Our gut, or intestines, has a rich environment filled with hundreds of different species of ‘good bacteria.‘ Before we are born, our digestive tract is sterile, meaning it has no bacteria. When we are born, good bugs, called our ‘flora’ start to enter the gut and set up shop and begin to multiply and increase in diversity as we grow. They help us to break down the food we eat, and also aid the gut’s immune system to protect our body from ‘bad’ bacteria that enter our body’s through our digestive tracts.
Recent research into Irritable Bowel Syndrome has found that people who suffer from IBS have ‘disturbed’ or ‘different’ flora than those who don’t have Irritable Bowel syndrome. Therefore, probiotics for IBS supplements have been tried in IBS to help ‘regrow’ and repopulate the gut with ‘good’ bugs or flora.
Probiotics for are very effective for some people in treating their IBS symptoms, and I have personally had great results using them with patients. My first patient and also family member who I helped with IBS had almost a complete remission, or almost no symptoms after using the probiotics I prescribed and had relief from her symptoms for the first time in over 25 years! probiotics have also been used to help speed recovery after gut infections like stomach flu or food poisoning and have been proven to work well for this use as well.
A study published in the european journal of gastroenterology and hepatology found that lactobacillis plantarum greatly reduced all IBS symptoms, and even normalized stool or bowel movement frequency in patients with irritable bowel syndrome when compared with a placebo or sugar pill.
So What are Probiotics? They are ’good’ bacteria that have been put into a capsule so we can take the in pill form. You can also get probiotics from fresh yoghurt, kefir, buttermilk, Kombucha tea, and fermented vegetables such as Korean Kimchi, miso and Sauerkraut. It is always good to try to get your probiotics naturally from your diet as well as taking probiotic pills because food can also be medicine! So if you’ve never tried miso, or kimchi give it a try!
The 3 Strains (or types) of ‘good bacteria’ usually used to make probiotic capsules are:
Many probiotic capsules need to be kept cold in the fridge to stay active, although you can find brands that you can keep on the shelf, but the are often not as effective. A good health food store or Holistic or Natural Pharmacy should carry these products. Just remember to take them on an empty stomach, they are far more effective this way!