101Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of probiotics. While it may seem that they are “on-trend” right now, the truth is that probiotics have been around for over 100 years. There are over 500 types of bacteria in the digestive system; some are good and some are bad. Taking probiotics (“good” bacteria) helps to keep the gut balanced and improve our health in many ways.
Probiotics help to increase immunity, improve digestion, ease constipation or diarrhea, combat yeast, and improve overall health. Many things can upset the balance of good bacteria in our bodies such as certain medications (birth control pills, steroids and anti-biotics to name a few), stress, hormonal changes, poor diet and nutrient defi ciencies. Thankfully, taking a probiotic supplement can help!
With so many probiotic supplements on the market, fi nding one that is right for you can be confusing. Here are 3 things to look for when choosing a probiotic supplement:
1. Look for high culture count. The culture count refers to the total amount of live, friendly bacterial cultures in a single serving. With the state of our diets, most people would benefi t from a probiotic that delivers 50 billion benefi cial bacteria in every dose.
2. Check out the number of strains.You want to choose a multiple strain probiotic that include strains that begin with L’s and B’s, like lactobacilli and bifi dobacteria.
3. Make sure the probiotic capsule is enteric coated. Probiotics must travel through the harsh stomach environment and be delivered to the intestines to be eff ective. Probiotics with an enteric coating remain intact through the stomach and begin dissolving in the small intestine where they are needed most.
If you are like many Canadians, you support your health by taking a daily multivitamin. Consider adding a daily probiotic to your regime and you will be amazed at the diff erence you will feel. Your gut will thank you!
Dr. Sara Celik is a Naturopathic Doctor and Homeopathic Master Clinician with over 15 years of experience. With her extensive clinical and educational background, she is a sought-after national authority on natural health.
To learn more about Ultimate Flora Probiotics, please visit www.renewlife.ca