How to increase akkermansia muciniphila
Build up intestinal flora: This is how it works - The best tips
Why you should build up your intestinal flora - with probiotics and prebiotics
Did you know that there are 10 times more bacteria in your intestines than there are cells in your body? Many scientists now regard the intestinal flora as a separate organ. The importance of an intact intestinal flora for our health is immense. The research on this is still at the very beginning. But it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a close connection between a disturbed intestinal flora and today's common diseases. It is possible that an insufficient number of certain bacteria or an insufficient variety of intestinal bacteria lead to diseases such as ADHD, depression, allergies or diabetes.
What is the intestinal flora?
The intestinal flora refers to all microorganisms in the human intestine that take on numerous tasks and are of crucial importance for human health. In the main, these are bacteria. The term "intestinal flora" comes from a time when it was believed that bacteria belonged to the plant kingdom. Rather, the correct term “intestinal microbiota” should prevail in the linguistic usage.
A healthy intestinal flora is characterized by the fact that the bacteria appear in the right composition, in sufficient numbers and in variety. The optimal composition of the intestinal bacteria is not yet known to medicine, so far there are only estimated guide values that are based on the microbiome of a healthy person. Microbiome research, a very young field of research, is devoted to this question along with many others.
In connection with the intestinal flora, one speaks of “good” and “bad” bacteria. To put it simply, the good bacteria promote our health, whereas the bad bacteria are harmful to it. As a rule, the naturally occurring "bad" bacteria in the intestine only become dangerous if they multiply too much. This usually happens when the intestinal flora is out of whack. Depending on the section of the digestive tract, the composition of living microorganisms is very different.
Why build up intestinal flora: What are the tasks of the intestinal bacteria?
The bacteria in the intestine perform a number of vital tasks in the body. These include, for example:
- Regulation of fat and glucose metabolism
- Promote the absorption of vital nutrients
- Affecting the endocrine system, such as the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen
- Support in coping with stress by regulating the hormones involved (cortisol, adrenaline)
- Promoting healthy sleep by regulating the sleep hormone melatonin
- Production of essential substances such as vitamins (e.g. B vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, B12) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) for healthy brain function and psychological well-being
- Production of important enzymes and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is important for our psychological well-being
- Support of the immune system in the defense against exogenous microbes or the reproduction of potentially disease-causing bacteria occurring in the intestine
- Control of certain immune cells to prevent autoimmune reactions
- Maintaining the balance of the intestinal flora
- Curbing inflammation in the body, for example by lowering inflammatory substances that enter the blood
- Participation in the detoxification of toxins (decomposition of poisons or prevention of penetration into the body)
- Strengthening and maintaining the health of the intestinal mucosa so that excessive immune reactions caused by a leaky gut are avoided
- Prevention of brain problems caused by a holey intestine, as a result of which proteins, bacteria and toxins can transfer from the blood to the brain and cause damage there
Build up intestinal flora with these risk factors for a disturbed intestinal flora
The gut microbiome is susceptible to a number of confounding factors. Risk factors that jeopardize the healthy balance of gut bacteria and reduce the number of beneficial bacteria include:
- a birth by caesarean section
- if you were not breastfed as a baby
- Environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides (e.g. glyphosate), products such as plastics (aluminum foil, plastic, etc.)
- taking antibiotics
- other medications (e.g. the pill, stomach acid blockers)
- chronic stress
- wrong diet with too many white flour products, too much sugar and too little fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grain products as well as too few unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids
- Food components such as gluten or chlorine in drinking water
- Lack of exercise and sport
- a permanently disturbed sleep
- too great hygiene
Build up intestinal flora after caesarean section or bottle feeding
Studies have found that people who were born by caesarean section do not have as great a variety of intestinal bacteria as those who were born normally. The number of certain good bacteria such as bifidobacteria or lactobacilli has also been shown to be reduced in cesarean children.
As a rule, an antibiotic is also given during the birth by caesarean section (cesarean section), which also weakens the intestinal flora. Because the antibiotic kills not only the bad, but also the good intestinal bacteria.
If a child is born by caesarean section, there is no passage through the mother's natural birth canal, which is lined with many important microorganisms. If a baby takes this route, it is naturally supplied with the first intestinal bacteria by ingesting them through the mouth. During a caesarean section, it does not get this “natural oral vaccination”. Science is not yet in agreement about whether this deficiency can ever be completely compensated for in later life.
