There are over 400 species and thousands of strains of bacteria that are supposed to inhabit the lower intestines and colon. These are called probiotics, which means “for life”, and were initially discovered in the early 1900’s.
These bacteria have many roles in good health. An important function is to prevent food from decay, preserve antioxidants and vitamins, remove toxins and keep pathogenic organisms away. Another major role of probiotics is to maintain proper immune function. Among the various effects on the immune system, a specific action is to stimulate the action of white blood cells, which kill bacteria.
When buying a probiotic, you want a multi-strain product called “broad spectrum”. It should have at least 8-15 different types of probiotic bacteria. Avoid supplements with fillers or preservatives. Make sure it is a product that has been kept cold in the store and then keep it in your fridge when you get it home, unless it is a high-quality vacuum sealed product (these types you can get from a healthcare professional).
Look for supplements that contain prebiotics as well like: inulin and FOS. Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about the right product and dosing for your health.