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Beware: Wild ferments, like kombucha or kefir made from kefir grains or whey, can be especially damaging to a compromised digestive tract or weakened immune system.
With wild ferments, there is no control over the fermentation process, resulting in the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
If you are battling leaky gut or Candida overgrowth, it is important to use strain-specific starter cultures when making fermented foods so that you know exactly which strains of bacteria and yeast will grow during the fermentation process. This safeguards against contamination and prevents wild bacteria or yeast from thriving and colonizing your gut.
The Missing Probiotic Strain
Breastfed babies have a hardy inner ecosystem thriving with beneficial bifidobacteria. This powerful bacteria strain, known to boost immunity and digestion, is essential for overall health and can diminish as we age.
The inner ecosystem of your digestive tract is populated with bacteria and yeast that help manufacture nutrients and protect the lining of the gut.
While fermented foods provide a hearty blend of this healthy microflora, there is one strain of bacteria that will not flourish in the fermentation process but is crucial to your gut health.
Bifidobacteria has been shown to protect the gut and boost the immune system.
Bifidobacteria make up a group of bacteria that:
- Does not like oxygen. This group of bacteria thrives in an oxygen-poor environment. This makes them difficult to grow in a laboratory setting.
- Lives mostly in the colon and birth canal. But you can find some strains of bifidobacteria in your mouth.
- Benefits your gut and your immune system. Whether it is constipation or diarrhea, bifidobacteria help to balance transit time in the large intestine.
Over a hundred years ago in 1899, a French scientist named Henry Tessier was the first to isolate and identify one strain of bifidobacterium. He found the bacteria in the stool of a breastfed infant. (1)
As it turns out, bifidobacteria naturally dominate the digestive tract of breastfed infants. (2) In other words, a healthy baby has an inner ecosystem teeming with bifidobacteria.
Mother Nature designed breast milk to protect and nourish a growing baby. And breast milk naturally contains several strains of bifidobacteria. (3) It is no mistake that researchers have also found that bifidobacteria can help resolve diarrhea in infants. (4)
Once a baby begins to wean off of mother’s milk, the infant's inner ecosystem changes. (5) Select strains of bifidobacteria are replaced by a wider range of lactic acid bacteria and other bifidobacteria.
Research tells us that bifidobacteria produce short-chain fats (SCFAs) in your colon. (6) These SCFAs are the same fat that you find in butter and ghee. It turns out that this fat (called butyrate) gives energy to the cells in the colon for growth, renewal, and protection. (7)
Unfortunately, as we grow older, we tend to lose large communities of bifidobacteria. (8) A wounded inner ecosystem has also been linked to obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. (9)(10)(11)
Bifidobacteria are not only essential to a healthy inner ecosystem—they are essential to your health. Research shows that bifidobacteria aid in maintaining a healthy gut, protecting against diarrhea, constipation, and intestinal infection. (12)
Bifidobacteria Are Delicate
As it turns out, bifidobacteria’s sensitivity to oxygen, inability to tolerate extreme temperatures, and delicate nature make them tough to grow in a laboratory setting or compete with other bacteria strains in the fermentation process. (13) Furthermore, storage temperature and the materials used in packing can affect the survival of bifidobacteria. (14)
To provide the gut with a powerful blend of bifidobacteria, along with supplements to help cleanse Candida and maintain a healthy gut lining, Body Ecology created the Digestive Care Multi.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Your digestive system contains an inner ecosystem teeming with bacteria and yeast to manufacture nutrients and protect the gut lining. Fermented foods like kefir and cultured vegetables can support your gut with friendly bacteria, although essential bifidobacteria won't thrive in the fermentation process.
Bifidobacteria are important to support immunity and gut health. Bifidobacteria flourish in an oxygen-poor environment, are most often found in the colon and birth canal, and can help to regulate transit time in the large intestine.
Bifidobacteria are also predominantly found in the digestive tracts of breastfed babies. Communities of bifidobacteria begin to dwindle with age. This can compromise the health of the inner ecosystem and potentially lead to obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Since bifidobacteria are so sensitive to their environment, it's important to support the gut with a powerful bifidobacteria supplement to cleanse Candida and maintain digestive health—the Body Ecology Digestive Care Multi.
- Tessier, H. (1900) Recherches sur la flora intestinale normale et pathologique du nourisson. University of Paris, Paris, France.
- Gueimonde, M., Laitinen, K., Salminen, S., & Isolauri, E. (2007). Breast milk: a source of bifidobacteria for infant gut development and maturation?. Neonatology, 92(1), 64-66.
- Martín, R., Jiménez, E., Heilig, H., Fernández, L., Marín, M. L., Zoetendal, E. G., & Rodríguez, J. M. (2009). Isolation of bifidobacteria from breast milk and assessment of the bifidobacterial population by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative real-time PCR. Applied and environmental microbiology, 75(4), 965-969.
- Chouraqui, J. P., Van Egroo, L. D., & Fichot, M. C. (2004). Acidified milk formula supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis: impact on infant diarrhea in residential care settings. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 38(3), 288-292.
- Favier CF, Vaughan EE, De Vos WM, Akkermans AD (2002) Molecular monitoring of succession of bacterial communities in human neonates. Appl Environ Microbiol 68:219–226.
- Woodmansey EJ, McMurdo ME, Macfarlane GT, Macfarlane S (2004) Comparison of compositions and metabolic activities of fecal microbiotas in young adults and in antibiotic-treated and non-antibiotic-treated elderly subjects. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:6113–6122.
- Cummings JH. Short chain fatty acids. In: Gibson GR, Macfarlane GT, eds. Human Colonic Bacteria: Role in Nutrition, Physiology and Pathology. CRC Press: Boca Raton, 1995: 101–30.
- Duncan SH, Louis P, Flint HJ. (2004) Lactate-utilizing bacteria, isolated from human feces, that produce butyrate as a major fermentation product. Appl Environ Microbiol, 70: 5810–7.
- Turnbaugh PJ, et al. (2006) An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest. Nature 444:1027–1031.
- Frank DN, et al. (2007) Molecular-phylogenetic characterization of microbial community imbalances in human inflammatory bowel diseases. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:13780–13785.
- Kassinen A, et al. (2007) The fecal microbiota of irritable bowel syndrome patients differs significantly from that of healthy subjects. Gastroenterology 133:24–33.
- Picard, C., Fioramonti, J., Francois, A., Robinson, T., Neant, F., & Matuchansky, C. (2005). Review article: bifidobacteria as probiotic agents–physiological effects and clinical benefits. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 22(6), 495-512.
- Simpson, P.J., Stanton, C., Fitzgerald, G.F. and Ross, R.P. (2005), Intrinsic tolerance of Bifidobacterium species to heat and oxygen and survival following spray drying and storage. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 99: 493–501.
- Wang, Y. C., Yu, R. C., & Chou, C. C. (2004). Viability of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria in fermented soymilk after drying, subsequent rehydration and storage. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 93(2), 209-217.