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The vital importance of the bacterial colonies that live in the human gut cannot be overstated. The weakened gut defenses caused by the depletion of secretory IgA and beneficial bacteria through overuse of antibiotics or because of stress, poor diet, and so on, is a hugely significant contributor to leaky gut syndrome, various other malfunctions of the digestive system and an increase in gutderived toxins; so much so that the function of ‘friendly bacteria’ has entered the public consciousness. Recent studies by Professor Jeremy Nicholson (head of the department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College in London) suggested individuals with autism have greater problems dealing with some of these gut-borne toxins released from bad bacteria. Probiotics are commonly dietary supplements containing live bacteria (and sometimes other active microorganisms, such as yeasts).

These probiotic supplements contain specific strains of what are known as ‘good bacteria’, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in order to recolonize the gut flora, reinforce the immune system, help push out bad bacteria and to continue their good work. It is very important to utilize high levels of probiotics (Colony Forming Units) from the very best manufacturers who include pure strains of bacteria at high CFU’s. Beneficial bacteria need ‘open’ space to colonize, the correct pH and food; they do not kill off Candida and other bacterial species but competitively exclude them by dominating the available space and pushing them out, but only once they have been given the opportunity to occupy the vacant space in the gut.

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