Updated: Apr 30
Probiotics are everywhere these days, from cleaning supplies to skincare products and potato chips, probiotics have officially gone mainstream. These products claim to do everything from aiding with weight loss to preventing chronic illness, but are they really all that they’re cracked up to be?
Let’s start by defining what a probiotic is. Probiotics are living organisms that feed the good bacteria in your body. They “prime” your gut and immune system to keep it alert to bad bacteria and help fight off toxins. All this results in a healthier overall immune function and helps with digestion.
Another element that we should discuss when talking about probiotics is prebiotics. Prebiotics feed probiotics and are also known as fermentable fiber. As prebiotics are digested by the probiotics, short-chain fatty acids are produced. These fatty acids are important because they play a crucial role in reducing inflammation, maintaining the integrity of the gut lining, regulating appetite, and sending signals to the brain.
Speaking of the brain, studies have shown that the microbiome in the gut is directly connected to the brain, and it’s the GUT—not the brain—that’s responsible for up to 90 percent of our serotonin production, aka the “happiness hormone.” This means that taking a probiotic could also help balance your mood and mental health.
If you’ve ever walked down the probiotic aisle in a health food store, you know how many different types there are to choose from. This is because there are many different strains and strengths of beneficial bacteria to choose from. Next time you’re picking out a new bottle of probiotics, use this cheat sheet:
- Choose a broad-spectrum product that provides multiple microbial strains.
- Pick a probiotic with at least 10 BILLION colony-forming units (CFUs) per strain.
- While taking your probiotic, eat lots of prebiotic foods to help that good bacteria survive and thrive once it reaches your gut.
Remember that the more unbalanced your gut flora, the longer it will take for a probiotic to work. Make sure that your probiotic is working for you by taking note of digestive symptoms. Do you feel less bloated? Are you experiencing regular and comfortable bowel movements? If so, you’re probably on the right track. If not, you might need to explore a different type of probiotic.
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I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Kryshonda Torres is not a physician and the relationship between Kryshonda and her clients is not of a prescriber and patient, but as Health Coach and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Kryshonda presents.
OT&E Inc. and Kryshonda Torres cannot guarantee any specific outcome and your individual results may vary.
Before beginning or adding any named supplement to your health routine or regime, please consult with your Naturopathic or Functional Medicine Doctor.