I was out with the girls for dinner on Saturday night and got asked the one question I probably get asked more than anything else when people hear what I do, “if I’m going to take supplements, what is the one supplement I should be taking?” There is no correct answer for this as everyone has different needs, however the one supplement that I put 99% of my patients on is a probiotic. So if there is an answer, then a really good quality probiotic is it. Here’s why:
Probiotics Support Digestion
- They help us digest our food, so if we are to get the most from what we consume then ensuring we have adequate levels of favourable bacteria in our gut is of top priority.
- They can increase the bioavailability of vitamins and protein, and some of these amazing creatures actually produce vitamins themselves.
- They can help to prevent and treat gastro infections.
- They may help reduce symptoms of digestive conditions associated with inflammation such as IBS and IBD.
- They improve motility! That’s right they help keep you regular.
- And they ensure that your gut lining is healthy.
Probiotics Help Your Immune System
- They stimulate and strengthen the immune system.
- They help in conditions where the immune system is overactive, such as eczema. There’s a strain called LGG that is specific for the treatment and prevention of dermatitis.
Probiotics can be used for a whole range of other things including general health and wellbeing. Good digestive health and a strong immune system are linked to so many other systems in the body so to get these in balance you need to get your gut flora in balance.
As far as what probiotic you should be taking, the best advice I can give you is to go and see a practitioner and get them to prescribe a probiotic that is suitable for you. No probiotic is the same as they contain different strains. The strains are the ingredients of the product and they have different functions in the body, so getting the right strain for you is going to give you the best benefits. Also only buy a probiotic if it’s one that’s been kept in the fridge, those poor little bugs can’t survive changing temperatures for months on end on the shelf.
For some people a month or two every year may be sufficient to ensure you’ve got great gut flora, but for many people long-term probiotic supplementation may be necessary. Many things destroy our belly bugs including stress, alcohol, a poor diet and antibiotics. I also find that for people with a history of antibiotic use and/or those with long standing gastrointestinal issues, that long-term probiotic therapy yields the best results.
If you want to know more about probiotics and which ones may work best for you, book in for an appointment at The Wellness Room and start on the road to Wellness.