“The gut is swarming with about 100 trillion bacteria, or flora, which outnumber human cells in our body 10 to 1. Bacteria are often considered “good” or “bad…Essentially, the gut is your body’s gatekeeper, letting in helpful compounds and evicting harmful ones. It’s home to 70 to 80% of our immune cells. When the gut is in good shape, our systems run efficiently, but when it’s not, we may experience upset stomach, be at risk for weight gain or digestive problems like heartburn and constipation, or just feel vaguely out of sorts.”
This is from a recent article on cnn.com.
This article is a good summary of why good bacteria is so important and what to do. I agree with everything, except the prebiotics. Prebiotics are food for the good bacteria. This is extremely important so that the good bacteria thrive. However, some of the foods that contain prebiotics (onions, chicory root, etc) can make IBS symptoms worse because they contain fodmaps (fermentable cabohydrates).