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Gut Health and Helpful Bacteria: It Takes a Villus


March 12, 2013 | Published by

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Right from childbirth, our bodies came into contact with a plethora of beneficial bacteria. Believe it or not, these helpful bacteria become a part of us as we pass through the birth canal, entering through the mouth and moving quickly into the intestinal tract, where the bacteria settle in large colonies. Once the bacteria are settled, they work hard at a variety of crucial jobs, including:

  • Aiding in the overall function of the entire gastrointestinal tract
  • Protecting against harmful invaders
  • Contributing to the sensitive chemical balance of the digestive system
  • Helping to support proper hormonal function and body growth

Poor diet, lack of nutrients, and chronic stress are some of the ways our bacteria balance gets disrupted (also known as dysbiosis). When the balance of helpful, productive bacteria is off, it can manifest in numerous symptoms and side effects, such as:

  • hormonal imbalances
  • high cholesterol levels
  • candida infections
  • tendency to bruise easier
  • chronic fatigue
  • weakened immune response to illness and infections
  • rashes and other skin conditions
  • sensitivities to dairy foods
  • frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • chronic bladder and/or vaginal infections
  • vitamin B deficiencies
  • breast enlargement in men
  • increase in PMS symptoms

The good news is these unwanted side effects and symptoms can often be prevented simply by adding foods high in beneficial bacteria to your diet. Cultured and fermented foods like organic yogurt and cottage cheese, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh can help maintain your body’s proper balance of vital gastrointestinal flora. In fact, it can be quite helpful to consume foods rich with beneficial bacteria on a daily basis. You can also add a probiotic supplement to your daily regimen. You might be amazed at the difference a high-quality probiotic supplement can make, especially one with the added benefit of dietary fiber. Fiber acts like a cleaner, getting in the nooks and crannies of the intestinal villi to sweep out the debris.

dr eric bakkerAbout the Author: Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many You Tube videos:  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:

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