Microbiome and gut health, Nutrition
Feb
09

Tip #1 What to look for when choosing a probiotic supplement

  • Choose a reputable brand
  • Select products specifying probiotics by genus, species and strain, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS- Look for strains that occur naturally in human gut microbiota, and that have been clinically tested
  • CFU (Colony Forming Units). The number of live microorganisms in each serving or dose through the expiration date should be mentioned
  • Recommended dosage should be indicated
  • Choose age/condition-appropriate products
  • Ignore meaningless claims about health benefits. If they sound too good to be true, choose another brand
  • Proper storage conditions. Some probiotic products should be refrigerated and others stored at room temperature
  • Corporate contact information should be provided
  • the expiration date and the batch number should be mentioned on product packaging
  • select products with fewer or no additives

Tip #2 Probiotics during and after antibiotics

  • Follow the recommendations of your health care professional
  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for dosage and frequency if taking probiotic supplements
  • Generally, take probiotic food/supplements 1-3 hours after taking antibiotics, and continue for at least 2-4 weeks after the antibiotic course
  • It is important to consume prebiotic food as it stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria
  • Consume nourishing foods that will boost your immune system and help to balance your gut microbes
Patients taking antibiotics may suffer from digestive upset and are at risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, thrush, and Clostridium difficile infection.

Tip #3 Feed your probiotics and your gut microbes

If you take a probiotic supplement and you want the bacterial species to thrive, you need to feed them. It's the same when it comes to feeding and nourishing your endogenous microbiome. Your own bacteria and probiotic bacteria need food in order to survive and proliferate. Feeding them is as important as having them. By feeding them well, more species will thrive which will promote even higher microbial diversity.

And why should you even care about the microbial gut diversity? Microorganisms residing in our gut contribute to our wellbeing and to the way our body functions. Researchers study extensively their role in health and in disease. The westernized lifestyle and diet reduce our microbial diversity, consequently contributing to many inflammatory non-communicable diseases. There is still a lot to be learnt but we currently know that the microbial gut diversity increases resilience, stimulates our immune system and strengthens the ability to fight off specific diseases. One could say, the more - the merrier.

The higher microbial diversity and well nourished gut microbes - the better your health foundation! Tips:
  • Go for a healthy, balanced and diverse diet, add to your cuisine plenty of vegetables and legumes so your microbes have a feast, have fruits for their beautiful colors and polyphenols, have fermented foods to get natural probiotics, and foods rich in soluble fiber. Raw foods and fermented foods harbor environmental microbes, whereas fiber rich foods promote growth of beneficial bacteria
  • Reduce consumption of sugars if you have a sweet tooth (overconsumption of sugars can stimulate the growth of yeast such as Candida albicans)
  • Breastfeed your infant if possible, components of breast milk nourish not only the infant but also friendly bacteria present in mother milk and in the infant’s gut. Microbes present in breast milk and in the gut contribute to the development of the infant’s immune system
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and other medications (hormones) as their use have a negative effect on your microbial diversity
  • Avoid unnecessary medical interventions, such as plastic surgeries or C-sections out of convenience. If a C-section is medically necessary, consider swabbing the newborn with mother’s vaginal microorganisms
  • Reduce the use of hand sanitizers and wash your hands with water and soap
  • Get dirty, have contact with nature, farm animals and pets (contact with animals is microbiologically beneficial especially at the young age)
  • Go back to the basics and think of foods, environments and activities our grandparents were brought up with! They had simple, unprocessed foods and plenty contact with nature!
Category: Microbiome and gut health, Nutrition icon February 9 2021
Dr Joanna Krzeslak-Hoogland
Author: Dr Joanna Krzeslak-Hoogland

Being inspired by the effect of nutrition, lifestyle and mind on our health, I am dedicated to help people on their journey to wellbeing.

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