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Probiotics - What You May Not Know

Updated: May 9

When people find out that I'm a Digestive Health Specialist, the first topic tends to be probiotics.

"I take my probiotics regularly."


"I just finished recently and need to get more probiotics."

That's all you need to maintain your digestive health, right? Just take probiotic supplements.

No, it's not that simple at all.

In fact, some studies show that taking certain probiotic supplements is pointless, as the strains they contain do not take up residence in our gut.


That's right, you need the correct types of bacteria to colonize (stay healthy and flourish).

You also need to eat healthy to feed the good bacteria or they will not survive.

Let's discuss when to use probiotic supplements and when to save your hard earned money!

Consume More Probiotic Foods

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha

  • Miso

  • Sauerkraut

  • Yogurt

  • Green Peas

  • Apples

  • Kefir

  • Tempeh

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Aim to consume one of these per day to keep a favourable gut microbiome.

There are also prebiotic foods.

Prebiotic foods are very important for maintaining a healthy gut flora.

Prebiotic foods are what the good bacteria in our gut feeds on to stay healthy.

Without prebiotic foods, an unfavourable gut flora will result along with many uncomfortable symptoms.

Probiotics and prebiotics work together.

Prebiotic Foods

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Bananas

  • Apples

  • Asparagus

  • Whole Oats

  • Jerusalem Artichoke

  • Cabbage

  • Mushrooms

  • Chicory Root

  • Flaxseed

  • Dandelion Greens

Now, what about NSAIDs, antibiotics, and stress?

NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

  • Advil

  • Aleve

  • Naproxen

  • Ibuprofen

  • Acetylsalicylic Acid

  • Celecoxib

  • Diclofenac

  • Flurbiprofen

  • Ketoprofen

  • Ketorolac

  • Meloxicam

  • Piroxicam

  • Sulindac

  • Many more!

These drugs disrupt the gut microbiome by increasing intestinal permeability, which can lead to leaky gut.

Use these very sparingly!

Or, like me, opt for a topical pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory diet to keep inflammation very low.

If you do use regularly, it is in your best interest to reduce use, and also consume probiotic and prebiotic foods to help keep your gut happy and balanced.

What about antibiotics?

Antibiotics disrupt the gut microbiome by killing the amount and diversity of the bacteria.

Studies show that antibiotic use can set your gut back a minimum of a few months and in some cases it can take an entire year to repair it.

It depends on the person, how healthy they eat, and the state of their gut microbiome.

So, please use antibiotics with respect and care.

In fact, you might be getting ill because your gut microbiome is off in the first place.

A healthy gut microbiome = healthy immune function

After a round of antibiotics, take probiotic supplement for a few months and eat a healthy diet to help repopulate your gut health.

Stress is the last concern mentioned here, but not it's definitely not the last factor when it comes to probiotic use.

Stress creates inflammation, impacts our hormone production and this affects our gut microbiome.

Be sure to find healthy ways to reduce stress

  • Mindfulness

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Outdoor Walks

  • Reduce Commitments

  • Find Joyful Activities

  • Friends and Community

Studies show that it's important to take a probiotic supplement, eat probiotic and prebiotic foods after long periods of stress to get your gut health back on track.

Need some help with this? Let's have a quick, one-hour consultation where I will outline the best ways to boost your unique gut microbiome.


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