The good bacteria: Vital tiny heroes

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: Bacteria have often been associated with diseases and infections. However, there is a remarkable group of bacteria that plays a major role in maintaining our overall well-being — the “good bacteria”. While these tiny organisms may be invisible to the naked eye, their impact on our health cannot be underestimated. Thus, these good bacteria are becoming increasingly recognized as essential organisms in our quest for optimal health.  To look deeper into the world of good bacteria, Kuwait Times interviewed probiotic researcher Khaled Al-Abdulghani.

Khaled Al Abdulghani

Kuwait Times: What are good bacteria, and how do they differ from harmful bacteria?

Khaled Al-Abdulghani: The human body contains 100 trillion bacteria, which is equivalent to 10 times the cells of the human body, and there are 500 to 1,000 types of bacteria, which constitute 2 kilos of human weight. We acquire these bacteria from birth, from the mother’s womb through the birth canal, bearing in mind that cesarean delivery babies acquire beneficial bacteria from the skin, which are not as efficient as bacteria acquired from the mother’s womb. There are 80 percent beneficial bacteria and 20 percent harmful bacteria, and this ratio and balance must be maintained.

Kuwait Times: How do good bacteria contribute to the functioning of the immune system?

Abdulghani: Beneficial bacteria make up 80 percent of the immune system, and if the beneficial bacteria are fed according to the recommendations of the US FDA, 5 grams to 31 grams per day, we will maintain the efficiency and raise the performance of the immune system.

Kuwait Times: What are the potential benefits of consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements?

Abdulghani: Probiotics are good bacteria and food for good bacteria. So, what we notice is there is a source and food for this source. Nutrition is more important than the source and the reason is due to the fact that the beneficial bacteria in the human body do not die since we acquired them from birth, but we only need nourishment in order for them to grow and multiply to reach the required balance.

Kuwait Times: How can good bacteria help in preventing or treating certain infections or diseases?

Abdulghani: If we enhance the good bacteria in the body by consuming probiotics, it will boost the immune system. Hence, the immune system will become capable to prevent and resist infections and diseases, either bacterial or viral.

Kuwait Times: Are there any potential side effects or precautions to consider when consuming or using products with good bacteria?

Abdulghani: Yes, because you are increasing the numbers of bacteria, which do not exceed 13 types. Our body has a range that goes from 500 to 1,000 types, and that causes disturbance of the harmonic work of probiotics in the body, according to a European Food Safety Authority report.

Kuwait Times: How can good bacteria be incorporated into everyday life for optimal health?

Abdulghani: By feeding the good or beneficial bacteria, which is in charge for both the digestive and immune systems, to enhance the short-chain fatty acid levels, which prevent us from all kinds of diseases.

The post The good bacteria: Vital tiny heroes appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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