Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
April 20, 2010

What’s Up With Your Gut? – Beneficial Bacteria and Good Digestive Health

By Mark Sisson
175 Comments

Everyone knows (well, not everyone, but anyone who’s probably reading this) how crucial the early days of an infant’s life are for establishing good habits and healthy patterns for the rest of its life. What the mother eats while pregnant, what the child eats, delivery methods, breastfeeding duration, heck, whether you read to your children or plop them down in front of the TV – everything helps lay the groundwork for the rest of their lives. Exposure to bacteria is another growing concern for parents. Too little bacteria, and we risk allergies and significantly compromised immune systems later on. Too much isn’t as much of an issue, though we should avoid obviously harmful bacteria. It’s my general sense that most kids these days get far too little bacteria in their lives. They’re swaddled in protective clothing, forbidden from touching (or, perish the thought, licking) things, and doused in antibacterial liquid every other hour. How many kids play in the dirt nowadays? Build forts? Turn over stones in search of bugs? Roughhouse with friends? Far too few, I’d imagine.

While beneficial bacteria reside throughout our bodies, gut bacteria may be the most important of all. A substantial part of our immune system depends on these healthy flora (which will be the subject of a future post). People try to go about obtaining beneficial gut bacteria in ridiculous, counterproductive ways, but at least there’s a sizable public awareness of the subject. Most reasonably health conscious folks these days at least recognize the word “probiotic,” while many researchers are beginning to understand that the bacteria present in breast milk (Bifidobacterium) offers considerable benefits to an infant’s intestinal microbiota. Low levels of Bifidobacterium have also been linked to higher rates of eczema in human children, while giving chubby rats a Bifidobacterium supplement slimmed them down and improved their lipids. Breastfeeding has also been linked to lower rates of asthma in children – is Bifidobacterium involved here, too? There’s a good chance; the author of this study co-authored one last year that found “children who received antibiotics in the first year of life were at higher risk of developing asthma later on.” Obviously, antibiotics can kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria.

Gut flora is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into short chain fatty acids. If you consider our gut flora to be foreigners – permanent alien residents, put another way – then you might say that humans cannot fully utilize starches without outside help. Technically, those gut organisms are foreign born, but a human without gut microbes is like America without its rich and storied history of immigration; immigrants made America and gut microbes make us whole. Indeed, we’re wholly dependent on our gut flora. You might even say we’re more microbe than man (gut flora outnumber the cells of our bodies by 10 to 1).

Until we’re born, the fetal gut is sterile. It’s just sitting there, accepting pre-digested nutrition from the mother, taking up space and generally living the slacker’s dream. But it works. The fetus doesn’t need a teeming, active gut, because all the work is done by mom’s gut flora. They’re breaking down the polysaccharides and the sugars, converting it into usable fuel, and diverting a portion of it all to the child. In a way, then, the kid is dependent on gut flora, just as much as you or I are. Once he (or she) is out of the womb, the child needs his own intestinal team. He’ll be eating, which requires digestion, and good digestion (especially of carbohydrate) just doesn’t happen without gut flora. He needs gut flora, and he needs it relatively quickly. That’s where the birthing process comes in.

Traditionally, birth allows the passage of microbes from mother to the sterile infant gut, a relatively quick process. Gut colonization isn’t exactly a “feature” of the birthing process, however, and it’s not like there’s a specific pathway designed for the flora to travel from mother to child. No, gut colonization arises organically. It’s common sense, really, if you consider what child birth actually is: a somewhat chaotic, unsanitary event, where fluids are being exchanged, stuff is sloshing around and mixing together, with this vulnerable baby in the midst of it. You’ve got a helpless infant sporting a fecund, totally accessible gastrointestinal tract and a perpetually open mouth. He’s just kind of lying there, maybe crying a bit, but he’s incredibly open to suggestion. To gut flora, this is prime real estate, ripe for the taking. By the time the cord is snipped and the infant’s butt’s got a handprint on it, the baby’s upper gastrointestinal tract has been partially populated with bacterial strains derived from the mother’s feces and the surrounding environment (the air, others in the room, etc). Breastfeeding provides another ongoing source of bacteria. It takes about a month for a newborn to establish a solid population of gut flora, and another year for it to resemble an adult’s gut contents. (Any wonder why C-section, bottle-fed babies might get off to a slow start?)

