Replenishing healthy bacteria

Dr. Kristin Schnurr, ND

Healthy digestive microbes come from ingesting uncooked fruits, vegetables, and dairy products that contain live probiotics. Our first microbes are introduced in the vaginal canal after the natural birth process, and are delivered through breast milk. We inherit our gut flora from our mother at birth, where it settles in the baby's sterile system and becomes gut flora. Breastfeeding is another way the mother passes her gut flora to her baby. Bottle fed babies acquire completely different gut flora than those that are breastfed.

Routinely eating some live culture containing foods such as yogurt, kefir, or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso or kombucha can also assist in replenishing healthy bacteria.  It is important to ensure the products are guaranteed to contain live cultures since many brands destroy the essential bacteria with high temperature processing during the manufacturing process. Making your own yogurt assures an active bacteria content.

For some people, the level of depletion requires the consumption of a daily probiotic supplement in order to replenish beneficial bacteria.   It is important to consider that infants, children and adults require different combinations of specific bacteria. 

And, it is important to be cautious with dosing in the treatment of skin and autoimmune conditions.