“Having a healthy gut is essential to your overall health and vitality.”
Having a healthy gut is essential to your overall health and vitality. There is a wealth of information out there to support you in optimising your gut health, but one of the best places to start is looking at how you are nourishing your gut health, daily.
“One of the best places to start is looking at how you are nourishing your gut health, daily."
It’s a common misconception that you have to have gut symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, food intolerances and gas to indicate gut dysfunction; that is simply not the case. About 22% of people with underlying digestive problems do not have any sort of obvious digestive symptoms.
Our digestive tract is now lacking in the diversity and numbers of beneficial bacteria that support us living with optimal health. We then find ourselves in trouble, as the beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria are out of balance.
“Our digestive tract is now lacking in the diversity and numbers of beneficial bacteria that support us living with optimal health.”
There are numerous culprits when it comes to gut imbalances including sugar, processed carbohydrates and antibiotic use. Non-beneficial bacteria and yeasts both feed on sugar therefore a diet high in sugar can encourage the ‘bad bacteria’ to colonise and overgrow!
The overuse of antibiotics in the modern world
Antibiotics play a vital role in the treatment of disease and illness, but they also have an negative impact on the levels of good bacteria living in our gut. This is because they not only ‘knockout’ the targeted pathogenic bacteria but also reduce the diversity and numbers of beneficial bacteria living in our gastrointestinal tract.
Doctor Natasha Campbell-McBride, is a gut health specialist and founder and author of the GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). She claims “It can take up to four years to restore and rebuild the gut biome following a course of antibiotics.”
"It can take up to four years to restore and rebuild the gut biome following a course of antibiotics."
Upping your intake of probiotics, through eating fermented foods or taking a probiotic support product is highly effective in nurturing the health of your gut. There’s plenty of probiotics out there, so how do you know which one is right for you?
Here are 5 things to look for when choosing a probiotic:
- Contains a diverse range of bacteria
- Slow release capsule
- Whether it is shelf-stable or if it needs to be refrigerated
- Minimum viable bacteria content
- If a probiotic would actually be beneficial for you
Let’s explore these points in a little more depth.
1. Contains a diverse range of bacteria
Bacteria sounds a bit icky, especially the thought of them living inside of us, but actually we have more bacteria cells in our body than human cells! So they are actually an incredibly important aspect of our being. There is good bacteria and bad bacteria and when they become unbalanced, we run into trouble. Taking a probiotic can support the balance between the two.
“Having a diverse range of bacteria is important, as different species have various ways in which they benefit us.”
Having a diverse range of bacteria is important, as different species have various ways in which they benefit us. From a ‘wish list’ of bacteria species, Ben developed the BePure Two Probiotic to support the guts of a wide range of people. Here are a list of the 18 bacteria species in BePure Two Probiotic and how they can be particularly beneficial plus the reason why they were carefully selected for inclusion.
- Gasseri – Respiratory system support, fat regulation
- Helveticus – Anxiety
- Salvarius – Atopic dermatitis
- Acidophilus – Acne, Diarrhoea, Vaginal health
- Plantarum – Inflammation, IBS
- Paracasei – GI Support, Allergies
- Rhamnosus – GI Support, Eczema
- Reuteri – GI Support, Eczema, Allergic Rhinitis
- Longum – Brain function, Constipation
- Breve – GI support, Anti-ageing
- Infantis – GI Support
- Animalis spp. – GI Support, Skin support, Insulin sensitivity
- Lactis – Immunity
- Bifidum – Immunity, GI Support
Streptococcus Thermophilus – GI Support, Skin support
Saccharomyces boulardii – Support for sugar cravings, Skin, Diarrhoea
2. Slow release capsule
Probiotic bacteria are helpful when they are in the right place. At the BePure Clinic, we have seen huge benefits when these beneficial bacteria are able to make their way to the large intestine, particularly for anyone experiencing gut issues such as; constipation, diarrhea, bloating or IBS. This is where a slow release capsule makes all the difference. When contained in a regular capsule, the bacteria release faster, being consumed by hydrochloric acid in the stomach, (which is not necessarily a bad thing either, as bacteria throughout the entire digestive tract have known benefits!). However, the modulation of the microbiome in the large intestine is where we see the main benefit of probiotics.
“We have seen huge benefits when these beneficial bacteria are able to make their way to the large intestine.”
BePure Two Probiotic is delivered in a scientifically designed, slow release capsule that takes two hours to break down. This ensures the viable bacteria in each serving reaches the most beneficial stage of the intestinal tract, then releases into the system to support optimal intestinal gut health.
3. Shelf stable
Many probiotic bacteria are naturally sensitive to heat and moisture. Heat can kill organisms and moisture can activate them within pills, only to die due to lack of nutrients and a proper environment. These products should ideally be refrigerated and kept out of humidity.
When a probiotic is ‘shelf stable’ it means the bacteria are held in conditions that keep them alive and well, even out of the fridge. While probiotics that are not shelf stable are by no means a deal breaker, it is important that you know how to store yours to ensure that you are getting the most out of them.
4. Viable bacteria
Probiotic doses are typically standardised in terms of the amount of living bacteria per unit. The dosage of probiotics is determined by the number of live bacteria. There can be a wide range of minimum viable bacteria in probiotic support products - anywhere from 100 million to 1.8 trillion! We recommend looking for a probiotic with a minimum viable bacteria count of at least 100 million if it contains multiple species of bacteria. If it is just one or a few, then a lower total will still be effective.
“We recommend looking for a probiotic with a minimum viable bacteria count of at least 100 million if it contains multiple species of bacteria.”
The higher the count of minimum viable bacteria, the more good bacteria you have helping out your gut to support your overall health status!
5. And lastly, do you actually need a probiotic?
There is no doubt about the research showing clear health benefits of probiotic intake, however, every single one of us has a different body with different requirements for optimal health – What works for one person, isn’t necessarily going to right for another.
Those with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) should avoid taking a probiotic until they’ve had a chance to deal with the bacteria overgrowth, before adding extra in.
Signs you might have SIBO are gastrointestinal issues such as bloating around the belly button no matter what you eat (or especially with fermented food), gas, abdominal pain or discomfort.
Many people have digestive issues with certain FODMAPS, fungal growth such as candida or have a histamine intolerance. In which case, consuming fermented foods can actually be harmful to their gut health. Instead, taking a probiotic means you can avoid inflammatory foods that your immune system reacts to and you still get the benefits of the beneficial bacteria.
To sum things up, taking a quality daily probiotic is essential for supporting great gut health and your overall wellbeing, daily.