How about another reason to build your immune system and prevent disease from grabbing you?
Antibiotics trigger weight gain
This overlooked factor in gaining weight or not being able to lose weight has been identified by researchers.
The human digestive tract is a lush ecosystem containing microorganisms that play a crucial role in digestion. But research shows that changing the delicate mix of bacteria may lead to weight gain.
Antibiotics, which wipe out both harmful and helpful bacteria, are one of the most common ways to upset the balance.
Studies suggest that microbes in the intestines affect the way the body metabolizes food. Early exposure to antibiotics may kill off healthy bacteria that that influence the absorption of nutrients and help keep people lean, said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor in pediatrics, environmental medicine and health policy at the New York University School of Medicine.
The overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is a growing public health concern. Experts are concerned that the routine use of antibiotics as domestic animal feed additives, as well as the unwarranted use of prescription antibiotics, may be contributing to an increasing ability of undesirable microorganisms to resist antibiotic control.
There is also increasingly widespread use of low-dose topical anti-bacterial products, including household cleaners, hand soaps, and hand lotions. Remember, we absorb these products into our bloodstream through our skin. There is currently no way to know whether this addition to the antibiotic “load” in the environment may also contribute over the long term to the prevalence of drug-resistant “super-bugs.”
A great many people in the United States may be affected by factors which compromise the healthy balance of their intestinal microflora:
- Sales of antibiotics have topped $23 billion
- Up to 50 percent of children in the United States take antibiotics for ear infections three or more times before they reach the age of five.
- It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of people traveling in developing countries run the risk of experiencing gastrointestinal distress due to microflora imbalances.
In addition, anyone eating a typical “Western” diet which high in fat, high in animal protein, and low in fiber, is at increased risk for disturbing the optimal balance of their intestinal microflora.
There are 400 to 500 types of bacteria in our digestive systems, falling into three basic categories: the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Some bacteria are undesirable because, when present in high enough numbers, they may cause illness or contribute to the development of long-term health problems
Fortunately, another group of bacteria offers us protective and nutritive benefits. The two most important groups of “friendly” flora are the lactobacilli, found mainly in the small intestine, and bifidobacteria, found primarily in the colon. These bacteria live symbiotically in our bodies in a beneficial relationship that enhances our health in a wide variety of ways.
One of the most important ways that beneficial microflora promote health is by simply existing in large numbers. Like characters in a Wild West movie, it’s as if the good bacteria say, “There’s not enough room in this town for the both of us.” Research studies indicate that normal, healthy colonies of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria can help maintain a healthy balance between beneficial and undesirable bacteria. Scientists believe this healthful standoff is achieved in several ways:
Immunity. Research shows that increasing dietary intake of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria enhance immune function. In addition to improving other measures of immune function, studies indicate that the friendly microorganisms help boost the natural defensive capability of white blood cells—a crucial part of the body’s natural immune defense system
So what can you do to get your digestive system back in balance, help you drop those pounds and keep your immune system at top function?
Awareness of overuse of Antibiotics Stop asking your doctor for antibiotics for every sniffle or sneeze. Stop using those antibacterial hand products and household cleaners. Research is mounting that these products do you more harm than good.
Diet. Eat a balanced diet that is low in fat and high in fiber, and abundant in a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
Exercise. The link between regular exercise and improved health is well documented.
Nutritional Support. Research shows that regular dietary intake of beneficial microflora is needed to maintain their high levels. Research has also shown that dietary intake of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria can help maintain healthy, normal populations of beneficial microflora even in people taking antibiotics. Studies also suggest that increased dietary intake of beneficial microflora can help maintain gastrointestinal health when traveling in developing countries.
Optiflora by Shaklee, offers a safe and natural way to supplement the diet with beneficial microorganisms including prebiotic nutrients (which selectively feed “good” bacteria) plus probiotics. These two supplemental components work together to help beneficial bacteria flourish in your intestinal tract to support whole body health.
Optiflora guarantees live delivery of Bifidus and Acidophilus to the intestine.
Optiflora offers a two-product colon care system, with both the prebiotic and the probiotic elements.
Optiflora uses state-of-the-art patented triple encapsulation technology using only natural ingredients to protect the microflora
It’s easy to see the connection between keeping your “inner” systems working at peak function and then feeling and seeing the “outer” benefits.