Probiotics: Healthy or hyped?

“All diseases begin in the gut”   -Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

Bacteria

The human body is similar to the planet Earth in that it is inhabited by extremely large numbers of various organisms.  There is a symbiotic relationship between the Earth and its micro-organisms (plants, insects, animals, and people) and the same goes for humans and our little micro-ecosystem composed not only of organs, cells and various biochemical compounds, but colonies of bacteria, yeasts and viruses as well.  Today I want to focus on bacteria: beneficial bacteria strains, specifically.

The largest colonies of microbes live in our digestive tract.  A healthy adult, on average, carries 4-5 lbs. of bacteria in their gut!  This equates to around one hundred trillion microorganisms from a thousand different species, just within the gut alone!  (1) These species collectively have one hundred times more genes than the human genome does.  (2)  In fact, when the Human Genome Project mapped Continue reading