FAQs

Bacteria

What are microbiota or intestinal flora?

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Intestinal flora or gastro-intestinal microbiota are the group of bacteria that live in our intestine. The intestine is populated by one hundred thousand billion bacteria, which is 10 times more than the number of cells in the entire human body. It is therefore easy to grasp the influence that intestinal flora has on our general well-being!

Among all of the bacteria that coexist in our intestine, we can distinguish:

1. “Good” bacteria or fermentative flora

These bacteria are essential for the smooth operation of:

  • the digestive system: intestinal flora complete the digestion of food with fermentation and play an essential role in the bowel transit time.
  • the assimilation of nutrients: mineral absorption, synthesis of certain vitamins, etc...
  • the immune system: intestinal flora bacteria stimulate production of lymphocytes (the body’s defences)
  • Elimination of waste: elimination of toxins, cholesterol, etc...

2. “Bad” bacteria or putrefactive flora

These bacteria do not deserve their name as they also have their uses. Nevertheless, to maintain a healthy balance of flora, these bacteria must remain in the minority.

Digestive Health FAQs

What are Prebiotics?

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Often these fibres also help maintain the right balance of flora, as they serve as food for probiotics. They arrive undigested in the colon and can therefore act directly as food for the bacteria. The majority of the professed beneficial effects of prebiotics are associated with improvements of intestinal and metabolic functions, such as an increase in short-chain fatty acids, or even an increase in faecal weight (which then facilitates bowel movements). Studies have shown that prebiotics such as FOSs, associated with probiotics, increase the amount of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the intestine and inhibit certain potentially pathogenic bacteria. These beneficial effects on intestinal flora therefore cause less flatulence and fewer disruptions of the bowel transit time. Artichokes, bananas, garlic and peas are all rich source of prebiotics... you can eat these as much as you want!

What else do I need to know?

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Avoid the excessive consumption of sugars, refined starch, saturated fats and choose food that is a good source of probiotics: yoghurt, raw sauerkraut, miso, tamari, kefir, etc.

Finally, what should I do?

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Rebuilding intestinal flora by consuming fibres and introducing probiotics and prebiotics is therefore essential in order to avoid disruption of the bowel transit time.

How do probiotics work?

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Probiotics work by changing the balance of intestinal microbial flora by producing short-chain fatty acids and increasing general digestive efficiency. Short-chain fatty acids, produced by the bacterial flora, also reduce the pH in the intestine, which can in turn change the consistency of stools, while stimulating intestinal peristalsis. In people suffering from intestinal discomfort (flatulence, irregular or disrupted transmission, bloating…), it is therefore important to reduce the proportion of these methanogenic strains in the colon and favour non-methane producing strains such as Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus and S. thermophilus.

What are Probiotics?

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Probiotics such as bacteria of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria families are the solution to disrupted intestinal flora. Introducing these good bacteria will keep the bad bacteria under control and restore the balance. The flora will once again be able to fulfil its function and the entire body stands to benefit!

Should I take probiotics or prebiotics to rebalance my intestinal flora?

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The importance of intestinal flora for our health and well-being has been proven at length. If there is an imbalance, it is essential to help our flora rebuild and regenerate itself.

What are microbiota or intestinal flora?

Show Answer

Intestinal flora or gastro-intestinal microbiota are the group of bacteria that live in our intestine. The intestine is populated by one hundred thousand billion bacteria, which is 10 times more than the number of cells in the entire human body. It is therefore easy to grasp the influence that intestinal flora has on our general well-being!

Among all of the bacteria that coexist in our intestine, we can distinguish:

1. “Good” bacteria or fermentative flora

These bacteria are essential for the smooth operation of:

  • the digestive system: intestinal flora complete the digestion of food with fermentation and play an essential role in the bowel transit time.
  • the assimilation of nutrients: mineral absorption, synthesis of certain vitamins, etc...
  • the immune system: intestinal flora bacteria stimulate production of lymphocytes (the body’s defences)
  • Elimination of waste: elimination of toxins, cholesterol, etc...

2. “Bad” bacteria or putrefactive flora

These bacteria do not deserve their name as they also have their uses. Nevertheless, to maintain a healthy balance of flora, these bacteria must remain in the minority.

Food

Can the food I eat influence the balance of my intestinal flora?

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Yes, absolutely! Too many fast-releasing sugars favour the proliferation of fermentative bacteria, too much meat favours putrefactive bacteria… And if our food lacks fibre (which is the natural food for good bacteria), putrefactive bacteria can disrupt the balance. You can therefore see why a lack of fibre in your food could cause transmission problems in the long term.