A healthy gut with its 3-5 pounds of “good bacteria” is absolutely essential to your overall good health. These friendly flora not only are required for good digestion of your food and absorption of the nutrients, but they also serve as frontline soldiers in your immune system’s defense against a host of potentially deadly invaders. For a detailed explanation of what those friendly little guys lining your gut do for you, see: http://www.nourishingdays.com/2010/04/digestion-and-elimination-understanding-the-importance-of-gut-flora/ It would be well worth your while to use your search engine to find other articles about the “importance of friendly flora in your gut.”
Armed with this information about how important your friendly flora are, how do you keep those little guys happy in there? In earlier days, most Americans consumed a variety of unpasteurized foods, such as fresh-churned buttermilk, homemade kraut, clabber, yogurt, and hard cheeses, and also drank their water from a well or spring and never heard of antibiotics. In other countries, miso, kimchi, and kefir were, and still are, added to the list. With those natural foods, guts usually stayed pretty much balanced and healthy. Nowadays, we have to work at it. For a starter on how to do that, see: http://www.optimalhealthsystems.com/shownews.asp?id=131
While many modern innovations visit deadly plagues upon the little guys in our guts that are struggling to keep us healthy, the most obvious one is antibiotics in their many forms. That’s why when you take a course of antibiotics for whatever ails you, you typically will suffer digestive upset and/or constipation. A more sinister invader comes from the faucet in your home if your water supply comes from a municipal treatment plant. The chlorine that is meant to kill pathogens in the relatively filthy water that they start out with also is very hostile to the innocent bystanders in your gut. You also get this same bug bomb from a variety of commercial products that are made with chlorinated city water.
Just as chlorine will turn into a gas and evaporate from your swimming pool, it also will evaporate from an open container of water on your counter within 24 hours or so. It also can be filtered out with a variety of devices. Whatever you do, it’s well worth your time and effort to avoid consuming anything containing chlorine. The fluoride that is added to the water in many city systems also is very controversial, but that’s a subject for another article at another time. For more information on how to deal with chlorine, see: http://www.optimalhealthsystems.com/shownews.asp?id=131