Raising kids isn’t just about bringing new organisms into the world. It’s also important to prepare them for what lies ahead, and the only way to ensure adequate preparation is with exposure and personal experience. Shortchanging kids now, whether by maintaining the ultra-sterile environment (Purel everywhere, no physical skin-to-ground/dirt/skin contact, zero exposure to the outside world, lots of antibiotics, etc) at all costs or feeding them a purely refined food diet, sets them up for poor health in the future. Getting enough gut flora is one huge step in the right direction, but there’s a bit more nuance, as researchers are learning. Getting a wide enough variety of gut flora is just as, if not more important in the path to good digestive health – and that goes for kids, teens, and adults, as well as infants.

Accelerated Evolution

Bacteroides plebeius is a common microbe that lives in the human gut, issuing various digestive enzymes to deal with various types of food. It’s a pretty basic example of gut flora, but researchers noticed something very strange while studying a marine species of Bacteroidetes. Zobellia galactanivorans, which lives on a type of red seaweed, contains a specialized enzyme designed for the cleaving of porphyran, a polysaccharide found in red seaweed. Simply put, this specific enzyme was meant to digest seaweed. The researchers searched the gene-sequence databases and found that the same enzyme was also present in human-borne B. plebeius. How did the digestive enzymes of an obscure marine microbe get incorporated into human gut flora? They looked a little harder and found that it was only present in Japanese B. plebeius, not North American. They had their answer.

When humans began arriving in Japan, around 40,000 years ago, seaweed became a staple. And, while most seaweed sold in stores is roasted (and therefore sterile), Paleolithic seaweed eating conditions were considerably less “sanitary.” Folks were eating lots of raw seaweed, teeming with bacteria, and those bacteria were communicating with the already present gut flora. We already know that bacteria enjoy accelerated evolution via gene transfer on a regular basis, but this was the first research to confirm that gut microbes learn from other microbes. They aren’t static. Our gut flora actually receives genetic information from foreign microbes passing through, borne by the food we eat, and they can alter their own genetic code to incorporate the new material.

That’s exactly what happened. Ancient human guts were exposed to new strains of bacteria with new digestive enzymes, and information was exchanged. Genetic code was transferred. And it happened really quickly; according to lead researcher Jan-Hendrik Hehemann, “a bacterium that can’t digest nori one day, can the next.” If those early Japanese had been eating grocery store nori, roasted and months-old, would they have been able to break down the prophyran? No. The seaweed had to be fresh, it had to be raw, and bacteria had to present and alive to survive the trip into the gut. Today’s sterile, refined fare is absent bacteria – good or bad. We irradiate, we pasteurize, we sterilize, and we roast everything that goes into our mouths. Is it any wonder we’ve got widespread health problems?

Clearly, humans evolved in a bacteria-rich environment. The food we ate, the ground upon which we slept, and even the water we drank sent a steady stream of microbial diversity into our bodies – and this went on for hundreds of thousands of years. It made for occasionally lethal infections, but it also made possible the digestion of a wide variety of foods, an ability that we continue to enjoy today. But that seems to be changing. Food is losing its bacterial kick, unless you go out of your way to incorporate microbes into your diet. In the past, as food became more “sterile” and we moved into cities and became successful with agriculture, fermented foods became staples. Nearly every traditional cuisine uses fermentation, in fact. Did they suspect something was missing with the increased refinement of the food supply? Maybe, but either way, they maintained a steady level of bacteria in their diets. We, for the most part, do not.

What Does This Mean?

