No doubt you’ve seen the recent commercials for different products touting the benefits of good gut flora as product manufacturers capitalize on this new health craze. Bacteria have always been thought of as something to be wary of. What?? Now we are supposed to embrace eating bacteria to improve our colon health? YES!! It’s not very sexy, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Reduces allergies. Probiotics have been found to decrease the incidence of allergies. They do this by communicating with immune cells called T-Regs located in the intestines. T-Regs tell our immune system not to react to such benign substances as foods such as milk protein, wheat, peanuts and the like. Through feeding children probiotics while simultaneously feeding miniscule amounts of allergens (micrograms) researchers were able to retrain the body and reverse allergies completely in the majority of children studied.

Reduces incidence of eczema. Because skin conditions are inextricably linked to gut health, supplementing pregnant mothers and their neonates for 6 months after birth with probiotics significantly reduced the incidence of eczema in children. The effect lasted years later and presumably could last a lifetime.

Probiotics and weight loss. Recent studies that examined the gut flora in both lean and overweight/obese individuals found that lean individuals had a significantly different gut flora than their overweight/obese counterparts. Bifidobacteria was one of the genus of bacteria found more abundantly in lean subjects than overweight/obese.
Chronic Diarrhea. Because the good gut flora facilitates the absorption of water out of the stool, those with chronic diarrhea are helped by supplementation with probiotics. Probiotics have also been found to reduce risk of dehydration and death in subjects with cholera.

Montezuma’s Revenge. Good gut flora likes to take over. It has a propensity for crowding out and starving bad bacteria thereby weakening it so it can’t take hold in the intestines nearly as easily. It can reduce the risk of contracting gastroenteritis where nasty bugs from that ice cube or piece of lettuce you ate in Katmandu can give you traveler’s diarrhea, i.e. Montezuma’s Revenge. Supplementing a quality probiotics while traveling in a 3rd world country can reduce the risk of ruining your vacation or at least minimize the time you may need to spend in the bathroom.

In real estate it’s location, location, location. In health it’s digestion, digestion, digestion. Keeping your intestinal health top notch is crucial for ultimate wellness.

In health,
Dr. Cheri King, ND

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Cheri King is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Oregon. She attended National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR where she graduated with honors in research for her work investigating detoxification diets.

She is a cofounder of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association, and received the Jim Lemkin World in Balance award for achievement in applying holistic healing principles in her own life as well as the lives of others.

She also received the David Family Award scholarship and the Founders merit scholarship for outstanding performance.

She teaches nutrition and wellness at the Community College of Denver and sees patients at her private practice, Colorado Natural Health Center, in Louisville, CO.

For more information about Dr. King go to