From the foregoing, you may have already concluded that the normal intestinal microflora may serve not only as a prerequisite for the successful treatment of intestinal diseases, but also a way to never get sick. Personally, I am deeply convinced that in the normal state of the intestinal immune system all the other hygiene requirements, including, pardon me, hand washing, are unnecessary.
But, of course, I am not authority for you in this matter, but in science there are cases that directly support this view. The most famous story associated with Vibrio cholerae.
October 7, 1892 the well-known hygienist Professor Max Pettenkofer (among other things, in 73 years of age) to prove the correctness of his theory, drank in front of witnesses culture of cholera vibrios. Not only does he not fallen ill with cholera, but by 16 October secretions cholera bacillus were already completely absent in his intestinal excretions!
To avoid damage to the culture of microbes by stomach hydrochloric acid, Pettenkofer gave one gram of baking soda into a half cup of water, poured there one cubic centimeter of fresh "microbe soup" and drank the contents, without taking a breath. As he said, "One cubic centimeter, I obviously took a billion of these fearsome microbes, at least, far more than it is when you touch your mouth with unwashed fingers".
Other researchers also have exposed themselves to the cholera bacillus, repeating the experience of Pettenkofer. In Paris, Ilya Mechnikov and his assistant Latal did it, then Nicholas F. Gamaleya, Daniel K. Zabolotny and Ivan G. Savchenko, who later became known bacteriologist of Kiev.
Metchnikoff, incidentally, was an expert in intestinal bacteria, he discovered the Bulgarian bacillus. He argued that the answer to the question which of two people, in ceteris paribus, become ill with cholera depends on the characteristics of bacteria inhabiting the human intestine, as the bacteria compete with each other, suppressing and destroying each other. The discovery of penicillin was also based on this fact.
In his monograph "The Nature of Man" (1915) Metchnikoff accurately described the role of lactic acid bacteria belonging to the intestinal microflora, and demonstrated the feasibility of therapeutic and prophylactic use of products containing these bacteria.
The natural intestinal microflora supports the health of not only the digestive system, but also the whole body. It starts to form already at birth, during the passage of the newborn through the birth canal. In this case the baby's body gets the bacteria of maternal microflora (especially bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) that quickly colonized it.
Scientists have shown that microflora of baby who is born by caesarean section differs from microflora of baby born naturally. This is the reason for increased morbidity "caesarian" babies.
Lactobacilli are localized on the walls of the small intestine, protect mucous membranes from exposure to pathogens. They form a complex structure of the biomembrane, which includes molecules of secretory immunoglobulin A. It is this film does not allow pathogenic strains of E. coli, Salmonella and tuberculosis bacillus to attach themselves to the intestinal wall, weakening the effect of their toxins and other metabolites.
Adult life in the modern world is replete with adverse environmental factors and stress; foods are saturated with stabilizers, preservatives, dyes; attributes of modern life are also excessive and often unwarranted use of antibiotics, analgesics, hormones and other drugs.
All these factors lead to a нарушению of normal composition of intestinal microflora, primarily to reduce the number of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. As a result, it is facilitates the colonization of the small intestine by pathogens that leads to disruption of the processes of digestion and absorption in the intestine and dominance of pathogenic bacteria in the colon. This is dysbiosis, which is manifested not only by abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea, but also reduced ability to fight any external infections.
Therefore, maintaining normal composition of intestinal microflora and its timely correction is one of the main conditions of prevention of intestinal diseases.
To restore the impaired intestinal microflora pre- and probiotics are used. Prebiotics are food components, which are not digested themselves, but selectively stimulate the growth and proliferation of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Prebiotics are a plant fiber, various oligosaccharides, inulin, etc., which are especially many found in plant foods - soy, leek, artichoke, chicory, garlic, grains, beans, peas.
Probiotics are called viable spores of component of the intestinal microflora, mostly lacto- and bifidobacteria. Probiotic drugs may contain one-, two- or multi-component mixtures of live colony-forming bacterial biomass.
The most effective and safe means for the correction of the intestinal habitat contain dominant in the normal intestinal microflora organisms of the genus Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Propionibacterium. Almost 100 years, lactobacilli (initially in the form of food products such as acidophilus milk, and in our days also in the form of supplements) are successfully used as an effective and safe means for the prevention and treatment of various digestive problems caused by the violation of the natural intestinal biocenosis.
Many studies have confirmed the efficacy of probiotics based on lactic acid bacteria in the treatment of acute infectious diseases and food poisoning in infants, children and adults. It is installed that lactobacilli are capable to counteract the appearance of diarrhea associated with antibiotics.
No less effective was the use of probiotics containing lactobacilli, also to prevent "traveler's diarrhea". A double blind placebo-controlled study on the material of 820 people visiting Turkey, showed significant preventive antidiarrheal effect of probiotics on the basis of lactobacillus.