Probiotics in a nut shell:
The human gut contains 10x more bacteria than all the human cells in the body. 400 known species equaling 100trillion in the intestinal tract.
Probiotics are ESSENTIAL for normal digestive, endocrine, and immunological functions of the bowel. They are therapeutic for treatment of variety of gastrointestinal and systemic disorders. Definitely needed if your gall bladder or spleen has been removed.
Goal is to have an 80 to 20% ratio of good bateria verses harmful bacteria.
In general, 1 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) is REQUIRED to deliver to the intestines. You can safely take up to 450 billion for patients with IBS, and even 200 billion following liver transplant.
Do they need to be refrigerated? It is recommended it maximizes freshness. Probiotics that have micro encapsulated with fatty acids are the only exception. Probiotics sold in health stores are often not and have about 30-50% less viable microorganisms that they claim on their label.
Probiotics live in the absence of oxygen. Dark Glass bottles are recommended. Moisture also kills micro organisms, keep in a cool dark place.
Deliver systems are important because we want the absorption to happen in the intestines not the stomach. Stomach acid plays apart in breakdowns and absorption.
The use of antibiotics feeds bacteria growth so it is important to double amounts during infectious times or if you are put on antibiotics or have heavily used them in the past.
It is important to have B complex vitamins, especially B12, folates, and Vitamin K for probiotics absorption.
When do you take them? Everyone is different but generally between meals or bed time is ideal so food or stomach acid isn’t interfering with absorption.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates that are indigestible by the human intestine and selectively stimulate the activity and growth of certain bacteria in the COLON. Most are chains of 2-9 sugar molecules (oligosaccharides). They are commonly found in chicory, asparagus, artichoke, onions, leeks, garlic, and human breast milk. If you want to use food as medicine, consume those veggies. They should pass through the small intestine to the colon.
There are different strains of probiotics that are more beneficial to your health issues which is why not guessing is important, research is good, but science based research is what professionals do. Knowing your source and trusting your health care practitioner to make the best recommendations for you. They may cost a little more, but why waste money and time guessing when you don’t have to?
Gut health leads to immune health. If you want to power your body, supplementation is necessary.