I think it is very important to be on the right digestive bacteria. This is also known as digestive flora. That is to make it seem like you are actually taking bacteria. These little guys are so important to the way that our body works. Throughout my practice I have tried a lot of different brands of "flora" but I didn't think that I got great results from any of them.
I realized recently that even though I had tried a bunch of brands that I had basically been trying the same bugs... I mean flora. Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Bifidum if you have been around then you know the standard ones in practice.
Recently companies have been coming out with different bacterial strains. One supplement that I started a few days ago contains the strain Lactobacillus reuteri. Not only did I feel different physically but I felt different mentally. It got me thinking about how important the gut flora is in impacting our physical and mental health.
Because the substances that exist in the intestine are absorbed into the blood stream what is in our guts will impact our biochemistry at the level of every body tissue, including the nerves and brains. More later :)
One of the most well-documented effects of L. reuteri is in the treatment of rotavirus-induced diarrhea, especially in children. Treatment of rotaviral diarrhea by consumption of L. reuterisignificantly shortens the duration of the illness as compared to placebo. Furthermore, this effect is dose-dependent: the more L. reuteri consumed, the faster the diarrhea stops 1. L. reuteri is also effective as a prophylactic for this illness; children fed L. reuteri while healthy are less likely to fall ill with diarrhea in the first place 2. With regard to prevention of gut infections, comparative research has found L. reuteri to be more potent than other probiotic organisms 3 4.
L. reuteri is also an effective treatment against infant colic. Over a period of several weeks, infants who are given L. reuteri steadily decrease the amount of time each day spent crying – the defining symptom of colic. In fact L. reuteri was much better in decreasing the infants' crying time than the standard therapy of simethicone treatment 5. However, colic is still poorly understood, and it is not clear why or through what mechanism L. reuteri ameliorates its symptoms. 6 One theory of colic, though, holds that affected infants cry because of severe gastro-intestinal discomfort; if this is indeed the case, it is quite plausible that L. reuteri somehow acts to lessen this discomfort, since its primary residence is inside the gut.
L. reuteri is capable of eradicating the gut pathogen Helicobacter pylori, which causes peptic ulcers and is endemic in parts of the developing world. In one study, none of H. pylori-infected patients treated with omeprazole were cured, while those given L. reuteri in addition to omeprazole had a cure rate of 60%7.