The human microbiome is complex and with trillions of bacteria in our gut, it can be a lot to manage. Your gut bacteria are an essential part of your body’s ability to digest food, boost immunity, and fight infections. Your gut flora makes up 70-80 percent of the human immune system -- making it so important to regulate in our everyday lives. Having a bacterial imbalance can lead to numerous health issues including arthritis, constipation, diarrhea, feelings of depression and anxiety and overall poor nutritional status.
So how do we care for and manage this system? One of the biggest ways is taking Probiotics!
Probiotics can be consumed to help rebalance your gut flora. You can find probiotics in many different forms. You can eat naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and miso. However, sometimes you need to add in a higher potency probiotic supplement that has a variety of live, active cultures to get you back on track.
Each individual has different needs and with so many products on the market yet little information about them it can be even more difficult making the decision. In the past, we often heard that all probiotics were good and to look for one with a high count of active cultures. Now, much more research is being done on the various strains and how they work in the body. Health care providers and consumers now have more options and resources to identify which strains and products can help them with their specific concerns and symptoms.
A research team at reviews.com tested 277 probiotic supplements on the market. You can find their full review here: http://www.reviews.com/probiotic-supplement/. They consulted with nutrition specialists, natural medicine doctors, and microbiologists to discover what to look for in an effective probiotic supplement. Their top picks are listed here:
Best Probiotic Supplement for:
General Health: Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Colon Care
Weight Loss: MegaFlora Probiotics
Antibiotic Recovery: Custom Probiotics 11 Strain Probiotic Powder
Immune Booster/Anxiety and Seasonal Allergies: Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care 30 Billion
IBS, IBD, and Acute Infectious Diarrhea: VSL #3
Lowering Cholesterol: Innovix Labs Multi-Strain Probiotic
Lactose Intolerance: Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Capsules
Women's Health: Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Ultimate Care
In addition to their findings, the Clinical Guide to Probiotic Products also has a breakdown chart of products that are suggested for adult and pediatric health.
My clients also ask me about probiotics for specific health conditions.
The ones I recommend most often are:
MegaSporebiotic. This probiotic can help relieve constipation and promotes healthy cholesterol levels, produces important nutrients, and helps prevent and treat allergies and infections. This product is available for purchase in my office, and soon will be available online.
Ultra Flora Control: This probiotic has been shown to help people reduce calorie intake by allowing them to feel fuller after meals. Ultra Flora Spectrum: This probiotic contains several strains of bacteria and a helpful yeast. These probiotics are available through my website and all customers receive 20% off of their first order.
These are just a few of the many high quality probiotics available. If you are considering a new probiotic you might also benefit from a consultation to help identify the best choice for you. Appointments can be made online. Do you have questions? Send me an email at SouthernMarylandDietitian@gmail.com