Gut bacteria does what?
Finally, doctors, scientists and researchers are discovering the key to living a long and healthy life. And we can promise you, it’s not what you think it is. The truth is, the key to living your best life now begins by healing your gut.
With the hype surrounding gut health and all the “trendy” advertisements about probiotics, you may have heard or started to wonder what they heck they are!
This is normal.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about probiotics. What are they? How do they work? Why do I need them? Do they work? — just to name a few.
We are here to tell you everything you MUST know about probiotics and to help you get the facts. The main thing people seem confused about is why we need to put bacteria in our body.
The word “bacteria” alone frightens most people. (I mean, just think about how many products are designed just to get rid of it, for fear of it getting on us–ahhh!)
It’s this word that has endlessly been drilled into our brains with such a negative connotation that it will take some serious letting go to get past what our minds have convinced us is bad.
The average person doesn’t see the point of putting bacteria back into their body, which is essentially the sole purpose of probiotics. We’re going to break down the important questions for you–all in one place. We want to help you, and the only way to do that it is to educate you as best as we can.
First and Foremost: What is a Probiotic?
Like the saying goes, there is no such thing as a stupid question. And to be honest, this was the first question I asked myself when I heard the term ‘probiotics‘. Simply put, probiotics are the good bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection.
Without these much-needed good guys in our body, we are unable to function properly and our health suffers as the consequence.
See, we told you not all bacteria was bad!
How Can You Get Probiotics in Your Body?
There are really only two ways to get good, healthy probiotic bacteria into your digestive system!
- Eating Probiotic Rich Foods
- Taking Probiotic Supplements
1. The Power of Probiotic Foods:
For hundreds of years, people have been eating fermented, probiotic-enriched foods with the intention of keeping their bodies healthy and strong. Many other cultures around the world still consume these products on a regular basis, keeping them as a staple in their daily diet. Now let’s give you a quick little culture lesson on probiotic foods from around the world!
Miso: This traditional Japanese ingredient is made from fermented soybeans, barley or brown rice mixed with koji. If you’ve ever had Miso soup at a Japanese restaurant (you know the yummy one that comes with those seaweed leaves floating around in it, then you’ve tried it–woohoo!)
Kefir: When you add kefir grains to milk from a cow, goat, or sheep and leave it to ferment for one day, this results in a lactose-free drink known as kefir. This European drink is particularly popular in Sweden, Norway, Hungary, and Finland. The fermentation process for kefir can also be made from soy, coconut, or rice milk.
Natto: Many Japanese people begin their day with this funky-smelling fermented soybean, believing that this is the perfect breakfast food to jumpstart their day. (Sounds like wishful thinking to me, now pass me some eggs, please!)
Yogurt: If you are familiar with probiotics, then obviously yogurt comes to mind. Yogurt is made from the bacteria that ferments the natural sugars in milk. But the main problem is, the yogurt that we know today has been so processed that it is stripped of any digestive enhancing qualities. Yes, that means your favorite Chobani is not good for you like you think it is. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news:(
Fermented Cabbage: Sauerkraut (German) and kimchi (Korean) are both fermented forms of cabbage that offer many probiotic benefits when consumed. (Have you ever tried Sauerkraut? I did once on a dare. Keyword, once.)
Soft (Raw) Cheese: Okay, now we’re talking! Cheeses that come from goat or sheep’s milk, as well as other aged cheeses (think Gouda), contain particularly high levels of probiotics. Sounds like a guilty pleasure that’s not so guilty!
Kombucha: You may have noticed Kombucha bottled drinks before at the grocery store, as their many health benefits have gained them popularity in recent years. This drink is made from an effervescent fermentation of black tea. The health drink has been around for over 2,000 years, originating in the Far East before spreading in popularity to Japan and Russia.
Kvass: Common in Eastern Europe, this is a vegetable and rye/barley fermented beverage. It is another one that has also been around since ancient times.
Tempeh: Another probiotic foods made from fermented soybeans, this food is typically found in Indonesian cuisine.
2. The Power of Probiotic Supplements:
Okay, so let’s be honest here: Aside from the cheese, yogurt, and sauerkraut, how many of those foods have you ever even heard of? And if you have, could you imagine yourself eating 3 servers per day to restore your good guy bacteria supply?
