The intestinal flora, also known as the microbiota, is made up of at least 100,000 billion bacteria. These bacteria help assimilate nutrients and protect the body by developing and even regulating the immune system, since 70% of our immune cells are found in our intestinal flora. However, several factors can disturb this balance, such as :
Birth (increase in the rate of caesarean section which does not allow the newborn to build up its intestinal flora from the mother’s vaginal flora during natural childbirth).
breastfeeding (a baby who is not breastfed will not benefit from the intake of prebiotics – complex sugars called “oligosaccharides” – naturally present in breast milk and which participate in the development of “good bacteria” in the intestine).
the diet (a depletion of food in micronutrients through cooking, storage, production methods, etc. or the consumption of foods that are too rich in sugar or fat do not allow for a good enrichment of the intestinal flora).
medicines (the repeated use of antibiotics, which certainly destroy the “bad bacteria”, but also the “good bacteria”).
lifestyle (stress has a hormonal action which in the long term leads to imbalances of the “good bacteria” which stimulate immunity).
ageing (the composition of the intestinal flora changes over time and leads to a depletion of the diversity of bacterial strains).
This is why it is important to restore the intestinal flora, by modifying the diet and carrying out a regular course of probiotic food supplements which are sources of “good bacterial strains” such as Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria.
What is the intestinal flora used for?
The intestinal flora makes up the entire digestive system and is particularly important in the human body because of its many properties.
First of all, it participates in the assimilation of nutrients from food, and in the production of vitamins such as B5, B6, B8, vitamin K… and also helps to protect the body by ensuring a balance between good and bad bacteria in our intestinal ecosystem.
Thus the presence of these bacteria helps to promote the proper digestion of food, the maintenance of a correct weight, the stimulation of the immune system, the synthesis of vitamins …
When pathogenic bacteria are superior to good bacteria, an imbalance in the intestinal flora results. Here are a few clues as to whether your intestinal flora is healthy or whether it needs probiotics (good bacteria).
What are the signs of an unbalanced intestinal flora?
If your transit is disturbed (constipation or diarrhoea), if you suffer or have suffered from gastroenteritis, allergies, cystitis, mycosis this is probably due to an imbalance in your microbiota. It is therefore important to alleviate these inconveniences by modifying your diet and taking probiotics for the intestinal flora. To learn more about this eminently important subject, we invite you to read our article “Understanding what is Dysbiosis?”.
How to maintain your intestinal flora?
To rebalance the intestinal flora, diet is the best remedy. By following these 3 tips you will quickly find a healthy microbiota!
> Favour fibres: To do this, it is advisable to consume different types of fibre, and in particular probiotic foods at each meal. Vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts are therefore overused.
> Limit meat, cheese, saturated fats and sugar: These have a strong acidifying power and are therefore all the more likely to disturb the balance of the microbiota. They should therefore be consumed in moderation.
> Increase the consumption of probiotics: Whether with the help of a probiotic food supplement, by consuming fermented foods or by combining the two, probiotics are essential for the proper functioning of your intestinal flora. They are found in sauerkraut, yoghurt, miso, kefir…