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It is time to start taking a pro-biotic

75 Billion CFU

Let’s be honest, if you took everything that someone told you that you need, you would be overwhelmed.  Supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs, pro-biotics, essential oils and the random witches brew that is the new fountain of youth.  All of this adds up and can be expensive and sometimes harmful.  So, “What should I be taking?”  I have been answering this question the same way for over 12 years now and I don’t see a reason yet to change my answer.  I personally take 5 items.  The picture below shows 6 items.  The Zinc on the end is in the Active Life Nutrient Multi-Vitamin.

My essentials

I am writing this article because I have witnessed patients and family members respond to Pro-Biotics within a couple weeks.  If you have not decided to take a pro-biotic yet, let me help you make a decision.

Why pro-biotics?

The first time I decided to take a pro-biotic was when I asked a pharmacy student to compare the flu shot with a pro-biotic on preventing the flu.  The results were the same.  Both prevented the flu equally.  I thought to myself, great! no more flu shots for me.  By the way, to this day I have not had another flu shot (more on this in a future post).  The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important systems for our immune system.  Most infections come by way of the gastrointestinal system.  Oh, I need to be clear, the GI system starts in the mouth.  So, seeing your dentist is very important.  A healthy GI tract is key in preventing sick days.

Reason 1 – Prevention of flu and other bacterial, fungal, and viral infections

What can a weakened immune system create?  A weakened immune system prevents, not only the clearing of infections, but also the elimination of irregular growing cells.  Irregular growing cells are what can become cancer cells.

Reason 2 – Promoting healthy immune system for cancer prevention

Stomach issues are one of the most common problems that I hear complaints about.  From reflux, GERD, Gas to constipation and diarrhea we all struggle at times with a normal GI tract.  Most of these issues involve inflammation in some part of the GI tract.  Patients that have a diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease have seen remarkable results when taking a pro-biotic.  Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel are all examples of inflammatory conditions in the GI tract.

Reason 3 – Resolving symptoms of Inflammation in the GI tract

“Leaky Gut” This new condition is now being recognized by physicians.  Let me explain a bit about leaky gut.  The inflammation that I discussed above allows for larger molecules to be absorbed and enter the blood stream.  These larger molecules cause the immune system to respond and attack.  This creates more work for an already weak immune system.  The condition known as food sensitivities is caused by leaky gut.  Many of us are lactose intolerant.  Cows milk is God’s designed milk for a cow.  Some of the proteins that are in cows milk are not designed for our body to tolerate.  Therefore you might get bloated, gassy, have a loose stool and other issues.  Did you know that acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema have been linked to sensitivity to lactose?  If you have been to our pharmacy and have picked up a medication for an inflammatory skin issue like these our advise is always to eliminate dairy products for a month and see if your skin condition improves.  Most of the time there is a notable improvement.  This is just one example of what leaky gut is responsible for.  I could go on but I will save it for another post.

Reason 4 – Reduce “Leaky Gut”

Which one should I choose?

This question is why you come to Regel Pharmalab.  At last count we have 8 different choices for a pro-biotic.  We can help you select the one that will fit you best.  If you want the basics here is what to look for:

  1. Refrigerated – Make sure you choose a pro-biotic that is sold in the refrigerated section and keep it in the refrigerator.
  2. CFUs – These are the amount of bacteria in the capsule that have been tested to perform the task of forming colonies.   Your pro-biotic needs at least 10 Billion CFUs.
  3. The Strains of Bacteria – I recommend taking a pro-biotic with at least 5 different strains of bacteria.
  4. Bifidobacteria – This specific strain has been shown to be very effective and sometimes is left out of the capsule.

For more information on this subject I have written a couple other posts you can find them by clicking on the links:

The Core of health – Probiotics for Gut Health

5 Reasons why I take probiotics.

Let me know how I can help you resolve your health problems.  I look forward to solving your medication problems.

Comment below if Pro-biotics are working for you.

The Core of health – Probiotics for Gut Health

75 Billion CFU

75 Billion CFU

I have been taking Probiotics for several years and I discussed why a while back when I wrote “5 reasons why I take probiotics”.  I thought I would revisit this important nutrient that everyone needs now that it is time for school to start back.

Probiotics are beneficial, friendly bacteria that reside in our intestinal tract. There are approximately 500 different strains of these bacteria. In fact, there are several times more bacteria in our intestinal tract than there are cells in our entire body. In all, there are three to four pounds of bacteria growing in our intestinal tract daily. Probiotic bacteria, the “for life bacteria”, are essential for healthy living and are the core of our total wellness.

