Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

Good vs bad bacteria

Good vs bad bacteria


Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

When some people hear the word “bacteria”, their minds often jump straight to things negatively associated with bacteria like germs, disease, and illnesses. Bacteria, however, is just a type of microorganism and can be found practically everywhere. 

It is estimated that there may be at least a billion different species of bacteria on the planet – some experts think it numbers in the trillions. Bacteria can be found from the top of the highest mountain to the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean; even the human body is full of bacteria! In fact, according to BBC Science Focus, there are more bacterial cells in our bodies than there are human cells.

While many people associate bacteria with illnesses and disease, not all bacteria is bad. There are many types of bacteria that are beneficial, and many that are even considered necessary for our bodies to function properly and play an important role in maintaining a healthy body.

Good Bacteria

Good bacteria come in many different forms, some are known as beneficial bacteria, probiotics, or gut microbes, and these are the kinds of bacteria that help to maintain a healthy balance within the microbiome in our bodies. You may have heard of some species of good bacteria such as probiotic bacteria like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, which are both found in Ohso Chocolate Bars! These good bacteria can be found in various areas of our body, on our skin, in our digestive systems and colon, and in a female’s vagina. They all play a crucial role in supporting our overall health and wellbeing.

Good bacteria and the gastrointestinal tract (GI)

Probably the most well-known benefit of good bacteria within the human body is the influence they have on our digestive health. Around 80% of the total bacteria within your body are located in the large intestine, where trillions of microorganisms live. Of those trillions of bacteria, only around 10-20% of those will be the same bacteria that anyone else has, according to BBC Future, making your microbiome unique to you.

The bacteria that lives in our gut, or gut microbes, help our bodies with processing food, like fruits, vegetables, and meats, by breaking it down and making it easier to process, absorb, and use the nutrients present in the food we consume. It is important, however, to ensure that we are eating the right foods to help keep a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut and prevent digestive issues like excess gas, bloating, and constipation. 

Good bacteria and the immune system

The good bacteria in your body also plays an important role in supporting your immune system. By helping to stimulate the production of antibodies, good bacteria help our immune system fight off infections and diseases. Studies have shown that if we have higher levels of good bacteria in our human microbiome, with a good variety and balance of species, we have a stronger immune system, making us less susceptible to illness.

Good bacteria and mental health

Good bacteria doesn’t just provide physical benefits. Research has shown that if we have plenty of good bacteria and our microbiome is well balanced, it can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and even help improve cognitive function! 

Bad Bacteria

Bad bacteria is mostly precisely what people tend to think of when bacteria is mentioned; harmful bacteria or pathogenic bacteria are the types of bacteria that can cause sickness or disease. These types of bacteria are often associated with infections but can still be found in various parts of our body like the skin, mouth, and digestive system.

Examples of bad bacteria include Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus and they can cause a whole array of illnesses, from relatively minor infections like a urinary tract infection right through to far more serious illnesses like meningitis or pneumonia.

How does bad bacteria enter the body?

Harmful bacteria can get into our systems in a variety of ways. They can enter our bodies through contaminated food or water, via contact with someone else who is infected, or by exposure to contaminated surfaces.

How to protect yourself against bad bacteria

The good thing is that, whilst it is virtually impossible to protect yourself against all forms of bad bacteria or contamination, by following some simple, common sense steps, you can help prevent the spread of bad bacteria. It is important to practise good hygiene by washing regularly and properly, by washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and by cleaning the surfaces appropriately in your home and place of work. 

The impact bad bacteria has on your health can vary greatly depending on the type of bacteria and the severity of the infection. Most forms of bacterial infection can be treated by modern medicine, such as antibiotics, but in some cases it can lead to serious health complications and can even be deadly.

However, it is also important to bear in mind that coming into contact with some bad bacteria is good for us, so there’s no need to go overboard with the cleaning.

The balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria

While good and bad bacteria can both impact our health in different ways, it is important to remember that they are actually both necessary for a healthy body that functions properly. Research has shown that without bad bacteria, a weaker immune system develops, making it harder to fight off illnesses and infections, so it is important to take a certain amount of bad with the good. Maintaining a healthy balance of a wide variety of bacteria in our microbiome, but with good bacteria outweighing the bad, is key.

Many variables can have an impact on the bacterial balance in our bodies – diet, lifestyle, or even environmental factors. Eating a balanced diet, rich in fibre and containing fermented foods, along with a helping hand in the form of a regular delivery of live cultures encapsulated in delicious chocolate, can help support your gut bacteria. Avoiding processed foods with lots of sugar content will help prevent the growth of bad bacteria.

Other factors that may negatively affect the balance of bacteria in your microbiome could include high stress levels, lack of sleep, smoking, and lack of exercise. So, taking steps to manage stress, get enough sleep, and exercise more, in addition to eating a healthy and balanced diet, can all help support a healthy, balanced, bacteria microbiome in your body.

Win gut friendly chocolate!

This is your chance to sample our gut friendly chocolate for yourself. Simply fill in the form below and we’ll pick three lucky winners to receive our lovely Raspberry Pro-biotic chocolate bars.  Share this competition on your social media to be in with a chance of winning twice!

Enter to win!

* indicates required

The gut and the immune system connection

gut and immunity

gut and immunity

Your gastrointestinal tract, or gut, is a vital system that plays a significant role in biological processes within your body, and essentially encompasses your whole digestive system, from the mouth on down. The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiota, which play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut and immune system. The combination of these microbiota and their environment within the gut are referred to as the gut microbiome.

Microbiome Immunity

That’s a term you’re probably more familiar with. As well as processing food for energy and essential nutrients, the gut microbiome plays a significant role in regulating immune response. When harmful pathogens (harmful bacteria or viruses) enter the body, immune cells like T cells and B cells are activated to neutralise the threat. The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in modulating this immune response, so there’s an important relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system. It’s generally accepted that microbiome immunity and good health are closely linked.

The gut microbiome communicates constantly with the immune system through various different mechanisms. Cells lining the gut known as epithelial cells maintain the integrity of the gut barrier, preventing certain pathogens from being absorbed. The gut microbiome supports the function of these epithelial cells, promoting a healthy and effective gut barrier. Signalling molecules called metabolites are also produced by the microbiome, and these modulate and control immune responses. These molecules can do things like activate T or B cells, or inhibit the release of proteins like cytokines, which can cause inflammation and damage otherwise healthy tissues.

How do I support a healthy gut microbiome?

A healthy gut microbiome generally has a diverse population of beneficial bacteria. Foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats, can disrupt the composition of the gut microbiome and lead to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can result in chronic inflammation, and the development of unwanted health conditions.

So it’s pretty obvious that supporting a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help promote a healthy gut microbiome. In addition, consuming probiotics, such as those found in fermented foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut, can help support a healthy gut microbiome. As good as they are in promoting gut health though, those foods aren’t for everyone, and can be a bit of an acquired taste. Oh well… no pain no gain…

Live Cultures and Good Gut Health

That’s where chocolate comes in. Chocolate is not only a delicious, popular food stuff, with some pretty incredible benefits of its own — packed with flavonoids that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — but it’s also a terrific vehicle for delivering live cultures to the gut. It’s actually around three times more effective at doing this than dairy products such as yoghurt drinks, and… well… It’s chocolate. Need we say more?

Your daily bars of ohso-good, luxury Belgian chocolate are not only incredibly tasty, with a variety of cocoa content, and a range of delicious flavours, they’re also a brilliant way of making sure that you’re working towards a better balance in your gut microbiome, and helping your immune system to function correctly too. The small, perfectly-formed bars are tailor-made for making sure that your gut microbiome is balanced when you’re busy and on the go. You might not be able to pick up fermented foods everywhere you travel, and some people might not appreciate you opening your sauerkraut at the gym.

