July 22, 2011
Total Health with Probiotics!
I encourage each and every person to take probiotics. I do not feel comfortable putting my patients on supplements without first testing to see what they actually require but probiotics are one of the few exceptions! I am confident that everyone can benefit from increasing their probiotic intake.
Total health begins
in the g
ut and if your GI tract is not performing optimally, it naturally leads to your overall health being compromised. Your intestinal tract is lined with about 100 trillion bacteria that make up a profoundly complex living system that viciously protects your body from outside offenders. Unfortunately, this beneficial bacteria is subjected to hundreds of threats every single day – ranging from medication to overly processed foods.
This bacteria in your GI tract can only provide you with optimum health if the proper balance of the different types of bacteria is maintained at all times. If you keep in mind that 80% of your immune system actually lives in your gut, you really begin to realize just how vital this good bacteria really is! Some of the major benefits of a high-quality probiotic are to:
- Support the overall immune function
- Enhance the synthesis of B vitamins
- Improve calcium absorption
- Help maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microflora
- Aid in the digestion of foods, particularly those that are hard to digest
Once you understand the importance of probiotics, the next step becomes finding a high quality supplement that actually provides all the aforementioned benefits. My test for discerning a high quality product from a poor quality product are the following factors:
- The product should be acid and bile resistant to naturally survive the stomach and intestinal transit
- The product contains effective and specific strains of bacteria (particularly lactobacillus and bifidocacterium strains)
- The product is stable and viable for a long period of time (most die upon exposure to heat, moisture, or air)
- The product should be non-dairy, non GMO, and free from soy, corn, wheat, and gluten
- The product should contain at least 10 billion CFUs (for maintenance alone, much more is needed for treatment)
Okay, so now that you understand the importance of probiotics and have found a high quality product the last question is as to when should you be taking the probiotics. Ideally, I recommend that my patients take their capsule first thing in the morning with a glass of water and about 20 minutes before breakfast. The reason for this is because the stomach acid from food can impact the probiotics and essentially, you could lose anywhere from 5% to 10% of the good bacteria.
Anyways, that’s my little spiel on probiotics and why I think everyone should be taking them. I’ve got myself, my wife, and my one year old daughter on them and since I’m always getting asked what I personally take, I thought I’d share the info 🙂