This shows the probable arc of our evolutionary relationship with food. As we evolved and ate new foods, our gut flora evolved as well. It’s quite remarkable, really, and it shows just how fast evolution can occur. Humans don’t change that quickly, of course, but our gut microbes do, and we in turn change with our gut.

I think everyone of all ages, but kids especially, should eat a wide variety of foods. Avoiding refined foods isn’t enough. You’ve got to actively seek out new foods, “living” foods and raw foods. Don’t become a raw foodist, mind you. Just experiment. Try fermented foods, like kefir or sauerkraut. If most soil wasn’t filled with pesticides, heavy metals and other unknowns I’d probably even encourage you to eat some dirt. Since grubbing on dirt isn’t practical (or appetizing, for that matter) I also recommend supplementing with probiotics. If anything, we owe it to our next of kin to fill our bellies with tons of organisms.

What are your thoughts on gut health? Does it even cross your mind? Is this new to you? Or do you have a plan of attack to keep your gut happy? Fermented foods? Supplements? Share your thoughts in the comment board. Thanks, everyone, and Grok on!

AJCI Flickr Photo (CC)

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

109 Comments on "What’s Up With Your Gut? – Beneficial Bacteria and Good Digestive Health"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Justin
Justin
6 years 7 months ago

Regarding the comment of “If anything, we owe it to our next of kin to fill our bellies with tones of organisms.”

Do males have any influence on our offspring’s gut flora? Or is it really all about what is in the mother’s gut when the baby is born?

Rodney
Rodney
6 years 7 months ago
Having been filled with antibiotics and steroids during my teen years for a number of ailments, I definitely wonder about gut health. In particular I worry about Candida overgrowth, given my medication history. I do have some of the symptoms of Candidiasis, but the symptoms are many and nonspecific. I make my own fermented cabbage in several varieties, and did make kefir with raw milk before deciding to give up dairy completely. I have never tried probiotic pills though. I would love to know more about Candida, as web searches turn up as much questionable info as factual evidence, and… Read more »
drea
drea
5 years 23 days ago
My husband suffered from candida a few years ago and we had a heck of a time figuring out what it was. Only by chance did a friend recognize the symptoms I described and suggest that it could be Candida. After we found out what it probably was I did a ton of research and sorted through the information to find common threads to make a plan. Here’s what I came up with: 1st, Eat only green veggies for 2 weeks – be sure to cut out ALL sugars, grains, yeast, anything fermented (even yogurt), cheese, mushrooms, fruit and to… Read more »
drea
drea
5 years 23 days ago

*2nd step acidiophilus/bifidus supplements (not yogurt!)

Tove
Tove
4 years 8 months ago

Watch this video about gut health and gut-related problems! LISTEN to what she says.

For the last two years I have had many different symtoms(akne, weakness, foggy brain and memory, digestinal problems, bad immunesystem..), which all have been mysterious and without answers. Until now, when I have seen this video, I clearly see how it is all connected – starting in the gut.

Tove
Tove
4 years 8 months ago

The video(can be useful): http://vimeo.com/10507542

Lillian
Lillian
6 years 7 months ago

We make our own sauerkraut and the grandparents regularly ferment foods for months at a time.. Yummy bacteria.

John Solter
6 years 7 months ago
Next up, the fabulous dirt diet! I kid, but this is all very interesting, in nature you never no beforehand what pillar you kick out will cause the whole thing to come crashing down. I’ve thought for awhile that our whole culture is a bit germ crazy. People often think of evolution as something that takes a long time, and it does with complex organisms, but the microbes can change overnight as the seaweed story illustrates. Also, usually no one ever really thinks of our bodies as an environment. Scientific American says we have more cells of other organisms inside… Read more »
Janina
Janina
6 years 7 months ago

Fascinating! I’m always grazing on seaweed when I go picking mussels, and I’m always grazing on cilantro, basil, etc. when they’re in my garden. It feels like a compulsion, and I don’t have compulsive urges around food as a rule. Maybe the instinctual drive to eat bacteria is what’s behind it?

eric
eric
6 years 7 months ago

I have thought about this since I travel to mexico regularly and eat the local food when I am down there. I eat some yogurt a few times a week and have taken up drinking kombucha almost every day for both probiotics & alkalinity. It all seems good, but I really do not know, just having sucess on this experiment of one!