Thankfully there’s a much simpler solution that has the power to give you everything you need, every single day, and it doesn’t require you to eat excess amounts of foods that don’t sound tempting and are even harder to come by. We’re talking about good ol’ probiotic supplements.
There is no such thing as a “MAGIC PILL” … but if there ways it would be called probiotics!
With just one serving a day, this is the simplified method to maintaining a steady balance of good, healthy bacteria in your body. With the right, high quality probiotic you can restore your bodily functions and revitalize your health in ways you never thought possible.
Researchers estimate there is between 500 – 1000 species of bacteria that colonize our digestive system. New research shows specific strains of bacteria have a specific impact in the body!
This is HUGE and very very important when selecting the right probiotic! Below is a list of bacterial strains that have all been proven and tested for their ability to help/heal your body:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus. This one is HUGE. Candida (total bad guy bacteria) cannot survive when this good guy comes in to save the day. It’s also proven to reduce diarrhea, cramps, and gas. It is of most importance that your probiotic supplement has acidophilus in it!
- Lactobacillus plantarum. Supports the lining of your colon to ensure a healthy gut barrier. Shown to ease constipation and diarrhea and resistant to most antibiotics (very bad, more on that below).
- Lactobacillus fermentum. Builds your immune system and supports the intestinal wall. Even proven to absorb cholesterol! 80% of your immune system is in your gut! Fermentum is KEY to keeping your immune system strong and healthy!
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Eases diarrhea, constipation, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and builds the immune system.
- Lactobacillus reuteri. prevents and eases diarrhea, strengthens immune resistance, alleviates symptoms of eczema.
- Bifidobacterium bifidum. natural inhabitant of the colon that helps control harmful bacteria, promotes healthy elimination and boosts immune system function. Very very important! This is a must!
- Bifidobacterium longum. prevents inflammation-triggering bacteria, helps to ease diarrhea and lactose intolerance.
When buying a probiotic supplement, be sure to understand exactly what strains are being used and what those specific strains will do in the body! Don’t be confused by billions of CFU’s or dozens of strains. Just keep it simple and look for the most important/beneficial bacteria!
Why Do We Need to Take Probiotics?
There are toxins all around us and they all have an impact on the healthy bacteria in our digestive system. Your digestive system is a complex ecosystem of good and bad bacteria. New research suggests that we have 100 trillion micro-organisms (live bacteria) living inside our digestive tract.
We have good, beneficial bacteria that aids in digestion and elimination and bad, harmful bacteria that leads to fungus, yeast infections, weight gain and dangerous digestive issues.
The “good bacteria” or probiotics are critical to a healthy digestive system. These “good guys” help you digest food, eliminate waste, promote healthy immune function, regulate your metabolism and are responsible for maintaining a healthy GI tract.
When our digestive system is balanced with 80% good bacteria vs 20% bad bacteria, our digestive system functions at its best. Numerous scientific studies have proven the beneficial affects of this healthy probiotic balance, linking probiotics to everything from weight management, higher energy levels, mental clarity and a stronger immune system.
With just one daily dose of the right probiotic you can:
- Put an end to embarrassing and equally painful indigestion, i.e. bloating, gas, acid reflux, etc.
- Promote around the clock regularity, relieving yourself of constant constipation and/or diarrhea
- Supercharge your immune system (Remember, 80% of the immune system is found in the gut!)
- For females, rid yourself of yeast infections or other vaginal health issues that are brought on by the overproduction of bad bacteria
- Revitalize your energy, feel refreshed and recharged–and no more 3 o’clock feeling, ever!
- Establish mental clarity, ridding yourself of anxiety, depression and aggressive thoughts that plague your mind
- Control your weight; drop those stubborn pounds you’ve been trying to lose for years!
- End joint pain. No more hurting all over from inflammation throughout the body
- Fix your skin. Eczema, acne, and other unwanted skin conditions are all a telltale sign of an unhealthy gut
And this is not just our opinion, a mountain of medical research studies proves it! Over 20,000 research papers in the last 10 years have been written about probiotics, and numerous lab tests have shown they have a real, measurable, positive impact on your digestive system, colon and numerous other areas of the body!
