Updated from a post I originally wrote and published for Lymenaide, February 6, 2010.
“Support bacteria – they’re the only culture some people have.”
See that jar of Kohlrabi Garlic Pickles up there? It's teaming with happy, healthy bacteria.
Bacteria gets a bad rap - bacteria is our friend. Sure, there are lots of bacteria out there that do everything from make food spoil to make body odor stink to make people very sick. As someone with chronic Lyme Disease, I'm quite familiar (and unhappy) with the constant microbial battle going on inside my body with those nasty little buggers. For years, Borrelia bacteria has been compromising my immune system and screwing with my body. My challenge since starting treatment has been to kick those bad bacteria out and replace them with the friendly bacteria that will make me healthier.
Our bodies rely on healthy bacteria to function properly - without it, we'd die. The flora (bacteria) in your gut effects everything. Beneficial lactobactilli bacteria help your body deal with all the bad bacteria appropriately, stimulating the immune system to react. Bacteria also help your body digest food and assimilate nutrients, and break down toxins. If you are on antibiotics, it is clearing out ALL your bacteria, both good and bad, so it is important that you take steps to help restore good bacteria to your gut. Otherwise yeast infections and Candida will take over, and your immune system and digestion will suffer.