Daniel Merk
6 years 7 months ago

Fermentation of foods is a human’s 1st stomach. Not making a case for eating grains, but it does break down phytic acids and assists in better digestion.

Sauerkraut is FTW!

fireandstone
6 years 7 months ago
Some of the questions raised by this post include: * Is it actually possible to substantially recreate the functional colon as it existed among our pre-agricultural ancestors without literally mimicking their entire life-cycle? * If not, are we then missing a vital piece of the Primal puzzle that limits in ways we don’t understand the very long term health we seek to achieve by eating just analogues of the food our ancestors ate? Answers, thankfully, always lead to more questions. 🙂 On a note related to Mark’s musings about early infancy and laying ground work, I recently held out for… Read more »
zeltron
zeltron
6 years 7 months ago

at 2 months an infants stomach lining is entirely not capable of eating steak, even a taste does damage google “just one bottle”. The stomach lining closes closer to 10 months at which point the main food transitions from entirely breastmilk to including the same whole foods the parents eat.

Infants being fed artificial breast milk are different of course as their stomach lining has already been severely compromised and thus the introduction of solids before 10 + months doesn’t do the same damage – because the damage to the gut has already been done.

jon w
jon w
6 years 7 months ago

as soon as it can grasp and put things in its mouth, an infant starts doing so. your idea that it’s dangerous for an infant to taste things is ludicrous, when every observation of instinct and natural behavior tells us the opposite.

AJ
6 years 7 months ago

Great post! My kids (4yrs/2yrs) seem to know this already, they put everything they possibly can in their mouth. So far they haven’t gotten sick, and part of me knows that in a ways it’s good for their gut.

anzy
anzy
6 years 7 months ago

“How many kids play in the dirt nowadays? Build forts? Turn over stones in search of bugs? Roughhouse with friends?” Mine will thats for sure…At 14 months he has already eaten a significant amount of dirt. We regularly play outside and look at(and touch)all the bugs and rocks and stuff we can find. We do it because it’s just fun, but knowing that it’s healthy is a sweet bonus

Marc
6 years 7 months ago

Just made some pickled beets, with homemade liquid whey. I’m addicted to the liquid whey 😉 One of those “makes you feel good foods”.

I feel we’re only just scratching the surface on how important this subject is to our well being.

Marc

Matt
Matt
6 years 7 months ago

Great article and I take probiotics for a few days at a time every few weeks. We eat a wide variety of foods and yogurt on a weekly basis to make sure our gut flora is good to go. Been throughout the world traveling and have only gotten sick once (Darn you Hungary!!!)

PH Gerken
PH Gerken
2 years 8 months ago

Please post your recipe for ginger-berry fizz drink w/lots probiotics. Thanks

Classic
Classic
6 years 7 months ago

I make and drink lacto-fermented berry or ginger soda. It has a little rapadura (unrefined sugar cane) left in it by the time it is ready but it certainly solves that taste for fizzininess and a little sweetness. It is full of probiotics.

rochelle t
rochelle t
6 years 7 months ago

I would love a recipe for this! I have been seeing a nutritionist for a few months since a bout of pneumonia and sinus infections and surgery had me down all of last year. She is trying to get me to have more fermented stuff and it’s hard! I’m off dairy so yogurt is a no no for me too. She also wants me off of soda so this stuff sounds interesting! Maybe you could post a link for your recipe?

AdrianaG
AdrianaG
6 years 9 days ago

So…you dropped the yogurt before you dropped the soda???