Maintaining a healthy balance of good probiotic bacteria in your gut with a high quality probiotic supplement may be the fastest, safest and easiest way to promote a healthier digestive system and healthy body! The scary thing is, we are usually unaware of the dangers we our making to our bodies on a daily basis. These are the 7 biggest gut no-no’s you need to know (and avoid) to keep your gut safe and strong:
We’ve all been there before. You wake up sick as a dog and after a few days it doesn’t seem to go away. If it’s not accompanied by fever you’ve landed some type of infection and off to the doctor you hobble in praying for a cure to this awful feeling. Doctor writes you up a quick script and then it’s off to the pharmacy you go to fetch your “feel better” pills.
But you know what those antibiotics do when you take them? They find the bacteria in your body and kill it–both the bad and the good–leaving you with practically nothing. Research suggests that antibiotics will permanently alter your gut and it may never fully recover unless you supplement with probiotics. If you have ever taken antibiotics (who hasn’t) you NEED to find a good probiotic ASAP! We recommend doubling the daily dose of your probiotics immediately following your antibiotics. Do this for a minimum of 14 days to help rebalance your good guys.
Although you may think you don’t have a sweet tooth, you’d be surprised to know just how many foods contain sugar. Think caffeine or nicotine are the most addictive things for the average American? Think again, it’s sugar, honey, and we ain’t kidding! Studies with mice have shown sugar is, on average, 9x more additive than cocaine!
It literally highjacks your brain and gives you those awful cravings that take control of your mind! This empty calorie additive is 100% devoid of any nutritional value and should be avoided as much as humanly possible to save your gut health from deadly harm.
3. GMO Foods:
Genetically Modified Organisms. Just let that sink in. Otherwise known as “Frankenfoods” to those aware of their dangers, these scientifically altered foods are chocked-full in grocery stores across the US. Sad thing is, you probably just ate something with GMOs in it and had no idea.
That’s how sneaky the food companies have become just to get what they want–your hard-earned money. GMOs are particularly bad because they are engineered to be “stronger” than there biological counterparts – which means that it’s much harder for our body to digest them. Over time, it’s believed GMOs can lead to a weakened and damaged gut.
4. Tap Water:
Unless you are drinking well water, tap water is full of excess amounts of chlorine and fluoride that propose serious risks to your health. Play it safe and stick with mountain spring water.
5. Whole Grains:
When shopping at the grocery store you might think you are making the right decision when reaching for whole grains, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. These whole grains contain gluten which is a protein that can be harmful to your gut health since your body recognizes this foreign substance as a toxin.
Life in itself is stressful. Bills, work, crazy kids driving you nuts (ask me how I know…mother of 3 here), we know how it goes. When we are stressed this takes a toll on our body and our gut health feels the brunt of the effects. “Trust your gut” and try to relax–even when it seems impossible.
7. Exposure to Toxins and Pesticides:
It seems that there are harmful elements all around us, and our food is not immune to these dangers. Toxic chemicals and additives destroy our gut flora by killing off our healthy bacteria.
All of these listed above are probiotic killers that work to destroy your gut health and damage your body. The only way to restore our balance is by replenishing ourselves with the healthy bacteria we need to give us back the quality of life we deserve.
If your gut is unhealthy, as is most people’s because they don’t realize how they are harming it on a daily basis, you cannot fight against these toxins.
Believe it or not, the American Nutrition Association estimates between 70,000,000 and 100,000,000 men, women and children (yes, even children) struggle with digestive issues everyday–and these 7 toxins above are the main culprit!
When your gut is unhealthy, your body begins to break down from the inside and you become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. This leads to weight gain, fatigue, painful digestive issues, brain disorders, and over 170 serious health conditions, all linked directly to an unhealthy gut!
If you eliminate these toxic triggers and do your best to eat a clean, healthy diet full of real foods with natural ingredients, this is a great start but in most cases still not enough to revitalize your life.
We are constantly bombarded with toxins from every angle and the only guaranteed way to ensure your body has the good, healthy, probiotic bacteria you need is to take a daily probiotic to rebalance and repair your gut–healing yourself from the inside out!
