Of all the recommended supplements on The Kaufmann Diet, probiotics rank among the most important. Why is this and when do I need probiotics?
Probiotics are simply bacteria. It might seem strange that these tiny little organisms are so important that they would be recommended in supplement form, but it is for good reason. We are all born with billions of these bacteria in our digestive system. In the average human, the combined weight of all these bacteria can be as much as a few pounds! That’s a lot of bacteria.
The tasks these bacteria perform are vital. These beneficial bacterial colonies do things like help us digest our food; they produce certain nutrients, like B vitamins; and they are a part of our immune system. They exist with us in a symbiotic relationship, and research has likely only just scratched the surface on how important this “internal flora” really is.
What we do know, however, is that this internal flora can become damaged by a variety of factors. Poor lifestyle choices such as excessive alcohol consumption or smoking can harm these colonies. Poor diet can also play a role in damaging the internal flora, particularly if you eat a diet rich in foods that are contaminated with mold poisons, known as mycotoxins. Among the worst offenders, however, might be antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria, regardless of whether they are the good bacteria in our gut or harmful bacteria that cause infections.
Once these colonies are depleted, a more insidious organism can begin to flourish: Yeast. We all naturally have yeasts living in our digestive tracts, but when these begin to flourish, there is evidence they can lead to health problems. This is largely why The Kaufmann Diet was developed; to starve yeast and fungi inside the body that may be contributing to health problems.
When do I need Probiotics?
This is why it is recommended that you begin a probiotic regimen along with The Kaufmann Diet; as you begin to eliminate yeasts in the body, it is important to fill the void left behind with beneficial bacteria. This competition for nutrients will assist in keeping levels of yeast low and unable to cause downstream health issues.
In the begining phase of the diet, it is good to go on a “loading” dose of probiotics. This will introduce a significant amount of these bacteria into the gut so that they can begin to recolonize the digestive tract. Afterwards, it is fine to lower the dosage to a maintenance dose. It is not uncommon for people to supplement daily with probiotics.
It is best to take another loading dose in these circumstances:
- Following a round of antibiotic usage, should you need one
- After an extended period not on The Kaufmann Diet
- If you begin experiencing stomach symptoms like bloating, gas or other issues (It is best to consult your doctor when any symptoms arise.)
Otherwise, regular maintenance supplementation with probiotics might be a good idea. These are just as important as anti-fungal supplementation on The Kaufmann Diet, because they will help prevent problems with yeast in the short term as well as the long term.