Probiotics – What you need to know about our friendly bugs

Anti-bacterial soap. Antibiotics. Alcohol hand sanitizers. All bugs are bad, right?

In fact, not all bugs, or microbes are bad. Many are good and without them our digestive systems wouldn’t be as healthy.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live food or supplements that when consumed, maintains or restores beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract. At least four hundred species reside within humans! They help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting digestion and boosting the immune system. Probiotics are especially useful after episodes of diarrhea, and can impact energy production, allergies, inflammation and gastrointestinal illnesses – maintaining a healthy gut is key to lifelong wellness!

So how would you know if you have bad bacteria? 

Diets high in refined sugars, stressful lifestyles, and antibiotic therapies are not very good for the growth of good bacteria, so bad bacteria will thrive and grow in these stressful conditions. Symptoms of an overgrowth of bacteria include, abdominal cramps, low energy, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and fat malabsorption.

Is yogurt enough?

Probably not. Of course there are many nutritional sources that allow you to include probiotics in your diet. Yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and tempeh to name a few…it is recommended to have one probiotic food each day, however, eating these foods will only maintain a healthy digestive tract, not correct an unhealthy one!

This was an overview blog on the wonders of bugs. Don’t be afraid – we need them to live! Please consult a Naturopathic Doctor, as the advice of a health care provider is key in making sure your probiotic is strategically right for your body and your health concerns.

To discover how your gut health can be improved, call The Madison Clinic located at 4950 Yonge St. North York, or call us at 416-222-8235 to book a complimentary 15-minute naturopathic consultation.


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