Probiotics – they are everywhere! In fact, they are so well known that I would hardly call them "special” to the natural health world. You can find them at just about any grocery store, and there are always a million and one brands to choose from. Ok, not literally, but you get what I mean! So just what are probiotics, why are they so important for our health, and how do we know which brands to buy?? That is what we are going to dive into today!
Probiotic is just a fancy word that refers to the “good” bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. Our bodies are made up of trillions of bacteria. There are actually ten times more bacterial cells in the body than human cells. That's about 100 trillion bacterial cells! Bacteria can be found all throughout the body, such as in the nose, mouth, and other mucous membranes, but it is most predominantly found residing in the gut. Approximately 80% of the body’s entire immune system also resides in the gut, so you can see why it is so crucial to have healthy bacteria plentiful and flourishing there! (1)
Studies show that the human body has more than 500-1000 diverse probiotic strains. We are a walking ecosystem! Some of the most popular and well-known strains are Bifidobacteria, which reside mostly in the colon, and Lactobacilli, which are exist more in the small intestine as well as the urogenital tract. Each person’s bacteria tract begins to develop while a person is still in the womb and needs to be constantly fed and kept healthy throughout life. There are many ways to replenish your probiotic bacteria stores. Some of those include eating fermented vegetables, Kefir, yogurt, Kombucha, and other fermented foods. While those are all good and should be done, sadly it may just not be enough to maintain adequate stores of varied bacteria strains. (2) (3)
Today soils are depleted of vital minerals and nutrients that once enriched food so much. People do not typically spend time in nature, getting their hands in the dirt and their bare feet on the ground, and consequently, find it challenging to keep a diverse environment of bacteria in the body. Another problem is that today we live in such a “sterile” environment with antibacterial soaps, creams, sanitizers and the like, everywhere you look. These antibacterial products not only kill the bad bacteria; they kill the good bacteria as well! Exposure to these ultimately weakens the immune system.
So, back to the original question – how do you know which probiotic to choose? Radiant Life offers several different options to meet your varied needs. Prescript-Assist, as well as Bio-Kult, contain the crucial “soil based organisms.” What are soil-based organisms, and why are they important, you ask? Soil-based organisms are seen as the most beneficial, even more so than lactic acid probiotics, for many reasons. The primary reason is that they are not endemic to humans, and because of that, they are resistant to lactic acid, many antibiotics, and as well as temperature changes. If you have noticed, most probiotics must be refrigerated, however, the probiotics at Radiant Life do not require it. Just by nature alone, the fact that a probiotic can survive without refrigeration should indicate its natural goodness over something that must be refrigerated, but then put into a body that is even warmer than the average room temperature!
There are so many benefits of incorporating probiotics into your daily routine, that I cannot do them justice here! But one of my personal favorite attribute about probiotics is the healing power they have on the gastrointestinal system. If any person has ever experienced “Leaky Gut” or just general GI inflammation, probiotics with soil-based organisms can aid in repairing and soothing the G.I. lining. Soil-based microbes are so powerful, that they are even used in the waste management industry for suppressing pathogenic microbes and breaking down harmful substances. They work as the foundation for clearing the gut of harmful microbes, which then paves the way for other lactic acid-based probiotics from fermented foods to come and repopulate the healthy gut. (4)
To conclude, I must reiterate the importance of a diverse bacteria culture and the environment in your body. It is so important to select a probiotic with many strains of bacteria to foster this environment. I personally use both Bio-Kult (which has 14 strains) and Prescript-Assist (which has a whopping 29 stains of prebiotic and probiotic cultures) and rotate them daily to ensure that my gut and body are constantly getting many different strains of probiotic bacteria. As I said, there are many different options of probiotic brands and types here at Radiant Life, so check them out to get a broad overview of all that we have to offer!