Should You Take a Probiotic?
We've said it before, and we'll say it again... 80% of your immune system is located in your gut! Did you know your digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system? Hence it's nickname, "the second brain." Your digestive system, also known as the gut, is extremely important, impacting everything from mood to immune-response, and it's time to start treating it that way.
What are probiotics?
Your body has a balance of good and bad bacteria. In an ideal scenario, each of us maintains a balance of about 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. A disruption to this ratio causes issues with the immune system, mood, inflammation, skin, hair, digestion, nutrient absorption, and so much more. Probiotics occur naturally in your body, but oftentimes outside invaders disrupt homeostasis, potentially leading to long-term problems.
Why is poor gut health becoming more of a problem?
We used to get probiotics from fermented foods, and from the clean, hearty soil that our nutrients were growing in. While these positively dirty probiotics are still attainable, they are much more difficult to find than they used to be. In the past, a person could go to a market and choose from an abundance of nutritious, probiotic-rich, fruits and vegetables. Food that had not been treated with antibiotics, chlorine, bleach, or any of the things that are easily found it todays food supply. In an attempt to make food less expensive and serve a greater number of people, along with many other factors, we have taken much of this essential bacteria out of our daily lives.
Fermented foods were easily accessible in the past as well. People would ferment their food supply to diminish food waste and have fruits and vegetables throughout the winter. Little did they know, they were dramatically improving their gut health with each and every bite. Today fermented foods are regaining popularity, now with an emphasis on health benefits.
Over the next few months we will be teaching you more about fermented foods. You'll learn about the vast benefits, where to buy them, and even how to make your own!
How can I up my probiotic intake?
There are plenty of probiotic foods to introduce into your diet. Foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi pack a nutritional punch that will cause your gut to thank you. Probiotic supplements are also a fantastic option, and a must for anyone battling a chronic, auto-immune condition.
How do I pick the right supplement?
It is important to remember that not all probiotics are created equal. Some more conventional, like those found in pharmacies or big box stores, oftentimes won't contain the same essential strains that you will find elsewhere. When looking for a probiotic focus on strength, packaging, visible expiration dates, and most importantly, strain.
Thanks to new research and technology, some probiotics no longer have to be refridgerated. In order to guaruntee that the optimal amount of bacteria reaches your insides, look for a dark bottle designed to protect against heat and sun exposure.
Dr. David Williams recommends the following:
In my opinion, the best probiotic supplements will include at least these three most important strains:
L. acidophilus—This is the most important strain of the Lactobacillus species and, it readily colonizes on the walls of the small intestine. It supports nutrient absorption and helps with the digestion of dairy foods.
B. longum—Like L. acidophilus, B. Longum is one of the most common bacteria found in the digestive tracts of adults, and it helps maintain the integrity of the gut wall. It is particularly active as a scavenger of toxins.
B. bifidum—This strain, found in both the small and large intestine, is critical for the healthy digestion of dairy products. This is especially important as you grow older and your natural ability to digest dairy declines. B. bifidum also is important for its ability to break down complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein into small components that the body can use more efficiently.
Secondarily, I like:
L. rhamnosus—Known as the premier "travel probiotic," this strain can help prevent occasional traveler's diarrhea.
L. fermentum—This Lactobacillus strain helps neutralize some of the byproducts of digestion and promote a healthy level of gut bacteria.
So, the answer to the original question, "Should I take a probiotic?" The short answer: yes, absolutely.
Finding a probiotic does not have to be expensive. It can be overwhelming when roaming the supplement isles to see the various prices, containers, strains, and health claims. doTERRA has a fantastic probiotic formula, with a prebiotic component to ensure maximum benefits. You can read more about it here. With a wholesale account, this probiotic is only $34.50 each month. We also have a powdered probiotic for children. Send us a message to find out more!
Do you take a probiotic? Do you notice a difference in how you feel when you forget to take it? Let us know below!
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