From the very first breath you take you are exposed to probiotics
On the way through the birth canal during a normal delivery, a new born gets dosed with bacteria from their mother. This event starts bacterial colonisation in the infant’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Compelling new research now shows many caesarean-section infants have less-than-optimal health after birth. This is most likely because they are not exposed to the mother’s bacteria in the birth canal, which would then serve to populate its own GI tract.
As you mature, you’re faced with many threats to the beneficial bacteria in your gut… from chlorinated drinking water to overly-processed foods.
This is where probiotics can have a profound effect, not just on your GI health, but also on your overall health as well. Keep in mind that 80% of your immune system actually lives in your gut. And only 10 % of your cells are of human origin. The other 90 % are microbial, so you can see why it is so important to take care of your beneficial bacteria.
Probiotic formulas are available with many different types of bacterial strains, with the most common being Lactobacillus acidophilus. But not all probiotics are created equal and not all probiotic formulas are properly produced to provide optimal benefits.
If formulated properly, some major benefits of a high-quality probiotic are to:-
- Aid you in digesting food, particularly hard-to-digest foods and foods that some individuals may be more sensitive to
- Enhance the synthesis of B vitamins and improve calcium absorption
- Nourish your microbiome by helping your intestinal microflora flourish
- Promote vaginal health for women
- Support your immune system
The effects of a healthy microbiome reach much more widely than you can imagine. Your gut flora affects far more than your digestive health, it affects the health of your entire body. The effects of an unhealthy microbiome can even affect your mood.
How Your Microbiome Affects Your Gut-Brain Connection
Your gut actually contains a network of neurons or brain cells called your enteric nervous system (ENS). Your ENS controls both digestion and mental well-being. Changes in your gut bacteria can have a noticeable effect on your mood and sleeping patterns.
In one study, women who regularly consumed yogurt containing beneficial bacteria had improved brain function in two specific areas, compared to those that did not consume any probiotics. The two areas affected were the:
- Insular cortex, which is linked to perception motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning and interpersonal experience
- Somatosensory cortex, which aids the body in interpreting a wide variety of sensations.
You can see how important it is to keep your gut bacteria healthy, both for physical and emotional well-being.
“If I Eat Yogurt, Do I Still Have to Take Probiotics?”
It‚ is common knowledge that yogurt is a great whole food source of beneficial probiotics. However, what many don’t know is that most commercially available yogurts contain little to no live probiotics. This is due to pasteurisation, a high heat process that kills off bacteria-including the good ones.
Unless you make it at home with a high-quality culture starter, you cannot be sure that you are getting any probiotic benefit from commercially available yogurt. Plus, you are likely to be ending up with far too much unwanted sugar. With your own homemade yogurt, you can control exactly what goes into it.
So, as great-tasting as many of them are, don’t be fooled by yogurt products advertising live cultures that are beneficial to your digestive system, many have likely had the beneficial bacteria already reduced or wiped out by the heat-intensive pasteurisation processes.
This is very similar to why we now have less bacteria overall in our everyday environments. Antibacterial products, hand sanitisers, and the like have made for a world that’s a whole lot cleaner, but is it really that much healthier?
However first lets introduce a relatively new concept of Spore biotics or spore probiotics for total gut health.
Spore Biotics: The New Frontier of Microbiome Health
For optimal gut health, you need two different types of good bacteria:
- Reconditioning probiotic spores, or Soil-Based Organisms (SBOs), to condition your gut and support the growth of good bacteria
- Reseeding probiotics, or regular probiotics
Think of it like a garden – the spores act as the gardener. Like any good gardener, they pull “weeds”, detoxify your gut and replenish its energy and nutrient content. Spore probiotics provide a healthy foundation and growth medium for your gut.
Then you need seeds. Reseeding probiotics provide the new seeds to replace the good “plants” in your garden that wither due to a lack of proper nutrients, or assaults like harsh chemicals and herbicide residues like glyphosate.
Spore biotics, or spore probiotics, are bacterial spores that work in your gut much like the gardener. Spores provide key “reconditioning” strains of bacteria that help protect and recondition your gut flora and prepare it for the introduction of probiotics.
They help your microbiome recover from on-going assaults by fluoridated and chlorinated water, stress, medications, processed foods and refined sugars, EMFs, and pollution.
Our ancestors’ diets included these bacteria spores, but today people avoid touching dirt and thoroughly scrub their vegetables to remove all traces of soil along with their naturally occurring organisms.
Dr Mercola Complete Spore Restore includes four outstanding soil-based spores or spore biotics and a prebiotic organic blend of three highly valued mushroom mycelium to potentially help improve the condition of your microbiome and gut integrity and much more.
Because your gut needs both kinds of probiotics, Dr Mercola believes many people will benefit from taking both Complete Spore Restore and a high-quality probiotic, especially if you have a compromised gut or have taken an antibiotic or had a hospital stay within the last two years.
Where Do we find a Worthy Probiotic Formula?
Here are some key factors that differentiate good probiotic formulas from ineffective ones:
- Contain effective bacterial strains – must be strain specific
- Are viable and dose specific
- Remain stable and viable for a long time
- Have the ability to survive the stomach and reach the intestine
- Thrive in the intestine
Unfortunately, many manufacturers make claims that their probiotic supports digestive health when it most likely doesn’t which is why it is very important to know what criteria to look for.
Above all Dr Mercola recommends looking for one particular strain in any formula you are considering and this is Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, the name of a highly studied strain of beneficial bacteria…and the “DDS-1” is really important.