When a baby is breastfed, the mother's milk also provides it with numerous probiotics such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which gradually settle in the child's intestines. The microbiome is passed on from the mother to the child. If a mother cannot breastfeed her child, this supply of beneficial bacteria is missing. In this case, it is advisable to supply the missing bacterial strains in childhood or adulthood.
Build up intestinal flora after antibiotics
When bacterial infections occur, many people take antibiotics to kill the bacteria that cause disease. The problem with antibiotic treatment is that it not only fights harmful germs, but the good bacteria as well.
If bacteria that fight viruses and harmful bacteria are reduced in number, they can no longer protect the body from infection as effectively. This disrupts the natural balance of the intestinal flora. Potentially disease-causing germs that occur naturally in the intestine can multiply.
It is therefore advisable to take probiotics and prebiotics (fiber-rich foods that are the basis for many intestinal bacteria) as dietary supplements and through appropriate foods after antibiotic therapy.
Build up intestinal flora when taking medication
Other medications such as gastric acid blockers, birth control pills or antidepressants have been shown to lead to a disturbance in the balance of the intestinal flora. So if you take one of these drugs regularly, you should build up your intestinal flora as part of an intestinal rehabilitation.
Build up intestinal flora with an unhealthy diet
An unhealthy diet also contributes to a reduced diversity of intestinal bacteria and a reduced number of good intestinal cells. The western diet consists of too many white flour products such as pasta, saturated fats, as well as too much fast food, sugar and meat.
This diet leaves traces in the long run, insofar as the healthy intestinal flora is out of balance. Because the good intestinal bacteria feed on fiber that is found in fiber-rich vegetable foods. Whole grain products, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruit - these foods contain plenty of fiber, which your microorganisms in the intestine can feed on, so that they thrive and multiply.
A study found that people in rural areas of southern Africa have a greater biodiversity of bacteria in their intestines than Europeans who eat a diet low in fiber, high in fat and sugar. Why?
The people in South African countries mainly eat natural, plant-based foods. They have a significantly higher proportion of health-promoting Bacteroides bacteria in their intestines than Europeans with a western diet.
Europeans have a much higher percentage of Firmicutes bacteria than Africans, which increases the risk of disease. Because these germs - if they multiply too much - favor not only inflammation, but also obesity, diabetes and a number of other modern widespread diseases.
Build up intestinal flora when exposed to environmental toxins
Environmental toxins that we ingest through food, for example, are also a threat to the healthy intestinal flora. Chlorine in drinking water, heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, mercury from amalgam fillings or fish, but also pesticides (such as glyphosate), food additives or certain substances in plastic pollute the microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract, causing it to lose its balance can.
Therefore, it is now practically important for everyone to detoxify the body from time to time. You can promote the detoxification of your body as part of an intestinal rehabilitation, a fasting cure and a change in diet.
Build up intestinal flora in the event of chronic stress
Most people probably know that chronic stress is a health hazard. With chronic stress, the cortisol level (cortisol = stress hormone) is increased, which promotes the release of inflammatory substances. These in turn can trigger inflammation in the intestines, which can increase the permeability of the intestine.
A high cortisol level also changes the composition of the intestinal flora, which can also result in leaky gut. These consequences can be demonstrated in patients with anxiety disorders as well as in patients with depression. This is why it is so important that the gut microbiome is built up during chronic stress.
Build up the intestinal flora in the case of chronic sleep disorders
If you suffer from chronic sleep disorders and a depressed mood, your intestinal flora may be disturbed. Because according to the latest studies, the condition of the intestinal flora directly determines your mental state and the quality of your sleep. Research derives this connection from the so-called gut-brain axis. This means the intensive exchange between the brain and the intestine.
A lack of sleep is said to have a negative impact on the composition of the intestinal flora within 48 hours. Conversely, a disturbed intestinal flora can lead to poor sleep. So if you suffer from sleep disorders such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, an intestinal rehabilitation can help you to improve your sleep.
Build up the intestinal flora when there is a lack of exercise
Studies have shown that a lack of exercise contributes to the impoverishment of biodiversity in our intestines. If, on the other hand, you exercise regularly, this promotes a large variety of microbes in the intestine. The more beneficial gut bacteria that settle in your gut, the more short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) they can produce. As a result, the intestinal mucosa can be better nourished and remains protected from inflammation and permeability.
So if you don't like sports, make sure to build up your intestinal flora through a healthy diet and a cure with probiotics.
