Defending the Borders Part II
Avoiding what destroys your protective force of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
This month we want to focus on how to recognize all of the threats to Your Body Nation and ways to avoid them. Keep in mind that your gut microflora, when properly balanced and healthy, will contain mostly beneficial bacteria, but will also always have a small amount of pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes.
Unfortunately, a product of eating and breathing is bringing in some of the bad guys. Like our nation and our communities, there will always be a presence of the harmful microbes. The goal is to have your strong protective force of probiotics in place to manage, control, and prevent the harmful ones from flourishing. So as you build your strong protective force for Your Body Nation, the next two steps are to:
1) avoid what destroys your protective force of beneficial bacteria.
2) avoid giving the pathogenic bacteria (the bad guys) food and fuel to grow.
Here are the specifics:
1) Avoiding the Killers
When you look at the list of probiotic killers, you will appreciate the toll our fast paced, highly advanced technological society is having on human health. Carefully examine the list. Avoid everything that you can by making lifestyle changes. Minimize exposure to the others as much as you can and then keep taking your probiotics and consuming fermented foods to replace what you cannot control losing.
Here are the enemies:
- Antibiotics and Antibacterials – think big in this arena. The obvious killers are prescription antibiotics but antibiotics are also found in grain fed beef and other Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) used in the meat processing industry. It also includes all milk used to make dairy products where the cows have been fed antibiotics as well. Another sneaky place is in household cleaning or personal care products that claim to have antibacterials in them. A common one to watch for is Triclosan, found in hand soaps and toothpaste.
- Steroids (especially long term use)
- Birth Control Pills
- Radiation – X-rays, microwaves, chemotherapies, cell phones, computers
- Splenda (aka Sucralose) – this is the most common artificial sweetener used in most of the “sugar free” foods today from soft drinks, sugar free cookies, ice creams, and bread products as well as in many protein drinks and food bars.
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) – the most common are soy, corn, cottonseed, canola, and summer squash. Genetically modified organisms don’t technically kill your favorable gut bacteria, but rather genetically alter them, causing gene silencing, which can shut down our own physiology. Epidemiological patterns show there’s an identical rise in over 30 human diseases correlated with our increased use of glyphosate and the increased prevalence of genetically engineered proteins in our foods. *
- Chlorine – watch for it in tap water used in drinking, bathing, washing clothes, and also in swimming pools and hot tubs.
- Flouride – tap water, toothpaste, dental gels, some pharmaceuticals (e.g. Cipro), non-organic grape juices and wines (vineyards use a pesticide called cryolite with high levels of fluoride) and black and green teas (especially bottled and instant varieties made from older leaves which contain highest levels of fluoride).
2) Stop Feeding the Pathogens
The second step is to keep the pathogenic bacteria and yeast that normally inhabit your gut from growing out of control. Routine exposure to the following is like giving ammunition to the enemy. Here are the key items that promote and encourage the overgrowth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria in the gut.
- High carbohydrate diets, especially from highly processed foods that include grains (wheat, corn and rice), potato, sugars, some chemicals. This translates into most of our bread and bakery products, cereals, pasta, chips, snack foods and fast foods.
- Sugar, in all forms
- Dairy products, especially fat free and reduced fat (thus high in lactose, also known as milk sugar) as well as sweetened yogurts, ice creams, and puddings.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Stress (take steps to cope better, learn to relax, get exercise and quality sleep)
Now that you know what your looking for, you are well equipped to protect your Body Nation from the enemy and keep your own military force strong and in full control.