Restoring your gut health will give you more energy than you ever thought possible, promote regularity, help you lose weight (yes, studies actually prove it!), put an end to painful and embarrassing indigestion, clear your skin, stop those unpredictable mood swings, fight chronic inflammation and supercharge your immune system to keep you healthy and strong. Sounds good, right?
Who wouldn’t love that?!
When you heal your gut, it literally has a HUGE impact on your entire body!
So, Why Do We Actually Need Bacteria in our Body?
Though this might sound crazy, there are actually 10 times more bacteria organisms in your gut than all the human cells in your body. The toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis (many of which we don’t even know about–eeek!) decrease digestive function and affect our ability to utilize nutrients and rid ourselves of cholesterol.
So, what then? Well, when this imbalance occurs inside our body this triggers inflammation–and inflammation in the body is the root of most chronic conditions and diseases.
It’s been proven that our bodies are most healthy at 80% good bacteria and 20% bad bacteria. So while some bad bacteria is okay, and virtually impossible to avoid, this balanced ratio is vital to our wellbeing. This ratio is key because dysbiosis (imbalance of too much fungus, yeast, or bacteria) will send your health going downhill fast.
When we give our bodies the healthy bacteria that they need through daily probiotic supplementation, we unlock the hidden secret to everlasting health. Here is a list of probiotic supplement benefits you may never even have realized:
- Helps to fight off illnesses by boosting our immune system. Shocking fact: 80% of our immune system is found in our gut. So what does this tell you if you are constantly under the weather? Fixing your gut will change your quality of life.
- With a healthy gut flora (balance between good and bad bacteria found inside your gut) you will have loads of energy and feel a renewed sense of self. Imagine if you had more energy to do things? Things that normally seemed tiring at just the thought of it. Now, it is possible.
- Maintain your vaginal health: no more yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and an overall boost in your vaginal health. This is something we normally only discuss with our gynecologist, and that’s understandable. But what if probiotics could help to keep you healthy in the places that can hurt the most when affected? Would you be willing to take just one pill a day to fix that. I know I would.
- Keep yourself happy, all the time. There is a very specific reason why our gut is commonly referred to as our “second brain” by medical and health professionals. Here’s a saying that you may also be familiar with: “Trust your gut.” The reason these sayings came to be is because there are 500 million neurons in our intestinal wall that’s sole purpose is to send and receive messages back and forth from our brain. It’s this ENS (enteric nervous system) that is responsible for controlling our mood, thoughts and feelings. So now do you see why disturbances in digestion play such a huge role in the way we feel?
- Fix your skin by healing your gut. Our skin is the largest organ on our body, covering every inch of us from head to toe. Toxins that affect our gut will directly impact our skin, which is expressed by way of skin conditions. So what those rashes and acne are actually doing is making a plea for help to fix your gut.
These are some of the more major benefits, but probiotics have also been proven to help you lose weight by reestablishing your digestive functions, boost your positivity, and the best part of all–NO SIDE EFFECTS have been acknowledged to date.
How Do You Know Which Probiotic to Buy?
If you were to simply Google “Probiotics” you’d be astounded to see all the stuff that is out there. Dozens of companies are jumping on the probiotic bandwagon, but the fact of the matter is, most of these are total junk that aren’t going to do your body any good. With modern medicine turning to gut health as the new focus, many companies are making unauthentic attempts to peddle products they know are not legit.
There is a CRITICAL difference in what is good and what is not in regards to probiotics. Here is what you need to know to save yourself a costly mistake when looking to take back your health!
When you take probiotics, you are literally swallowing live, living bacteria and to have any positive effect whatsoever, this sensitive bacteria needs to make it down your throat, through your stomach, past the harmful stomach acids and into your small and large intestines. If at any point in the process they die or do not make it, taking them is completely worthless and you are literally FLUSHING your money down the toilet!
So before you run out and buy the first probiotic you see, you must know what to look for and what to avoid! There are TWO BIG CHALLENGES to finding a high quality probiotic:
Challenge #1: Most Probiotics Are Dead Before You Take Them
Commercially produced probiotics that are sold in stores like Walmart, Target, GNC, etc. are mass produced for cost savings and may sit in warehouses and on shelves for several months or years before being consumed by you.