Build up intestinal flora if the hygiene is too intensive
There are studies showing that people in countries with poor hygiene standards have a greater variety of intestinal bacteria. In the western industrialized nations, where people have little contact with nature and often use disinfectants, the microbiota in the intestine is depleted. In this low-germ environment, however, the immune system is no longer challenged as much as in less hygienic countries. As a result, it becomes “bored” and becomes more susceptible to excessive immune reactions such as in the case of allergies or autoimmune diseases.
This lack of diversity in intestinal bacteria can also be seen in city dwellers. This can be explained, among other things, by the fact that city dwellers live in a less germ-free environment than rural dwellers. Due to their close-to-nature life, these in turn come into contact with significantly more germs and thus develop a more species-rich intestinal flora than city dwellers.
As a city dweller, it is therefore advisable to build up and maintain the intestinal flora with suitable probiotic preparations and a proper diet.
Build up intestinal flora in loneliness
Recent studies have shown that people who are embedded in a social network have a greater variety of microorganisms in their intestines than people who are lonely. Apparently, psychological well-being is closely related to reliable social ties.
If we have positive social relationships, the likelihood of a more biodiverse microbiome in the gut is higher. On the other hand, if we are lonely and unhappy, our intestinal flora also suffers. The close connection between mental health and intestinal health has meanwhile been proven by studies.
Building up the intestinal flora - preventing diseases: the consequences of a disturbed intestinal flora
Disturbances of the intestinal flora can now be detected in a variety of diseases. What microbiome research does not yet know exactly is whether the disease in question leads to altered intestinal flora or whether the altered intestinal flora triggers the disease. According to research, the disturbed intestinal flora seems to play an important role in the following diseases or complaints:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Leaky Gut (leaky gut)
- Food intolerance
- Cardiovascular diseases
- chronic fatigue
- inflammatory bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease
- multiple sclerosis
- impaired memory and concentration problems
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), which often leads to infertility
- Susceptibility to infections (frequent colds, flu-like infections)
- sleep disorders
- Joint pain, e.g. B. Arthritis
- high blood pressure
- sleep disorders
Intestinal flora disorders - basis for chronic inflammatory and neurological diseases?
A change in the intestinal flora promotes inflammation and increased permeability of the intestinal mucosa ("leaky gut syndrome"). Certain substances such as the toxic lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but also environmental toxins or food components can now enter the blood unhindered and cause damage to the body. LPS, for example, directly triggers inflammatory reactions in the body. The substances that have passed into the blood trigger the immune system to respond to defensive reactions.
Due to the disturbed intestinal barrier, the general susceptibility to inflammation in the body increases. The inflammatory process becomes chronic and promotes the development of chronic inflammatory diseases such as allergies, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and high blood pressure.
Once in the blood, certain inflammatory substances such as LPS can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. There they can also cause neurological complaints and diseases such as anxiety, depression or multiple sclerosis.
There is a deficiency in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in people with ADHD. This is produced by the intestinal bacteria Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lactobacillus plantarum. If the number of these good bacteria in the intestine is reduced, there is a deficiency in GABA, which is noticeable in the corresponding behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and poor concentration.
The composition of the intestinal flora - an overview of the most important intestinal bacteria
There are probably over 1000 types of bacteria that colonize our intestines. So far, very few of them have been researched, which is why we do not yet know which bacterium fulfills which functions in the intestine. We already know that the different types of bacteria work as a team in order to be able to cope with the numerous tasks in the intestine. The following germs can be found in the intestines, among others:
- Bifidobacteria, e.g. B. Bifidobacterium infantis
- Lactobacilli, e.g. B. Lactobacillus plantarum
- Enterococcus species, e.g. B. Enterococcus faecalis
- Enterobacteria, e.g. B. Escherichia coli, Enterobacter, Citrobacter
- Akkermansia muciniphila
- Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
- Clostridium species
Firmicutes and Bacteroides
So-called Firmicutes and Bacteroides occur in the intestine with a share of 90%. The Bacteroides include representatives such as Bacteroides caccae, Bacteroides coprophilus, Bacteroides faecis and Bacteroides fragilis.The Firmicutes bacteria include, for example, representatives from the genera Streptococcus, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus such as Lactobacillus plantarum or Lactobacillus acidophilus and Clostridium bacteria.
Research has shown that lean, healthy people have significantly more Bacteroides germs than Firmicutes. In the case of people with overweight or diabetes, however, the ratio has been reversed. The Firmicutes - with the exception of the beneficial lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus - have gained the upper hand. In addition, the biodiversity of overweight and sick people is less pronounced.
