Annie McRae NC

Specialist in IBS, IBD, SIBO

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                                                                                         PROBIOTICS – Are they worth taking?






“Pro-Biotic” means ‘For Life’ so what a great asset we can have in our gut to get and keep healthy. Whereas,  “Anti-Biotic” means ‘against life’.  As we know these are prescribed to kill off bacterial, yeast and parasitic infections. The problem is they kill the beneficial bacteria too and can leave the body depleted and at rick for more infections.  70% of our immune system is in our gut. One way to boost our immunity is to have it populated with beneficial bacteria. They act as a line of defense before infections can seep through the gut lining into the bloodstream.

Especially during this time of year it behoves anyone to take a probiotic supplement to boost their immune system. In the last few years much research is being done with probiotics for all types of health conditions and amazing facts are being discovered. We know only a relatively  small amount of all the types and functions of bacteria that reside in our colon. But scientists are finding that probiotics do more than increase our immunity.   One strain for instance, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, has been seen to promote GABA secretions. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that  help with good mood. Also a recent study shows that probiotics can reduce cholesterol and inflammation(2)

Unfortunately, there are other factors that decrease our good bacteria as well as antibiotics. Stress can have a major detrimental affect on our bodies. Depleting good bacteria is one of them. It is always wise to reflect on your life and see what stressors you can minimize or consider ways to handle them better.

Of course, the quality and quantity of probiotic in one dose is very important. This will be discussed in another blog.

(1)  http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2011/08/mind-altering-bugs

(2)  Rajkumar H, et al. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Oct 20.