing their efficiency or rendering them useless. Therefore, to get the most out of your probiotics, you have to help your gut provide a thriving environment for them.
To accomplish this, you simply need to introduce prebiotics in your gut. What are probiotics you ask? Prebiotics are plant fibers that cannot be broken down or digested by the intestinal tract but act as fuel for probiotics. Probiotics break down prebiotics into short-chain fatty acids after feeding on them. The fatty acids are a source of energy for the epithelial cells and enable formation of tight bondage of epithelial cells.
Call to Action
It is clear that for a healthy gut, you need both probiotics and prebiotics. These two can be easily incorporated in your diet by taking over the counter supplements. They also occur naturally in some foods. To have a better understanding of how these two work together, visit ActivatedYou.