What’s the difference between good and bad bacteria?
It wasn’t that long ago when scientists thought that most bacteria were bad and needed killing. The importance of bacteria to human digestion and health hadn’t been recognized. But now we know very differently.
Bacteria help keep us alive. An imbalance in bacteria causes problems, but bacteria are vital to human well-being.
There are many species of bacteria in the gut. Some have the potential to cause a lot of problems. Some even have the potential to kill you.
All bacteria need to be kept in balance. Even bacteria that are generally beneficial can cause problems if there counts go to high.
Scientists have done enough research to recognize the difference between the good, bad, and the ugly bacteria in the gut. For example, Clostridium perfringens can cause severe problems when it grows too fast. Antibiotics can trigger the imbalance that allows Clostridium to get out of control, sometimes to the extent of being fatal.
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Salmonella is another bacterium that lives in the gut but, through food poisoning, it can increase in numbers and make a person very, very sick.
Parasites and viruses can upset the bacterial balance in the gut. Remember that most of these microorganisms live in the body in tiny amounts in normal circumstances. They don’t cause any problems until their numbers increase and they shift the balance in the gut.
Imbalances can be triggered by medication, stress, traveling, or a poor diet. One of the reasons I recommend eating cultured or fermented foods is that it helps keep the gut flora balanced. One of the best things you can do to keep your gut balanced is to avoid taking antibiotics if at all possible.
If you go back in time, you’ll see that people have been eating cultured and fermented food as far back as we go. They knew that these foods settled the tummy.
You shouldn’t have to fear bacteria. Most people tend to keep a good balance in their gut. Do your best to keep it that way.