I don't talk to anyone about wellness without bringing up probiotics.

Definition of probiotic : a microorganism (such as lactobacillus) that when consumed (as in a food or a dietary supplement) maintains or restores beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract

Probiotics are living organisms that live in your digestive system. This beneficial bacteria, when dominant in the gut, helps to heal the body of many ailments and maintain health. But, when bad bacteria is dominant, sickness ensues. Good gut bacteria supports immune function, eliminates bad bacteria, protects the body from harmful pathogens, produces vitamin B12 and vitamin K, builds the mucosal lining of the intestines, and supports the central nervous system.


Benefits of Probiotics

  • Provides immune health

  • Improves digestion

  • May help reduce symptoms of IBS

  • Reduces antibiotic resistance

  • Supports healthy skin

  • May reduce the risk of developing atopic dermatitis

  • May help fight mental illness

  • May help induce remission in inflammatory bowel disease

  • Protects from food allergies

  • May help fight disease in infants

  • Helps prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea

  • May help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • May help fight diabetes

  • May improve non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

S.C.O.B.Y. used to make Kombucha

When I recommend probiotics, the first question is usually,

"Which one do I buy?"

I always recommend a probiotic with soil-based organisms, aka homeostatic soil organisms (HSO). These organisms should be in our soil and become part of the vegetables and fruit we eat. However, because of pesticides and modern farming practices, these vital organisms have been all but obliterated.


Studies of the Primal Defense probiotic with HSOs (product from Garden of Life supplement company and my all-time favorite probiotic) have shown patients had improvements in health when HSOs were introduced into the microbiome. Clinical studies have shown:

  • Blood cholesterol levels dropped by 25 percent or more

  • Increased energy

  • Improved vitality

  • Increased hemoglobin levels and red blood cell counts

  • Increased memory and concentration

  • Reduced symptoms in 80 percent of the leukemia patients studied and improvement in white blood cell counts

  • HSOs inhibited the invasion of cancer cells into breasts, liver, and lungs

  • Increased healthy cells in the colon

  • Partial to full relief from bowel symptoms

  • Decrease in asthma symptoms

  • Improvement in skin conditions

  • Improvement in chronic sinus infections

  • Improvement in overall well-being

  • Reduction in yeast levels and Candida yeast growth

  • Improvement in fungal pulmonary infection with greater ease in breathing and improved spirometer readings

  • Chronic constipation sufferers were able to move their bowels without the use of laxatives

  • Chronic IBS sufferers showed 25 to 100 percent improvement

  • Chronic fatigue symptoms improved to nearly 100 percent

  • None of the subjects tested showed any type of adverse reaction or worsening condition

Probiotics are made up of individual strains of bacteria. Each strain brings its own set of benefits. This chart is from Dr. Axe and shows the benefits of good bacteria:

Probiotics can be found in foods as well. Be sure to look for "live and active cultures." The best sources to find probiotics are:

  • Kefir-fermented milk

  • Water kefir-fermented water

  • Kombucha-fermented tea

  • Kimchi-fermented vegetables

  • Tempeh-fermented soybeans formed into a cake-like product

  • Miso-seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans

  • Natto-fermented whole soybeans

  • Raw cheese-you will NOT find this at the grocery store, check with local organic dairies

  • Probiotic yogurt

  • Pickles

  • Sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are food for the colonies of living organisms in the gut. Eat these foods to continue to build a good population in your digestive system. Prebiotics are found in foods like:

  • Yogurt

  • Potato starch

  • Chickory root

  • Dandelion greens

  • Jerusalem artichoke

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Leeks

  • Asparagus

  • Bananas

  • Barley

  • Oats

  • Apples

  • Cocoa

  • Burdock root

  • Flaxseeds

  • Jicama root

  • Wheat bran

  • Seaweed

Postbiotics

Have you ever heard of postbiotics? I had not either until I began my research into probiotics. Postbiotics are the byproduct of the probiotic after it feeds off prebiotics. It is essentially a waste product. I know that sounds gross but it is what is left behind in the fermentation process. It is extremely beneficial and may even be the reason people improve when taking probiotics. Postbiotics play a positive role in healing:

  • The makeup of the microbiome

  • Inflammatory diseases such as IBS and IBD

  • Allergic reactions like conjunctivitis and dermatitis

  • Side effects of obesity

  • Gut-related problems

  • Joint pain and inflammation

  • Diabetes and prediabetes

  • Eye problems

  • Problems caused by exposure to environmental irritants

  • Skin problems like eczema and acne

Probiotics play an enormous role in gut health because of the living organisms that fight to defend the homeland, our microbiome. By warding off the bad guys and helping to heal the environment, we can enjoy physical and mental health. To learn more about gut health and how to find wellness, schedule a consultation today!


Resources

  1. Axe, D. J. (2021, November 5). Everything you need to know about probiotics. Dr. Axe. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://draxe.com/nutrition/probiotics-benefits-foods-supplements/

  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Office of dietary supplements - probiotics. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/

  3. HSOs (Homeostatic Soil Organisms™) clinical studies. Crohn's Disease Living Probiotics. (2018, October 13). Retrieved May 7, 2022, from https://www.crohns-disease-probiotics.com/hsos/

  4. Semeco, A., & Kelly, E. (2021, May 11). 19 prebiotic foods you should eat. Healthline. Retrieved May 7, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-best-prebiotic-foods#19.-Seaweed

  5. Levy, J. (2020, April 13). 'Postbiotics' help regulate hormones & kill pathogens (here are the top food sources). Dr. Axe. Retrieved May 8, 2022, from https://draxe.com/nutrition/postbiotics/