When your gut is overrun with harmful bacteria, the consequences can be serious. You can experience any number of health problems. The health issues are not limited to the digestive system, and your overall health can suffer.
The main reason these dangerous bacteria are able to take over your digestive tract is a result of reduced numbers of your friendly gut flora. There is good news, though. You can gain control of the situation by bringing balance back to your bacterial composition.
The way to do this is through a clinically studied probiotics formula. This allows you to tip the balance back in favor of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Think of it as providing backup for your current defense system. Bacterial colonies can decrease for any number of reasons, so sending in additional troops will help keep the situation under control. You don't have to start making your own fermented foods; a simple, high-quality probiotic supplement will work just fine.
Our digestive system houses over 500 different bacterial strains, and in an ideal situation, 85% of these or more are beneficial. This means only a small amount of harmful strains exist in the gut, making it entirely possible to keep them under control. Often, your friendly flora is able to recruit some of the less undesirable strains to perform helpful functions. The problem today is that not many people’s guts look like this.
Primarily, increased consumption of the western diet has contributed to an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Processed foods, high-sugar foods, unhealthy fats, red meats, and refined grains are common and convenient, but they promote an intestinal environment that favors unhealthy bacterial growth.
It is essential to maintain balance in the microbiome by nourishing the beneficial flora with a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean poultry, fatty fish, and healthy fats and whole grains will encourage a healthy microbiome full of good bacteria.
Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the diminishing lines of friendly bacteria. These medications are designed to kill bacteria and are unable to distinguish good from the bad. As the number of beneficial flora decrease, defenses will be low, and the risk for poor health is greater. The addition of an unhealthy diet further fuels the unfriendly bacteria in the gut, allowing them to shift the balance and take over.
Once you have made the decision to give your gut the support it needs, all that is left is deciding which probiotic to take. The number of probiotics available is astounding. With so much selection, it can be challenging to determine what you need. It doesn't need to be so complicated. As long as you choose a probiotic containing one of the top three species, you made a good choice.
The right choice: The three main probiotic types you want in your supplement are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and SBOs (soil-based organisms). Make sure you always read the label and choose a supplement that contains live-active cultures. Look at the CFU (colony forming units) number and choose a supplement that has at least seven strains. Complete Probiotics™ Platinum, with 11 potent probiotic strains, is housed in a delayed-release, coated capsule to ensure that it passes safely through the acidic stomach and to the intestines where it best serves to benefit digestive health.
When to take them: It is always recommended to take probiotics at the end of a meal; whether breakfast, lunch or dinner is up to you. The stomach’s acidic environment can destroy the supplement, so it helps to take the probiotic with food to provide it with some additional protection to get through the stomach gauntlet.
How to store them: Always keep your probiotics stored in a cool dark place, preferably a refrigerator. Keep an eye on the expiration date because this will tell you how long the strains you are getting will live. Probiotics are ineffective if they are not alive.
Beneficial bacteria seek to occupy every tissue in your body, so there is no harm in taking additional probiotics at night. This can help protect your mouth and sinus cavities from infections. While you sleep, the friendly flora will work in support of the immune system to prevent harmful strains from taking over your mouth, nose, throat, and ears.
It is important to remember that transforming your health takes time. Adherence to a routine that involves taking clinically suggested probiotics for three months or more will produce the best results. Digestive processes will be supported as probiotics help your gut reach bacterial balance. As bad bacteria are crowded out, the gut and beyond will reap the benefits, as overall health is achieved.
An effective probiotics supplement contains just the right amount of vital probiotic strains necessary for supporting proper digestive function. As you introduce each of these potent helpful bacteria strains to your gut ecosystem, it will, in turn, have a positive impact on numerous additional body systems, including immunity and cognition.
B. (Bifidobacterium) animalis: Known for its ability to withstand extremely low pH conditions, studies show that B. Animalis promotes digestive and optimal nutrient absorption, supports a healthy immune system, and fights off pathogen bacteria . A 2012 study found that B. animalis promotes regularity, helping to relieve constipation .
B. breve: Researchers have found that B. breve reduces the intestinal tract’s pH to stop the growth of disease-causing bacteria and yeast in the digestive tract and vagina . By fermenting sugars, it assists your body in absorbing nutrients and breaking down plant fiber until it is easily digestible.
B. lactis: In studies, B. lactis has been shown to fight against tumor growth by actively killing tumors in the body while also boosting immune system functioning, improving digestion, and helping reduce the frequency and severity of respiratory diseases . Other studies demonstrate the healing effects B. lactis has on inflammatory bowel disease by making it more difficult for foreign matter to pass through the gut wall into the rest of the body and decreasing the toxic effects of gluten on the lining of the intestines .
B. longum: It’s a well-established fact B. longum positively influences amino acid fermentation, which helps the body maintain muscles and overall cell structure . Additionally, it ferments carbohydrates, improving the body’s metabolic rhythms. In a2015 study, researchers reported that B. longum can reduce daily stress, possibly by releasing substances that stimulate the vagus nerve to relieve anxiety .
