A pro on probiotics

Probiotics are the craze these days because with our super clean-living habits (including eating food out of boxes), our microbiomes are not balanced.  Our ancestors used to eat less processed food and have less cleanly living conditions which allowed for less gut imbalance and more bacterial flora within our bodies.  Bacteria, gross right?  Well if you knew that bacteria are what contributes to flawless skin, thin physique and fresher breath would you still think its gross? Well its true, scientist have found that bacterial imbalances in the GI tract, which starts at your mouth, can contribute to a whole host of issues.  


According to Dr. Amy Myers interview with Goop:


Studies have shown that anxiety, depression, and weight gain can be transferred via fecal transplants (with mice), suggesting the broad impact bacteria has on health. About 60 to 80 percent of our immune system lives in our gut. Imbalances in the gut’s microbiome (which is primarily made up of bacteria) lead to digestive issues, while many other potential effects can be felt throughout the body—from feelings of fatigue to depression, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmunity, and a host of skin issues. Conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and acne are really inflammatory conditions, and often a manifestation of something that is happening deeper within the body. When you fix the gut skin issues often resolve as well.


In addition, the tip of the GI tract, the mouth, has a whole host of its own bacteria that can become imbalanced and cause a plethora of issues such as periodontal disease, decay and halitosis.  Studies too have shown that with proper probiotic supplementation, the oral conditions as well can diminish.


So now that you are on board with bacteria not being so gross, which supplement is right for you?  Well that is a loaded question because there are really so many types.  It is recommended to take one with 30 billion CFU, but if you are going to be taking or are taking antibiotics its important to up your dose to 100 billion CFU.  Also be sure to read the fine print, because when we are talking CFU we want the 30 billion CFU at the time of expiration.  It also important to look for SBO probiotics or Soil Based Organisms because they are more resistant to the GI tract acids that cause the bacteria to become in-active by the time they reach the gut.  If you have a leaky gut or are immunocompromised it is important to consult with your doctor prior to taking an SBO probiotic.


While it is difficult to overdose on probiotics you may notice bloating and discomfort if you do take too much, therefore always take the recommended dose and back off if it is too much in the beginning. Also trying to incorporate fermented foods into your diet is a great way to get started as well.  A shot of Apple Cider Vinegar or Kombucha are great ways to start integrating more probiotics into your diet easily. Always remember that your GI tract starts at the mouth, therefore keeping the entry point as clean and in tip-top shape is of most importance. When you neglect your oral health, no matter how many supplements you take, they will not be able to circumvent the inflammation and disease you pass with each swallow to the rest of you body. 


HealthSarah Jebreil