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Stating that our acquaintance with friendly bacteria that protect our immunity begins with a normal birth, Associate Professor, Member of the National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association of Turkey Dr. “Avoiding products with a high chemical content, reducing unnecessary drug use is the first condition for maintaining our healthy and balanced nutritional flora,” said.

Our body has a community of microorganisms that try to maintain our natural balance and prevent the reproduction of disease-causing microbes. The process of protecting these friendly bacteria, called flora, begins with a normal birth, then continues for a lifetime with healthy eating. Stating that protecting our flora is important for strong immunity, Assoc. Professor, Member of the National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association of Turkey, the Doctor shared suggestions on the subject.

Vaginal delivery introduces baby to friendly bacteria

Assoc., who informs us that our flora begins to come into contact with the external environment from the moment of birth. Dr. made the following statement:

“The diversity of flora that begins in the womb with the contributions of the genetic background eventually encounters a large number of microorganisms both through respiration and through nutrition. The way of birth plays an important role in the healthy formation of the flora at the very beginning of life. The diversity of the flora of the baby born by contacting the skin flora through cesarean section with the baby born with the mother’s vaginal flora will not be the same.”

Again, breast milk nutrition supports the continuity and development of healthy flora, while the flora takes shape in different directions depending on the content of foods used when necessary. For this reason, many foods today are supplemented with probiotics that enrich the flora.

The intestinal flora, which constitutes the basic and largest part of our flora, undergoes negative changes, especially in relation to unhealthy diet and drug use, especially antibiotics.

Our flora in the skin and intestines protects against diseases

Assoc., who mentioned that our skin contains more than a million bacteria in each inch area that help protect the skin. Dr. said that “The flora on the skin acts as a large and dynamic interface that cooperates with the immune system. It works as a physical barrier against the external environment and prevents the invasion of disease-causing pathogens, irritants and allergens inside,” he said.

Emphasizing that the flora in our intestines provides a similar effect inside, said, “The intestinal flora, which is considered to be the second brain today, performs significant tasks in the prevention of many diseases. Because the breakdown of the barrier here causes many disease-causing factors to leak out of the intestine and spread throughout the body and unwanted fire events to begin. Allergic diseases are just one of them,” he said.

The importance of protecting our flora for a strong immunity

Prebiotics ensure healthy reproduction of our flora

Assoc., who touched upon the importance of choosing a normal birth other than emergency situations in our first step into life. Dr. “Providing nutrition as breast milk is very important for the baby to start with a healthy flora,” said. “Diet is the most important environmental factor determining the intestinal microbiota content,” added, explaining:

“A healthy and balanced diet is the first condition for maintaining the flora. A diet rich in nutrients that ensure the healthy reproduction of our flora, which we call prebiotics, must be provided. The main prebiotic-containing foods are blueberries, raspberries, pears, apples, bananas, watermelons, spinach, chard, broccoli, peas, leeks, artichokes, asparagus and whole grains (wheat, barley, bulgur, oats). The amount of fiber in the diet should also be increased with foods such as leeks, artichokes, bananas, apples. Again, the consumption of fermented products such as yogurt, kefir, pickles should be supported.”

Chemical ingredients should be avoided

It is worth noting that it is necessary to stay away from products with a high chemical content, Assoc. Dr. especially cosmetics, antibacterial agents, soaps, shampoos, perfumes and deodorant products that we often use in our daily lives such as perfume and deodorant should also be careful to avoid such products because they disrupt the balance of our flora,” he said.

Referring to the fact that one of the factors that most disrupt the healthy flora today is the use of antibiotics, Assoc. Dr. suggested that probiotics should be used together with antibiotics when absolutely necessary, as antibiotics that cannot distinguish between disease-causing and healthy bacteria in our flora will cause serious loss in our friendly bacteria.

Since many stomach drugs that act by changing the acidity of the stomach can also complicate the living conditions of our healthy flora and create the basis for an increase in pathogenic ones, it should be taken into account that such drugs should be used in necessary cases and with caution.