The HYPE and Probiotics

Have you ever heard of probiotics?  I have noticed that they are being advertised on TV advertisements, being talked about on Yahoo news and other big media outlets and mentioned in nationally circulated magazines.  Frankly, it’s about time but what are the true benefits of taking a probiotic?  Clearly from the content of the advertising improved bowel functioning is one of the many benefits but it’s far from the only one and probably not the single most important either.


So first of all what are probiotics?  Put simply they are beneficial bacteria that when ingested regularly over a period of weeks to months colonize your digestive tract.   That’s right! In your intestines are many colonies of bacteria.  The quote “good bacteria” like those found in a probiotic formula (and raw sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and other fermented foods) help to digest food, absorb nutrients and fight off infection.  You can learn more about kombucha here.  Unfortunately most people in Western cultures have far too many of what are referred to as “bad bacteria” living in their intestines.   These bacteria create toxic bi-products, prevent adequate nutrient absorption and can lead to illness.




Most beneficial bacteria soluble fiber and some carbohydrate to live on.  On the flip side most bad bacteria crave sugar.  Sugary drinks, candy, white breads and other products loaded with simple carbohydrates feed the bad bacteria which then grow and negatively affect your health.


In order to re-establish a health promoting balance of bacteria in your gut you need to do several things.


1)      Refrain from eating foods that feed the bad bacteria.  This means anything with processed sugar and large amounts of fruit, especially dried fruit which has high sugar content.  About 1-3 servings of fruit, preferably berries and apple, is an appropriate amount of fruit per day.

2)      Start taking a high quality probiotic supplement.  High quality is important here. The stuff on the shelves in the drug store is worthless.  Most actually contain sugar, especially if it’s a chewable and many are not refrigerated and thus the likelihood that they are anywhere near as potent as the labels claim is highly unlikely. Also cheap probiotic formulas often are not as pure as you would like meaning you very well may be taking a worthless product.

3)      Eat a diet high in raw foods and high quality meats.  This means cuts of meat that are not processed.  Chicken, fish and beef are the best sources.  Quinoa is also a great protein source.


Taking these steps is important to establish optimal gut flora which is essential for good health.  There are also kids formulas and most children as well as adults should be taking a high quality probiotic.



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Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+


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