L. (Lactobacillus) acidophilus: L. acidophilus, and the digestive benefits it provides, has been studied extensively. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, different studies indicate that it can help treat bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections while also possibly preventing traveler’s diarrhea caused by eating unsafe foods . Research is ongoing into how L. acidophilus may enhance the immune response to certain vaccines and help manage the growth of cancer cells, though early results are positive .
L. reuteri: More than 170 clinical studies have been performed on L. reuteri alone by BioGaia, a Swedish healthcare company, and leader in the world of probiotic research . Study highlights include that L. reuteri can help prevent diarrhea in hospitalized children and adults who work together in a small, confined environment, as well as prevent colic in infants, reduce the occurrence of plaque and gum bleeding, relieve constipation, and fight against the growth of candida in the vagina .
L. rhamnosus: L. rhamnosus has also been the focus of countless studies. Indifferent studies, researchers found evidence that L. rhamnosus may counteract diabetes and weight gain, help control seasonal allergies (particularly hay fever), strengthen overall immune function, relieve the symptoms of IBS, improve feelings of anxiety, and lessen symptoms of depression (especially when it is combined with prebiotics) .
L. gasseri: Multiple studies on L. gasseri identified its ability to increase levels of folic acid or folate in the body, which is known for treating anemia and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular events . In addition, it was shown to repress the formation of harmful bacteria, such as H. pylori, consumed through contaminated or spoilt foods. Other studies have focused on L. gasseri’s strong antimicrobial properties and have found that it can be used to control and eliminate vaginal infections caused by the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus.
B. bifidum: Many b. bifidum studies have focused on the prevention of gastrointestinal infections . Researchers have determined that b.bifidum is involved in the breakdown of fiber in your gut and coats the inner lining of your intestines while stimulating your immune system. By attaching to cells in the intestines, b. bifidum protects it from damage caused by toxins and germs while also preventing toxins and germs from entering your bloodstream and making you sick .
L. salivarius: Researchers have found that l. salivarius produces its own antibodies targeting invading pathogenic bacteria, particularly E. coli and Salmonella . It also produces lactic acid that helps fight off harmful bacteria and creates an environment other probiotics can thrive in.
L. bulgaricus: Scientists have determined that l. bulgaricus plays a significant role in protecting the gastrointestinal lining from excess acid buildup, maintaining hormonal stability, ensuring proper nutrient absorption, and promoting regularity . Additionally, it has been shown to improve oral health and dental protection, protect against periodontal disease, and suppress Streptococcus bacteria .
The benefits of probiotics can be further enhanced with the support and nourishment provided by prebiotic fibers. These fibers can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables or as a supplement. They are typically indigestible, which allows them to end up on the intestines, and it is here that they can feed the probiotics and beneficial bacteria that promote digestive health.
In the same way that harmful bacteria crave sugars, the beneficial bacteria in your gut crave prebiotic fibers, which give them the nourishment they need to grow. Since the number of bacteria in your gut can change at any time as a result of diet and lifestyle activities, there is an additional way to support your probiotics and stimulate their activity to ensure the microbiome remains balanced.
PrebioMD® contains a clinically suggested patented prebiotic that works synergistically with probiotics to promote the growth of your friendly flora and crowd out the bad ones. As a result, you’ll enjoy the benefits of healthy digestion, supported nutrient absorption, and active energy, all of which make feeling good the new normal.
Probiotics consist of thousands of strains of beneficial bacteria that promote the body's natural microbiome balance. Adding probiotics to your diet benefits your health in a number of ways.
♦ Supports the body’s immune system through the promotion of gut microbiome balance
♦ Helps support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
♦ Produces Vitamin K, an essential nutrient for facilitating the body’s response to injuries, normal blood clotting, and transportation of calcium around the body.
♦ Supports healthy cell growth and proliferation
♦ Promotes dental health by creating an alkaline environment and reducing the acidity in the mouth that can allow cavities to develop.
♦ Supports the digestive tract to reduce the number of contaminants that pass through the intestinal wall.
♦ Aids in the digestion of lactose, which is beneficial for those with any form of intolerance
♦ Supports detoxification and removal of harmful compounds that are consumed
The benefits of probiotics extend beyond the digestive tract, making it easy to understand why Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, said that all disease begins in the gut. The gut is the best place to send reinforcements, like probiotics, for the promotion of better health.
There is a direct link to the brain, referred to as the gut-brain axis, which allows each to influence the other. An imbalanced gut can cause negative moods, but with probiotic support to maintain this essential flora balance, you can enjoy a positive mood and good mental health.
By crowding out harmful bacteria that can promote the development of arterial plaques, probiotics also support healthy heart function. Additionally, the flora in your gut makes up 70% of the immune system, strongly indicating that a balanced gut is essential for proper immune support and protection.
It is clear that supplying probiotics to your system will benefit more than your gut. Since the gut is home to the majority of your friendly bacteria, this is the place to focus on. Complete Probiotics™ Platinum helps encourage the gut’s normal microbial balance to promote gut and overall health. When you send in reinforcements, your body can adequately defend against any war harmful compounds or materials try to wage.
Dr. David Kahana
Dr. David Kahana is board certified in Pediatrics and Gastroenterology through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), as well as Medical Nutrition through the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists.