With the uprising of digestion issues, leaky gut, colds, allergies, and asthma a lot of mom’s have approached me in asking about Probiotics and if they really should be taking them and how to find a good one.
There are 3 main vitamins or supplements most Americans are deficient in; Vitamin D, Omega’s, and Probiotics. So naturally I would say yes, it’s important to take a probiotic. Especially with the rise of the issues mentioned above. Is it chance that these issues are happening as the nutrients in our food diminish? I think not!
Now, Disclaimer! There are foods that have a lot of natural probiotics in them that are extremely healthy for your gut flora. Foods like kefir, yogurt (one yogurt a day is not enough to get the recommended amount of probiotics, i.e. you need to eat 9 Activia Yogurts a day to get what you need, that, plus all the sugar in the yogurt is hardly worth it!), and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, fish sauce, and kombucha. If these aren’t foods that you consume on a daily or frequent basis, looking at a supplement might be a better option.
Benefits of a Probiotic
Because Probiotics are naturally occurring micro-organisms in the Digestion Tract, they are highly important for daily GI Function. What a lot of us don’t know is that 70% of our immune system is located in the GI tract! Starting to make sense why an unhealthy gut causes so much stir? Having the proper Probiotic can help maintain and promote healthy microbial balance.
Here are some top reasons;
3.Relief of GI pain or distress
5.Feminine health support
6.Nasal and Respiratory support
7.Decrease in fatigue and metabolic support
Picking the Right Probiotic
When choosing the right bacteria, you want to make sure you have the right strains of bacteria. Majority of probiotics have your typical lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis, but did you know that each strain has an identity? It’s important that yourprobiotic be strain specific, meaning that your supplement actually tells you the full names and numbers.
What’s your goal?
Why are you wanting to take a probiotic? Is it for acute bowel distress? Restoration of the intestinal wall? Immune health? There are different brands, formulas, and strains for different health goals, make sure the one you're taking targets your goals.
Refrigeration IS important!
Ever walk into a vitamin store and they have some on the shelf and some in the fridge? Which one do you get? Probiotics are ALIVE, you want refrigeration in order to keep them alive. Some probiotics are temperature sensitive. If they get too hot or too cold they can die. Any time in transport if they reach a temp higher then 77 degrees chances are they can die, room temp can be okay, but refrigeration gives you more control over the environment. If they are refrigerate during transport chances are they weren’t going from hot to cold to hot again and vice versa.
What are CFU’s? and What do I need to look for? CFU stands for Colony-forming Unit. Bacteria live in colonies. Typically in your better or higher-ended probiotics, the more colonies AFTER processing the better. Think about it this way, the more population of bacteria your body has to chose from, the better chances of finding something that works for you. Your better Probiotics will have 10-50 billion. It is important that the amount is alive after processing otherwise you're just eating dead bacteria, and in that case what’s the point?!