What You Need to Know about Probiotics
Posted by Derek Van Atta on 1st May 2018
What's the truth about probiotics?
Many of us have been raised to think that all bacteria are bad and make us sick. But, this just isn't true, for many strains of bacteria are actually what keep us healthy! Some bacteria are worth avoiding, but if it wasn't for the beneficial bacteria in our gut we wouldn't live more than a few days! Bacteria literally keep us alive and thriving!
First off, beneficial bacteria outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, which means 90% of your cells are bacteria and other beneficial micro-organisms! Second, 80% of your immune system lives in your gut and is constantly interacting with the bacteria there. This tying your immune system's health into a close relationship with your gut bacterias'. These quick facts makes it easy to tell how much leverage beneficial bacteria have on your health!
Taking a probiotic boosts your gut's health by supporting microflora and therefore helping you thrive!
Why wouldn't my digestive tract already contain healthy levels of Probiotics?
Taking antibiotics from time to time can kill a large amount of beneficial bacteria that inhabit our gut. Other common practices such as avoiding dirt and "germs", bleaching our homes and bodies, drinking and soaking in chlorinated water, living with stress, poor dieting and the dozens of toxins that are in processed food and personal care products have a detrimental impact on the health of our microflora. When the your gut's ecosystem doesn't support the proliferation of beneficial bacteria, the good bacteria is replaced by more harmful strains which thrive in a stressed and imbalanced gut.
So, many digestive systems no longer contain a healthy level of beneficial bacteria and no longer support their proliferation!
Whats the difference between a Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Sporebiotic?
A probiotic is a strain of beneficial bacteria that helps support the human organism's health in a variety of ways. Probiotics refer to beneficial bacteria that are already present in the body, or supplemented into a person's diet to support and expand the population and proliferation of good bacteria.
A prebiotic is something that probiotics eat. An example of this is Organic Jerusalem Artichoke Inulin. Many strains of beneficial bacteria enjoy consuming Inulin, which in-turn help bacteria and their host (you) thrive. On the opposite end of the spectrum, many harmful strains of bacteria eat sugars! Sugar acts as a harmful prebiotic.
A sporebiotic is a bacteria that reproduces by making a shelled larva in the form of a spore. This bacteria seed then hatches, and the bacteria proliferate. Beneficial strains of sporebiotics support human health, and their spores greatly increase the survival rate of these bacteria as they pass through your stomach acid. Sporebiotics have a much higher chance of reaching your lower digestive tract than other non-spore forming bacteria.
Why is the Bacillus family of beneficial bacteria gaining popularity?
Great question. The Bacillus family of bacteria includes some of the most highly beneficial bacteria in the human GI tract. Why? These bacteria are unique amongst the good bacteria for they are Soil Based Organisms (SBO) that survive heat, stomach acids and arrive alive in your Lower GI Tract. This is where the Bacillus family is most needed. Due to the fact that Bacillus bacteria enter your body in their larva stage, encased in a spore, they have the protection they need to survive your stomach acid. This spore hatches in the lower GI tract and the Bacillus strains proliferate and begin their work. They digest sugars, fibers, and starches to create essential nutrients. One of these nutrients are short-chain fatty acids that improve your gene expression, hormone balance, mood, ability to respond to stress, susceptibility to allergies, strengthens your overall immune system function and provides many more potent benefits to your overall health and well-being.
And what exactly is the Bacillus family?
Bacillus strains are unique soil based organisms because they are some of the only healthy bacteria that are sporebiotic. Bacillus strains of sporebiotics tend to be larger cells, and are much more robust than most strains of bacteria! They have the highest rate of survival during transportation and they tend to have the highest rate of aliveness after passing through the highly acidic environment of your upper Gastro Intestinal tract. They can more easily populate your lower GI tract so that you have a thriving community of beneficial bacteria.
What are Sporebiotics?
They are a rare and special type of beneficial bacteria that are actually able to form a spore, or seed if you will, inside themselves instead of simply doing the typical cell division normal to other strains of bacteria. Sporebiotics exist in the realm of probiotics, and are expressed as Spore Forming Units (SFU). They are considered a more advanced life form than most other good bacteria because of this powerful and highly intelligent survival mechanism.
Why haven't I heard much about Sporebiotics?
Up until recently their significance hasn't been fully grasped and we as people are slow to change. But these last ten years have provided us with a large body of research, showing us what an essential role Sporebiotics have in the microflora of humans. As studies continue we see the great durability of these strains for surviving through transport, storage, and the ease with which they withstand your stomach acid. As sporebiotics become more known to the general population interested in health, they are especially gaining popularity among experts, specialists and doctors who work with the intricacies of the human microbiome. In recent years sporebiotics have been much more costly to grow and harvest and therefore they haven't been incorporated into common probiotic supplements. As research becomes more extensive, sporebiotic benefits recognized, so too does the price become more manageable. Yet, due to this relative rarity and higher cost, most probiotics still don't include Spore-biotic strains, or they're only included in tiny amounts.