Get some ohso-good chocolate

So getting your regular intake of ohso ticks lots of boxes on your everyday health checklist; you get to have a daily bar of chocolate for one thing and that’s a big feel-good plus right there, but you’ll also be getting those important live cultures that you need to maintain your gut-health – an essential step in promoting a healthy immune response and great overall long-term health.




Chocolate With Benefits

ohso benefits

Enjoy a healthier relationship with lots of benefits without the potential for heartache.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, many of you may be thinking of ways to enrich your current relationship, find yourself a new one, ask out that person you’ve had your eye on for a while, or maybe even enter into some form of mutually beneficial friendship that provides certain benefits 😉 

Well, what about your relationship with chocolate? Chocolate with benefits!

Chocolate has many health benefits

Whilst eating too much chocolate, especially milk and white chocolate, can be detrimental to your health (too much of anything can be bad for you), there are many benefits that chocolate provides when enjoyed in moderation and as part of a healthy diet.

  • Studies have shown that dark chocolate is packed with nutrients and rich in antioxidants. It has even been found that regularly consuming around 28g of chocolate can lower your risk of coronary artery disease!
  • Dark chocolate could also lower your risk of poor heart health, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
  • There are multiple reported benefits that chocolate can have on your brain. Research indicates that chocolate can stimulate the reward and pleasure pathways within the brain, decreasing stress and improving your mood. Chocolate could impact your memory and cognitive function, too, by increasing neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s way of forming new synaptic connections.
  • Studies have shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial for your gut because chocolate acts like a prebiotic, encouraging “good” bacteria growth within the gut. Add to this the fact that Ohso chocolate has been proven to deliver billions of live gut-friendly bacteria more effectively than dairy products and you can see why our chocolate bars are so popular!

As you can see, a healthy relationship with chocolate can be incredibly beneficial to your overall health; much better than a situationship, we’re sure!

Don’t settle for a guilty pleasure

While getting into a relationship for the sake of the Valentine’s period can satisfy an urge, scratch an itch, or tickle your fancy, why not get into a relationship with actual, tangible benefits?

Here’s 10 reasons why chocolate is better than a relationship

  1. Chocolate can stay hard for ages and satisfies you even when it’s gone soft.
  2. Chocolate will last as long as you make it last.
  3. Chocolate doesn’t run a mile when you mention “commitment”.
  4. Chocolate doesn’t choose “the game” over time with you.
  5. It’s very easy to find 9 inches of chocolate.
  6. There’s no need to fake it with chocolate.
  7. You can have as much chocolate as you can handle.
  8. Size doesn’t matter with chocolate – it’s always good.
  9. You can eat chocolate safely while driving.
  10. You can have chocolate in the workplace, at your desk, while out in public, in the cinema, practically anywhere you want without getting in trouble.

And one more bonus one for good luck: 

  1. You can bite the nuts as hard as you like and the chocolate won’t mind.

Fancy a bit on the side?

Or, why not have both? There’s nothing to say you can’t enjoy the feel-good emotions associated with a good relationship AND the feel-good sensations associated with chocolate at the same time!

Ohso Chocolate also makes a great gift for a loved one too… just saying.


This is your chance to win a year’s subscription of Ohso. Just tell us why you love chocolate using the box below and mention who you would share your chocolate with.


Sign Up To Win An Ohso Subscription

* indicates required

Customers’ Gut Health Stories

ohso gut health

Ohso Good Chocolate has helped many customers with their gut health thanks to billions of live gut friendly bacteria!

The combination of delicious Belgian chocolate and a billion gut-friendly live bacteria has proven to be a hit with customers with 4.5 stars and over 700 reviews on Trustpilot!

We know that many customers love the fact that all the cocoa for our chocolate is sustainably sourced. Others love the fact that the live bacteria cultures in our chocolate are delivered 3 times more effectively than in dairy products thanks to our unique encapsulation process. And others just love the way it tastes!

But what do our customers really say about Ohso Good Chocolate bars? 

And how has our unique blend of great tasting chocolate and live bacteria helped with their gut health?

