Dear Pharmacist: You’re sort of obsessed with gut health because you frequently suggest probiotics to people seeking better health. I don’t take probiotics but I do appreciate your perspective. Not one of 14 doctors over six years has ever suggested probiotics. What’s the big deal? — R.M., Ocala, Fla.
A: Hmm, maybe you would not have needed 14 doctors if any one of them had warned you of the adverse health consequences of microflora deficiency? Think allergies, irritable bowel, depression, hypothyroidism, cancer and autoimmune disorders galore. The ramifications for poor probiotic status cause disease from head to toe. There are more than 100 trillion microbes that live inside you, that’s more than the number of actual cells that form you into a human being. You are merely the sum of the bacteria inside you, so it’s critical that the good organisms outnumber the bad ones, or else disease sets in. People who enjoy good health, do so because of their strong immune system which powers up at birth, with an assortment of healthy bacteria obtained from mother’s milk.
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