Wait, Spores sounds like fungus. Are sporebiotics fungus?
No, sporebioitics are not fungus. It's a common mis-conception. And while it's true that fungus are famous for reproducing via spores, some highly evolved good bacteria also reproduce this way (sporebiotics).
But remember, spore is just a scientific term for seed. Think of these spores in the case of bacteria as "bacteria seeds". Also it's helpful to recall the basic biology facts that indeed most strains of beneficial bacteria are not Spore Forming Bacteria, the bacteria that do form spores are actually some of the most advanced and intelligent forms of healthy bacteria on the planet and are especially good for your gut.
What about yeast infections?
Again, Sporebiotics are unique Spore Forming Bacteria and although the word "spore" sounds like it might be fungus, the truth is that these are potent beneficial bacteria strains that are extremely helpful in eliminating harmful yeasts and any kind of unhealthy fungus overgrowth. And Sporebiotics, aka Spore Forming Units, (SFU) are actually some of the most highly prescribed and science-proven strains for getting rid of yeast infections in the vagina and in the whole GI Tract. And sporebiotic strains are typically the best for all stages of the process, from the beginning to the end, of rebuilding all aspects of your overall microbiome to better prevent you from getting yeast infections!
Why can’t I just eat yogurt?
Only if you make your own yogurt at home that is noticeably "bubbly" and effervescent will your yogurt have a high enough presence of beneficial bacteria to make it qualify as an actually effective source of probiotics. Have you ever wondered why no yogurt brands actually tell you how much bacteria you're getting per serving? Ever wondered why there's never a CFU number on the container? It's because the numbers are so terribly low that it would be a big embarrassment to the companies to do so. Especially since a large number of the cheap yogurts have zero so that they will have a much longer shelf life, and therefore make much more money for the manufacturers and the stores. Further, many of the bacteria present in yogurt have a very low survival rate when reaching the large intestine and colon. So even if the bacteria have survived long enough to enter your body, there's a good chance that they won't reach your lower GI where they are greatly needed.
Why don't many Probiotics survive my stomach acid?
The acidity of your stomach's digestive juices is so high that it kills most bacteria on their way into your small intestine. Sporebiotics are encased in a shell that greatly increases their chances of surviving your digestion all the way to your lower G.I.
Why are Sporebiotics usually so pricey?
Sporebiotic Spore Forming Bacteria are more expensive to grow and require a higher quality and more expensive growth-medium. And Sporebiotics such as the excellent Bacillus strains are typically larger bacterial cells, and "take up more space" in a pill than the more typical bacteria you find on the market and therefore many supplement companies avoid them. And up until recently, very few people were able to grow them in sufficient quantities to offer them in significant concentrations of SFUs. So if they're included in a probiotic at all, they're often put in in minuscule amounts simply for marketing reasons.
Why are Sarvaa Vibrant Biome Probiotics so affordable?
First, here's some background. For many years the most prescribed Spore-biotic probiotic by doctors has been Mega Spore-biotic. They were the leading edge for years, but you had to take two capsules to get only four billion CFU's. And a 30 day supply retails for $69 dollars. Incredibly expensive considering the very low potency and only a 30 day supply. However, Sarvaa Probiotics give you over 52 billion SFU (and 96 billion total CFU) per servings, and a 70 day supply for the same price! You can do the math. Sarvaa Vibrant Biome Probiotics-96 are 13 times more potent and give you 70 day supply instead of 30 days! So, don't let the price turn you away. Based on the CFU levels and the number of serving sizes, you are getting a far superior product at a bulk discount with Sarvaa Vibrant Biome Probiotics.
Are probiotics compatible with fermented foods?
Yes. However, for the first two weeks one should be wise in the quantities of both that you're consuming. For instance, if you're in the mood to eat a large amount of your favorite fermented foods at breakfast, then it might be wise to use high potency probiotics later in the day so as to avoid loose bowel movements, etc.
Do you refrigerate probiotics?
No and yes! As mentioned above, the strains of beneficial bacteria in the bacillus family are shelf stable. However, if you prefer to keep them in your fridge, it won't harm them in any way. The only thing that could slightly degrade their quality is if you left them on a hot window sill getting baked by direct sunlight for several days.
Some probiotics require refrigeration, but Sarvaa Vibrant Biome Probiotics are shelf stable, and DO NOT require refrigeration.