Lactobacillus bacteria are the primary bacterial strain living in our small intestine, while the Bifidobacterium are the main bacteria in residence in our large intestine. Whatever the appropriate strain, gut bacteria and probiotics perform many important functions inside our bodies besides digestive health. Probiotics and bacteria are an essential part of our immune system and work to increase the production of immune cells in the intestinal tract. It has been stated that 70% of our immune system and immune function lies within the gut. The gut flora also serves another function by helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Probiotics have been shown to assist in helping to lower cholesterol. We would expect that the major role of gut flora would be to assist in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients such as calcium and other minerals. But researchers are also finding a role for bacterial flora in depression, autism, certain cognitive diseases, and even weight loss.

A healthy bacterial flora is essential for good health. However, there are several ways that the population of these friendly, essential bacteria can be diminished. Taking an antibiotic will eliminate good, friendly bacteria as well as bacteria causing an infection. Episodes of diarrhea, extended periods of stress, and drinking chlorinated water will also have an adverse effect on intestinal flora.

Probiotics have been shown to be helpful for a wide range of health issues including:

  • Using probiotics while on antibiotics to reduce diarrhea and prevent yeast infections
  • Relieving diarrhea with probiotics by re-establishing normal gut flora
  • Using probiotics to improve digestion and minimize acid reflux
  • Using probiotics to manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Enhancing recovery of compromised immune systems with probiotics

With all of the many probiotic formulas, how does one choose? We normally look at the strength of the probiotic, listed as Colony Forming Units (CFUs) and the number of bacterial species used in the product. Probiotic-5 with 10 billion CFUs is a good daily supplement for anyone with an existing healthy gut flora or for children. Individuals with a compromised gut flora, or who are having issues that might be benefited by re-establishing gut flora should consider ProBio Gold with 20 billion CFUs,  or Super Pro Bio with 75 billion CFUs per capsule. And keep in mind that Fructooligosaccharide Powder or FOS Powder  when given with any probiotic will significantly enhance the growth and proliferation of beneficial gut bacteria.

If you don’t already take a probiotic give me a call to find out if that probiotic is right for you.  What probiotic do you take?  What results have you seen with probiotics?

5 Reasons why I take probiotics.

ProbioticsPreventive medicine is something that is often overlooked.  Physicians and Pharmacists are trained to treat people that are sick.  One of our main focus areas here at Regel PharmaLab is to provide ways either by information and or products to prevent illnesses.  Using Probiotics is, in my estimation, at the top of my list for everyone to consider when the subject of preventative medicine comes up.  Selecting the right probiotic can be a challenge.  Below are the reasons why I take Probiotics every day.

1.  Immune support

I am all about finding ways to prevent illnesses especially with 3 children bringing in all kinds of bugs into our house.  Also being the owner of a small business I don’t have the luxury of  “sick days.”  So preventing an illness is a requirement.

According to the British Journal of Nutrition (click here to see abstract), taking probiotics can prevent colds and can enhance the protective effects of the flu vaccine.

2.  Improved nutrient absorption

Did you know that bacteria inside our gastrointestinal tract can help us absorb nutrients?

According to the Journal of Nutrition (click here to see abstract), taking probiotics can enhance the absorption of minerals.  For most of us absorbing minerals like Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, Chromium, etc is not that easy for our bodies to do.  

3.  Improved gastric Flow

Whether you have heart burn, reflux, constipation, chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel, crohns, or ulcerative colitis, probiotics have a place.  Honestly, this is one of my can’t miss opportunities to help patients.  I have seen impressive results when patients (infants to elderly) start using probiotics for their stomach issues.

4.  Healthy skin

For more details on how probiotics can help with skin check out a previous post “Acne, What does your Pharmacist recommend?” and “Managing Rosacea from the inside out“.

5. Increased metabolism. 

If you are like me I welcome any increase in metabolism.

The microflora (this is the bacteria in the stomach and intestines) converts 30% of the inactive thyroid hormone, thyroxine, to its active form, T3, to help boost your metabolism. If you’re feeling a little sluggish, constipated, and your hair is falling out (three signs of a sub-clinical thyroid disorder), perhaps you want to add a good probiotic to your thyroid optimizing protocol.

So now lets consider which probiotic to choose.  Generally, you can see results with a probiotic that:

1.  contains at least 10 billion Colony Forming Units or CFU’s

2.  Contains at least 5 different strains of bacteria

3.  Contains at least one of the Bifidobacterium.

If you would like us to fit you for a probiotic that matches your needs exactly click here to fill out our questionaire.

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