Our digestive process is highly dependent on the balance of beneficial bacteria throughout the digestive tract. Probiotics enhance digestive system function and overall wellbeing, as well as regulate immune function through interacting with the large proportion of immune cells located in our digestive system.
One Size Does Not Fit All
When selecting a probiotic supplement, it is important to choose the right probiotic strain for the right condition, as not all are created equal. Probiotics are made up of a genus, species and a strain; for example, Lactobacillus (genus) plantarum (species) 299v (strain). Scientific evidence has shown that particular strains exert different effects within the body, making them beneficial in helping with specific health concerns.
The most effective therapeutic strains recommended include:
Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM): Is one of the most extensively tested and proven probiotic strains available. It is a great everyday Probiotic to maintain bacterial balance and is particularly useful for bacterial restoration following antibiotic treatment.
Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07): A scientifically proven strain well-suited for intestinal survival. Bi-07 has been shown to support balanced and healthy immune system function.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®): This strain has been studied in over 350 clinical studies. LGG® may help to decrease the risk of stomach upset, including diarrhoea, in both adults and children, as well as shorten the duration if you do fall sick. Additionally, LGG® has the ability to modulate immune system function and should be the probiotic of choice to help decrease the incidence of developing eczema and other atopic conditions, as well as helping to alleviate the symptoms of allergies and eczema.
Lactobacillus plantarum 299v: A highly bioactive strain whose range of actions differ from other Lactobacillus strains. This probiotic has been extensively validated in assisting to manage the symptoms of medically-diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory bowel disorders such as Ulcerative Colitis and Chrons Disease. It has demonstrated effectiveness in promoting improvements of IBS symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, helping to relieve pain and inflammation of the digestive tract and regulate bowel motions.
Probiotic Shopping List
In addition to selecting the most suitable strain for your needs, some tips to help you choose an effective and quality probiotic include making sure it:
Contains acid and bile resistant strains so it can survive the passage through the digestive tract.
Has been shown to be of therapeutic benefit in humans.
Contains species and strains that are indigenous to the human body.
Contains a therapeutically proven dose of probiotics.
Is produced under the highest quality control standards to ensure viability, potency, stability and efficacy.
How To Maximise Your Wellness
Supporting good gastrointestinal health is essential for wellness. As we are faced with many daily dietary and lifestyle factors which can disrupt the balance of bacteria occupying our intestines, taking a high-strength probiotic can help to maintain the right balance in your digestive tract to help you to function at your best. This is an essential recommendation for anyone who has taken a course of antibiotics or suffered from any kind of digestive upset, food poisoning or virus.
Other things you can do to promote good bacteria is include a daily dose of good quality fermented foods in your diet such as non sweetened organic yoghurt, kefir (fermented milk, water or coconut milk or coconut water), miso, natto, kimchi, sauerkraut and cultured vegetables.