The Human Gut - A Simplified Explanation
In the research and development phase of FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic, working with a leading South African microbiologist, I was privileged to get a first-class education, a journey which has continued in searching out articles backed by peer-reviewed studies. This is the benchmark difference between purely speculative opinions versus opinions backed by facts and studies.
I also realised that most of the individuals who will be taking FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic – the mothers who will be buying for their family members, and many other people with different levels of education and understanding – may not understand the many published articles that use specific terms, concepts and scientific language.
So I decided to write this to explain all of these things in the simplest possible manner, levelling the playing field so to speak, whilst raising awareness and understanding in service of optimal health and wellbeing.
What exactly is a microbe?
Microbes, or micro-organisms, are the earliest forms of life to be found on Planet Earth. They comprise only one cell but are very much alive in that many can move, they eat, they excrete, they multiply and recent research shows that they are indeed intelligent as they communicate and work together intelligently. These include bacteria, protozoa, fungi, algae, amoebas, and slime moulds. Many people think of microbes as simply the causes of disease but every human is actually the host to trillions of microbes and most of them are good and essential to our life.
A lot of our focus is going to be on bacteria, which are also known as germs - yes, you read that properly: germs.
Nearly all of us have been educated to believe that germs are bad and indeed, some of them are, but the truth is: most germs are good for us. Now that’s a surprise, isn’t it? With our modern day obsession with antibacterial soaps and a concerted effort by vested interests to sell their products, we have an unbalanced view regarding our microbes or germs. There are indeed some “bad” germs which cause sickness and we will talk about them little later on. However, your good bacteria do many good things for your body, many are essential and without them you could not live. For example, the human body does not produce vitamin B, which is vital for your health - a germ does that for us. Think about this: the majority of germs live inside your gut; they depend on you to stay alive because if you die, they die with you. In an amazing symbiosis (working together for mutual benefit and essential for our survival) the germs work hard at keeping you healthy. There’s a long list on how many of your life-sustaining functions are dependent on your beneficial bacteria (germs). To convert the food that you eat into energy to keep you going, this also requires a unique and tiny bacterium which lives inside all of your cells, called mitochondria. Are you beginning to see how important these microbes are to you? That’s why I say that we have “got to love and nurture our microbes.” For every one of your human cells there are more than a hundred of these single cell germs, most of which work hard at keeping you healthy and alive.
Just how small are these microbes?
The microbes are incredibly tiny: on the tip of your thumb you will have more microbes than there are people in South Africa! They are so small that they can only be seen through very powerful microscopes. You have more cells in your body than there are stars in the universe and for every one of your human body’s cells you have more than 100 microbes, and remember, most of these germs are very good for you.
What do we mean when we talk about the gut?
When we talk about the human gut, for purposes of our ongoing education, we mean the digestive system but most of all we are focusing on the small intestine and the large intestine. These are your guts, the physical organs that allow and enable your life-giving bacteria (germs) to live happily inside you. So you could look at it this way: your physical organs are the ‘soil’ so to speak and the bacteria grow and thrive in this ‘soil’. The 2 work together in what is known as a collective synergy (in harmony) between your colon and the microbes (gut flora) which live in it, working in harmony to keep us healthy.
What is a pathogen?
A germ that is bad for us, causing infection or sickness, is known as a pathogen.
What is an antibiotic?
An antibiotic is a specific type of drug that attacks microbes. An antibiotic is prescribed by a doctor to kill an infection or a disease-causing pathogen and they were very effective. However, antibiotics have become the most prescribed drugs in the world. The unfortunate thing about antibiotics is that they attack all of the microbes, the good ones and the bad ones. Doctors give out antibiotics for almost anything, including flu. Flu is a virus and viruses are not affected by antibiotics. Farmers add antibiotics to chicken and livestock’s feed, which makes them put on weight, so that they can make more money. Unfortunately, when we eat this chicken and beef, you introduce these antibiotics into your body and they kill off your microbes. Antibiotics might be very necessary in an emergency and can save lives when people are attacked by pathogens or contract infections, however, antibiotics should be avoided, if possible, because of the damage they cause to your good microbes. And remember, there are many more good microbes than bad microbes.
Now you may be thinking: “I see in the information that FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic produces antibiotics. How can this be healthy for the gut?”
This is true, there are more than 13 natural antibiotics that are produced when you take the FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic formula as recommended (3 months of 2 capsules per day for adults and children over 5 years of age / 3 months of 1 capsule per day for children under 5 years of age). However, because they are produced by the microbes in your gut, and it’s the job of these microbes to keep you healthy, these antibiotics only target pathogens, funguses, parasites and overgrowths such as candida. This is natural intelligence at its best, letting the good microbes go to war on your behalf to restore your gut to optimal efficiency and establish robust health for you; the good little germs working to make you healthy.
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics, which are a certain type of friendly bacteria, provide health benefits when eaten. They are often taken as supplements that are supposed to colonize your gut with health-boosting microorganisms.
What is a spore probiotic?
Certain bacteria, when encountering adverse conditions, are able to form a very hard shell around themselves and go into a form of hibernation. In this state they are able to survive very harsh conditions including extreme heat, such as the harsh gastric passage, and through the stomach acid, on the way down to the gut where they then germinate and colonise. The 5 Bacillus species are spore forming, which means 100% of what you swallow is able to survive the gastric passage and establish healthy colonies in the human gut. This is why probiotics which have to be kept in the fridge don’t make any sense. If they are so sensitive to temperature, it’s hard to believe they will survive the transition through the stomach on the way to the gut. It has become an urban myth that a good probiotic needs to be refrigerated. Probiotics in their normal state suffer an attrition rate of up to 99.9% when transitioning the stomach on the way to the gut. Still, the numbers are huge and an appreciable amount survives, as nature intended.
