3 angels for the intestine – how bacteria can protect the intestine

Bacteriaeveryone knows them, many hate them. The truth is: most species are good, even essential for survival. Only a few are evil, that is, pathogenic, so they cause illness. And they live everywhere, one speaks of the human microbiome . They colonize our skin and also our intestines. It is home to an estimated 10 14 bacterial cells, which is ten times more cells than our body has. And there is a reason for this: without our bacterial intestinal inhabitants, the so-called intestinal microbiota (consisting of approx. 500 – 1000 different species), our digestion would be ineffective. They generally help us digest our food (in combination with the body’s own enzymes, such as pepsin) provide us with vitamins, short-chain fatty acids and also help us break down foreign substances that could otherwise harm us. Very important and little known, however, is the aspect of resistance to colonization . If our intestines were not colonized by species such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG  or  Bifidobacterium lactis , pathogenic species such as Clostridium difficile  or the infamous enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli , better known as EHEC , could develop, get stuck in the intestine, multiply there and lead to very dangerous diseases and even death. The prevailing balance between good and bad bacteria is very important and therefore worth protecting. And it is as unique as a fingerprint. Our microbiome even accompanies us wherever we go. A swirling of this highly sensitive togetherness can lead to obesity (obesity), as recent studies have shown, or even to inflammatory bowel diseases and type 1 diabetes.

Because of this fascinating interaction and its complexity, I am strictly against the thoughtless prescription of antibiotics. Because these bacteria-killing or bacterial growth-inhibiting molecules do not have a targeted effect, i.e. with oral antibiotic therapy, especially when using so-called broad-spectrum antibiotics, the intestinal flora, which is so important for our health, is also affected. Imagine a trawl on the bottom of the intestinal floor, which simply takes everything that stands in its way and only leaves a dead wasteland. With sometimes devastating consequences.

This is where the famous probiotics come in. You do not have to buy expensive products from various large corporations, it is also enough to eat normal yogurt or sauerkraut. Fortunately, after antibiotic therapy, in most cases you can restore your intestinal flora by eating products that contain these good bacteria, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Scientists at the University of Tasmania were now investigating whether these probiotics when given antibiotic therapy in children could protect them from the main side effect of diarrhea. To do this, they carried out a placebo-controlled clinical study on 72 children and administered 34 young patients 200 grams per day of a probiotic yogurt from the market. This yogurt contained the types of bacteriaLactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), Bifidobacterium lactis (Bb-12) and Lactobacillus acidophilus, all representatives of the “good guys”.
36 patients received pasteurized yogurt, i.e. a yogurt with killed bacteria (control group). The result was or is impressive: there was no severe diarrhea in the group receiving the probiotic yogurt, whereas six children in the control group contracted it.

What I want to show you, dear reader, is the wonderful effect of bacteria on our body, on our health and that not all bacteria are bad. It is therefore very important to consider when antibiotics should be used and when not.

Original publication:

Can probiotic yogurt prevent diarrhea in children on antibiotics? A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

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