Probiotics ARE Beneficial: A Response To The Recent Probiotic Studies

Probiotics are all the buzz these days as gut health is rapidly becoming one of the most widely discussed topics when it comes to optimal health. Nearly the entire immune system is located in the gut making gut health foundational in achieving optimal health. It seems as though probiotics are popping up everywhere from beverages to cereals as this topic gains popularity and more people look towards improving the health of their gut.

However, two recent studies published in Cell have people questioning the effectiveness of probiotics. In one study, researchers studied the changes in the microbiome of a group of people over the course of one month that were given an 11-strain probiotic combination or a placebo. In the second study, researchers, studied the effects of the same 11-strain probiotic after antibiotic use. 

According to researchers, the results indicated that probiotics were not very effective in recolonizing the gut microbiome and that perhaps a more tailored probiotic would be more effective rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

The idea of tailored probiotics is not only fascinating and exciting but could also be a breakthrough in science and medicine as we are beginning to understand the uniqueness and diversity among various microbiomes. Having a more specialized probiotic that is unique to one’s biochemical individuality would be a tremendous advancement in medicine.

However, with that being said, there are a few flaws within the recent research and these studies do not accurately reflect the true value of probiotics.

For one, the study sample size is too small to make any type of meaningful conclusions. The study samples were based off 15 and 21 volunteers and were monitored for one month or less, not nearly enough people or time to conclude the effectiveness of probiotics.

  BIOHM  is my favorite probiotic supplement because not only do they contain bacteria and fungi, but also an enzyme to help break down biofilms, or digestive plaque, that may be inhibiting optimal gut health. Use code Carley20 for a special discount when you order!

BIOHM is my favorite probiotic supplement because not only do they contain bacteria and fungi, but also an enzyme to help break down biofilms, or digestive plaque, that may be inhibiting optimal gut health. Use code Carley20 for a special discount when you order!

In addition, researchers used a combination of 11-strains of bacteria, not a formulated probiotic, which can affect the results. In fact, Gregor Reid, a microbiologist at the University of Western Ontario who did not participate in the studies, commented that, “The product they tested is not a probiotic. Unless it has been proven in human studies to confer a health benefit, it is simply a list of bacterial species that likely sound as if they could be probiotic,” He also noted that, “following the subjects over time would have made this small study more insightful.”

Gut health is a complex system and new research has allowed us to gain a better perspective of the ways in which the gut functions. In fact, the health of the gut is not just based on bacteria (probiotics), but the healthy balance and combination of bacteria and fungi. Research also identifies that an overgrowth of bad bacteria and fungi can team up and create a biofilm, or protective barrier, that inhibits the proliferation of beneficial bacteria. Essentially, probiotic supplementation is useless and may have very little effect if biofilms are present. Furthermore, it is equally as important to ensure the probiotic is sustainably sourced from a reputable origin and has been studied for human health benefits.

While more research must be conducted in order to fully understand the complexity of the gut, the studies supporting the health benefits of probiotics far outweighs the negative. While nearly all gut health research has helped shed insight into the inner-workings of the microbiome, these two recent probiotic studies fail to take into consideration many critical components of gut health and probiotics in particular. I continue to believe probiotics are an essential component in achieving optimal gut health.

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Attend A Wellness Retreat

3 Reasons Why You Should Attend A Wellness Retreat

Retreats seem to be popping up everywhere and becoming increasingly more common. Wellness retreats are quickly replacing the standard vacation as more people look to take charge of their own health. After leading a recent wellness retreat of my own and seeing the positive impacts on health that these getaways have, I was encouraged to write a post in hopes of inspiring others to attend more retreats. Here are my top reasons for why you should attend a wellness retreat:

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4 Ways To Love Your Guts: Stress

4 Ways To Love Your Guts: Stress

In my final post about 4 Ways to Love Your Guts, we are talking stress. You may wonder; what does stress have to do with the gut? Well the answer is absolutely everything. Stress affects virtually all aspects of your health and can especially weaken the immune system and damage the gut. Stress lowers our digestive enzymes which help break down our foods. If undigested foods seep into the gut, it can cause many health problems like autoimmune conditions, leaky gut, allergies, inflammation, and much more. Likewise, if roughly 80 percent of the immune system is located in the gut, and stress weakens the immune system, gut health and stress are directly correlated.