A high proportion of Bacteroides not only promotes health, but apparently also increases cognitive performance. A recently published study among the members of the highly gifted Mensa association showed that they usually had a large number of Bacteroides in their intestines. Accordingly, a high proportion of Bacteroides bacteria seems to favor a high level of intelligence.
Lactobacillus plantarum is one of the lactic acid bacteria and is contained in yogurt, for example. The germ plays a crucial role in immune regulation and inflammation control in the intestine. Lactobacillus plantarum not only curbs inflammation, but also promotes the maintenance of the healthy balance of the intestinal flora so that potentially dangerous germs cannot multiply.
In addition, the intestinal bacterium supports a healthy intestinal mucosa, so that the nutrients can be optimally absorbed and the intestine does not become permeable ("leaky gut"). This also reduces the risk of many diseases such as dementia and depression as well as allergies and food intolerances, which are apparently due to a permeable intestine and increased inflammation in the organism.
Lactobacillus plantarum is involved in the absorption of the important omega-3 fatty acids for healthy brain function, vitamins and antioxidants. Together with the bifidobacterium adolescentis, Lactobacillus plantarum forms gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain and central nervous system, which is of great importance for the communication between brain cells.
GABA is essential for brain health, has a calming effect and contributes to healthy sleep. GABA levels are low in children with ADHD and people with anxiety. According to recent research, administration of Lactobacillus plantarum can increase the level of the neurotransmitter, which can help alleviate symptoms.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is also an essential regulator of the intestinal flora. If there is a sufficient number, the intestinal germ promotes the growth of useful intestinal bacteria and prevents the reproduction of pathogenic germs such as the yeast Candida albicans or other bacteria. In this way, the lactic acid bacterium supports the immune system.
Lactobacillus acidophilus also promotes stable cholesterol levels and forms the enzyme lactase, which is needed for the digestion of milk sugar (lactose). This intestinal germ is also involved in the production of vitamin K in the body, which is important for healthy blood clotting.
In a 2003 study in children with attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the simultaneous intake of Lactobacillus acidophilus and essential fatty acids achieved the same positive effects as Ritalin.
The lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus is also found in yogurt, kimchi and fermented vegetables such as (not in vinegar) pickled sauerkraut or other fermented foods such as buttermilk.
Lactobacillus brevis is also one of the lactic acid bacteria that promote a healthy immune system. They have been shown to increase the immunity of the cells, i.e. their insensitivity to potential intruders such as pathogens or toxins. This increased immune strength comes about, for example, because the microorganisms increase the activity of the disease-fighting white blood cells.
Lactobacillus brevis also increases the level of the growth hormone BDNF (“brain-derived neurotrophic factor”). The protein BDNF supports general cognitive brain functions by stimulating the growth of new nerve cells and synapses. A high BDNF level not only promotes strong nerves and good concentration, but also increases memory performance.
Lactobacillus helveticus also strengthens the immune system and promotes a healthy intestinal mucosa. The intestinal germ also has an anti-inflammatory effect. A subliminal inflammatory process probably precedes every chronic illness. People with anxiety and depression that occurred in connection with gastrointestinal problems were helped in the context of a study with the administration of Lactobacillus helveticus.
Lactobacillus helveticus promotes the development of bone-forming cells, which is helpful in osteoporosis. The bacterium improves the absorption of vitamins and minerals so that they are available to the body for appropriate functions. It also promotes stress resistance and contributes to healthy cognitive performance. Lactobacillus helveticus could therefore play an important role in the treatment of brain diseases such as dementia or ADHD in the future.
Lactobacillus helveticus has also been shown to help prevent allergies and promote detoxification. By fighting allergens and other molecules, it reduces the risk of developing an allergy.
The intestinal germ also helps to multiply bacteria that cause urinary tract infections or gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhea, for example, and fights Candida yeasts, which can lead to vaginal infections.
Bifidobacteria predominantly colonize the large intestine of humans. The species Bifidobacterium lactis has a proven effect on digestive problems. In this way, the bacterium can improve the symptoms in irritable bowel patients.
In addition, Bifidobacterium lactis increases the immune system and helps to fight off pathogens. The bacterium produces lactic and acetic acid and creates a slightly acidic environment in the intestine in a way that many viruses and harmful bacteria do not feel comfortable in. Bifidobacterium lactis protects against many infections if it is found in sufficient quantities in the intestine.
