by Dr. Lennart Cedgård
A healthy intestinal flora helps us digest food. A healthy intestinal flora is a prerequisite for optimal nutrient uptake.
Probiotics should be used to prevent digestive problems, food intolerances and deficiency conditions. Probiotics also improve the uptake of vitamin and mineral supplements.
A healthy intestinal flora is a prerequisite for a good digestion and a good uptake of nutrition. Lack of nutrition such as vitamins and minerals can be due to many different things. On the one hand, Western food is poor on vital nutrition and, on the other hand, poor digestion is common in the Western world.
Most of what we eat must be broken down into smaller components before it is absorbed and used by the body. Supplementation of vitamins and minerals can be in vain unless the intestine is in order.
A healthy intestinal flora dominated by lactic acid-producing bacteria improves digestion. The bacteria create an environment that stimulates the body’s own enzymes and produces a range of enzymes that help digestion.
The uptake of nutrition depends on the health of the intestinal mucosa. Digestive enzymes are attached to the surface cells of the intestine. When the intestinal mucosa is damaged, deficiencies in enzymes can occur and lead to digestive problems.
Absorption is also negatively affected in case of damage to the mucous membrane of the intestine. Instead of controlled passage of nutrients, unwanted substances can leak into the body while the uptake of nutrients deteriorates.
Probiotics create a healthy environment in the gut, stimulate the body’s own enzymes, form a range of enzymes of its own, such as lactase, and have the ability to heal a damaged intestinal mucosa.
The large intestine acts as a huge digestive factory where substances that the body’s own enzymes are unable to digest can be broken down. This is so that we can make the best use of the nutritional content of the food.
The passage through the large intestine takes about 24 hours (unless constipation is present). The passage through the small intestine takes only 2-3 hours.
Fibers found in raw food, whole grains, seeds and kernels, etc., reach the large intestine where they serve as food for beneficial bacteria. Fibers give rise to fermentation process in the large intestine, which leads to the formation of organic acids such as lactic acid.
These acids stimulate bowel movements, improve nutrient uptake, counteract the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and stimulate the growth of intestinal mucosa cells. Fatty acids are also formed during fermentation, which are important for the health of the intestinal mucosa.
The fermentation process does not give rise to bad odors. The feces of a healthy intestine do not smell bad! A healthy gut empties one to three times a day!
The opposite of fermentation is decomposition or putrefaction due to excess ingestion of proteins.
Nitrogenous waste products are formed such as ammonia, indole, phenol and hydrogen sulfites. The result is constipation or diarrhea, smelly stools, increased storage of slag products in the body, formation of toxic and carcinogenic substances in the intestine.
Probiotics counteract the onset of toxic and carcinogenic substances in the gut that are formed during decomposition processes.
What must never be forgotten are the enzymes. All processes in the body depend on enzymes and it is very important that the food we eat contains enzymes. Enzymes are found in uncooked, raw food.
Enzymes are destroyed at a temperature above 40°C.
Foods that are especially rich in enzymes are vegetables such as sauerkraut. Industrially produced, processed food cannot be compared with fresh untreated food in terms of nutritional content and enzyme richness. There is a big difference between, for example, pasteurized milk and fresh milk that is rich in enzymes and more digestible. Many people today have difficulty digesting milk and milk causes many health problems while the fresh milk and yogurt were used as medicine.