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4 Ways to Love Your Guts: Ferments & Cultured Dairy

4 Ways to Love Your Guts: Ferments & Cultured Dairy

When you think about healing the gut, there are really two main areas of focus: healing and sealing the gut lining and repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria. One of the best ways to heal and seal the gut lining is with bone broth, which we discussed the last couple of weeks in my post about how to make broth as well as my post on various soups to make with broth. In order to repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria, you want to think about probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria that line your gut and support your body’s ability to fight infections and absorb nutrients.

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4 Ways To Love Your Guts: Bone Broth

4 Ways To Love Your Guts: Bone Broth

I truly believe bone broth is the most nourishing and healing resource for your body. Bone broth is rich in gut healing nutrients like L-glutamine and collagen, which is important since nearly 80% of the immune system is located in the gut. I have written a blog post about the 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Bone Broth for more details on the many health benefits.

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Fat is Your Friend

Fat is Your Friend

One of my main goals in life is to change the way we think about fat. It is such a common misconception that fat is bad and due to this conflicting information; we’ve cut out all sources of healthy fats in our diet. This has unfortunately led to an increase in health issues since our bodies now not only have an impaired ability to digest fats but also has led to a deficiency in fat soluble vitamins. Yes, you need fat in order to digest fat and you also need fat in order to absorb nutrients.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Bone Broth…NOW!

3 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Bone Broth…NOW!

The bone broth craze: It’s trending in all the restaurants, hitting grocery store shelves, and abundantly appearing in various news articles. It seems so innovative yet it’s something that has been around for many years, now suddenly resurfacing as the new super food. However, unlike other health food crazes, this one you can trust. In fact, bone broth is here to stay (did it ever really leave?) and should be implemented in everyone’s daily routine starting…now! Here’s 3 reasons why:

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Why You Should Be Eating Cholesterol

Why You Should Be Eating Cholesterol

Get ready for your mind to be blown.

I am going to tell you that cholesterol is actually GOOD for you, contrary to what you might believe. I know, you still don’t believe me, right? It’s ok, it was hard to me to understand at first, too. However, the more I researched, the more I learned, and the more I began implementing these dietary changes in my life, the better I felt. After all, it wasn’t until I truly started changing my diet that my Lyme disease symptoms started to improve. Although healing is a practice and I still have a ways to go, I am nowhere near as sick as I used to be and I attribute so much of this to the changes I’ve made in my life, specifically dietary changes.

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3 Simple Ways to Start Implementing the GAPS Diet Now: Part 3

3 Simple Ways to Start Implementing the GAPS Diet Now: Part 3

Welcome back to my series on Ways to Start Implementing the GAPS Diet now. In case you missed it, so far we’ve discussed Bone Broth and Ferments to incorporate into your daily routine to begin repairing the gut and healing the body.  My third recommendation on ways to start implementing the GAPS Diet would be making your own yogurt or kefir.

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3 Simple Ways to Start Implementing The GAPS Diet Now: Part 2

3 Simple Ways to Start Implementing The GAPS Diet Now: Part 2

For those that may have missed it, we’ve been discussing ways to incorporate parts of the GAPS Diet into your daily routine to begin repairing the gut and healing the body. Recall, last week we discussed my first recommendation, which is Bone Broth. You can check out the recent post here as well as read a little background on the GAPS Diet.

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3 Simple Ways to Start Implementing the GAPS Diet Now: Part 1

3 Simple Ways to Start Implementing the GAPS Diet Now: Part 1

I hear from a lot of people that they’re interested in implementing a healing diet such as the GAPS Diet but the stages are absolutely daunting and they simply do not have time to worry about the eliminations. Well there’s good news: you can start implementing parts of the diet now! Although you may not receive the full healing benefits of the stages of the GAPS Diet, incorporating these three important components of the diet are a great way to start. Over the next 3 weeks, I will be discussing 3 simple ways to start introducing some of the most healing benefits of the GAPS Diet. 

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Healing is a Practice

Healing is a Practice

If you’ve ever struggled with anything in life, from illnesses to stress, I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Just give it time, it’s a process.” While that is true, I have also come to the conclusion it is more fitting for healing to be a practice rather than a process.

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My Battle With Lyme Disease

My Battle With Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a complicated illness that varies differently in each individual. Typically, Lyme disease is transferred to humans through tick bites. The most common symptoms of Lyme are flu-like symptoms, fatigue, fever, muscle aches and pains, etc. Since every case is so vastly different from the next, Lyme disease is commonly misdiagnosed and improperly treated, leaving the disease to manifest in the body longer, causing even more damage. You will commonly hear stories of people falling ill 1-2 years prior to actually discovering the real issue of Lyme disease, as was the case for me.

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