Continuing my series on interpreting the sometimes confusing results of the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) today we're going to look at the Microbiology section.
By now almost everyone has heard of so called "beneficial" or "friendly" bacteria, thanks mainly to probiotic yoghurt advertising that seems to be everywhere these days. Beneficial bacteria are in basic terms seen as the good guys within a huge community of bugs that inhabit our gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
A lot of research has gone into understanding their role over the past few decades. Some of their benefits include:
- Physical crowding out of less desirable microorganisms
- Production of antimicrobial substances to keep pathogens at bay
- Breaking down bacterial toxins
- Production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which keep GI tract cells healthy, provide a source of energy and help to maintain a healthy GI tract pH.
- Digestion of proteins