In part one of this series, we discussed the 90 Essentials; the building blocks for your body. In part two, we broke down what is in the Healthy Start Pack from Youngevity. In part three, we covered the Benefits of Dietary Enzymes.
In this post, we continue the discussion of additional supplements most of us can benefit from: Probiotics!
Probiotics are the bacteria that lines your digestive tract and supports your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. The term “probiotic” originates from a Greek term meaning, “For Life”.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like yogurt. (www.webmd.com)
Your body contains about the same number of gut bacteria as it does cells in the rest of your body. It is no wonder why gut health is so important!
Merriam-Webster defines a Probiotic as:
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; also: a product or preparation that contains such microorganisms (www.merriam-webster.com).
Probiotics are live microorganisms that you consume through fermented foods or supplements. Back in the good old days, we had plenty of natural probiotics from our diets. We grew our food in rich soil and canned our food so it would be available year-round. Today, because of refrigeration and agricultural practices (like soaking our foods with chlorine), much of our food contains little to no Probiotics — all in the name of “food safety” and “sanitation”. Since most of us do not have time to grow ALL of our own food, taking a daily Probiotic can be beneficial.
The first and most overlooked reason that our digestive tracts are critical to our health is because 70–80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract! (draxe.com)
Many health issues are connected to poor gut function. Below is a short list of these issues:
- Thyroid imbalances
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
… just to name a few.
Despite the importance of the gut in our overall health, most conventional medical practices fail to address the gut first when treating such conditions. If these (and many other) issues are connected to our gut health, why is it not a priority? Consider this:
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, upward of 60 million to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. In addition, digestive disease and disorders cost the U.S. over $100 billion per year.
Every day, we are exposed to toxins from food and the environment that has a negative impact on our digestion system. Is it any wonder why we have problems such as leaky gut (known in the medical field as Intestinal Hyperpermeability)?
Even when you take Probiotic supplements every day, failing to remove “Probiotic Killers” (like the ones listed below) may still prevent your body from getting all the benefits from your Probiotic.
The top culprits for the destruction of gut bacteria include:
- Overuse of prescription antibiotics
- GMO foods
- Inflammatory gluten
- Emotional stress
- Alcohol (except for red wine)
- Lack of exercise
- Poor sleep habits
Types of Probiotics
Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits but most come from two groups.
Group One: Lactobacillus
This may be the most common Probiotic. It is the one you will find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who can not digest lactose; the sugar in milk (source: www.webmd.com).
Group Two: Bifidobacterium
It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions. Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast found in probiotics. It helps to fight diarrhea and other digestive problems (source: www.webmd.com).
Probiotics help send food through your gut by affecting the nerves that control gut movement.
Your skin and digestive system alone host about 2,000 different types of bacteria. Probiotics benefits have proven effective in supporting immune function, reducing inflammation, promoting healthy digestion, as well as maintaining beautiful skin, especially when combined with prebiotics (source: draxe.com).
In conclusion, Probiotics are live microorganisms. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. As a result, health benefits may follow.
I use two different brands of Probiotics: Youngevity Floxa FX (shelf stable) and Garden of Life (refrigerated).
For more information about Intestinal Hyperpermeability (leaky gut), check out this great article.
If you have any questions, please ask us in the comments or contact us!
A link to our Youngevity store can be found below.
Youngevity Store (link)