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Gut Health

Where Does Our Bacteria Come From: Our Ancestral Ties to Healthy Bacteria


Our Ancestral Ties to Healthy Bacteria

It also is very clear that there’s a strong, co-evolutionary link between the human host and our 100 trillion bacterium passengers – we have come to depend on them as much as they depend on us. Considering that our bodies and our genetics have not changed much in the last 100,000 years, we have to wonder: How did our cave men and women ancestors first obtain the friendly bacteria necessary for healthy digestion? After all, they were not consuming yogurt or taking capsules. Clearly, they also didn’t have enteric-coated capsules with billions of bacterial cells. Nor did they have refrigeration units filled with probiotic tablet options. Where did they get their probiotics that they were exposed to on a daily basis that created this relationship between bacteria and human cells? As it turns out, our environment and our mothers are to thank for exposure to these beneficial organisms.

Most of the beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract are first transferred both in utero and during natural childbirth (not caesarian births). During natural childbirth, trillions of the mother’s good bacteria pass to the newborn; in fact, it’s swallowed and is then colonized in the newborn’s digestive tract. Further, breast feeding exposes the infant to more beneficial bacteria, which eventually makes a permanent home in its digestive tract. This is the source of most of the beneficial bacteria required to perform essential functions in the digestive system. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, which are commonly found in most commercial probiotic products, are among the strains passed this way from mother to child. However, these strains of bacteria are not designed by nature for life outside of the body, or to be re-introduced orally on a daily basis. Instead, the best way to positively impact the numbers and population of these particular bacteria is via a healthy diet – a diet low in simple sugars and processed foods, and high in soluble and insoluble fibers.

The second way that humans ingest healthy bacteria is via the environment. Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers and they ate off the land. The foods they ate contained high amounts of environmental bacteria that ended up in their digestive systems. But many of those bacteria were not stable enough to survive the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach, and they never made it to the digestive tract. However, there was one class of bacteria that were an exception – gram positive bacilli (commonly called bacillus species – not to be confused with lactobacillus which is a different species but with a similar name).

These Bacillus strains of probiotics  are universally found in the digestive systems of most animals, and even sea life, essentially all living species. They are nature’s true and universal probiotic, able to survive for long periods of time in any type of environment. They are abundant in most natural environments where they can gain exposure to the host. Eventually, they make a home in the digestive system where they conduct many important and beneficial functions, such as assistance with digestion; maintaining the proper balance between good and bad bacteria; fighting bad bacteria; supporting the immune system, and producing important nutrients in the digestive system that can be readily absorbed. These bacillus strain bacteria were designed by nature to be stable in both the external environment and its body’s digestive system. Our ancestors got a healthful dose of these bacillus strains with every meal they ate as they ate off the land.

Thus, we gain exposure to beneficial bacteria in two ways: 1) Through childbirth, and 2) From our environment. Since we are born only once, we are left with daily exposure to key environmental organisms that have the ability to survive in the environment and in the human digestive system. A true probiotic, as designed by nature, should be a strain found in the environment AND able to survive in the human digestive system – this is nature’s design.

The most well-known and critically-studied of these types of true probiotics are spore-forming Bacillus SubtilisBacillus Coagulans and Bacillus Clausii. A recently discovered additional strain is Bacillus Indicus HU36®, which is the first strain of spore-forming bacteria that has been clinically-proven to produce antioxidants in the digestive system where the body readily absorbs it. These four strains, designed by nature, are the key ingredients in Just Thrive®, marking an evolutionary shift in the standards, potency, and efficacy of probiotics. Welcome to the next generation of probiotics!

Back to our initial statement that the simple answer to why Just Thrive® stands alone is that Just Thrive® is a true “probiotic” whereas the majority of other products are not:  As you just learned, nature designed a true daily probiotic to be a strain that is abundant in the environment and has the ability to naturally survive the harsh environment of the stomach. They have to get to the intestines alive and be able to colonize well in the digestive system. The Bacillus species in Just Thrive® does this whereas the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species used in 95% of probiotic supplements don’t, and so they cannot be true “probiotics”. The second part is the fact that the World Health Organization and consensus among scientists define a “probiotic” to be a “live microorganism.” This means that scientists require that the strain has to arrive at the site of colonization alive to be considered a probiotic. The strains in Just Thrive® have a 99.999% survival through the harsh stomach and do arrive at the site of action active and alive. Strains used in 95% of products in the market do not survive the harsh stomach environment and so do not arrive at the site of action alive. What those products offer is dead bacteria…if you want a true “probiotic” – choose  Just Thrive®.

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