Darren
Darren
6 years 7 months ago

Can we have more posts about food and stuff (sarcasm). We haven’t had a post on working out since the Brad Kearns post a month ago. Not counting the weekend links here and there. Just saying. It’s spring, good weather, for those of us who don’t live in Calf. And we’re itching to go outside and play, do new stuff. And you’re posting mostly about food? Really?

Cheer Up
Cheer Up
6 years 7 months ago

I think you need to go outside and get some more sun.

Brian
Brian
6 years 7 months ago

Seriously. You need a permission from a website to outside and “play”?

cathyx
cathyx
6 years 7 months ago

I have my own theory about being gluten sensitive.
I wasn’t breast fed, I’m 48 now, and I was only 6 1/2 pounds when I was born. My mother started feeding me farina early to get my weight up. Maybe starting grains too early might have something to do with this problem.

Marija
Marija
5 years 3 months ago

Yes, a lot of people believe this is true. The prevalence of giving grains to infants as their first food, when the stomach lining is too immature is widely thought to lead to gluten and other food sensitivities. I’ve also read that you can heal yourself from food allergies with a healing diet, however.

Allbeef Patty
6 years 7 months ago

I just scrub the majority of the grit off of the local organic produce that I get, but I leave it a little dirty. I figure that probably helps.

Squatchy
Squatchy
6 years 7 months ago

Speaking of genetic information transfer of gut bacteria, it’s one of the big concerns of GM food.
http://www.mindfully.org/GE/2005/DNA-Transfer-To-Gut1jul05.htm

Richard Nikoley
6 years 7 months ago

Fabulous, Mark.

I’ve been on this trail for a few weeks now from more of an experimental framework.

What I’ve found and will be hitting on the blog is that often, especially for people with frequent heartburn or GERD, the gut flora problem is actually caused or exacerbated by low stomach acid levels, i.e., too high of a Ph, allowing bad bacteria to thrive & overgrow, squeezing out the good.

So, it’s a vicious circle.

I’ve been experimenting the last few weeks with taking HCL/Pepsin with my meals and the results have been pretty fantastic.

Matt
Matt
6 years 7 months ago

You’re reading the Healthy Skeptic these days too! What a series he just concluded.

Richard Nikoley
6 years 7 months ago

…Oh, and what completes that circle is that some bad bacteria, such as h pylori, in-turn inhibit stomach acid production as they can’t thrive. Vicious circle.

Cassie
Cassie
6 years 7 months ago
I’m an even bigger proponent of probiotics after recently killing what was likely a H. Pylori-related ulcer (I’ve had them before). I didn’t want to take antibiotics, and read a few things online implying probiotics worked very well in combination with antibiotics, so I decided to try them solo. I took supplements (about 8mil organisms/day) and downed kefir for several days and all my symptoms disappeared within a week, and haven’t returned even though I stopped the supplements. Now I take one–4mil organisms– every few days. So for mild pepticl ulcer or acid reflux symptoms I highly recommend trying this… Read more »
Squatchy
Squatchy
6 years 7 months ago

Its been proposed that the reason we have an appendix is that its a “safe house” for beneficial bacteria to repopulate the gut after good bacteria is depleted from sickness/illness.

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan/function-of-appendix-explained

Suvetar
Suvetar
6 years 7 months ago
There is nothing wrong with eating RAW meat as long as it’s from a grass-fed animal. And it also has to be slaughtered at it’s own place not down the assembly line of industrial meat of course. So do your research before ordering. I can’t digest denatured proteins. Pasteurized Milk turns putrid, meat turns into a foul smelling rock that takes 3 weeks to make it through my gut and then comes out really ‘angry’! Don’t eat dirt, parasites lurk in it. One reason why most wild pigs (e.g. european boar) have tapeworms. Anybody that was born and raised in… Read more »
jon w
jon w
6 years 7 months ago

bacteria ARE parasites. parasites, both single celled and larger, are part of the natural world, not only our digestion, but also our immune systems, work better with a moderate load of them than without.

