I think there is something more to eating whole real foods and fermented foods than what is actually on the label.
My beliefs about consuming whole foods came about a few years ago when I had a horrible intestinal infection called clostridium difficile colitis aka c-diff. I was awoken to new concepts in probiotic health after rounds of antibiotics did not work to get ride of this awful infection that was brought on by taking antibiotics for mastitis eight weeks after having my first child.
Some quick background (for more details read earlier blog titled "Stool Transplants")...
C-diff is known for being an antibiotic resistant "super bug" which devastates hospital patients. It left me so sick for eleven months. I was malnourished, fatigued and frail. The antibiotics I took for mastitis wiped out the good bacteria in my gut leaving the bad bacteria, free to explode in numbers and wreck havoc on my intestines. At the time I tried every single antibiotic available for this illness prescribed by top physicians in multiple hospitals. I tried speciality probiotic pills, powders and any product that said probiotic hoping it could recolonize my gut with the good bacteria and wipe out the c-diff infection. Nothing would make it go away!!
After eleven months of severe lack of absorption of food and declining health from this infection, a stool transplant was recommended (which terrified me a the time) and within days I was better.
Some refer to a stool transplant as a "super probiotic" treatment because your gut is literally being filled with billions of good bacteria from a healthy person's stool. It then colonizes the intestines with healthy bacteria from the donors stool. This concept dates back over a 100 years on farms. Farmers would literally have unhealthy cows eat a healthy cows stools to try and cure them of what made them sick. Now I would not go as far as suggesting this but it is the same concept as a stool transplant. The end result being a rebalanced gut.
This experience forever changed my perspective on probiotics and supplements across the board. All these pills could not touch what nature provided naturally. I was told by my physicians that scientists don't even know half of the bacteria that colonize our gut. They are not able to replicate what they do not know. That is why the stool transplant works and all these probiotic pills do not. There are literally billions and billions of bacteria in a healthy colon.
Scientist say the probiotics in non processed fermented foods really increase your immune health and countless other benefits. This is becoming more common knowledge even outside the health sector. After this discovery became so mainstream, all the big drug companies and food manufacturers started producing pills and food made with these probiotic strands they found in popular fermented foods. That is great but what about the good bacteria that is not picked up by all our modern testing techniques? What about the other elements in the fermented food that maybe we don't even know about and are undiscovered just like in the stool transplant?
In a way I view the food I eat as natural medicine and I put it in my body daily in hopes that it helps keep me strong and healthy for years. I apply this same exact concept to why I eat so many organic fruits and vegetables.
I promised myself one day if I ever got better, I would share my journey with the world to help others out there in the same situation. Also, I wanted to show my thanks to all the people who were brave enough to write about their c-diff journey on message boards. During the time, I was too scared to even speak my experiences out loud. Today I am healed and feel ready to share my experience with the world.
Am I completely against pills? Absolutely not. I have yet to find anything as effective as Zoloft for managing my anxiety. I take medication like Benadryl and Tylenol as needed. I think vitamins and probiotics could be really helpful but I do view them as supplements and not a replacement.