Why You Should be Taking Probiotics Daily
Probiotics are beneficial to take every day to support your immune system.
80% of our immune system is in our GI tract so taking Probiotics daily can help keep the bacteria well balanced in the GI system. Between 400 & 500 different species of bacteria reside in your GI tract, making up your microbiome which is your “helpful” bacteria. These bacteria help you break down your food & absorb vitamins & minerals from your diet.
If you don’t have the right bacteria you can eat & not absorb nutrients, the body keeps thinking it is hungry & the result can be that you become overweight.
If you Take Care of Your Gut, Your Gut Will Take Care of You
Good bacteria is also important to keep the potentially dangerous ‘bad’ strains of bacteria under control. When you experience an imbalance in your healthy bacteria you experience symptoms such as diarrhoea, low energy, allergy or infection. We can never eliminate all “bad” bacteria but for humans to have a healthy digestive system it is all about balancing out the good & bad bacteria in your gut – taking probiotics can help us with this.
Balancing out Good & Bad Gut Bacteria
Probiotics of particular importance whenever antibiotics have been administrated because antibiotics wipe out both the good & the bad bacteria of the microbiome. There are many different types of probiotics some are best taken whilst taking antibiotics & some are best after.
If you are taking a “live” bacteria that is kept in the fridge it should be taken two hours apart from your antibiotic. Take your antibiotic as prescribed, wait two hours after your dose for the antibiotic to exit your gut & enter the bloodstream then take your probiotic.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
Now, as well as probiotics, there is also prebiotics which are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. When probiotics & prebiotics are combined, they form a symbiotic. Fermented dairy products, such as yoghurt & kefir, are considered symbiotic because they contain live bacteria & the fuel they need to thrive.
Probiotics are found in foods such as yoghurt, while prebiotics are found in whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey & artichokes. In addition, probiotics & prebiotics are added to some foods & available as dietary supplements.
How Probiotics Support Your Health
Probiotics may help with:
• Treating diarrhoea, especially following treatment with antibiotics
• Preventing & treating vaginal yeast infections & urinary tract infections
• Treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Speeding up the treatment of certain intestinal infections
• Preventing or reducing the severity of colds & flu
Side effects are rare, & most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain prebiotics & probiotics to their diets. If you are considering taking a probiotic supplement check with your pharmacist, doctor or naturopath.
Good quality probiotics contain a mixture of strains. When buying probiotics, look for a blend that contains a combination of different strains of Lactobacillus & Bifidobacteria & delivers the highest number of live organisms to the intestinal tract, at LEAST 5 billion! Listed below are some of the common strains found in supplements & what they help with.
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Different Types of Probiotics
Bifidobacterium bifidum- Prevents diarrhoea & supports production of vitamins. Most common probiotic in infants.
Bifidobacterium breve- Prevents diarrhoea, alleviates IBS symptoms & supports natural immunity.
Bifidobacterium infantis- Fights E. Coli & protects against inflammation of the colon & stomach, alleviates IBS symptoms, diarrhoea & constipation.
Bifidobacterium longum- Supports liver function, reduces inflammation, removes lead & heavy metals, reduces lactose intolerance, diarrhoea & food allergies.
Lactobacillus acidophilus- Relieves gas, bloating, improves lactose intolerance, fights E. coli, helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus- Aids digestion & reduces acid reflux, stable in stomach acid digestive juices, fights harmful bacteria that invades your digestive system & naturally produces its own antibiotics.
Lactobacillis brevis- Survives the GI tract, boosts immunity & inhibits h. pylori bacteria.
Lactobacillus casei- Boosts immunity, inhibits h. pylori & helps fight infections.
Lactobacillus plantarum- Protects against gram-negative bacteria & produces natural antibodies, alleviates IBS symptoms.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus– Survives the GI tract, supports healthy skin, fights urinary tract infections & respiratory infections as well as reducing anxiety.
Saccharomyces boulardii– A yeast probiotic strain that restores natural flora in the large & small intestine & improves intestinal growth. Treats inflammatory conditions like Chron’s Disease, reduces toxins, & antimicrobial effects.
Streptococcus thermophilus- Strong antioxidant activity, relieves diarrhoea.
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About The Author - Rachelle Kazenbroot
Hi I’m Rachelle Kazenbroot ‘The Raw Pharmacist’ I’m one of the founders of M&R Essentials, an organic/natural supplement, homeopathy & skincare brand.
I am incredibly passionate about organic health & wellbeing & I love to share my knowledge. I have also been a Pharmacist for over 20 years & have built two successful pharmacies in Auckland, New Zealand.
As a Pharmacist I am surrounded by an infinite number of products that claim to help with health problems but often the synthetic ingredients simply made the situation worse. Because of this I was driven to create M&R Essentials using knowledge & qualifications to match outstanding pure ingredients in an effort to treat the body internally & externally.
It is now expanding & flourishing & my goal to improve human health is being realised.