Here’s just a small selection of the amazing reviews we’ve received about our chocolate and how it’s pleased many of our customers and helped with their gut health.

Gut health is better with an Ohso subscription

“Love Ohso! I had previously cancelled my subscription and have noticed the difference as my gut health plummeted. Have resubscribed to enjoy a daily chocolate bar with good gut bacteria.” – Amanda

Ohso 70% Dark Chocolate is ideal for diabetics

“A brilliant chocolate from a top company. The 70% dark is ideal for diabetics because of the low sugar content. 1 a day keeps the Doc at bay.” – Derek

Ohso Chocolate has helped with bloating

 “I’m about 3 weeks into having the daily chocolate and I can say I’m feeling good with it and feel it has helped with not feeling too bloated.” – B. Honey

Best chocolate I’ve tasted in a long time

“Having to eat sugar free chocolate, I thought I’d give the taster bars a try and it’s the best chocolate I’ve tasted in a long while. No horrible after taste. Really enjoyed the orange and raspberry flavours.” – Diane

A daily treat that is good for us

“Love the chocolate – so does my husband, so we have 8 boxes each month through our letterbox! It’s good to know that our daily treat is good for us.” – Jacky

Ohso helped with colitis

“Been buying Ohso for years. Just love the taste and a little bar of this a day has helped my daughter with her colitis. Not a medical expert or recommendation but the probiotics in these bars seem to have helped her.” – Carolyn

Sugar free plus gut friendly bacteria is a no-brainer

“I am a type 2 diabetic and I love dark chocolate (70-75% cocoa) but dark chocolate with raspberry and orange flavours AND sugar free PLUS gut friendly bacteria from Ohso is a no-brainer” – Malcolm

The very best way to get your pro-biotics

“I love Ohso chocolate. The very best way to get your probiotics and there are plenty of vegan options too.” – Jessica

Fancy trying Ohso chocolate yourself?

Enter below for your chance to win one of 10 orange chocolate 7 day bar packs.  Our winners will be drawn at random when our competition closes on 31st January 2023.

Buy Better Chocolate This Christmas

Gone are the days of “chocolate houses”, where chocolate was only available to the social elite. Nowadays, chocolate is everywhere. You need only walk down the road to buy a chocolate bar from your local shop, garage, or supermarket. Chocolate is mass produced across the globe and available in countless forms and flavours. Each year, more than 4.5 million tons of cocoa beans are devoured by chocolate lovers around the world, whether eaten as a chocolate bar or consumed as a chocolatey drink.


Every Christmas, the choice for chocolate treats and gifts is endless. Chocolate boxes, bars, packs, and variety packs from mainstream producers are practically shoved in your face, making it easy to and affordable to purchase chocolatey Christmas presents. 


However, in this day and age, with a greater focus on healthy living, emotional wellbeing, and sustainability, is it time to make better choices with regards to the chocolate we eat and gift our loved ones?

Lower priced chocolate often equals lower quality chocolate


Since the days of the “chocolate houses”, because of the high demand for chocolate and the increase in production, standards of cocoa farming and the quality of the end product dropped significantly to keep the costs of mass-produced chocolate bars competitive. Sugar was added to sweeten the chocolate and milk to give it a creamier taste and texture. 


Over time more and more ingredients have been added to some brands of chocolate, further reducing the overall cocoa percentage. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, for instance, has only around 26% minimum cocoa content, whereas their “dark” chocolate bar, Bournville, still only has around 36% minimum cocoa content.


Now, a lower cocoa percentage doesn’t always equal lower quality. That comes down to the beans used in the chocolate production as well as the number and quality of other ingredients added to the chocolate. Many mass-produced chocolate brands add a multitude of additional ingredients to improve the taste, consistency, or give it a longer shelf life, other companies add additional ingredients to mask the inferior taste of the lower quality cocoa beans.


