What is the Difference Between Good Gut Bacteria and Bad Gut Bacteria?

The word “bacteria” often conjures up negative images of germs that cause disease.

Greater than 99% of bacteria, however, are “good bacteria.”

Probiotics are an example of good bacteria, and they support a healthy gut

This, however, does not mean those “bad bacteria” 1 percenters cannot mess with the order and balance of your gut microbiome.

In the article, you will learn:

  • What is bad gut bacteria
  • What is good gut bacteria
  • How to promote a healthy immune system
  • How to naturally increase good bacteria in the gut
What is bad gut bacteria?

Several things (e.g. weight gain; Type 2 diabetes; poor diet; antibiotic use) can affect the balance of good bacteria in your gut, while giving those 1% bad bacteria more opportunities to affect your health.

Bad bacteria have negative effects on the body and inhibit health by triggering disease and promoting aging.1

Examples of bad bacteria (to name just a few) include:

  • Staphylococcus
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • E.coli (toxic strain)2

When you are unwell, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance,3 and can allow the bad bacteria to thrive.

Signs of a gut-bacteria imbalance may include:
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Digestive issues
What is good gut bacteria?

Good-bacteria (like probiotics) do three things:

  • Promote a healthy immune system
  • Restore the balance within your body
  • Make you feel better4 from the inside out

Your gut microbiome is the micro ecosystem within your digestive tract that is covered in trillions of microscopic creatures—most of which are good bacteria. 

A healthy, diverse gut microbiome promotes a healthy immune system and supports a healthy weight in two key ways:

  1. Helping to grow your gut-microbiome’s “good” bacteria by feeding them foods they like — (e.g. prebiotics)
  2. Adding living good bacteria directly to your system via ingestible probiotics5
How to promote a healthy immune system

Create the right environment for a balanced and diverse gut microbiome, and you can promote a healthy, resilient immune system.


Well, it really depends on the means to the end of creating that balanced and diverse microbiome.

Back in the day, doctors would just throw antibiotics over the fence at people with bacterial issues. However, when taking antibiotics to kill bad bacteria, nobody entirely knows what kinds of good bacteria you are also wiping away.

In an effort to re-balance your gut flora, Dr, Mark Hyman suggests:

  1. Eating a fiber-rich, whole-foods diet—Rich in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, all of which feed good gut-bacteria bugs
  2. Limiting sugar, processed foods, animal fats, and animal protein—These provide food for unhealthy gut-bacteria bugs
  3. Avoiding the use of antibiotics, acid blockers, and anti-inflammatories—As they change gut flora for the worse
  4. Taking probiotics daily6
How to naturally increase good bacteria in the gut

To amplify the number (and diversity) of good gut bacteria, Pendulum is leading the industry in the development of a new kind of medical probiotic

Pendulum Glucose Control is one of these products. In addition to a chicory inulin prebiotic, Pendulum Glucose Control’s formulation delivers 5 targeted "beneficial bacteria strains" to your gut microbiome:

  • Akkermansia muciniphila (a gut-lining probiotic)
    • Akkermansia is a rare probiotic, and can only be found by taking Pendulum Glucose Control or Pendulum Akkermansia
    • Part of what makes Akkermansia so uncommon—and why you can’t find it in any products other than Pendulum’s—is that it’s a strict anaerobic probiotic strain (meaning it can only exist in completely oxygen-free environments)
  • Anaerobutyricum hallii (a butyrate-producing probiotic)
    • Butyrate is critically important for digestive and metabolic health. It feeds the cells in our gut and creates a favorable environment for other good bacteria to grow.
  • Clostridium beijerinckii (another butyrate-producing probiotic)
  • Clostridium butyricum (a digestive- and immune-health probiotic)
  • Bifidobacterium infantis (a digestive-health probiotic)

What is the Difference Between Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria?

Another way to increase and diversify good bacteria in your gut is to follow a gut microbiome diet

Most people opt for a “Westernized” way of eating ​​(e.g. A diet that are high in fat and sugar—and low in fiber), which is a problem because those trillions of good bacteria in your gut really love fiber. 
Plant-based foods (e.g. fruits, vegetables, and whole-intact grains) are great sources of fiber. You can also increase good bacteria in your body from probiotic-rich foods that can be added to breakfasts, lunch, and dinner including:

  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Sourdough bread
  • Cottage cheese
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Fermented pickles
  • Fermented sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso soup7

To aid you as you choose the best eating plan for your gut-bacteria needs, Pendulum has registered dietitians who are there to give you guidance.

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For more information about Pendulum and its products, go to Pendulumlife.com.

Also, you can get the latest information on good and bad bacteria by following Pendulum on the following social-media sites:

Before you consider any of these gut-microbiome dietary solutions, talk to your healthcare provider. 
The FDA has not approved or evaluated these statements. Pendulum products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. 
Results may vary.


1. https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/health-and-illness/fiber/for-body/intestinal-flora/

2. https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/health-and-illness/fiber/for-body/intestinal-flora

3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

4.  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

5. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/good-bacteria-for-your-gut

6. https://drhyman.com/blog/2010/09/27/5-steps-to-kill-hidden-bad-bugs-in-your-gut-that-make-you-sick/

7.  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics


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