What are probiotics and how can they help improve my skin and healthcare regimens? Did you know that your body is actually swarming with bacteria - and that it's a good thing?
At any given time you have ten times more bacteria in your body than you do cells. Some of the bacteria are good (probiotics) and some are harmful (pathological).
The bacteria residing inside you are not parasites. You live in complete symbiosis with them.
Beneficial bacteria perform many useful tasks, and your health would seriously deteriorate without them.
What is critical to acne and your health is the balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria - not the total number of bacteria.
Let's take a brief look at what this has to do with acne...
Acne develops as a result of toxins creating fertile conditions in your skin for acne-causing bacteria to multiply. Those same toxins may also interfere with normal functioning of your organs. This may cause your organs to overproduce certain hormones that actually increase sebum production. More sebum and more acne-causing bacteria combine to produce more pimples.
The next logical step is to look at how these toxins enter your body in the first place.
Some of them come from external sources (e.g. pollution, chemicals in skin care products, chemicals and additives in food and water). More important than toxins from external sources are toxins created inside your body.
Undigested food in your gut is perhaps the most significant source of toxins. Imagine what would happen if you left a piece of meat on the kitchen table during a hot summer day. It doesn't take long for the meat to turn grey and begin to stink. The bacteria in the meat putrefy (eat) the meat.
The same thing happens in your gut, though with one difference. Your gut is a far more fertile (warm and humid) environment for bacteria. As a result of this there is a significant number of bacteria in your small intestine and colon and therefore the food putrefies much faster there.
The harmful bacteria in your small intestine and, more importantly, in your colon actually feast on undigested food. They create poisonous toxins as a result of their metabolic activity.
Normally the beneficial bacteria in your gut would be able to neutralize these toxins and keep the harmful bacteria at bay. However, if you continually feed the harmful bacteria with undigested food in large quantities, they start to multiply and gradually gain ground over the beneficial bacteria. As a result of this more and more toxins are produced in your colon and your body's ability to neutralize them weakens.
If this is allowed to continue, these toxins will eventually leak from your gut and eventually overwhelm your liver's ability to neutralize them. This is when you start to develop persistent acne and your health begins to deteriorate.
What causes indigestion is beyond the scope of this article, but the main culprits would be improperly combined food and processed, enzyme poor food. When eaten together some foods (proteins and carbohydrates for example) interfere with each others digestion. Proper digestion also requires a correct supply of digestive enzymes. Processing usually destroys these critical enzymes from food. As a result of eating such food your body doesn't get all the enzymes it requires for complete digestion.
Besides incomplete digestion there are few other things that also upset the balance of your intestinal flora:
- Prescription and OTC medicines indiscriminately kill also beneficial bacteria and leave your gut vulnerable for harmful bacteria to take over.
- Eating sugar rich diet. Sugar directly feeds the harmful bacteria.
- Chemicals and additives in food both destroy the digestive enzymes and interfere with digestion.
- Continual stress.
- Excessive use of alcohol.
Perhaps the most effective way to fight acne is to maintain a correct balance of intestinal bacteria. When it comes to acne, the most important thing probiotic bacteria do, is destroy harmful bacteria. Probiotics also neutralize acne-causing toxins and create and an environment in your gut that is lethal to pathological bacteria.
By keeping pathological bacteria at bay and preventing overproduction of acne-causing toxins, probiotics actually eliminates the root cause of acne.
There are few simple steps you can do to treat acne and restore the correct bacterial balance:
- Cleanse your colon from harmful bacteria, toxins and undigested food.
- Support the growth of probiotic bacteria by taking a good probiotics supplement.
- Examine your diet and gradually work to eliminate items that cause indigestion.
- Repeat the above steps when necessary. You should not see probiotics as a one step cure for acne. Instead work gradually towards a healthier, acne-free lifestyle. Maintaining proper health and cultivating healthy lifestyle is really the only natural treatment for acne. Other 'natural treatments' like herbs and vitamins, are really nothing but substitutes for drugs if you do not combine them with lifestyle changes.
Herbs and vitamins can work beautifully against acne, but they are no more effective in removing the root cause of acne than antibiotics are.
Successful natural acne treatment combines the healing effect of herbs together with long term benefits of healthy diet and lifestyle choices. It's really the only way to help your body in its fight to permanently cure acne.