Furthermore, Bifidobacterium lactis contributes to a healthy intestinal mucosa, which does not allow certain substances to pass into the blood. In this way, the bacterium can also help to prevent allergies from developing or to reduce the symptoms of an allergy.
It is also said to help lower high cholesterol levels. Bifidobacterium lactis can be taken orally as a probiotic, as it can survive the stomach acid undamaged and thus penetrate the intestines.
The Bifidobacterium longum also promotes a strong immune system by preventing harmful germs from multiplying. In addition, the bacterium contributes to a better lactose tolerance and protects the intestinal mucosa.
The Bifidobacterium longum can also protect against diarrhea and food allergies by promoting a healthy bowel. The bacterium is also said to help alleviate existing digestive problems such as flatulence, constipation and diarrhea.
In addition, a recent study in Tübingen has shown that the Bifidobacterium longum helps us to cope better with stress. Like the other bifidobacteria, this bacterium is also involved in the production of B vitamins such as biotin (vitamin B7). It also ensures that calcium can be better absorbed.
In addition, Bifidobacterium longum has a calming effect in the body, which is why it can also be used for anxiety. By taking Bifidobacterium longum as a probiotic agent, the beneficial bifidobacteria in the intestine can naturally multiply and various ailments can be alleviated.
The Bifidobacterium infantis is also involved in the production of B vitamins. It inhibits the multiplication of germs, has an anti-anxiety effect and improves resistance to stress. It also contributes to the fact that more of the happiness hormone serotonin can be produced, which has a positive influence on our psychological well-being.
If the Bifidobacterium infantis is present in sufficient quantities, it protects - so researchers suspect - against allergies and chronic intestinal inflammation such as irritable bowel. It may suppress the overreactions of the immune system that are typical of allergies. The germ also has the ability to inhibit inflammation in the intestine.
It has also been shown to provide relief from diarrhea and other irritable bowel symptoms. The Bifidobacterium infantis is well suited for ingestion as a probiotic, as it can withstand stomach acid undamaged.
A representative of the enterobacteria are the Escherichia coli. Some strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) are harmless but important intestinal bacteria that train the immune system and contribute to adequate immune tolerance. In this case, they belong to the so-called immunomodulating microbiota. This means that E. coli support the body in preventing excessive immune reactions, as in the case of an allergy.
On the other hand, they can strengthen the immune system so that it can better fight bacteria and viruses. Escherichia coli bacteria also help maintain the balance of the various bacterial strains in the intestine and are involved in the production of vitamin K, which is important for normal blood clotting.
Enterobacteria such as E. coli, Enterobacter or Citrobacter farmeri belong to the proteolytic microbiota. This means that they are responsible for breaking down proteins. If the number of Citrobacter farmeri is too high, there is increased flatulence and a flat stomach. In addition, the released gases put a strain on the liver and disrupt digestion.
Other E. coli strains are less beneficial to health. There are types that can cause bacterial infections such as cystitis, diarrhea or food poisoning.
Enterococcus bacteria, such as the Enterococcus faecalis strain, also belong to the immunomodulating microbiota, which can dampen excessive immune reactions such as those caused by an allergy. On the other hand, they are also able to increase the activity of the immune system. They do this by increasing the production of phagocytes so that the immune system can fight a virus or bacterial infection more effectively. The intestinal bacteria, which also belong to the lactic acid bacteria, are considered training partners for the immune system and can positively influence the composition of the intestinal flora.
Probiotic agents with Enterococcus faecalis are used for respiratory diseases such as colds, bronchitis, sinus infections, tonsillitis, but also for otitis media or gastrointestinal disorders and in general to strengthen the immune system.
Enterococcus can be found in fermented and ripened foods such as buffalo mozzarella, camembert or goat cheese.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Akkermansia municiphila
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Akkermansia muciniphila belong to the mucosal-sensitive microbiota. These include intestinal bacteria that feed the intestinal mucosa and thus contribute to its health. Akkermansia muciniphila produce the mucus film on the intestinal mucosa and protect the intestine from developing a leaky gut.
Akkermansia muciniphila produce certain substances, which in turn feed the Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Faecal bacteria prausnitzii are responsible in the intestine for supplying the intestinal mucosa with the most important nutrient, butyric acid. Butyric acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Akkermansia muciniphila occur in reduced numbers in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. In people with allergies, overweight, diabetes and neurodermatitis, the number of Akkermansia muciniphila in particular is reduced. Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria make up 3-5% of the intestinal flora in healthy people. Above all, it has been proven that they are reduced by frequent consumption of foods that are too high in fat.
