Probiotics and Your Health
A major foundation to good health lies in the gut. It is now commonly understood that a healthy diet is a key part to living a healthy life. It is important to consider whether or not you are getting enough of the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals from our diet. However even if you are getting the right nutrients from your diet it doesn’t mean that you will automatically absorb them and use them appropriately. Having healthy intestines is an important factor in absorbing nutrients as well as the function of our immune system.
A key part to the health of our intestines are probiotics. Probiotics, as defined by The World Health Organization are,
“A probiotic is a living micro-organism that, when ingested in sufficient quantities, provides beneficial effects on the health of its consumer”. They make up the good and bad bacteria in in our intestines that are good for our digestive health and our immune system. Probiotics positively affect our intestinal flora by helping to keep a a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. In competing with bad bacteria (pathogens), probiotics help boost the amount of good bacteria throughout the intestinal tract, thereby contributing to the maintenance of a balanced intestinal flora.
Like a Second Brain
The intestinal flora does more than just digest food. So much more that some people have begun calling it our second brain. This is because the bacteria in the gut produce certain molecules that send signals to our cells. The purpose of this is to send our cells certain message such as, we are missing, or have too much of X. Bacteria can also be identified by our immune system and based on the signal received bacteria are then directed to where they would be the most effective. Bacteria are involved at all levels, which is why they are so important to us.
Bacteria play three important roles
- They are our digestive tract’s soldiers, preventing foreign substances (pathogens, toxins, allergens) from coming through, thereby lowering infection and illness risks
- They help digest food by processing it and producing new molecules (vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, etc.)
- They help develop the immune system and intestinal lining, ensuring better protection.
When intestinal flora is unbalanced, the so-called “bad” bacteria take over, which can lead to illness, infections, digestive issues, fatigue, depression, etc. Many factors can contribute to this imbalance such as stress, medication (particularly antibiotics) diet, and other lifestyle factors.
Every day our intestinal flora is disrupted by our diet, stress, medications (especially antibiotics) and lifestyle. Sometimes, this is for the better, but other times for the worse, and this is when problems happen.
80% of the immune system’s cells are found in the intestinal tract, so it goes without saying that your immune system can be thrown out of whack when your intestinal flora is unbalanced.
In competing with bad bacteria (pathogens), probiotics help boost the amount of good bacteria throughout the intestinal tract, thereby contributing to the maintenance of a balanced intestinal flora.
Why use Bio-K+ ?
Bio-K+ is a probiotic supplement that can help you maintain a healthy intestinal flora. The unique formula in Bio-K+ (L. acidophilus CL1285®, L. casei LBC80R® and L. rhamnosus CLR2®) has been thoroughly studied, and its three bacteria have been proven to be synergistic (lack of competition between them) and therefore, work more effectively together. The capsules are also designed to protect the probiotics and deliver them efficiently to your intestines. Bio-K+ capsules can also help reduce the risk of diarrhea due to antibiotics and the risk of diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile in hospitalized patients. The company, Bio-K also guarantees the bacterial concentration of their probiotics upon consumption (rather than by date of manufacturing) so that you are certain of the quantity and quality of the product.
Come by and talk with your Carmi Remedy’sRx pharmacist about Probiotics and how they could benefit you and your family. We are located just up the street from Penticton Regional Hospital in the Carmi Medical Dental Building.