The more I learn about the massive role our gut plays in our health the more I am held in complete fascination.
I recently listened to a podcast interview with the renown neurologist and author of ‘Grain Brain’, Dr David Perlmutter. Much to my surprise, he explained that 90% of all the peer reviewed literature we now have on research dealing with the microbiome has only been published in the last 5 years.
Unbelievable! There is so much information currently being discovered on gut health and the importance of healthy gut flora. Yet, there is so much that we still do not know and have yet to learn.
What exactly is the human microbiome, you might ask?
According to Dr Permutter, it a 3-pound organ weighing about the same as the human brain, commonly referred to as the ‘gut’. It is comprised of more than 100 trillion organisms living within each and every one. This collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc., play a vital role in regulating every important part of our physiology.
Cultivating optimal healthy gut flora is one of the biggest investments you can make on your health. The bacterial colonization in our microbiome or GI tract begins at the moment of birth in the birth canal, provided your mother had a natural delivery.
As we grow, the beneficial gut bacteria in your gut is faced with many enemies and obstacles. Although antibiotics are helpful in killing pathogens and infection, it decimates your healthy flora. Surprisingly, even a single course of antibiotics can permanently alter your gut flora.
My 5 Tips for taking Effective Probiotics:
1. Make sure your probiotic supplement contains these 5 core species.
Although I highly recommend getting your probiotics from fermented foods, I do believe that probiotic supplements have their place. Whether you are traveling and don’t have access to cultured foods or maybe you have a family member who isn’t quite adjusted to the taste of fermented veggies. Whatever your circumstance, probiotic supplements do come often come in handy.
One pearl of advice I took away from the podcast interview with Dr. Perlmutter was his recommendation on what probiotic species are most important. Because there are 10,000 species of bacteria in the gut, it can be very overwhelming when trying to chose a probiotic supplement.
Based on his research, he made a list of the five core probiotic species that he believes are the most vital as they are by far the most heavily studied in scientific literature. The best probiotics supplements are those which contain these species. The Five Core Species are as follows:
2. Take a prebiotic with your probiotic.
The one thing I was unaware of when I first began to take probiotic supplements regularly was the importance of taking a prebiotic along with my my probiotics. The purpose of a prebiotic is to provide ‘food’ for your beneficial bacteria. By nourishing your healthy gut flora with prebiotics, you help the good bacteria from your probiotic grow and survive in your gut.
If you are taking a probiotic supplement, be sure to make sure that it includes a prebiotic. You can derive prebiotic from a natural food source. Starches such as sweet potatoes, yams, yucca root, and other tubers usually work great for most people. However, there are many other prebiotic rich foods such as follows:
What Are Your Thoughts?
Thank you for reading my post! There is so much more information on this topic and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Please leave a comment below on your tips for taking effective probiotics!