One way to tell the quality of the chocolate you’re eating is by looking at the ingredients list. The first ingredient on the list is the main ingredient – the one that makes up most of the chocolate bar. If the first ingredients listed are sugar or milk, those are what make up most of the bar, not the cocoa mass.


At Ohso, for example, our Milk Chocolate bar (milk chocolate has a significantly lower cocoa percentage than dark) contains 37% cocoa with no added sugar. You’ll notice on a pack of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk that the first ingredient is milk, followed by sugar, then cocoa butter, and then cocoa mass. The first and main ingredient in our Milk Chocolate bar is cocoa mass.


What’s more, our Ohso Dark 70% Cocoa bar does precisely what it says on the tin… er… wrapper. It has 70% cocoa content. It also has no added sugar (along with those gut friendly bacteria), making it even better for you!


Give the gift of better chocolate this Christmas


Anyone can nip to the shop and buy bars (or a box) of chocolates from the mainstream chocolate manufacturers. 


So, why not give the gift of better chocolate this Christmas? 


Instead of gifting the usual box of chocolates or variety pack, let your loved ones enjoy the sensory experience of higher quality chocolate.


At Ohso, we don’t just source high-quality cocoa beans direct from cocoa farmers through a sustainable partnership.


Each of our bars, made from delicious and high-quality Belgian chocolate, has over a billion “gut friendly bacteria” which, due to our unique encapsulation process, delivers these live bacteria to your gut three times more effectively than dairy products. The science behind this claim has been proven and approved by the European Food Standards Authority, so you know it’s genuine.


Great tasting, healthier Christmas chocolate


So, put down the box of generic chocolates you were going to buy that special someone and give them the gift of great tasting, high-quality, healthier, sustainable chocolate this Christmas.


Shop our full range.

Black Friday

Black Friday Sale

Ohso black Friday

Ohso Black Friday Sale

Get 30% off the Ohso good chocolate you love!

That’s right, you can get 30% off our gut friendly chocolate, with over a billion live bacteria in every bar.

Just sign up to get your discount code below. You’ll receive your discount code via email, check your promotions or spam folder if you don’t see it.

Your discount code will be valid until 28th November.

[mc4wp_form id=”70472″]

Orange October



This is your chance to win an amazing ohso chocolate bundle!

We love a good competition, almost as much as we love our tasty, healthy Dark Orange Chocolate Daily Bars! With each bar delivering over a billion Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium live cultures, our sumptuous ohso Dark Orange combines delicious Belgian dark chocolate, nutritious cocoa butter and natural Orange flavours, giving you a serious citrus hit alongside smooth chocolatey goodness at just 75 calories per bar!

We’re getting three bundles of our ohso Dark Orange Daily Bars together for our winners!

Just fill in the questionnaire below to enter.

Competition closing date is 30th November 2022. Our lucky winners will be chosen at random and notified via email.

Ohso Questionnaire

Skinny Raspberry Chocolate Cake


This delicious chocolate cake recipe is the perfect slimmed down version of an old favourite. It also works as an alternative brownie mix!



Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease your baking tin or tray with butter (and line with baking parchment if you’re worried about the cake sticking.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg, egg whites, vanilla, (and coffee) and mix everything together. Slowly add the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder whilst mixing. Then add in the yogurt, and mix gently until combined.

Stir in the ohso chocolate and fresh raspberries.

The mixture will be quite thick, but pour it into your baking tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre of pan comes out dry. Cool on a wire rack before removing.

If you’re feeling indulgent, top with more ohso! (ohso secret tip: try using a veg peeler on your ohso, to make fancy chocolate curls like a pro!)


Lucy Whigham

Most of us are aware that the bacteria in our gut are important for digestion of nutrients but did you know that the gut makes up 80% of immune system?

Not only does it provide a physical barrier to the daily onslaught of pathogens (AKA nasty bugs) it’s exposed to, it also plays a pivotal role in orchestrating whole body immune responses. Science is uncovering that the huge number of bacteria in our gut, otherwise known as our microflora, play a vital role in specific immune responses by communicating with the rest of our immune system and then ‘listening’ to the response . It seems that the type and balance of our gut bacteria not only regulate our local intestinal immune system but also have a profound influence on our systemic (whole body) immune system and plays a crucial role in shaping our susceptibility to bugs – incredible huh?!

