I like to call the proper balance of gut bacteria your “GPS”—your Gut Protection System. Your GPS works to: protect your intestinal lining; “crowd out” and neutralize the harmful bacteria; and influence the immune system so that it responds in the proper way to harmful invaders like bacteria, toxins, and even undigested food particles.

Your GPS might not be properly balanced—and you may not even know it. Sure, some people experience obvious digestive symptoms like gas and bloating, or heartburn, but some people don’t exhibit digestive symptoms, yet still have a gut imbalance. A malfunctioning GPS can have far-reaching health consequences. For example, many mood disorders, like depression and anxiety, are closely linked to gut health. Rheumatoid arthritis—how much further from the gut could you get?—is also known to be associated with gut imbalances. The list goes on and on. Read about it in my new book, The Road to Perfect Health, available exclusively through my PBS special of the same title. (Check your local PBS listings for show times.)

So, how does your GPS malfunction? Well, there are a number of ways. I’ll highlight some here:

Exposure to chemicals

  • Certain medications (like antibiotics and acid-suppressing medications)
  • Over processed and refined foods (I call them Dead Foods)
  • Low stomach acid

In today’s world, it can be hard to avoid some of these triggers. That’s why it’s best to balance your gut with beneficial probiotic bacteria to get your GPS up and running. As I say: Balance your gut, heal your body.