Karla
Karla
6 years 7 months ago
Not sure if this is an immune system response….or what. Recently broke out in what is called Pityriasa Rosea. Has been documented/studied for over 2 centuries. They don’t have any idea what causes it; fungus, bacteria, viral or autoimmune. It is very benign, some have a little itching. No scarring, no illness, no lingering effects except that it takes 6 – 12 weeks for it to go away. You will never get it again, so obviously the immune system kicks in. In the mean time, as the warmer weather returns I will be covered in clothing until these red blotches… Read more »
Diane
6 years 7 months ago

Karla
I experienced the same symptoms, and after much research and many trips to the doc, I figured it out myself. In my case it was an auto immune response to gluten . I went GF and Df and it cleared up within days! Can’t tell you how much better I feel 🙂

NPP
NPP
2 years 5 months ago

It’s viral. Zero biggie and was smart to choose such a healthy host.

Mallory
6 years 7 months ago

thought provoking post. i eat sauerkrat and strained goat yogurt but wonder if probiotics are wroth their weight in gold. i priced them recently at the health food store… $129 for a tiny bottle of capsules….seems ridicuously expensive without a lot of science to back it up…

still curious of how much of a role stomach acid levels play with gut flora as well. is there any way to tell if ones stomach acid or gut flora needs assistance?

Robert
Robert
6 years 7 months ago

Which probiotic was that? the best one on the market is Dr. Ohhira’s but 129 pills I don’t think it comes in. After that distant seconds are Garden of Life’s ‘Primal Defense’, Jarrow’s and than RPN’s ‘Gut Health’ from what I’ve read and used, but most of those are below the 50$-60$ price point.

Grok
6 years 7 months ago

Yep, your digestion will suck!

I had to drop in raw ACV and enzymes, + dialed back my fruit consumption last week to push out some stomach bug that moved in after I picked up a fast moving flu.

Got out of the habit of making and consuming as much fermented stuff as I normally do for a while, so I’ve kept in the ACV & added back Kombucha too this week.

Marija
Marija
5 years 3 months ago

Yes! I agree it is ridiculous when you can make your own fermented veggies for pocket change and get plenty of healthy probiotics.

Richard Nikoley
6 years 7 months ago

Mallory:

That’s all discussed in this series, just completed. Quite comprehensive.

http://thehealthyskeptic.org/heartburn

Mainer
Mainer
6 years 7 months ago

Water and Milk Kefir do a great job of populating the gut with beneficial bacteria and the milk kefir makes great smoothies!

Phil
Phil
6 years 7 months ago

What about organic whole-fat yogurt? Aren’t there probiotics in that?

Phil
Phil
6 years 7 months ago

Oops, didn’t even bother reading the replies, my mistake. Heh.

Don Wiss
6 years 7 months ago

This kefir, marketed under the So Delicious name, is close to be paleo:
http://www.turtlemountain.com/products/Coconut_Kefir_Plain.html

epistemocrat
6 years 7 months ago

The exponential spread of Clostridium Difficile (bad GI bacteria) suggests we are failing in this category nutritionally worldwide, as if we needed another reminder.

mcallit
mcallit
6 years 7 months ago
Aside from the bacteria, allergens are also an issue for many people I know. I grew up in the middle of nowhere on a *gasp* corn farm in Nebraska. During the summer when it was particularly hot and humid (90%), the corn pollen would be a great, yellow haze on the horizon. Friends of mine, who grew up in major cities, had come to the farm to see what it was like and during the summer they were in complete agony! Of course, there are plenty of studies to show that farm-raised children have better immune systems and less allergies.… Read more »
Darrin
6 years 7 months ago

Don’t forget kim chi! It’s kinda like the Korean version of sauerkraut. The good stuff is really spicy, too, if you don’t like the flavor of kraut.

Robert
Robert
6 years 7 months ago

there’s so much gut flora do for us.

Both gutsense.org and coolinginflammation.blogspot.com talk about their use quite a lot if you want additional sources.