Research has already uncovered a link between our gut microflora and autoimmune diseases such as coeliac and crohn’s disease and now the list is growing with disruption of gut bacteria being associated with obesity, depression, allergies and asthma.

So how can we look after our gastrointestinal driven immune system? It remains to be seen if a multi-strain probiotic could play a role in improving our immune function, but it is a rapidly evolving area of research. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if in the future we had enough knowledge of our own individual microbiome (make up of bacteria) that we could take specifically tailored probiotics to achieve optimum function of our own gut microflora?

But until we know more about our individual microbiome make up and understand in more depth this intricate dance between our thousands of gut bacteria and our immune system it makes good sense to take general steps to look after the friendly bacteria residing in our gut…..

Include lots of non-digestible carbohydrates (i.e. wholegrains) in your diet which have been shown to improve the diversity of gut bacteria

Try to manage your stress levels….high stress levels are linked to decreased diversity of bacteria

High fibre, plant based foods will increase the productions of anti-inflammatory short chain fatty acids by gut bacteria

Add to your diet products containing prebiotics such as inulin and FOS which can help the friendly bacteria flourish

Include a daily multi strain probiotic to your diet

Living with IBS

Through research, I have learnt that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects around a third of the population at some point in their lives. I, for one, belong within this third – having suffered uncomfortable and often disabling symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhoea and constipation from a very young age.

Through the years, I learnt that there wasn’t much help, medication wise, for IBS sufferers and that the first line of treatment includes general measures such as obtaining an education around IBS and implementing lifestyle changes which may be associated with the symptoms.

On personal account, along with a healthy and balanced diet, I have found the consumption of probiotics to prompt healthy digestion and therefore massively reduce the outlining symptoms of my IBS.

There are so, SO many benefits of taking probiotics (lists of which are easily located with a web search) and, like many, I always looked to yoghurt and other dairy products to get my probiotics intake… Until I came across ohso!

ohso good chocolate delivers these friendly live cultures, which hugely improve my symptoms of IBS, three times more effectively than dairy products… And, in my opinion (to which I’m sure many will agree), chocolate is three times tastier, more exciting and more satisfying than any dairy product/supplement that deliver probiotics. It’s a win, win!!!

ohso cacao pancakes


You can increase the measurements below to batch cook to have during the week or to freeze. For a vegan version just take out the eggs and replace the greek yogurt with your alternative, if you want to up the protein add a couple of egg whites or KIN protein powder and for perfect pancakes make sure you have a good nonstick pan its worth the investment if this is a breakfast you have a few days of the month.



1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the pancake batter I use a smoothie blender on a high wix and blend for about 45 secs this will get bubbles into the mixture and makes a nice light batter , you want the mix to be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon with consististy of a double cream which has been stirred.

2. Heat your oil of choice (I used coconut oil ) in a small frying pan over medium heat. If you have a good nonstick pan you only need a small bit of cooking oil . When the oil has heated up, pour about ¼-cup measure of the batter into the centre of the pan and spread it out evenly. You know when to flip the pancake when you start to see bubbles popping up on the top of the pancake . Again all depends on what you like but a 1/4 of a cup of the batter mixture will make a pretty thick pancake and getting 8 pancakes from the measurements above

3. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. A nice added extra is a sprinkling of ohso Chocolate on top of the pancake when you pour it into the pan with some nut mix it gives some added texture to the pancake .We are just recommending the toppings that we think work

4. Mix the nuts ohso chocolate and algaroba syrup into greek yogurt , and add a big spoon full onto the top of your pancakes.

credit Char Holmes (@misscharholmes) and Simon from Cooking Ibiza @cookingsleepingibiza)

Signup & Save

Signup to our newsletter and get 15% off your next order.

your ohso bag