Build up the intestinal flora with probiotics, prebiotics and medication
Deacidification and detoxification to build up the intestinal flora
In the last few years a deluge of probiotic agents has hit the market that makes it difficult to keep track of things.
First of all, it can be said that taking a probiotic alone will probably not be enough to restore health. First of all, the basis must be laid so that the beneficial intestinal bacteria feel comfortable in the intestine and want to thrive there.
To do this, it makes sense to deacidify the body first. This creates a slightly acidic environment in the intestine, in which the lactic acid bacteria, for example, feel comfortable. It is ideal if the pH of the chair is between 5.8 and 6.5. For many people with a typical western diet with a lot of sugar, white flour products and animal fats, this value slips too far into the acidic range.
For deacidification, it is good if you take an alkaline powder for a few weeks and eat mostly natural with fresh, preferably organic vegetables and fruits as well as whole grain products. You should avoid or at least reduce acid generators such as coffee, alcohol, meat, white flour, sugar dishes as well as sugary drinks and fats (fast food).
If your body is sufficiently deacidified through a balanced diet and the base powder, you can detoxify it with herbal remedies such as a myrrh-coffee-charcoal-chamomile preparation. The myrrh is supposed to dissolve toxins that our body takes in from food, drinking water or the air and that accumulate in the tissue. The coffee carbon binds the dissolved pollutants such as heavy metals or pesticide residues and promotes their removal.
If the body is sufficiently detoxified and deacidified, you can start the intestinal reconstruction therapy with probiotics and prebiotics.
For more tips on this important topic, you should also read our article on: Colon cleansing.
Build up the intestinal flora with medication
Taking probiotic agents is only advisable if you know which intestinal germs are reduced in you. Professional naturopaths and naturopaths who specialize in the intestines are in contact with microecological laboratories, which can carry out a detailed stool analysis of the composition of the intestinal flora. The test results are then sent to the treating therapist.
For example, irritable bowel syndrome is often deficient in Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus faecalis. These intestinal germs can be administered over a period of several months using an over-the-counter suspension with the corresponding bacteria. This also happens one after the other in the professional intestinal structure.
Adding all probiotic strains at once is usually of little help to the body, as it is overwhelmed with this oversupply and they do not necessarily settle in the intestines.
After these germs to strengthen the immune system and appropriate immune tolerance, the ingestion of lactic acid bacteria is then an option. When building up the intestinal flora, naturopaths often do not work with many different germs in a probiotic (combined preparations), but with the administration of a single strain for months, especially the Lactobacillus acidophilus ‘. Because this intestinal germ is a main regulator of the intestinal flora. This means that it can promote the reproduction of other good intestinal bacteria such as other lactobacilli or bifidobacteria and thus prevent the bad ones from spreading.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is also suitable as a means of ingestion, because it is in high doses, so it contains a sufficient number of intestinal bacteria to have a lasting effect on the intestinal flora. Lactobacillus acidophilus also tolerates oxygen, which is important so that it can be administered orally at all, so that it can arrive alive in the intestine and develop its effect there. It is also gastric acid resistant, which means that it survives the attack of gastric acid and reaches the intestine alive. These bacteria can, for example, be taken as a powder in a dosage of 1 sachet once a day - for several months.
Different strains of bacteria can help with different digestive problems. Bifidobacterium infantis has proven effective for flatulence, E.coli for constipation and lactobacilli for diarrhea. It's not uncommon to have to try multiple strains to find the bacterium that helps, some experts say.
If unwanted side effects such as headaches occur, either the probiotic preparation is not the right one or you have to reduce the dose first until you can better tolerate the microorganisms.
It is generally advisable to discuss the use of probiotics with your doctor or alternative practitioner. Probiotic agents are available as powder, enteric capsules, or liquid.
How long does probiotic therapy last?
The build-up of a disturbed intestinal flora requires patience. You can expect several weeks, months up to 1 year to build up your intestine with probiotics. It simply takes a certain amount of time for the good intestinal bacteria to multiply again and for the intestinal flora to regenerate.
It is also possible that the positive effects only last for the time of ingestion or that they do not occur at all. Microbiome research is still at the very beginning. Much is still unclear in this context.
