What are probiotics?
Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that help support the growth and population of our bodies own bacteria that live throughout our body; primarily our gut.
Why might they be beneficial to me?
Studies have shown that consuming these healthy bacteria through supplementation and foods that naturally contain probiotics can help fend off unhealthy bacteria and pathogens. The benefits to having high amounts of gut friendly and healthy bacteria is a stronger immune response, higher digestion efficiency, promotes bowl regularity, increased nutrient production and absorption in our guts, helps to fight off bad bacteria that may cause ulcers as well as food poisoning, prevent yeast infections, and many types of allergies. There are many more benefits to having a high concentration of healthy to unhealthy bacteria in the body but we will stick with the ones mentioned above for now.
Our lifestyles and eating habits promote the overgrowth of bad bacteria and decrease the growth of good bacteria in our bodies. Fiber is the main source of food for healthy bacteria in our guts. Therefore, a diet low in fiber inhibits the good bacteria. Other things that help to promote an unhealthy balance of good bacteria are: antibiotic laden inorganic animal products, processed foods, sugar, high fat foods, smoking, and alcohol.
Where can I get them?
There are two main sources of probiotics; food and supplements. Let’s begin with food.
Are they all the same?
Does science support these claims?
Like all naturally occurring supplements, foods, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients there are two groups battling each other on who is right and who is wrong. It’s common for our western medicine thinking culture to immediately pass these health claims off as holding no ground at all but equally as common for homeopathic MD’s to boast these claims as fact. The truth is, there are an almost equal amount articles and evidence to support both claims. Since all naturally occurring foods and supplements are not monitored by the FDA there are few studies done by our western medicine promoting culture to show their health claims as fact. We are now in a time where preventative medicine is growing at a faster pace than the old belief of treating the symptoms of disease is the answer. I encourage you to discover the truth for yourself.
Chris Smith is one of Pulse Fitness’s expert personal trainers; he has 7 years of experience in the fitness industry. He is ISSA, TRX and Perform Better certified and continues industry specific education regularly. Chris enjoys working for a gym that has positioned itself as one of the few leading training studios in the industry and where he can pursue his passion for fitness and helping people. His clients call him The Monkey for his love of gymnast style exercise and how he can often be found hanging on the monkey bars.