12 Vital Reasons why you should take Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits to the host when ingested in adequate amounts. The strains most frequently used as probiotics include Lactobacillus bacteria and Bifidobacteria. Without these vital health benefits that probiotics confer, our health as humans would be substantially worse.
Antimicrobial Benefits of Probiotics
- Modify microflora to suppress pathogens and stop infections.
- Secrete antibacterial substances. Probiotic bacteria produce a variety of substances that are inhibitory to both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. These include organic acids, hydrogen peroxide and bacteriocins. These compounds may reduce not only the number of viable pathogenic organisms but may also affect bacterial metabolism and toxin production. This occurs through reduction of luminal pH through the production of volatile short-chain fatty acids, mainly acetates, propionates and butyrates. And of course, through production of lactic acid (Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus), leading to a reduction in colonic pH which is desirable.
- Compete with pathogens to prevent their adhesion to the intestine, stopping them gaining a foothold that could lead to disease.
- Compete for nutrients necessary for pathogen survival and so starve them
- Antitoxin effect
Benefits of Probiotics on the Gut lining
- Promote tight contact between epithelial cells forming a functional barrier, stopping toxins from getting into the body.
- Reducing the secretory and inflammatory consequences of bacterial infection.
- Enhancing the production of defensive molecules such as mucins.
Immune Benefits of Probiotics
- Probiotics acting as vehicles to deliver anti-inflammatory molecules to the Intestine.
- Enhance signalling in host cells to reduce inflammatory response.
- Switch in immune response to reduce allergy.
- Reduce the production of inflammatory substances.
How to choose a Probiotic.
There are three main issues to take into consideration when choosing a probiotic supplement –
Purity, Potency and Variety.
Purity refers to the ‘other ingredients’ that are put in with probiotics. Most probiotics these days have a number of ‘added ingredients’ with questionable benefits, and which sometimes actually make symptoms worse. The big three on my list to avoid are Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), maltodextrin and inulin. Try to find a Probiotic without these in.
Potency refers to the number of live beneficial bacteria in each capsule. In many respects the gut is a ‘numbers game’, the more beneficial bacteria you put in, the better the result. Over the past 18 years of working and researching, I have generally found daily doses of 100-300 BILLION bacteria per day as being the most effective. The gut contains around 100 TRILLION organisms, so putting in a few million or even a few billion good bacteria will not help much. It is like invading a very large country with a very small army – you are unlikely to be successful.
Variety refers to the use of Multistrain Probiotics, ones that use several different strains that confer different benefits. There are around 1000 different species of bacteria in the human gut, so variety is clearly important, so don’t just stick to one strain like Lactobacillus Acidophilus, mix it up!
We recommend Custom Probiotics CP-1 as is pure, Potent and has Variety with its 5 strain formulation. In addition, any of the pure Custom Probiotics multi strain probiotic powders from the 5 Strain Bifidobacteria Powder to the 11 Strain Powder are excellent choices.