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What are friendly bacteria

What are friendly bacteria?

Each of us has around 100,000 billion viable microbes living in our intestines, comprising over 1,000 different species and more than 5,000 strains. These microbes weigh around 1.5 kg in total and are referred to collectively as the microbiome.

95% of the microbiome is in the large intestine, with only around 50g (weight) of the microbiome residing in the small intestine.

Good Bacteria

With us from birth

The composition of our gut bacteria is set when we are born and remains with us throughout our lives. It is established in the first couple of years of life based upon the bacteria we are exposed to at birth and our diet and experiences from birth to around three years of age.

The whole population of gut bacteria is known as the microbiota and it has a large number of benefits – in fact, we now know that we could not survive without it. As well as supporting digestion and immunity generally, it has some very specific roles, including helping us to digest certain types of fibre, helping to absorb antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and helping with the production of vitamins B12, biotin and vitamin K.

Balance is key

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    Our Microbiota

    Our natural microbiota contains both helpful (friendly) and hostile bacteria. The main two species of helpful bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.

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    Imbalance Symptoms

    An imbalanced bacterial population is known as dysbiosis and symptoms include bloating, indigestion and food intolerances, as well as low energy and reduced immunity.

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    Our Microbiota

    Our natural microbiota contains both helpful (friendly) and hostile bacteria. The main two species of helpful bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.

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    Imbalance Symptoms

    An imbalanced bacterial population is known as dysbiosis and symptoms include bloating, indigestion and food intolerances, as well as low energy and reduced immunity.

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    Gut Balance

    Many factors can affect the balance of the gut bacteria, including diet, sickness, antibiotics and other medications, stress, lack of sleep and even aging.

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    Supplementation

    Before refrigeration, humans used to eat lots of friendly bacteria via fermented and cultured foods. As this is no longer the case, supplementation may help to support the bacterial balance.

Friendly-bacteria-web-diagram2