Probiotics Everywhere - What To Really Look For!

At the end of last year I did a talk to local Holistic Nutritionists and it was mentioned that one of the top trends of 2017 was going to be probiotics. Not just those good gut bugs in general, but adding them to all different types of foods. So I was curious to see what the commercial industry was going to come up with next. What I am seeing lately is probiotics in orange juice! FYI - probiotics are not naturally found in juice. To see a benefit you also want a lot more than the 1 billion found in that cup of juice they are marketing. 

Better ways than this to get your probiotics :)

Better ways than this to get your probiotics :)

I want to shed a little light on probiotics so you have a little more information when those marketing gurus try to direct their product your way. 

Benefits of probiotics:

There are so many strains of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that reside mostly in the large intestine of your gut. More and more research is coming out showing the importance of probiotics on a wide variety of conditions, including all digestive disorders, immune health, anxiety, skin health and even weight loss. In Naturopathic Medicine research is trying to get even more specific in terms of subtypes of strains to treat even more individually. In my practice I prescribe either specific probiotic strains or higher doses of probiotics - 11 billion, 50 billion or even up to 300 billion for issues such as crohns and colitis. Once we have established a healthy community of those good bugs the focus then turns more to food forms of probiotics. These would be naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt or even sourdough. Naturally fermented I say...not orange juice.  

What to look for:

While I am not saying a little fresh juice is bad, it is actually quite delicious at times, it just shouldn't be your primary way of getting probiotics. Therefore when companies claim their products contain probiotics, ask yourself if it is a naturally fermented food and how many billion are actually in a serving. Focus on adding a tbsp or two of naturally fermented foods as mentioned above to your meals, or for a higher dose look for a probiotic containing 10 billion or more with more than 2 strains. 

If you are having digestive concerns that don't seem to be improving with over the counter probiotics or fermented foods consider coming in for a visit to discuss a more specific treatment plan for you! I am always happy to help. 

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen