Everything You NEED to Know About PROBIOTICS

Many of us consider bacteria to be bad for us. History and current popular culture is full of warnings of bacteria like E. coli, Ebola and staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), which has ingrained this understanding within all of us. However, did you know that some bacteria is not only good for us, but also crucial in maintaining the regular and ordinary functions of our bodies?

virus-1913183_1920.jpg

Our bodies are full of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. Traditionally, it is understood that bad bacteria are forms that cause damage to the body and lead to disease, like the examples mentioned earlier. Good bacteria aid the body in performing its regular functions. Although these terms are somewhat well defined, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria are not mutually exclusive. Take E. coli for example, which is prevalent in the intestines as it aids in the digestion of all foods that pass through our bodies. In this form, E. coli is harmless to us. However, when it is ingested via contaminated food or water, it becomes dangerous. 

The most common good bacteria are the forms that line the digestive tract. They are so common in fact that there are more bacteria in the lower digestive tract than there are cells in the entire body! When these important bacteria are lost, the body can develop various adverse conditions like digestive issues, IBS, vitamin deficiencies and more. This is where probiotics become so important.

In this article, we will be taking a look at probiotics. What they are, how can you find them and how they help our health.

Probiotics. What are they and Why do we NEED them?

Whether you source them from food or supplements, probiotics are essentially live bacteria. The health benefits of these live bacteria were first discovered in 1907 by Russian Nobel Prize winner Élie Metchnikoff, who found that Bulgarian peasants consuming considerable amounts of yogurt were living longer than expected. He postulated that this was due to the probiotics in the yogurt positively influencing the gut flora. It is this postulation that remains the most evident benefit of probiotics to this day.

One of the main reasons why we need probiotics is because many of us are killing them. Antibiotics are the most common form of modern medicine, with an average of 269 million prescriptions each year in the USA alone! Naturally, this does not tarnish the role of antibiotics in treating thousands of diseases over the many decades. However, when they are ingested, they kill both the bad and good bacteria in your body. Without appropriate probiotic therapy, this can take the body months to recover from. This is what creates the common side effects of frequent antibiotics usage, like digestive issues and IBS.

yoghurt-3476608_1920.jpg

Another reason we need probiotics is the many health benefits they provide. They can aid in treating eczema in children, moderating blood pressure control, reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol.

How do you get probiotics?

The most common and easily accessible ways to get probiotics is through food or supplement intake.

There are many foods that contain high levels of probiotics. Yogurt is the first choice for many health professionals due the 1907 study by Metchnikoff, however probiotics can also be sourced from miso soup, soft cheeses and sourdough bread. Follow us on social media for some tasty recipes to include in your weekly meal plan.

The most effective way to balance your stomach flora with probiotics is by taking a probiotic supplement. There are many different forms of probiotics, so it is important to find one that will be the most appropriate in healing your health issues. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most common of these as it helps in treating acne, digestion and vaginal health. Natureal’s probiotic combines the best of all probiotic microorganism strains, containing lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus paracasei and lactobacillus plantarum. These probiotics help to improve inflammation, brain function, vaginal health, acne and digestion.

When should you take them

Probiotics can be taken at any time however there are a few rules to follow to ensure your treatment is as effective as it can be. Firstly, when taking probiotics during a course of antibiotics, ensure that you take them at least 2 hours apart from taking your antibiotics. This is due to fact that antibiotics will kill the probiotics you are ingesting, rendering your treatment useless unless you take them apart. Secondly, it is important to take your probiotics on an empty stomach, this being 30 minutes before meals or 2 hours after. The stomach acid released when eating is strong enough to kill the probiotic microorganisms you are taking, so ensure to take them on an empty stomach.

Quick Tip!

Probiotics are a term that gets a fair bit of attention, but something that you may not have heard of is the prebiotic. Prebiotics are essentially a fibre and a food source for probiotics. To increase the effectiveness of your Natureal Probiotic treatment, include bananas, asparagus and oatmeal into your diet.

 

 

Tiffani Smith