• Structure of the intestinal flora

    Posted on May 6, 2022 by in Digestion
    intestinal flora

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    The healthier the intestinal flora, the lower the risk of chronic as well as acute diseases. The development of the intestinal flora is therefore an important component of every therapy in naturopathy and is also one of the most effective preventive measures known.

    Especially after taking antibiotics, the intestinal flora should be rebuilt immediately. How do you go about it? What means can you use to build up the intestinal flora? And how long does it take? We answer these and many other questions in this article.

    Gut flora: the definition

    The term intestinal flora describes the entirety of all microorganisms in the human intestine. This includes not only the beneficial intestinal bacteria but also the harmful bacteria and fungi that live in the intestine.

    All of these microorganisms basically colonize the entire digestive tract – from the oral cavity to the rectum. However, the intestinal flora refers exclusively to the microorganism community of the small and large intestine.

    Depending on whether the beneficial intestinal bacteria are predominate or the harmful ones, one speaks of a healthy and balanced intestinal flora or of a disturbed intestinal flora.

    Reasons why you should build your gut flora

    There is now hardly a chronic disease – including allergies and autoimmune diseases – that you would not associate with a diseased intestinal flora. Even psychological complaints appear to develop particularly well when the intestinal flora is disturbed.

    It is well known that people with arthritis, people with multiple sclerosis, people with autism, etc. have a different intestinal flora than healthy people.

    However, you should not only build up your intestinal flora in the case of chronic diseases (or to prevent them) but also when you have to take medication. Many drugs have an extremely negative effect on intestinal flora, especially antibiotics. (See also under “Causes of a disturbed intestinal flora”)

    Antibiotics can often help very quickly with bacterial diseases. Because they kill the disease-causing bacteria. However, they also eliminate many of our body’s beneficial bacteria. The intestinal flora, but also the oral flora, get out of balance, which in turn can pave the way for chronic diseases. The development of the intestinal flora is therefore extremely important, especially during and after treatment with antibiotics.

    Causes of a disturbed intestinal flora

    The intestinal flora is now threatened by many factors. In addition to an unhealthy diet, alcohol, drugs and an overall unfavourable lifestyle, antibiotics in particular, but also other medications such as cortisone, acid blockers ( PPI, also known as “stomach protection”) or the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are often taken (ASA, diclofenac, ibuprofen, etc.) negatively affect the composition of the intestinal flora and thus promote the development of chronic diseases.

    The fact that the intestinal flora is partially destroyed after antibiotic therapy has been proven and that its natural balance can often only regenerate after many months. However, if the intestinal flora is damaged, the body’s own defences are automatically weakened. In the body there is, so to speak, an “open day” for harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses.

    Now the protection of the intestinal mucosa described above is also missing. It becomes vulnerable to harmful bacteria, fungal toxins and other harmful substances. Leaky Gut Syndrome can develop.

    The intestinal mucosa becomes leaky and bacteria, fungal toxins or undigested particles can get into the bloodstream. There, these substances lead to a strong reaction of the immune system, from which numerous complaints can develop.

    But even without Leaky Gut Syndrome, an intestinal flora disorder (dysbiosis) leads to the body being weakened overall, becoming more and more susceptible to disorders, and healing processes also being slow.

    Furthermore, it is already the case today that children are usually born with an intestinal flora disorder or no longer have the opportunity to build up a healthy intestinal flora due to caesarean sections and baby formula. Furthermore, if the parents and siblings also already have an unhealthy intestinal flora composition, this intestinal flora disorder is passed on directly to the newcomer. It is, therefore, more than necessary nowadays to take care of your intestinal flora, to care for and nurture it and, if necessary, to rebuild it.

    The tasks of the intestinal flora

    The tasks of the intestinal flora include the following:

    1. The intestinal flora fends off the settlement of pathogenic germs (harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi). For this purpose, the useful intestinal bacteria colonize the intestinal mucosa so tightly that harmful germs can no longer find a place there. The intestinal flora protects the intestinal mucosa.
    2. The intestinal flora repeatedly stimulates the intestinal mucosa to regenerate and keeps the intestinal mucosa intact and healthy.
    3. If the intestinal mucosa is intact and protected by the intestinal flora, toxic degradation products, undigested particles or even the body’s own immune cells in the intestine cannot get into the organism and cause no damage there, such as infections, allergies or autoimmune reactions.
    4. The intestinal flora is involved in the metabolism of food and thus in the optimal nutrient utilization.
    5. The intestinal flora forms some vitamins and fatty acids, the latter of which are used as an energy source in particular by the intestinal mucosal cells.
    6. Beneficial gut bacteria – when taken in the form of probiotic supplements – show effectiveness in both diarrhea and constipation.
    7. A healthy intestinal flora contributes to a low cholesterol level.
    8. The intestinal flora is connected to the brain. Damage to the intestinal flora can therefore also promote the development of mental illnesses.
    9. In addition, we know that a healthy intestinal flora and its development with high-quality probiotics can prevent allergies and infections in premature babies.
    10. Beneficial intestinal bacteria are also considered a naturopathic measure to prevent or alleviate neurodermatitis.
    11. A healthy intestinal flora is one of the most important preventive measures for chronic urinary tract infections.
    12. Beneficial intestinal bacteria can contribute to a positive course of infections of the ears, nose and throat.
    13. In the case of digestive problems of all kinds, the development of a healthy intestinal flora is the very first naturopathic measure that – ideally as part of an intestinal cleansing – can put an end to chronic problems in particular.
    14. However, one of the most important tasks of the intestinal flora is to support and train the immune system.

    The intestinal flora and the immune system

    There is a constant interaction between the intestinal flora and the immune system. Yes, the intestinal flora permanently influences both the innate and the acquired immune system and thus plays a decisive role in the body’s own defences.

    In 2013, Italian researchers wrote in the journal European review for medical and pharmacological sciences that there was increasing evidence of the positive effect of the intestinal flora on the immune system. They explained:

    “The intestinal flora has protective, metabolism-stimulating, nourishing and immunological functions. It is an active exchange with the humoral and cellular immune systems. As soon as there is even a small error in this communication, chronic inflammatory diseases or autoimmune diseases can develop. It is now evident that probiotics (probiotic preparations) can have an extremely beneficial effect in the therapy of diseases that have developed from a disorder of the immune system.”

    Can Probiotics Cure Diseases?

    If you also enter “probiotics” or “intestinal flora” in our search field, you will get further articles in which studies on the influence of the intestinal flora on health are presented. Among them, you will find many studies that show that the administration of probiotics can actually alleviate or even heal many diseases (e.g. stomach problems, vaginal thrush, bone loss, flu, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress etc.).

    However, taking probiotics alone will certainly not be enough to completely cure diseases. There is much more to this, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, good stress management and much more. Probiotics are therefore not a panacea, but part of a comprehensive holistic therapy.

    How long does it take for the intestinal flora to build up?

    There is no timeline for the build-up of the intestinal flora, since every person and every intestinal flora is in a different state and the build-up of a healthy intestinal flora can take a very different amount of time according to this individual state.

    Usually, it is considered that for preventive purposes it is sufficient to take a probiotic for 4 weeks and to do such a regimen twice a year.

    In the case of chronic illnesses, the 4-week course can be extended to 3 months and repeated after six months.

    However, one should not only orientate oneself to the duration of these cures. For example, if you notice that your symptoms are slowly decreasing within 4 weeks but are still not completely eliminated, you can simply take probiotics for as long as they are good for you.

    If you have the 3-month cure at home, but you are already feeling very well after 6 weeks, you can slowly taper off the probiotics and do not necessarily have to take them for 3 months.

    You should pay attention to this when buying probiotics

    We recommend those probiotics that contain not just one, two or three, but several (ideally over ten) strains of bacteria. Because every bacterial strain has its own tasks and therefore also very specific effects. In addition, many bacteria often work together, i.e. they reinforce each other’s effects.

    Make sure that the probiotic you choose contains not only the usual Lactobacillus and Bifido strains, but also other intestinal bacteria like Lactobacillus reuteri – for dental health and especially for expectant and breastfeeding mothers, Lactobacillus helveticus for vaginal thrush, for bone health, against allergies etc. and Bifidobacterium infantis. The latter helps, among other things, against diarrhea caused by antibiotics and also has an anti-inflammatory effect.

    Thanks to the variety of bacteria described, your intestinal flora receives important impulses for healing and regeneration and can now develop into a balanced and healthy intestinal flora – an intestinal flora that can give you all the health benefits mentioned above.

    These products are recommended for building up the intestinal flora

    To build up the intestinal flora, we recommend two preparations that can be both combined with each other: a liquid probiotic and a capsule probiotic.

    1. The liquid formula is called “Probioform” and contains good bacteria and soil microbes.
    2. The capsules are called Floratrex and contain 25 different strains including Bacteriophages.

    This is how you can build up your intestinal flora – the instructions

    If you now have the two probiotic preparations at home, you can start. If you have other preparations from other manufacturers, pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. Our following instructions refer to the above listed products:

    Build up intestinal flora week 1

    Day 1 to 3: Probioform Fluid: 15 ml once a day in the morning, half an hour before breakfast with a glass of water.

    from day 4: Probioform as usual; additionally Floratrex: 1 capsule twice a day – at noon and in the evening before bed.

    Build up intestinal flora week 2

    Probioform: 15 ml twice a day, morning and evening, half an hour before breakfast or dinner with a glass of water. 

    Floratrex: 1 capsule twice a day – at noon and in the evening before bed.

    Build up intestinal flora week 3

    Probioform: 15 ml twice a day, morning and evening, half an hour before breakfast or dinner with a glass of water. 

    Floratrex: 1 capsule twice a day – at noon and in the evening with meals or up to 30 minutes before.

    Build up intestinal flora week 4

    Probioform: 15 ml twice a day, morning and evening, half an hour before breakfast or dinner with a glass of water. 

    Floratrex: 1 capsule 3 times a day – in the morning, at noon and in the evening with meals or up to 30 minutes before.

    Continue with this until you finished both products.

    Intestinal flora development and at the same time an intestinal cleansing

    If you don’t “just” want to build up your intestinal flora, but want to comprehensively sanitize, cleanse and regenerate your intestines, then you can also consider a complete intestinal sanitation.

    Because if the intestine is already massively damaged, the sole intestinal flora build-up is not always successful. The beneficial intestinal bacteria cannot settle in the diseased intestine and the intake of probiotics was in vain.

    In an intestinal cleanse, the digestive system is detoxified and cleansed. Deposits, undigested particles, toxins and hardened faeces are removed, depriving the harmful intestinal bacteria of an important basis for life.

    The intestinal peristalsis is regulated, the intestinal mucosa is regenerated and the PH value in the intestine is normalized.

    A natural colon cleansing consists of four components.  Zeolite (or Bentonite) and psyllium husk. Colonic irrigation and Probiotics usually one decides here either for the liquid probiotic or for the capsule probiotic.

    Bentonite and zeolite are mineral clays that bind toxins and thus prevent toxic components from entering the bloodstream from the intestine.

    Psyllium husk acts as roughage and prebiotic, which swells to many times its original volume in the intestine and therefore cleans the intestinal walls like a broom. Like probiotics, psyllium husk powder has a proven positive effect on all problems associated with the so-called metabolic syndrome. That means psyllium husk powder

    1. lowers blood pressure
    2. regulates blood sugar
    3. helps with weight loss
    4. normalizes blood fat and cholesterol levels

    Having weekly colonics during a 4 week colon cleanse helps remove loosened debris, old faecal matter and harmful bacteria.

    Support the development of the intestinal flora with Mumijo

    Mumijo is an old natural remedy. It is taken from Fossil Deposits and has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and mucosa-healing effects and is therefore very suitable as an accompanying measure for intestinal cleansing. Some countries also call it Moor deposits, Shilajit or Humic/Fulvic acid.

    Side effects when building up the intestinal flora

    During the development of the intestinal flora, please always pay attention to your body and how it reacts to the intake of the probiotic bacterial strains. If symptoms appear, such as Gas, discomfort, constipation or loose stools, wait two to three days. If symptoms do not improve, reduce the dose until you feel well.

    Stick to the feel-good dose you found for two to three days and then slowly start increasing the dose again. Once symptoms return, go back to the previous dose and stay there until the end of the cycle.

    The right diet during the intestinal flora build-up

    Proper nutrition is necessary for a healthy intestinal flora to develop. Otherwise, you’ll provide food for the bad bacteria and drive away the good bacteria-and all your efforts with probiotics and other gut-cleansing measures will be in vain.

    However, if you implement a base-excessive or alkaline diet during the build-up of the intestinal flora, which is rich in vital substances, minerals and roughage, but at the same time is low in sugar and also contains only moderate amounts of animal proteins, then the newly introduced beneficial lactobacteria and bifidobacteria feel good, multiply and take on the tasks that are so important to us.

    If you do not want to completely change your diet, you should at least make sure that you do not use any industrially processed sugar or flour and of course not use any products that contain sugar or flour in any form (sweets, snacks, baked goods and pasta, ready-made sauces, etc. – It is best to always read the list of ingredients).

    Excessive fat intake should also be avoided if possible.

    Do you want to build up your intestinal flora? Talk to us!

    As always, it is best to discuss the measures mentioned with your doctor or alternative practitioner, especially if you suffer from chronic diseases and are already taking medication. Because the treatment to build up the intestinal flora can improve your symptoms, so that e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. should be monitored more closely in order to be able to reduce the previous dose of medication in good time if there is an improvement.

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