Gut Health

When I started my weight loss transformation, I signed up with a company that had been around for years and had a proven track record (they’re growing so fast they can’t keep up with supply right now).

If you are interested in what I did, you can find out more about the program I now partner with, Optavia, here.  I’m happy to answer any questions too.

Along with the box of food I received when I signed up, I received two books that have become instrumental in educating me on the importance of all things health related (a lot of it went pretty in depth, if you interested) and gave me the tools to help shift my mind on the way I ate and treated my body.

habits of health gut health

The books are sold separate from the weight loss program and you can check them out here.

I have learned that our digestive tract is extremely important for our overall health.   If treated poorly it can lead to a leaky gut, which I wrote about here. A leaky gut can lead to a variety of diseases, like Alzheimers, MS, Irritable bowel syndrome, or cancer just to name a few.

Besides the diseases, a leaky gut can make it hard to lose weight.

We often hear that a slow metabolism could be why we have a problem losing weight.

Well, a leaky gut could cause a slow metabolism.  Eating an unhealthy diet (highly processed foods and high sugar content) can slow our metabolism down.

If we can heal our gut, we may be surprised that our metabolism will pick up because now the body is operating the way it should be.

 

What is probiotics

They are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you.  At first, this made no sense to me.  We have learned that bacteria is bad for us.

But I did learn that there is good bacteria and probiotics are the good, or beneficial,  bacteria.

Where to find probiotics

The most natural source is from fermented foods.  Out of all fermented foods, yogurt tends to be the easiest to add to a diet.  When picking a yogurt, look for the words “Look for the words “live and active cultures” on the label.

Following are sources of some probiotic foods:

gut health, probiotice

If there isn’t a fermented food that you can tolerate, you can get a probiotic supplement, which is sold over the counter.

Why would we take probiotics

 

Probiotics are what keeps our gut healthy.

 

As hard as we try to lead a healthy life, things come up that we can’t control.

For example, when we get an infection, we take antibiotics.  Stress can rear its ugly head from time to time, or we just give into a craving to load up on too many carbs, sugar or alcohol.

All of these can affect our gut flora.  That means the “good bacteria” that lives inside of our intestines.

Do you ever find yourself spending a lot more time in the bathroom after a meal out at a restaurant?  I do.  I am not sure what all is put on my food, but what I do know is it isn’t cooperating with my digestive tract and my body is paying the price for it with aches, associated diarrhea or bloating.

Maybe you have noticed after eating ice cream, the next day you have an awful stomach ache.  The dairy in the ice cream may cause your food allergies to kick into high gear.  You may not even realize you are allergic to dairy.

As we age, our tolerances can change over time.

So, what do we do when our digestive tract has been triggered from one of these situations?

That is where a probiotic can come to the rescue.

You have lost the “good” bacteria and you now need to replace them.  You need some help getting your body back in balance.

Probiotics provide good bacteria that is needed for the gut to act at optimal capacity.

You can read here if you would like to go into further detail about all the “sciencey” stuff behind probiotics, but I understand not everyone is interested in that.

Benefits of taking a Probiotic

There are many benefits assumed to come from taking probiotics.

Are probiotic supplements safe?

According to the FDA website, over the counter probiotics are generally viewed as safe for healthy individuals.

When probiotics are used a dietary supplements, they are regulated as a food and not as a medicine.

If a probiotic is intended for use as a drug, then it must undergo the regulatory process as a drug, which is like that of any new therapeutic agent.

On a very rare occasion, people with a compromised immune system or a recent surgery or extended hospitals may develop an infection from the bacteria in probiotics.

There is also a small chance that they could trigger an allergic reaction.  They could possibly cause some stomach problems with the exact same things you’re trying to avoid….gas, diarrhea, or bloating.  These symptoms usually subside once the body gets used to the probiotic.

It’s always a good idea to talk to a health care provider if you have any concerns at all with adding probiotics into your diet or supplement plan.

Conclusion

So after reading through the pros and cons on the current research out there on probiotics by the medical community , for me, adding a probiotic supplement is going to be part of my health journey, if I am not able to get it from a natural food source.

I would be curious of your experience with probiotics, if you have any.

As always, thank you so much for reading.

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Melanie Silkworth

10 Comments on Should you take a probiotic

  1. I have been taking them for about a month, but haven’t noticed a big difference in anything yet. Maybe it takes a bit of time.

    • Hi Rosemary: I think it depends on your symptoms and what you’re trying to fix and the quality and strain of the probiotic you are taking. It’s been shown that they can work as quickly as a couple of weeks when choosing the correct one, sometimes a couple of months and on some occasion relief hasn’t been found. I hope that you are able to find relief from your symptoms <3 Melanie

  2. Probiotics are so important. I’ve been taking one for a number of years and have felt a positive difference! Thank you for sharing such valuable informations

    • Hi Jess: Good to know they work for you. I hear you on not giving up the dairy…that’s a hard one! Always good to hear from you<3

      Melanie

  3. I try to get my good bacteria through the foods you mentioned, but supplementing with a probiotic is something I have done in the past before I educated myself about the more natural ways to feed my gut biome. This is terrific information to share. Thank you!

  4. Great timing, I’ve taken probiotics in the past, stopped after my hysterectomy a few years back but have recently been looking pitot it again… Great blog, thanks for sharing!

    • Hope you find one that works for you. Check out the clinical trials on them. Thanks so much for popping in Sherri!
      Xx Melanie

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