What if I want to do a "Therapeutic Dose" vs a maintenance dose of Probiotics?
Great question. That's the beauty of getting to buy such high-grade Sporebiotic Probiotics in bulk instead of in pill form. You can easily decide to change your level of daily intake of probiotics based on what else in going on in your diet and your life. For instance, let's say you've been under extra stress..... Or for example you were traveling and were not able to eat as well as you might have liked. And if you had to take antibiotics you would probably want to increase your dosage by quite a bit for at least a few weeks to be certain that you've properly re-populated your intestinal flora in the best possible way.
Should I stop taking probiotics when taking an antibiotic?
First off, you should always consult your doctor about this topic. However, many leading-edge doctors and other practitioners are actually prescribing Sporebiotic types of probiotics to their patients. Why? Because all the good data points out that these Spore-biotic strains will continue to help you recover from whatever illness or foreign invader is in your body. And by taking Sporebiotic probiotics simultaneously with your antibiotc, you won't have to work nearly as hard to rebuild a health and thriving microbiome after you're done taking the course of antibiotics.
But wait, won't the Antibiotics and the Probiotics clash?
Depends on the strains in your probiotics. If they're Sporebiotic Probiotics, then you're in good shape, as the sporebiotics still in seed form survive the affects of the anti-biotic to proliferate later. If the probiotics are not sporebiotic, you're not likely to do any harm to your body, but you would be wasting your money.
What about SIBO and Probiotics?
Always consult your doctor if you have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, aka SIBO. This can be a very complex issue to understand, so it's always wise to do your homework. Many SIBO Specialists suggest waiting to re-introduce any probiotics or fermented foods until after you've cleared up the over growth of bacteria, especially clearing out any overgrowth in your upper GI Tract. However, once you're ready to rebuild your microbiome with the best possible beneficial bacteria, then Sporebiotic strains are often considered the safest route to pursue due to their innate quality of being in "bacteria seed" form and unlikely to contribute to any unwanted excess bacterial overgrowth in you upper Gi Tract and to grow from seed to full blown beneficial bacterial in your lower intestines where you really need them to flourish.
C'mon, do probiotics really help my mood?
Strangely enough, yes! Actually, a resounding yes! Because 80-90% of Serotonin is produced in your gut, that fact alone is proof that taking good care of your microbiome will help your attitude and outlook and overall resilience in the face of challenges. Also the fact that the good bacteria in your lower GI Tract are the little powerhouses that do the hard work of breaking down all the resistant starches and fermentable fiber that your stomach and small intestine are not designed to do. Why do you want them to do this work? Because this process is what you need every minute to create all the short chain fatty acids you need minute by minute, day by day to be happy and healthy! If your system is struggling to create and absorb the much needed nutrients like short-chain fatty acids, then you're vitality and mood will be stressed as well! So, long story short, a happy gut makes a happy you!
Do I take probiotics with food, or on an empty stomach?
Probiotics need food to live, and taking them with food can provide them with supporting 'prebiotic' nutrients. However, not all probiotics will survive the stomach acid and other digestive juices that are released during the digestion of food. Therefore it can be helpful to make sure you're taking sporebiotics to guarantee the probiotics are reaching your lower digestive tract.
Should I ask my doctor before taking probiotics?
Absolutely. Always ask your doctor before taking any supplements. But, honor yourself by doing your own research also and make sure that your doctor is up to date on the latest research regarding sporebiotics probiotics, and the exponentially growing data about Beneficial Bacteria. It is always good to get a second or even a third opinion. And there is no substitute for your own knowledge.
How do I choose my probiotics?
If you decide you want some of the terrific benefits of better health and vitality, you may want to learn more about the Four Free Things you can do to dramatically improve the health and functionality of your GI Tract. And if you also decide that it's time for you to upgrade the powerful community of beneficial bacteria in you body with super high grade probiotics, then please remember to follow some basic guidelines to be sure you're getting probiotics that are guaranteed to actually work for you.
Criteria of the best probiotics:
- Contain at least 10 different research-proven probiotic strains.
- Deliver 50 billion Colony Forming Units (CFU) per serving or more.
- Are priced less than $1 per serving of 50 billion live bacteria, or $2 per 100 billion CFU.
- Contain at least 4 four strains of Sporebiotics, ie Bacillus Subtilis, Bacillus Coagulans, etc.
- Are shelf stable, and temperature resistant.
- Include a Pre-biotic "food" to ensure the effectiveness of the beneficial bacteria.
- Are free of allergens such as dairy, soy, wheat or corn starch.
How do I get started?
There are hundreds of probiotics options out there now. Click here for more information on what we think are some of the best probiotics at the best prices.
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