Will probiotics stop me feeling bloated and run down?

>70% of our immune system is in the gut.

So it's no surprise that it's involved in the onset of diseases...

But the good news?

It CAN be modulated by diet!

5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bacteria exist on Earth.

^^^^ I may have missed a few more zero’s off that number…but you get the point.

So, there's a lot of bacteria that we could come across every day

Yet, even though we think of bacteria as being 'bad'...

99.9% of the bacteria is “friendly” <<< They’re good guys!!

Some experts are now even saying we're 'too clean'... (who really knows, ay?)

^^^ I even saw a study about a reduction in allergies amongst children whose mothers own dogs...

But here's the thing:

1,000,000,000,000,000 bacteria live in your large intestine!!!

And the diversity of this bacteria in our guts may play a role in:

1. Bowel cancer

2. The health of your immune system – frequency of common colds etc

3. Lactose tolerance

4. Cholesterol

5. Irritable bowel syndrome – bloating, flatulence, urgency to go the loo (A bit like me and my wheat allergy)

6. Allergies (ceoliac, wheat, hayfever)

7. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema

8. Obesity

9. Absorption of nutrients and deficiencies (making us feel tired)

10. Mental health – autism, depression…

11. Body weight and HUNGER levels

So, can we change our gut microbiota to help make us happier and healthier?

Well, the marketers would certainly suggest so...

And you've probably heard of probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria that when provided in adequate amounts provide us with a health benefit.

^^^ Yes, they CAN provide us with a health benefit.

Prebiotics are essentially the “food” to help promote the growth of health promoting bacteria.

You can get probiotics from:

· Yogurt and dairy products (Greek yoghurt, for example)

· Fermented foods like Sauerkraut and pickles

· Probiotic supplements – tablet form / water-based solutions / drinks like Yakut and Actimel

Examples of prebiotic foods:

* Sweet potato

* Celeriac

* Artichoke

* Chicory

* Garlic

* Onion

BUT...

Here's some things to consider before putting all your eggs in one basket hoping that probiotics will change your life:

* To do anything, probiotics need to survive digestion, which may not always be the case.

* Legislators, scientists, manufacturers, advertisers and consumer bodies appear very much in disagreement on what can and can’t be said about what probiotics or prebiotics can do.

* More human studies are needed

The take home:

The bacteria in our guts changes depending on our diet, stress, genes, and exercise levels.

We may be low in some bacteria found in one supplement / yoghurt <<< so taking this may help to improve your bloating, improve IBS symptoms and help you digest dairy products

But for person B...

This strain of bacteria in, say, Yakult, may do nothing.

Because they're low in a different strain...

I took probiotics a few years back.

It actually put a damper on the IBS symptoms I got from eating wheat.

Was this a good thing?

Perhaps not because it was later found I had an allergy to wheat

^^^ although you could argue that my gut bacteria is not diverse which is why I can't handle wheat?

But here's what it comes down to:

Finding the right nutrition and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle and helps you get the body you want feeling healthier and more energetic that you ever have done.

And if this means no wheat for me, then so be it

^^^ No Nonna, it's not that I don't like your pasta and meatballs...

It's that:

* Relying on caffeine to get me through the day

* Racing to the loo after a meal

* Feeling bloated

* Getting frequent headaches

Aren't 'always' worth it...

And it top it off, my skin cleared up too

^^^ Something that even Liz Earle couldn't fix...

Speak soon,

Matt

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