If you were to ask me what is my top supplement, probiotics would probably be number one! 

The reason being is that I see so many health conditions resulting from lack of good bacteria, and I also see the improvements people experience when they increase their gut flora e.g. less wind, improved stools.

I am one of the antibiotic generation…. my mother was given them whilst pregnant with me, which I believe started a cascade of health problems for myself  (but that’s another story).  In short I spent my teenage years with on-going tonsillitis treated with repeated antibiotics, resulting in debilitating IBS ….at a time when few people knew what it was or meant. 

Antibiotics are known to have a negative effect on good flora, but taking live yoghurt or probiotics drinks is not always enough to rebalance the eco system of the gut.  These foods are good for maintaining good bacteria:

  • Kefir
  • Live Yoghurt
  • Sauerkraut

Stool tests of my chronically ill patients nearly always reveal low levels of the good bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium which are the two main strains of good bacteria, of which there are 125 and 35 strains respectively.  Which isn’t surprising, because as well as aiding digestion of food, producing vitamins, lowering colon pH,  killing disease causing microbes, they protect against colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.

In addition it would appear they can influence the calories you absorb from your food.  Researchers from Washington University found that obese people have far more unwanted ‘firmicutes’ bacteria than lean people.  These bacteria are able to extract more calories from food and often drive desire for more sugary starchy food which is their preferred food source.

 Supplementing with a good probiotic may be the answer, but how do you know if it is good?  When choosing a good supplement you must be sure that they survive:

  1. The manufacturing process
  2. Shelf length time
  3. Acidic environment of the stomach
  4. In addition – have at least 10 billion live bacteria.

 The only way to know this is to read the labels and choose strains with proven health effects such as:

Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1

Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM

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