One of the things that I stress with patients is the importance of lacto-fermented foods to provide beneficial bacteria to the intestinal tract. These bacteria form a biofilm lining the entire small intestine, which provides us with 85 percent of our immunity, protects us against toxins, helps digest our food, produces important vitamins and even creates feel-good chemicals. All traditional cultures consumed lacto-fermented foods—from the semi-rotten fish of the Alaskan Inuit to the fermented taro root of the South Seas islanders. As modern science has discovered the importance of intestinal bacteria, researchers have formulated probiotic pills to help populate the gut. Recently Dr. Joseph Mercola tested fermented vegetables produced by probiotic starter cultures (such as homemade whey). The lacto-fermented vegetables had ten trillion units of colony-forming bacteria. One serving of vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of high-potency probiotic. So rather than spend a lot of money on probiotic pills, why not enjoy delicious lacto-fermented condiments daily, at a fraction of the cost.