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PROBIOTICS
What are probiotics? Probiotics comes from the Greek words "pro" (promoting) biotics (life).  According to the 2001 scientific definition by the World Health Organization, probiotics are "live micro-organisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host".


Why are probiotics so important? Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms (good bacteria) that in adequate amounts may provide multiple health benefits. Our ancestors obtained these beneficial bacteria from living closer to nature and from their diets.  Today's modern day living, diet and medications can compromise these microorganisms, affecting their ability to contribute to whole body health.  Natural fermentation processes create a living system that offers modern families a unique, natural food approach to the beneficial world of probiotics. It is essential to maintain the balance in the micro-flora, so take good care of it!

You probably don´t think about it in your daily life, but you have an incredibly advanced ecosystem in your intestines.  It helps you digest your food, absorb nutrients and keep illnesses away.

The immune system, the digestive function and the intestinal micro-flora form the basis of a well-functioning ecosystem.  The foods’ passage through the different  sections  of  the  digestive  system is  intricately  choreographed  in a

planet

people

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A modern way of life can take its toll on the ecosystem, and that may lead to an unfavorable unbalance. Luckily, there is a lot that you can do to take care of your ecosystem and make sure it is in balance.

How many bacteria, on average, are in the human body? A healthy person has approximately 100 quintillion microorganisms in the intestine.  That is, 10 times as many bacteria, as there are cells in the human body!  They have a collective weight of approximately 1.5 kg, and most of them reside in the colon.  More than 10.000 different species have been found, and about 80% of these have yet to be characterized.  The composition of bacteria varies from person to person, but usually consists of 30-40 dominant species and a number of others in minor amounts.

Where do we get our first dose of probiotics? The microbiome is founded at birth.  When passing through the birth canal, the first bacteria are introduced through the baby´s mouth.  From then on, the composition of different bacterial stems is expanded little by little.  For instance, when the baby is breastfed and lactic acid bacteria are transferred from the mother´s skin.  Everything that passes through the mouth contains microorganisms from the surroundings.

Where is the microbiome located, and what does it do? The microbiome is adhered to the colonic mucosa and form a thin layer on the inside of the intestinal wall.  It forms an immense network of cells, which communicates with each other and with the cells in the mucosa.  A healthy microbiome occupies the physical space, so that unwanted bacteria cannot come into contact with the intestinal wall.  By producing lactic and acetic acid, the lactic acid bacteria lower the pH-value locally in the intestine (acidifying it), so putrefaction bacteria and fungi cannot get a foothold.  Through the close contact with the intestinal wall, they stimulate the dendritic cell on the other side to produce substances, which are toxic to pathogenic bacteria.  Some probiotic bacteria furthermore produce toxins themselves.  The tightly weaved layer of beneficial bacteria is practically an extra mucosa, which controls what enters the intestine and the body.  Some types of bacteria can even alter the genes of the intestinal cells, so that they provide the bacteria with a specific kind of feed.

One of the large neural pathways, the vagus nerve, connects the intestine directly to the brain.  The vagus nerve is connected to the part of the brain, which regulates emotions, and which is involved in the development of depression and anxiety.  Through this two-way connection the brain and the intestine communicate with each other and an unhealthy microbiome can cause stress, sleep deprivation, sugar cravings and fatigue.  Conversely, scientific tests show that the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus can reduce anxiety and stress.  The nerves system, the endocrine system and the immune system are in close contact with the intestine and are affected by the microorganisms.

Many of the bacteria in the microbiome are harmless and basically without function.  Many are, however, invaluable and active in bodily functions and by consuming probiotic bacteria and lactic acid bacteria daily, it is possible to support and even re-establish a healthy microbiome.

Historically, where did we get probiotics from? Our ancestors obtained these bacteria from their diet and from being in regular contact with the natural world.  In fact, the highest longevity rates found around the world correlate with people from traditional cultures who consumed high probiotic containing foods and beverages on a daily basis.

Why do we need to take probiotics regularly? The microbiome is constantly being influenced through lifestyle and diet.  Especially antibiotic treatment, smoking, alcohol, sleep deprivation, processed foods, stress and malnutrition affect the bacterial population negatively.  Our food is being grown in minerally-depleted soil, often with poor bacteria content.  Conversely, good habits are essential to rebuild a healthy microbiome.

In earlier times, fermented products, the common source of lactic acid bacteria, were a natural part of any household, but a modern lifestyle in many cases also means a discarding and re-invention of traditions.  This means that many of the traditional foods and food preparation methods have been abandoned, where new have arrived, and thus also that fermented products and lactic acid bacteria are disappearing from our everyday-life.


FERMENTATION
What is fermentation? The word “fermentation” is used to describe processes where microorganisms convert one substance to another.  It is known from yeast converting sugar to alcohol, from vinegar fungus converting alcohol to vinegar, and from lactic acid bacteria converting carbohydrates to lactic acid.  Quite complicated substances are created in the process, as is the case with penicillin, which is naturally produced by a mold fungus that grows on oranges, and human insulin, which can be produced in large quantities by a gene-manipulation of bacteria.

Why is fermentation important? During a fermentation process with lactic acid bacteria primarily lactic acid is created, but also smaller quantities of other organic acids like acetic acid.  When sufficient quantities of lactic acid have been produced, the product is too acidic for unwanted bacteria to reside in it.  That preserves the product naturally and protects it from intrusion of pathogenic bacteria.

In earlier times the self-preservative effect of the fermentation was used in relation to milk.  When the milk turned sour, it was left until the naturally occurring bacteria had finished their work.  The result was junket, which meant that the milk could keep for longer.

Today the milk is pasteurized and homogenized, which destroys the natural lactic acid bacteria.  When the milk is no longer fresh, it is instead attacked by putrefaction bacteria from the outside, which produce malodorous compounds.  Fermentation of food is still widespread.  While it is widely used in the household in developing countries, the Western countries have industrialized the process on a larger scale.  Food is no longer fermented for durability´s sake, since this can be prolonged by the use of artificial preservatives.  In most cases the fermentation primarily supplies the food flavor component, called umami.

Examples of fermented foodstuffs, which are sold in large scale, are beer, salami, yogurt and cheese, but even if fermented products are still a part of our lives on a small scale, the challenge is to consume enough.  Not only enough individual bacteria, but also different strains, since the effect of the bacteria is also seen in the cooperation between the strains, and not just as a result of the work of one strain.

When is New Beginnings best taken? New Beginnings can be consumed at any time of the day.  Some individuals prefer it on an empty stomach, while others prefer it during meals.  For some, small amounts are sufficient, while others benefit from taking it several times a day.  This unique fermented drink is an emulation of a natural digestive process which can almost be described  as a “pre-digestion” process.  The end result is a composition of multiple living probiotics, producing lactic and acetic acids, and contained in a pro-acidic low pH-value liquid.

system, where all details are attuned and follow a predetermined pattern, which secures an optimal nutrient absorption and living conditions for the micro-flora.  When the micro-flora has optimal conditions, so does our immune system.  A well-functioning ecosystem in the intestine is essential for our quality of life and our survival.

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