Column: I’m Pro Probiotics


By Julia Chiappetta

Probiotics help restore the healthy, friendly bacteria in our digestive system. I touched upon this last year in my column about gut health and this topic seems to surface with every discussion about wellness and health. Along with proper diet, the gatekeepers for gut health are probiotics, which provide live microorganisms or “good” bacteria to restore balance to our guts. If there is an in imbalance due to poor diet, it may cause a host of issues such as: allergies, digestive issues and the inability to concentrate.

Here are some interesting abstracts I found on PubMed.gov:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25879690

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27413138

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22611376

They discuss that in human and animal studies probiotic supplements improved mental health and promoted heart health by lowering bad “LDL” cholesterol and lowered blood pressure. It cites “a review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1–2 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and memory. Another study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety and stress. Benefits were also seen in a study of 40 patients with depression. Taking probiotic supplements for 8 weeks decreased depression levels and reduced levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and hormones such as insulin, compared to people who did not take a probiotic”.

I was recently pondering the effects of the winter on my body and my regimen to ward off the symptoms. I often boost my intake of nutrients during the colder weather and my probiotic is on the top of my list to boots my immune systems and for overall health. I also try to incorporate some probiotic rich foods, such as:

Yogurt

Pickled vegetables

Tempeh

Miso

Kefir

Kimchi

Sauerkraut 

That said, here are some things that will kill Probiotics:

Prescription antibiotics,

Drinking tap water with chlorine and fluoride

High sugar and whole grain (gluten) intake

GMO Foods

Emotional stress

Exposure to pesticides and other environmental toxins 

If researching to purchase a probiotic supplement, I suggest you consult with a reliable source or medial practitioner and please read labels to be sure what you take is fee of additives. Recommended dosages for probiotic supplements can range from: 1 billion to 100 billion, live organisms or colony-forming units (CFU) per day, depending on your individual needs, which should always be discussed with a health professional.   

As always, please load up on some yummy, organic, green juices and wheat grass, to protect your body from the harsh winter days we’ve been experiencing.  Let them be your friend in the morning on an empty stomach, as you take in an abundance of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, superfoods and antioxidants. As I write this, the sky out my window is a soft blue, which reminds me of the blessings of nature.  The recent lunar eclipse was exciting, in-that we had a clear view – I had never seen the red moon live, out my window, making it quite an experience.  I am in awe of God’s handiwork in the natural beauty that envelopes us and thankful for the gifts of family, friends, colleagues and all of you.

Julia Chiappetta is the author of “Breast Cancer: The Notebook” (Gemini Media, 2006) and is also the owner of Julia Chiappetta Consulting. She lives in Cos Cob. More information and past columns can be found at JuliaChiappetta.com

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