One of the most common “nutrients” we are deficient in are what we call probiotics – the bacteria that live inside our guts, that are vital to our health. Do you regularly consume a plain high quality organic yogurt or kefir, sauerkraut, microalgae, kimchi, and/or kombucha tea (all natural sources of probiotics)? Are you stress-free, eat only whole foods, and exercise regularly? If this describes your diet and lifestyle, then you do not likely need to supplement with probiotics. I try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, but I know I still need to supplement with probiotics. Taking vitamin D3 and omega 3 fatty acids along with probiotic supplementation, is essential for healthy body function as most people who live in our modern times are deficient in all of them.
Benefits of Probiotics
Besides a front line defense of our immune systems, probiotics also promote colon blood flow, produce vitamins and antioxidants, allow for proper nutrient absorption, and even helps keep inflammation under control in the body, something that is very important to my patients in my chiropractic office or anyone who is suffering from a chronic health condition. Probiotics have also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Sign me up.
The question changes from should I supplement with probiotics (absolutely) to what probiotic should I supplement with? The type and source of probiotic that we are designed to benefit from come from soil, fruits, and vegetables NOT dairy, soy, corn or wheat (many brands use these – stay away from them). The type of probiotic bacteria we require was established years before humans developed agriculture or consumed dairy, soy, wheat or grains.
Make sure the brand of probiotics adhere to the above guidelines because they need to contain the correct type of bacteria (9 strains), they should be naturally derived, and finally, they should have a high dose of 15 billion colony-forming units (CFU) per capsule.
A probiotic supplement should be either refrigerated or frozen and the dosage should have a control built-in to accommodate shipping. The product you consider should actually put several billion more organisms in each capsule than the label claims to ensure a minimum of 15 billion due to degradation during storage or shipping – you need one that has this quality control!