Because the live, living bacteria are very sensitive to temperature and die naturally over time, many probiotics are dead or dying before you ever take them when you buy commercially available probiotics! For this reason, we highly recommend staying away from off the shelf probiotics. Studies show they simply do not work as well and are “hit or miss”–i.e. a complete waste of money!!
Challenge #2: Most Probiotics (that are alive) Are Killed By Harmful Stomach Acid
Most probiotics that are still alive when you take them struggle to survive on their journey once they come in contact with harmful stomach acids. Your stomach is a toxic brew of digestive enzymes and acids specifically designed to break down food. But it’s this stomach acid that easily kills the sensitive probiotic bacteria.
Therefore, probiotic supplements not using an advanced delivery system are doomed to death and devoid of any good! An “advanced delivery system“ is designed to protect the sensitive bacteria while they travel through the harmful stomach acids, ensuring the beneficial bacteria make it to the intestines where they are needed!
Before you buy any probiotic supplement, do your homework! They must be probiotics produced in small batches to ensure healthy, live bacteria, and they must also come with an advanced delivery system to protect the sensitive bacteria as it passes through the stomach. Here’s what to look for:
- Strain Diversity: When buying a probiotic, you need to choose a probiotic that has 5 or more proven, tested strands so you get the full benefits (remember the list of strands we mentioned above, you’re gonna need those!) Don’t settle for anything less than 5 or be fooled by dozens of useless strains of bacteria. Many companies add 15-20 useless strains of bacteria that have little to no effect whatsoever. Stick to the strains we spoke about above at a bare minimum.
- Advanced Delivery System: Most probiotics that come in veggie capsules are no good. Our stomach is full of harsh acids that can destroy the probiotic instantly if they are not properly protected! So you’ll need a proven system of delivery so that you are not taking probiotics in vain. Bio-Tract® technology is specifically designed with a slow release time delay to protect the probiotics through the stomach, allowing a safe passage all the way through your body’s digestive system.
- Shelf Life: You want LIVE probiotics. We cannot stress this enough! As we said, most commercial probiotics are dead before you ever take them! Most are ineffective at best, and there is difficulty in knowing what is the real deal. Refrigeration aids in this process because it keeps the probiotics alive. When you take probiotics, you are literally swallowing live, living bacteria and to have any effect whatsoever, this sensitive bacteria needs to make it down your throat, through your stomach, past the harmful stomach acids and into your small and large intestines. If at any point in the process they die or do not make it, taking them is completely worthless and you are literally FLUSHING your money down the toilet!
- CFU Count: In probiotic lingo, this is short for Colony Forming Units. What this does is basically measures the amount of probiotic bacteria being ingested with each capsule of probiotic supplements. It’s important to remember that the amount you take isn’t what’s most important, but what actually makes it to your intestinal tract to do its job. (This reiterates the importance of Bio-tract technology!) Don’t be fooled by claims of 20, 30 or even 50 billion CFU’s. Most probiotic companies pack in billions of CFU’s because they do not have an advanced delivery system to ensure the probiotics survival — and overcompensate by adding billions of CFU’s. This simply does not work. The stomach acid will kill most of the unprotected probiotics (if not all) leaving you with next to nothing. The advanced delivery system is KEY.
Our favorite probiotic is Perfect Biotics!
This powerhouse supplement is the Rolls Royce of probiotics.
Probiotic America has our highest recommendation and with thousand of happy customers, it’s proven to:
- Repair your gut bacteria after the harmful affects of antibiotics.
- Reduce digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating.
- Heal damaged, dry skin and reduce acne, eczema and rosacea.
- Strengthen your immune system and protection you from infections.
- Increase your energy through improved digestion, metabolism and nutrient absorption
- And help stabilize your mood while reducing anxiety and depression!
If you have taken antibiotics in the last 5 years or are struggling with digestive issues, skin conditions, weak immunity, low energy or anxiety/depression, you need probiotics.
Take control of your health and begin healing your body from the inside by re-balancing your gut with probiotics and take the first step towards regaining control of your health once and for all.