Personally D3+ Probiotic have almost completely gotten rid of my GERD/IBS.

Which is huge considering from middle school through college my winter usually went like this: Stop seeing daylight > get strep throat > get put on antibiotics > have horrible GERD/IBS till summer.

Michael A
6 years 7 months ago

Mark, can you please explain this: “Gut flora is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into short chain fatty acids”

Thanks

Nikki
6 years 7 months ago

I’ve never really thought about this but it makes sense. I’ve never been one of those people who has to have everything spotlessly clean and I am not a clean freak when it comes to myself either, obviously I wash my hands, shower and all the rest of it, but I don’t overdo it like many people do. I’ve got a better immune system than most people, only getting ill maybe once or twice a year, and that’s before I went Primal, so maybe I’m doing something right?

kmac
kmac
6 years 7 months ago
Hey Grok/Mark… QQ I’m hurting on cash so at the moment its eat whatever the live in girlfriend cooks (trying to pick out the crap, but PB / pure paleo is touch on funds) anyhow, normally i do eat pure 99%. I do have the occasional ice cream after a long swim or hike during the summer, but my staple each day has been home made yogurt. what are your thoughts on this in the PB ‘BIG PICTURE’. As a dairy normally its well your an adult.. did adults breast feed for anything other than pleasure… but for the pre/pro… Read more »
tac99us
tac99us
6 years 7 months ago

Currently i only eat sauerkraut once a year. On New Years day.

Guess i need to get it in the rotation more. Does grocery store kraut have healthy bacterial, or do i need to ferment my own?

Rodney
Rodney
6 years 7 months ago
Most kraut sold in stores has been pasteurized precisely to KILL those beneficial bacteria, along with any harmful ones that might cause legal troubles for the food companies. It’s similar to milk, you need to source your own to make sure it isn’t heated into oblivion which destroys many beneficial nutrients. You would be surprised how easy (and enjoyable) it is to make your own. I found a large 2-gallon container that I use to ferment, though it is only half full of goodies. I cover it all with a plate, keep it covered with the liquid that quickly forms… Read more »
dave
dave
6 years 7 months ago

yep, i make homemade yogurt from fresh milk, eat 50% of my animal foods raw and make saurkraut fresh with whey added to really get the bacteria working. no man-made probiotics necessary – just whole food and traditional recipes !

reamz
reamz
6 years 7 months ago
probiotics are awesome, when i don’t have much fermented food to eat i have a probiotic pill, otherwise i have a little bit of really sour kefir now and then, and raw meat. Now that it’s spring i have all the fruit and veg coming up to look forward to fermenting (especially dill pickles – cannot wait till cucumbers are in season!!) Also, thought i’d mention a lecture i had a few weeks ago (im a first year med student) about allergies, and the lecturer had a few slides about how children who grow up on farms and drink raw… Read more »
MARC SIMONSON
MARC SIMONSON
6 years 7 months ago

HI MARK, THANKS FOR THIS EXCELLENT ARTICLE.

IN THE 1980’S I WORKED WITH A FRIEND
OF MINE NAME BOYD O’DONNELL, ON A UNIQUE BACTERIA WHICH HE OWNED AND HAD REGISTERED , CALLED BACILLUS LATEROSPORUS (BOD STRAIN) … THE (B) FOR BOYD, AND THE (OD) FOR O’DONNELL. THE PRODUCT IS SOLD UNDER THE NAME …… FLORA BALANCE.

THIS REMARKABLE BACTERIA EATS AND KILLS CANDIDA ALBICANS. IF YOU CHECK IT OUT, YOU MAY DECIDE THAT SOME OF YOUR READERS WITH CANDIDA PROBLEMS MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

CHEERS, MARC SIMONSON

Lee
Lee
6 years 7 months ago

I’ve got some kraut brewing in the pantry right now..and I make all the yogurt my family consumes.

Todd
6 years 7 months ago

I need to add more fermented foods to my diet. I do not take a probiotic supplement and I do not eat any fermented foods that I know of.