Build up the intestinal flora with targeted nutrition
Build up the intestinal flora with probiotic foods
In many cases, it is not enough to take a probiotic for long periods of time and maintain your possibly bad eating habits. Changing your diet permanently is one of the most important things if you want to achieve greater health success.
According to a study, people who regularly consume fermented probiotic foods have a greater variety of intestinal bacteria than people who only use probiotic preparations. With a balanced diet, you can clean up your intestines in a natural way and keep them healthy.
With one yoghurt a day you can in most cases not rebuild your intestinal flora, especially if you already have diseases that are associated with a disturbed intestinal flora. For this you need probiotics in higher doses.
It is important here that you incorporate several probiotic foods into your daily menu. Probiotic cultures for intestinal cleansing can be supplied relatively easily via fermented foods. However, these must not be pickled in vinegar or pasteurized (heated). This includes:
- pickled vegetables such as sauerkraut or cucumber
- homemade mayonnaise / mustard
- Natural yoghurt
- Kimchi (lactic sour vegetables)
- Bread drink
- Kvass (made from bread)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Kombucha tea (made from green tea)
- Red wine (1 glass / day)
- Tempeh (soy product)
- some cheeses like cheddar, gouda, mozzarella
Build up the intestinal flora with prebiotics from food
Certain bacterial strains such as Akkermansia muciniphila cannot be given orally in the form of dietary supplements, as they cannot tolerate oxygen and would not reach the intestines alive.
You can still build up these intestinal bacteria - with the help of prebiotics. These are fiber-rich parts of plants - so-called dietary fibers such as the dietary fiber inulin - on which these and many other intestinal bacteria - such as the bifidobacteria - feed.
In naturopathy, for example, the prebiotic acacia fiber is used in intestinal rehabilitation, a prebiotic in powder form that the intestinal bacteria feed on. Acacia fiber is said to have the ability to indirectly colonize the intestinal mucosa with bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
But many types of fruit and vegetables are also rich in bacteria-nourishing fiber such as inulin or health-promoting polyphenols. Foods that have a beneficial effect on your intestinal flora in addition to fermented foods include:
- Cabbage like cauliflower or broccoli
- Peas like green peas
- Whole grain cereals (flours)
- Flea seeds
- Flea seeds
- Herbs like peppermint, oregano, rosemary, thyme
- Cocoa (e.g. in dark chocolate - if possible without sugar)
- black tea and green tea
- Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, linseed oil)
In a study in which obese people with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol were given Akkermansia muciniphila killed for 3 months, those affected showed an improvement in symptoms. In addition to lower insulin and cholesterol values, the patients lost weight, the markers of inflammation in the blood decreased, the blood pressure decreased and the liver values improved.
This bacterium could therefore play an important role in the treatment of today's common ailments in the future. At the moment there is still a lot of research to be done. Because it is also not yet clear what an excess of Akkermansia muciniphila has for health effects through increased intake.
Build intestinal flora by omitting unhealthy foods
On the other hand, foods have an unfavorable effect on your intestinal flora, which either make the intestinal environment too acidic, so that the good bacteria no longer feel good. Certain foods also promote inflammation or, due to the lack of fiber, inhibit the reproduction of good intestinal bacteria. Foods that damage the intestinal flora are, for example:
- sugary foods
- Meals with plenty of saturated fats as in fast food
- White flour and white flour products such as pizza, pasta, white and mixed bread
- too much meat
- too much coffee
Build up intestinal flora and supplement missing nutrients
Due to the western diet with many white flour products, sugar dishes and unhealthy fats, a disturbed intestinal flora can lead to vital substance deficiencies. A lack of vital nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, essential fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin B12, vitamin C or vitamin D leads to further symptoms.
Therefore, it makes sense to have a doctor clarify whether the nutrient supply in your body is optimally guaranteed in the event of complaints such as tiredness, exhaustion or depression. If not, it makes sense to substitute the missing nutrients in the form of dietary supplements. Certain complaints can be alleviated in this way.
In the case of depression and concentration problems, for example, a preparation with vitamin B12 can already bring about relief of the symptoms. If you are exhausted, tired and have poor memory, iron or vitamin D can improve your well-being.
In the long term, however, it is desirable that a healthy intestinal flora is restored so that the organism can use the nutrients again optimally. A balanced diet is the basis for this.
Build up intestinal flora through frequent contact with germs
It has now been proven that people always have a diverse intestinal flora where the immune system has a lot to do - in countries with poor hygienic conditions or in rural areas where people live close to nature and come into contact with many germs. The more sterile the environment, the more species-poor the composition of the intestinal flora.
