Immune System

ERIC EMRY www.emry.comm at
Sun May 2 02:03:00 EST 2004

Probiotics are the body's best defense against sickness, which are good
bacteria (see Probiotics).  These bacteria strains function as our body's
second immune system. They promote health by secreting tiny amounts of
antibiotic-like substances; lactic acid, acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and
others. These substances have a wide-range of activity against 'bad'
bacterial strains of salmonella, pseudomonas, E. coli and other harmful
food-borne bacteria.2

When the intestine is flourishing with these 'friendly bacteria' there is no
room for the harmful, disease-causing strains to implant and grow. This is
called competitive inhibition.

Studies show that most North Americans have less than half the amount of
flora needed for optimal health.3 As bowel flora is depleted, the body
becomes vulnerable to numerous diseases including colitis, diabetes,
meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, even bowel cancer, and a
host of additional symptoms associated with bowel toxicity. As stated
previously, the healthy intestine requires the presence of friendly
bacteria. However, common dietary and lifestyle factors destroy these

Stress is to blame for much of our probiotic depletion. Probiotics are also
diminished by strong antibacterial herbs, cortisone, carbonated drinks,
laxatives, birth control pills, and lack of sleep.4 Poor diet, toxins in the
blood stream, and the natural course of aging further rob the body of the
flora it needs.

Signs show that probiotic depletion is becoming widespread, and as a result,
infectious diseases, which were once considered to be under control have
re-emerged with more ferocity than ever.  Flus and colds are more frequent
and more debilitating than ever before.5 Ironically, the strategy used to
protect us from disease further complicates the situation and puts us at
greater risk.

When an individual has an infection or cold as a result of a depleted
probiotic supply, a doctor's first inclination is often to treat it with an
antibiotic. Antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria, they kill the good
strains of beneficial bacterial strains. Those very same strains have
already been depleted by the lifestyle and environmental factors noted
above. This practice of prescribing an antibiotic for every sniffle is
slowing down within the medical community as new evidence comes to light
about the disasterous affects of wrongfully prescribing antibiotics for
bacterial illnesses.

Women may be all too familiar with the antibiotic vicious cycle. Many women
have gone to the doctor because they had a throat or an ear infection, were
given an antibiotic and within a few weeks have had to go back to the doctor
this time with a yeast infection. The antibiotic may have done its job of
killing the virus which caused the flu or infection, but at the same time,
it depleted the stores of friendly flora that kept yeast overgrowth in

There is a solution to get microflora depletion other than leaving yourself
open for bacterial invasion every time you eat, drink or breathe. Improving
and protecting your immune system from the effects of stress and lifestyle
is a matter of making proper nutritional choices.
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