Recently I have had a few questions regarding the best probiotic to use?  Thought it would be beneficial to give you a little review on types of probiotics and the benefits to our health 

Probiotics help benefit our health by:

  • Keeping a healthy balance of microorganisms in our gut 
  • help microorganisms return to a healthy balance after being disturbed 
  • When we have a healthy balance our immune system is strong 

There are several types of probiotics and I will mention the main ones here. 

Bifidobacterium. this particular one has several strains including B. animalis; B.breve; B. lactis, B. longum.  The B animalis aides in digestion and food borne bacteria. B. breve lives in both the digestive tract and vagina. fights both bacteria and yeast.  So is beneficial for women prone to vaginal yeast infections. B lactis is what is found in raw milk and B longum lives in GI tract breaking down carbohydrates and is used as an antioxidant. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi contain Bifidobacterium. 

Lactobacillus comes in many forms including acidophilus, reuteri and gasseri to name a few.   The acidophilus form is in the small intestine and vagina.  It aides in digestion and fights off bacteria in the vagina.  It is found in soy products and Miso.  The reuteri form is found in the mouth and intestine and may aide in the prevention of tooth decay.  Foods that enhance lactobacillus include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and sourdough bread. 

Akkermansia.  This is a beneficial bacteria that is found in the mucus layer of the intestine. When present it breaks down a protein called mucin. It helps to improve metabolic and immune health. This is a newer form of probiotic that recently I have been recommending. Foods that enhance the growth of Akkermansia include apples, berries, oats, nuts, flaxseed and asparagus.  

When incorporating probiotics for your health there are a few tips to keep in mind

  • Getting foods rich in probiotics is always a first recommendation 
  • If taking a probiotic good to alternate types to get a variety of strains of beneficial bacteria to maintain good gut health..
  • For probiotics as supplements switching types every 2-3 months. Just as our body wants to see a variety of foods for our health, it is important to get a variety of beneficial bacteria as well.

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