If you want to build up your intestinal flora, you should not only carry out an intestinal rehabilitation, but also make sure that you have more contact with nature and the microbes that live there. You can do this by visiting the country - for example, by taking a vacation on the farm or going out into the forest - as well as by gardening or buying a pet.
The more your immune system comes into contact with germs, the better the beneficial species multiply and the more powerful your immune system becomes. Also, make sure that you don't keep your apartment excessively clean, for example by using excessive disinfectants.
Build up the intestinal flora with sport
According to a study, the intestinal flora of slim people in particular benefits from regular exercise. Because with them the effect of the reproduction of good intestinal bacteria through exercise was particularly noticeable.
But this positive effect is also present in overweight people, albeit less pronounced. People who are overweight must also take other measures to normalize their intestinal flora. These include, for example, changing your diet and taking probiotics. In slim people, exercise alone can lead to a more species-rich intestinal microbiota.
Build up intestinal flora through social contacts
Recent research has shown that the intestinal flora thrive when we are comfortable. In people who are embedded in an intact network of relationships and have people they can rely on, the biodiversity in the intestines tends to be greater than in lonely people.
It is therefore important that you surround yourself with other people, especially those who are good for you - not only for your psychological well-being, but also for your intestinal health. Once again, research has shown that we humans are social beings who were not made to live completely alone.
Build intestinal flora through less stress
Stress is not only bad for the psyche and organs, but also affects the intestinal flora. Chronic stress in particular - whether due to a high workload, a difficult life situation or interpersonal problems at work - has been shown to have negative effects on the intestinal flora.
Therefore, you should take good care of yourself and take stress out of everyday life where you can. By specifically ensuring relaxation and rest even in stressful phases, you can help build up your intestinal flora.
Build up the intestinal flora through a stool transplant
A still relatively unknown, but apparently very effective method to rebuild the intestinal flora in extreme health cases is stool transplantation (fecal microbiome transfer, FMT). The stool of a healthy person is transferred to the intestine of a sick person with the help of a probe or capsule. In this way, the intact intestinal flora of healthy people should help the sick to bring their own intestinal flora back into balance.
Especially for people with multiple sclerosis and severe complaints, amazing healing results have already been achieved with this procedure. But this therapy method also seems to have a positive effect on people with autism or Parkinson's disease. Stool transplantation is offered in specialized centers such as various German university hospitals.
Build up the intestinal flora with Schüssler salts
To build up the intestinal flora, you can also work with Schüssler salts. According to natural medicine experts, the following mineral salts according to Dr. Be a Schüßler:
- Schüssler salt 9 (sodium phosphoricum) for deacidification
- Schüssler salt 4 (potassium chloratum) against inflammation of the mucous membranes
- Schüssler Salt 10 (sodium sulfuricum) for detoxification and alleviation of inflammation
Schüssler salts are not a substitute for the supply and strengthening of healthy intestinal bacteria. They can still be very interesting as a therapy-accompanying measure.
Build up the intestinal flora in the child
Children born by caesarean section do not have the same intestinal flora as naturally born children. Therefore, it makes sense to take probiotics as a dietary supplement for children with caesarean section and children who have not been breastfed or have had to take antibiotics more often.
Probiotics for children contain important lactic acid bacteria and are available as a powder to stir into water. The selected intestinal bacteria contained in it promote a healthy intestinal mucosa and a functioning intestinal barrier, so that allergies, neurodermatitis or digestive problems such as flatulence (such as the 3-month colic in babies) can decrease or do not arise at all. They can also help with an increased susceptibility to infections with frequent colds or flu-like infections.
It is important that a child takes these probiotic microorganisms for several weeks. The dosage is done using a measuring spoon and can be found on the instruction leaflet or on the packaging.
Probiotics are also available in stores for babies with 3-month colic. These can be given to the baby from the 5th week. To prevent allergies, neurodermatitis or digestive problems in babies, women with intestinal flora disorders, digestive problems and allergies can already take probiotics during pregnancy. Because it seems to be the case that women with a diseased intestinal flora “pass it on” to their children.
And breastfeeding does not always protect the child against intestinal flora-related diseases. It has been shown that the Western diet not only changes the mother's intestinal flora, but also the microbiota in breast milk. For example, the useful germ Lactobacillus reuteri could only be detected in significantly reduced numbers in the breast milk of western women.
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