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Posts Tagged ‘probiotics’

732 spore probiotics

As we continue to learn how important healthy gut bacteria is for the brain and immune system, interest in cultivating a rich and diverse “gut microbiome” grows. One important tool in this quest are spore-based probiotic supplements. “Spore” is derived from the word “seed,” and spore-based probiotics are a hardy delivery system that germinate in the small intestine and help you colonize your gut with more healthy bacteria.

Modern humans face many challenges to developing and maintaining healthy gut bacteria. In fact, studies of primitive people who live much like our hunter gatherer ancestors did show their guts have about 50 percent more diversity in gut bacteria than the average American. Researchers are finding this lack of microbiome diversity plays a role in many chronic health and brain disorders, including depression and autoimmunity.

Low-fiber, junk food diets, antibiotic overuse, chlorinated water, heavy environmental toxin and pollution loads, chronic stress, alcohol, and various medications all play a role in reducing the diversity and amount of beneficial gut bacteria. As a result, opportunistic and infectious “bad” gut bacteria are able to more easily conquer the gut. This weakens the gut lining, increases inflammation, and promotes brain and mood disorders.

There are many ways we can build a healthy and diverse population of gut bacteria. The most important is to eat a whole foods diet that is predominantly vegetables and fruits. It’s important to vary the kind of produce you eat regularly. It’s also helpful to include cultured and fermented foods and take probiotics. Also, avoid drugs such as antibiotics, NSAIDs, and heartburn medication as much as possible.

Given the challenges the modern gut faces, it’s not a bad idea to make probiotics a part of your routine. This is where spore-based probiotics come in. What makes spore-based probiotics special?

  • The survive the acidic environment of the stomach on their way to the intestines.
  • They resist breakdown by digestive enzymes.
  • They are heat stable and don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Some spores are antibiotic-resistant, which means you can take while taking antibiotics.

Once in the small intestine, spore-based probiotics can germinate if you provide the right environment with plenty of plant fiber.

Spore probiotics and healthy gut bacteria in general can help improve your health in several ways. They improve the health and integrity of the lining of the small intestine. This lining contains not only bacteria but also plenty of immune cells to defend the bloodstream from bad bacteria, yeast, toxins, undigested foods, and other pathogens that can trigger inflammation if they make their way through the gut lining into the bloodstream. This is called leaky gut.

For instance, one strain of spore-based probiotic, bacillus coagulans, has been well studied for its beneficial effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease. Bacillus coagulans produces lactic acid, which has been shown to help protect the gut and boost immune resistance to viruses. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.

Ask my office for more information on how to support healthy gut bacteria and help eradicate bad bacteria to improve immune health.

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seasonal-allergies-leaky-gut

Do beautiful spring days have you cooped up inside, sneezing and sniffing miserably? Before reaching for the antihistamines, consider the role your gut health plays in allergy symptoms.

Allergies actually begin long before the hallmark symptoms of sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes manifest. How?

An estimated 80 percent of the immune system resides in the gut, and when digestive problems set in, immune problems are sure to follow. A chronically inflamed gut—which causes indigestion, heartburn, bloating, pain, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel disorders, and more—sends the immune system into overdrive.

As a result, the body becomes hypersensitive and overreacts to stuff it shouldn’t, including pollen, grass, and other triggers associated with spring.

Because allergy symptoms frequently start with poor digestive function, the gut is a great place to start for relief.

What causes allergy symptoms?

Several factors contribute to the digestive problems that give rise to allergy symptoms, including:

  • Dysbiosis: This is a very common scenario in which bad bacteria in the gut overwhelm the beneficial bacteria. Processed foods, a diet lacking in cultured and fermented foods, and antibiotic use contribute to dysbiosis.
  • Gluten and other food intolerances: Gluten has been shown to damage the lining of the intestines. Also, many people have an immune reaction to gluten and other foods, such as dairy or soy. Eating these foods constantly provokes the immune system and damages the lining of the intestines.
  • Low stomach acid: This may seem counter-intuitive as so many people complain of an acidic stomach, but, in fact, low stomach acid often underlies heartburn and acid reflux. When stomach acid is low, undigested food backwashes into the esophagus (heartburn), opportunistic bacteria overtake the stomach, improperly digested food degrades the intestinal lining, and bacteria and other pathogens are able enter into the intestines. Sufficient stomach acid is also necessary to trigger the gallbladder to release bile and the pancreas to release enzymes, two important processes for digestion.
  • Poor liver detoxification: Gut damage causes chronic inflammation, which keeps the immune system on red alert and overburdens the liver. As a result, the liver can’t adequately detoxify pathogens that escaped through the damaged intestinal lining into the bloodstream. This is another factor that triggers the immune system and leads to allergies.

Fix the gut to fix allergies

Repairing gut health involves addressing the various factors above. The exact protocol may vary from person to person depending on his or her individual needs. However, a great place to start is with an anti-inflammatory diet that removes food intolerances and calms inflammation, helping to restore balance to an overactive immune system. We can also use lab tests to gain insight into the specific nature of your intestinal problems. Probiotics, and nutritional compounds to improve digestion, support detoxification, and tame an overstimulated immune system can also help repair the gut and hence the immune system.

Ask my office for ideas on how you can get to the root of your seasonal allergy symptoms this year.

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