Probiotics-A Quick Take

I highly recommend probiotics.

Anything pro is good, right? I recommend skipping conbiotics and amateurbiotics.

Kidding aside, what are probiotics, you may ask? Probiotics are good bacteria that live on the lining of the intestines and are responsible for important tasks such as immune support, crowding out bad bacteria, and improving digestion and gut health, as well as many more things crucial to good health.

Some of the other things probiotics help with:

  • Nutrient absorption
  • Improving diarrhea from rotavirus and other pathogens
  • Restoring balance of microflora in urogenital tracts
  • Preventing/managing eczema & psoriasis
  • Reducing incidences of yeast infections
  • Promoting anti-tumor and anti-cancer activity in the body
  • Preventing and treating urinary tract infections
  • Weight loss
  • Acne & rosacea
  • Reducing colds and flu’s
  • Brain function and moods
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Dental health
  • Bacterial vaginosis, prevention and recurrences
  • Anti-aging
  • Constipation

More and more doctors are now prescribing probiotic supplements when prescribing antibiotics because antibiotics kill off the good bacteria as well the bad.  This puts a person at risk for a number of undesirable things, one of them being the dreaded Clostridium difficile, commonly called c diff, a dangerous infection in the colon. Probiotics significantly help lower the risk of this infection developing.

*It is important to note that when taking an antibiotic, the probiotic must be taken at least two hours apart from the antibiotic or else the antibiotic will kill the probiotics, thus rendering the supplementation worthless.

However, probiotic supplementation is recommended for just about everyone now because of the assault on the good bacteria in our guts from too much sugar, toxins, stress, GMO foods, and tap water.
Sources of probiotics:
*Capsules – There are many on the market. I usually buy a brand that is on sale, that have at least 30 billion count of bacteria, and a variety of bacteria. Some of them are in the refrigerated vitamin section, while others are manufactured to be stable without refrigeration. I often purchase this one.
*Fermented foods such as kombucha, kimchi, water kefir, apple cider vinegar (with the mother like Bragg brand), and sauerkraut contain probiotics. By the way, fermented vegetables are easy and inexpensive to to make.
*Yogurt with live cultures.
*Dirt – Great for children to play in, also I like to not scrub vegetables like organic carrots too well, thus consuming the bits of dirt in the crevices. Dr. Josh Axe even wrote a book addressing this called, Eat Dirt.

Personally, I usually supplement with at least 30 billion daily, plus drink kombucha, eat fermented sauerkraut, and slightly dirty carrots, beets, and radishes often. (My young grandchildren love to drink kombucha out of shot glasses. It’s pretty cute!)

It is best to get your probiotics from a variety of sources because there are many different strains of bacteria, some of them being present in one food and other ones in another.

One consideration though: Individuals who are immunosuppressed or who have been taking immunosuppressants medications should consult their doctor before taking.

If you only take a few supplements, probiotics is definitely be one to consider including. I believe probiotics have made, and continue to make, a significant difference in my health in so many ways. I cannot urge you strongly enough!

My other posts on probiotics for more information:
Quirky Thursday/Probiotics
More on Probiotics, The Good Guys
Water Kefir (recipe)

You can also check out the sites below for even more information:
Other References:
Bowen, D. (2013). Probiotics and oral health. Journal of dental hygiene, Feb: p5.
Dimidi, E., Christodoulides, S., Fragkos, K. C., Scott, S. M., & Whelan, K. (2014). The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(4). 1075-1084
Jafari, E., Vahedi, H., Merat, S., Momtahen, S., & Riahi, A. (2014). Therapeutic effects, tolerability and safety of a multi-strain probiotic in Iranian adults with irritable bowel syndrome and bloating. Archives of Iranian Medicine (AIM), 17(7), 466-470.
Parma, M., Vanni, V., Bertini, M, & Candiani, M. (2014). Probiotics in the prevention of recurrences of bacterial vaginosis. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 20, 52-57.
Shmuely, H., Domniz, N., & Cohen, D. (2013). Probiotics in the prevention of colorectal cancer. Curr Colorectal Cancer Rep 9, 31-36.
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