This article urges me to continue to learn more about gut bacteria as some other articles I have read recently has brought it to my attention.

Michael
Michael
6 years 7 months ago

Lets make it really easy, head for a Korean restaurant. They’re fewer in number but tend to be more authentic then other ethnic fare. Most meals come w/ kimchi and a load of fermented fare. First timers should head for the Bi Bim Bop.

GiGi
6 years 7 months ago

Gut health is VERY VERY VERY important to me. I had a colectomy ONE YEAR (exactly) ago and my digestion really hasn’t been all that great since (or even before for that matter) but in order to keep my gut as “smooth” as possible I take digestive enzymes with probiotics and eat lots of healthy fiber!

Emily
Emily
6 years 7 months ago

Do you have any thoughts about Kombucha fermented tea?

eric
eric
6 years 7 months ago

Second Emily’s question — I threw out Kombucha above but no one has discussed. I have used it with success but my experience is entirely anecdotal. We tried making it for a while but the stuff from the store tastes way better and I did not take the time to sort out the tea / flavoring aspect. I split a bottle with my wife daily, we both think it essential to gut health + PH.

George
George
6 years 7 months ago

Perhaps we shouldn’t discourage our kids from picking their noses! Seems like an instinctive reaction they inherit?

Perhaps adults might benefit also?

Auto-inoculation?

Dave Riley
6 years 7 months ago

3 weeks into changing my diet so that my carbohydrate consumption dropped from maybe an average 300 + grams per day to below 80, I had a massive day long episode of diarrhea — the experince of which was so different from any I’d had in the past from infectious causes.

I suspect that that, and occasional minor brief re-occurrences, may have a lot to do with massive changes in, maybe even death of, intestinal flora.

Spence
Spence
6 years 7 months ago
The sad thing is that most people do whatever they can to do the exact opposite. Slather themselves in anti-microbial concoctions, wipe down FOOD PREP areas with chemicals that kill bugs. Imagine what those cheicals do to us!!! My 6 year old (who loves the dirt and all things outside) was asked, along with the rest of her class to “bring 2 large bottles of hand sanitizer to class”. I asked about it and the teacher mentioned that it prevents the spread of germs. The staff were worried about getting sick. Keep limiting your exposure to these bugs, and catching… Read more »
peggy callahan
peggy callahan
6 years 7 months ago

Hi there
Have you heard of the drink Kombucha? I drink one every day. It claims to boost metabolism, digestion, appetite control,weight control, cell integrity, anti-aging……

chocolatechip69
chocolatechip69
6 years 7 months ago
Lying Just to finally cover Kombucha, YES, it is full of probotics. Make it yourself if you don’t want to break the budget. It’s very easy to make:) Also, if anyone is really interested in the health of their gut, look up a guy named Konstantin Monastyrsky. He’s a wealth of knowledge on everything that has to do with guts and has been specializing and treating people with gut problems for many years. http://www.gutsense.org/author/author.html He has a few book out there and if you click on the “Store” link on his page, there is a product called GI Recover which… Read more »
peggy callahan
peggy callahan
6 years 7 months ago

How do you make the kombucha at home?

eric
eric
6 years 7 months ago

We did it for a while. My wife got some of the culture and put it in a bin of tea and put it on the warming plate for a spell…don’t know the specifics but the folks we got the culture from loved what they made. We did not play around with juices and flavorings enough to get something that was really good, plus I always felt we were at risk of poisoning ourselves due to ineptness…so we buy it now but its $$$.

H. Ghr
6 years 7 months ago

That way you keep him on your board in case things don’t work out with Westerman/Hegarty, while retaining an open spot if you do hit a home run on the OOS guys. If you’ve already filled his spot and he does get back into shape and demonstrates himself to be Texas caliber, tell him your very sorry but there’s a numbers issue and offer him a greyshirt. He should have a number of options by that point.

wpDiscuz