Probiotics are living micro organisms which can have a positive health improvement effect when taken in adequate dosages. Everybody has more than billions of micro organisms living in their intestines and probiotics can have an effect on the composition of our intestinal flora, support digestion and promote the stool. People who suffer regularly from intestinal problems like obstipation, diarrhea or have Irritable bowl syndrome might benefit from daily intake of good quality probiotics. According to research, people who do not have intestinal problems don’t benefit from taking probiotics.
A good probiotic for example, is a supplement that contains at least a minimum of 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) for adults or a minimum of 5 billion CFU’s for children and contain at least the Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. If you want to test probiotics, always go for ‘multi species’ supplements in capsule form. The probiotics in capsule form survive the gastric acid in comparison with for instance food products that also contain natural probiotics such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kombucha. This is not to say that these food products don’t offer additional health benefits. Quite the contrary.
Top-tip to keep your intestines healthy, mindful eating. Fat people chew their food on average 15 times before swallowing. Lean people chew their foods on average 45 times. The basic principle is that you should liquefy the food before swallowing. You know the drill. Drink enough water (varies per person) and avoid stress like the plaque.
Looking at my own experience, I have supplemented with probiotics for at least 2 months in combination with a wholesome good quality diet to see if there was a noticeable difference in my mood, stool or cognitive function. I concluded that I did not feel any shaper or had an improved stool. But then again, my N=1 is not really a good sample size is it?
However, there was one instance were I definitely benefitted from probiotics. And this was after taking some serious antibiotics. I went to Vietnam and got a nasty infection and had to take antibiotics. My stool was ‘out of the window’, I felt crap for too long and my brain felt foggy. I did some research and apparently antibiotics attack your intestinal flora as well. I supplemented with probiotics for around 7 weeks and felt that my recovery went faster.
Hope you enjoyed reading my weekly blog.
Cheers Ruud - Co-Owner Pulve
Sources (some in Dutch)
- Dr. J. Ezendam* , Prof.dr. H. van Loveren. Informatorium voor Voeding en Diëtetiek aanvulling Voedingsleer IIk (augustus 2007)
- Huang R, Wang K, Hu J. Effect of Probiotics on Depression: A Systematic Review
- and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2016 Aug 6;8(8).