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What does your Stomach have to do with Immune Health?

Believe it or not, the stomach is the seat of our immune system in the physical body.  Probiotics and immune health go hand in hand.  When we are sick with the infection, we receive anti-biotics from the doctor.  Anti-biotics fight invasive bacteria systemically, but also in the collateral damage they kill the good bacteria we need for immune health.  Also our lifestyle choices stress can negatively impact gut health.  Taking probiotics daily is a preventative way to promote good bacteria, or flora, in ‘the gut’. Everything starts there. Ill-health in the digestive track leads to dis-ease in the body. You’ve maybe heard of ‘leaky gut sydrome’ which is the stomach bacteria out of balance and the results seen over time in the rest of the body.

Probiotics are meant to be taken in capsule form. My dentist said to never take it in the form which touches the teeth (ie a drink or a chewable tablet) as the good bacteria does create excess plaque in the mouth.  Traditionally probiotics require refrigeration as they are a living organism, but a very reputable brand ReNew Life has a ‘shelf stable’ version which is awesome, especially for travel.

Digestive health is the path to overall and long term well-being.

Digestive Health is the Path to Overall Wellbeing

When comparing probiotic labels, choose one that has:

1. A minimum of 15 billion active.  Choose more if you are in ‘critical care’ as in post surgical, or taking may synthetic medications.

2. A statement of ‘potency at time of expiration’ on the label.  This is important as these bacteria are living things and slowly die off over time.  You still want a good content even at the time of taking the last capsule!  Some brands do not make this declaration.  So you definitely want one that does!

3. Multiple strains (10 is good) EACH of bacteria names starting with L’s and B’s.  So that’s 10 strains of L bacteria, and 10 strains of B bacteria.  If you can’t find that many, simply choose as many strains as possible.  More strains means more avenues of protection.

If you want to educate yourself a bit, the best resource I’ve found is Brenda Watson. She’s been a longtime advocate of probiotics and a PBS educational regular. Just go to YouTube and search ‘Brenda Watson probiotics’ and pick a video that suits your interest level. And of course have a chat with your naturopath. Interesting stuff!