There are other strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus out there, but without the DDS-1 specificity, your potential health benefits could come up short. This specific probiotic strain has been found to possess vital properties important to human health. Research at a major Midwestern university showed how DDS-1 enhanced human health because it colonised well in the human gut.
- Adapts well to the human body
- Is acid- and bile-resistant for intestinal survival
- Helps promote your digestive health
- Aids in supporting your immune system
- Contributes to the colonisation of your intestinal flora
- Produces significant quantities of lactase to potentially aid in lactose intolerance challenge
Introducing Complete Probiotics: the Original High Potency, Multi-Strain Probiotic Supplement
Your intestines are home to over 1,000 different species of bacteria, and each strain performs it’s own unique functions in the body so it‚ is important your probiotic contains a variety of strains, not just one or two. Here’s the list of the 10 specific beneficial bacteria strains in Complete Probiotics:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 supports digestive and immune health, is acid and bile resistant and provides long lasting colonisation
- Lactobacillus casei – supports a healthy immune response as well as aids in stress management by promoting healthy serotonin levels
- Lactobacillus plantarum – helps to ease digestive distress and supports a healthy inflammatory response
- Lactobacillus salivarius – promotes a healthy inflammatory response in the gut as well as immune health. Supports healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus – can reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, as well as supporting healthy weight and cholesterol levels already in the normal range
- Lactobacillus brevis – supports healthy inflammatory and immune responses
- Bifidobacterium lactis – promotes a healthy inflammatory response including allergy response and supports the growth of other beneficial bacteria
- Bifidobacterium longum – promotes a healthy stress response and may reduce gastrointestinal symptoms
- Bifidobacterium bifidum – supports healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range and may help alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea
- Streptococcus thermophilus – promotes healthy, hydrated skin. Supports immune health. Also stimulates the growth of other probiotic strains
Prebiotics help keep beneficial bacteria healthy. They are non-digestible foods that help beneficial bacteria (probiotics) grow and flourish.
Complete Probiotics has beneficial prebiotics in the form of Fructooligosaccharide (FOS). FOS is a favourite food for lactobacilli and Bifobacterium strains, as they can efficiently ferment and utilise it for energy. These prebiotics remain in your digestive system to help boost the growth of beneficial bacteria. Adding prebiotics to a high-quality probiotic benefits the entire formula.
Bile and Acid Resistance – The Proof Is in the Test Results
Another area Dr Mercola’s Complete Probiotics proves its weight in gold is in its acid and bile tolerance. Very few manufacturers could actually provide testing information on the survivability of the specific strains in their formulas. If they could not demonstrate results then they were passed up. Keep in mind, without these strains adequately resisting stomach acid and intestinal bile, your health benefits from the probiotic will likely be severely lacking.
Through testing, some Complete Probiotics strains demonstrated gastrointestinal acid and bile tolerances over 90%. In fact Complete Probiotics contains 80% probiotic strains that are greater than 90% acid-and bile-resistant.
The Unique Needs of Women… and Why They Need Certain Probiotic Strains More Than Men
When it comes to probiotics, researchers are discovering that women have special needs that extend beyond a healthy gut. Some women may be surprised to learn that their vaginas have their own microbiome, or diverse collection of bacteria, much like their guts have their own microbiome.
However, not surprisingly, many women will readily admit how challenging it can be at times to maintain comfort and well-being in this part of their body. A woman’s vagina, much like her gut, thrives on a healthy balance of bacteria and can experience issues when the wrong bacteria grows out of control and that can happen easier than you think.
Personal care products, sex, giving birth, and simply wiping incorrectly after using the toilet can either introduce or facilitate the growth of unhealthy bacteria, or alter the pH in the vagina’s warm, moist, and low-oxygen environment.
Luckily for women, there is a hero that not only helps promote a healthy gut, but also supports the health of the vaginal microbiome… Lactobacillus bacteria.
A True Champion for Women’s Health: Lactobacillus Probiotics
More than 20 species of lactobacilli probiotic bacteria have been identified in a healthy vagina. These beneficial bacteria contribute a number of health promoting and protective factors, including the:
- Production of lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocins, and biosurfactants to help protect against invaders
- Disruption of unwanted biofilm formation to help protect vaginal epithelial cells against pathogens
- Regulation of vaginal epithelial cell innate immunity to help protect a woman’s reproductive health
A proper pH in a women’s vagina is essential for maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome. The lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus as a fermentation product helps maintain a low, acidic pH to create an unfavourable condition for the growth of unwanted bacteria, yeast, and viruses.
Likewise, the hydrogen peroxide released by Lactobacillus can be toxic to and inhibit the actions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Bacteriocins and biosurfactants also act in much the same way to help protect the vaginal microbiome against pathogens.
Certain Lactobacillus species may also help provide protection against invaders by reinforcing the vagina’s natural defence, its mucus.
With Complete Probiotics, you have what Dr Mercola considers to be the best probiotic formula available, and it’s perfect for travelling because it…
- Has a good shelf life at room temperature – Unlike some other probiotic formulas with shorter shelf lives at room temperature, Complete Probiotics is stable longer.
- Can help you during times of digestive stress. To help give your digestive system the extra support it may need while travelling and trying new foods, you can take additional servings (recommended 4 to 6 probiotic capsules).
- Supports overall immune health as 80% of your immune system lives in your gut, so it’s important to take care of it
- Becomes part of your travel pack – Conveniently fits into any travel pack you bring along on your trip – no need to refrigerate.