Why buy FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic instead of cheaper liquid probiotics that also advertise they contain many strains?
At the beginning of last year the human microbiome project (HMP) had established a count of 4,500 identified strains and species of bacteria in the gut. At the end of last year over 20,000 species had been identified, and the research continues. So you have to ask how can it really help adding 27 strains of this, and 35 strains of that into such a hugely diversified collective of microbes? But unlike the 20,000+ species in the human gut which fiercely compete with each other for “space” or “turf” the 5 Bacillus species in FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic are tolerated by the entire myriad of microbial species. This is because the 5 Bacillus in FLORISH™ refurbish, regulate and restore the environment of the gut to the benefit of all of the species; demonstrated in the fact that there is a 50% increase in overall microbial diversity in the first month of taking FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic alone! So if the word “Bacillus” isn’t listed as an ingredient then you need to wonder how effective the product will be as it tries to make its way through your intestines.
What is a microbiome?
A microbiome is the place where our microbes live together and compete with each other. Each of us has a complex internal ecosystem of bacteria located within our bodies that we call the microbiome. The microbiome is defined as "community of microbes." It’s the place that all the microbes live in and on your body. Each has its own specific turf or area of occupation and they compete with each other for space. The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up your microbiome live in your digestive system. Microbiome composition and health is affected by factors that include diet, stress, geography and ancestral background. These different microbiomes play an important role in key bodily functions like digestion, immune response and brain health (gut-brain axis). The gut microbiome is the densest of your microbiomes. There are trillions of bacteria living in your gut alone. Because it is such a robust microbial community, it is incredibly important to your health and affects many areas of the body beyond just your gut. The gut microbiome has responsibilities in food digestion, immune regulation and mental health (about 90% of serotonin is created in the gut). Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been connected to many conditions including irritable bowel disorder, obesity and brain dysfunction such as autism. The microbiome impacts ageing, digestion, the immune system, mood, and cognitive function (ability to think clearly). There are also many, many neurons in the gut which are almost identical to the neurons in your brain. Modern research demonstrates that the gut does indeed “think” and certainly acts intelligently to support you and keeps you healthy. Modern scientific discoveries are showing that the human gut is possibly the most important organ overall, affecting all the other organs positively via the vagus nerve. The studies are fascinating.
What is a chronic disease?
A chronic disease is one that gets worse and worse and often doesn’t go away by itself. Modern studies are now demonstrating that most of the chronic diseases are as a result of imbalances in the human gut, in particular something called “leaky gut” where pieces of broken down bacteria leak into the bloodstream, where they create inflammation, and if not attended to, results in chronic inflammatory diseases. The list is very long and it includes diabetes, obesity, systemic lupus, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and many others. The list of chronic inflammatory diseases is over 100 long!
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s defence mechanism to protect itself. This can result in redness and swelling on small cuts, but with leaky gut, this inflammation spreads throughout the body and results in those awful inflammatory diseases. FLORISH™ does a lot to close up leaky gut and restore the safe integrity of the gut - so that these broken down pieces of bacteria are expelled when you go to the toilet. FLORISH™ also continues to lower inflammation throughout the body and, as the body is no longer poisoning itself through leaky gut anymore, you begin to recover. People taking FLORISH™ experience great benefit and many of the chronic inflammatory diseases begin to disappear.
What is DNA, simply put?
DNA is short for ‘deoxyribonucleic acid’ and is a long molecule that contains our unique genetic code. Like a recipe book, it holds the instructions for making you. Basically, your DNA is what makes you, you! You got your DNA from your parents, we call it “hereditary material” (biological blueprint information that is passed on to the next generation). No one else in the world will have DNA the same as you, unless you have an identical twin. This is why people can say that you have your mother’s eyes, or your father’s ears. Even the habits you develop can be similar to your parents. You even get most of your DNA from your microbes, they are such an essential part of what makes us human.
Although FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic is made up of only 5 Bacillus species, these 5 specifically accomplish more for all the estimated 20,000 types of germs and single celled organisms in your gut that keep you healthy. It helps to close up leaky gut, lower inflammation and produces its own food for the billions and trillions of microbes in your gut. This results in more diversity in your gut. The more diverse your gut is, the stronger your immunity is, and the less prone you are to any of the chronic inflammatory diseases. In a nutshell: the healthier you are.
Do I have to keep on taking ?
South African farmers introduced glyphosate into our food chain when they started using a herbicide (Roundup) whilst farming fruits and vegetables to increase their profits. Therefore we recommend that you keep supplementing by taking FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic on an ongoing basis. This is because Roundup attacks our life-sustaining microbes like no other substance. As it’s in our fruit and vegetables you cannot wash it off. This is why there has been an explosion of allergies and an increase in inflammatory diseases. Glyphosate is in all the genetically modified food, and in particular, in children’s breakfast cereals. As we also eat so many processed foods, because of chlorine and fluoride in our water, our gut is under constant attack. Unfortunately we have entered into a toxic environment, like fish in a pond which are slowly being poisoned. The good news is that FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic does a lot to undo this damage and we therefore have called it preventative medicine: “insurance” against the inflammatory diseases that also include Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. According to Dr Dietrich Klinghardt, a world leader in health, fulvic acid does a lot to remove glyphosate from our systems. This is just one reason we decided to included fulvic acid in the FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic formulation.
With very little advertising initially, the news about FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic spread by word-of-mouth and after introducing the product into the marketplace sales have grown exponentially. We have a website to support our valuable clients and customers and the word continues to spread. FLORISH™ Spore Probiotic helps make you feel great and positively impacts your health like no other probiotic in the South African market, and at half the price of other imported spore probiotics which have recently become available to the South African market.
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