Most people don’t like spiders or bugs. Especially spiders. Girls scream bloody murder over a spider smaller than a penny. It doesn’t matter that the amount of flies and insects spiders eat each day is greater than the weight of the entire human population. Or that some of the bazillions of microscopic creatures inside your body keep you alive and healthy. They just aren’t very, cute.

All living animals and humans have gut flora, gut microbiota, or gastrointestinal microbiota. This is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts. The bacteria in our gut microbiota is immense. The average adult is made up of about 30 trillion cells. But the human body contains trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1. So that puts the number of living, creeping, scary, bugs inside your and my bodies around 300 trillion. Because of their size (much smaller than human cells), microorganisms make up only about 1 to 3 percent of your body’s mass (about 3 lbs for average adult), but they play a major and vital role in our health. I know, gross, right?

Some of this bacteria within us is good; some bad; and some downright ugly. You’ve heard of herpes, right? Ugly. Or hepatitis? Ugly. How about E.coli? Bad. Or salmonella? Bad also. But then there’s good bacteria, such as bifidobacterium bifidum, bifidobacterium infantis, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus bulgaricus, etc. These are bacteria you really, really need. These bacteria work hard to keep our gut healthy and in balance.

Troubles develop when our good bacteria become damaged, which results in our gut microbiota becoming unbalanced. Stress, drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, etc., radiation therapy, aging, chemicals in water, strong antibacterial herbs, raw garlic and onion, poor nutrition/eating disorders, and food poisoning all cause a disturbance in the force. And when this happens, look out: bad breath, body odor, constipation, lactose intolerance, abdominal disturbances such as IBS, gas, bloating, sluggishness, flatulence, indigestion, and low resistance to illnesses occur. Why? Because seventy percent of your immune system is located in your intestines. That’s right, your gut flora.

As these good bacteria come under attack and are destroyed, they need to be replenished to protect us from the environmental exposure of pollutants, toxins and biohazards that assault our immune systems. This can be accomplished through probiotics.

So what’s a “Probiotic?” The word “probiotic” is derived from two Greek words, meaning “for-life.” Probiotics are nutritional supplements or foods containing living microorganisms (good bacteria) that beneficially affect consumers by helping to improve intestinal microbial balance. How do they do that? By:

  • Crowding out harmful microorganisms
  • Creating a more acidic environment in the intestines and discourage pathogen growth
  • Releasing substances such as acid, hydrogen peroxide and antibacterial agents to help expel harmful organisms
  • Improving the efficiency of digestion and elimination, increasing the speed at which noxious waste products are expelled from the body.

I have been taking a probiotic supplement called Healthy Trinity from Natren for 20 + years. I rarely get sick, or have digestive problems or issues. You may want to check out another blog post I did a while back on The Good Bacteria. If I had a dime for every person I’ve told about Healthy Trinity over the years I’d probably be able to melt them all down and make a tin full of Christmas popcorn. A really big Christmas popcorn tin.

 My account with Natren is on auto-order, so I get my healthy probiotic every three months. It comes in a bottle packed in ice, right to my front door. It’s the first thing that goes in my mouth every morning. Almost the first thing. Sometimes an article comes in the box, and my last delivery included a great testimony from a young lady named Laura. Here’s what it said:

I am 26 years old. Since the age of 9, I have suffered from gas, bloating, diarrhea, and overall intestinal discomfort. I recall multiple visits to the gastroenterologist throughout my child, adolescent, and adult years for these issues. After countless blood work, colonoscopies, endoscopes, breath tests, multiple medication managements, dietary restrictions, and referrals for dietitians and specialists, I felt like giving up. I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance, IBD, IBS- D, and been told by doctors that they don’t really know what is going on with me. I have tried everything. From probiotics, medications, meditation, essential oils, yoga, extreme exercise, hypnosis, massages, and reflexology, I was getting very little results. I had to miss multiple days of school and work because of my issues. I am a substance abuse and mental health counselor for the homeless population in the Chicago-land area and have had to cancel multiple appointments with my clients because I couldn’t give all my attention to them due to anxiety about having to run to the bathroom. It was taking over my life. What I had gone to college for 7 years for and accepting a position with very little pay because of my compassion for helping others, I had become defeated and no longer could take care of my self-care needs. I felt like giving up on my career and passion because of my own intestinal issues.

 Recently, I had heard about Natren products and was pessimistic about it actually helping my issues. Why would this product be any different? Well, I have been on Natren Healthy Trinity® for about three weeks now, and everyday has become a little better since beginning. No more bloating, no more gas, no more diarrhea, and am feeling “normal” again. I haven’t felt like this in years. I have been able to put myself out there more, not afraid of being far from a bathroom, and am able to comfortably sit through meetings with my coworkers and clients with ease. And guess what? I am able to enjoy dairy products again! I have since been researching this product and figuring out why this product is different from so many other probiotics out there on the market. Whatever it is, IT WORKS!!! I cannot express how relieved I am about this product effectiveness, it has changed my life. I am optimistic of getting my life back together, helping others and giving them the attention they deserve. Thank you, Natren. I owe you my life, because I have my life back again! Laura W., Chicago, IL

If you’ve been suffering with digestive issues, or if you get sick more than you want to, do your homework. Go on Natren’s website and read their blog articles. Call them on the phone. Get a copy of Natren’s founder Natasha Trenev’s book: Probiotics, Natures Internal Healers.

Let’s show these bugs some love. To your health and mine,

Dr. Hank