Which probiotic is best?
One of the top ten questions that people ask me is “which probiotic do I use?” While most now understand the importance of taking a daily probiotic; they aren’t all created equal. For those that suffer from IC, leaky gut, and gut infections, some probiotics can be problematic. However, there are a few brands that are tolerated well and I will share my personal top pick with you.
I must offer a preliminary comment that for quite some time I was a huge fan of Dr. Axe’s SBO (soil-based) probiotic. However, as I have extended my research I have found that it’s not designed for people that have SIBO. One of the main reasons is that it contains prebiotics that can cause discomfort for those with small bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) as well as the overgrowth of candida. It’s an excellent brand, with well-thought-out ingredients that are strategically incorporated into the blend. However, this is a heads-up for those with greater dysbiosis levels and gut infections as they may not be able to tolerate it.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that exist in our system as a natural solution for gut health. They are considered to be “good” bacteria that line our digestive tracts and assist in supporting the balance of the gut which is crucial for absorbing nutrients and fighting infections. The gut’s microbiome is made of a delicate ratio that must be in balance to remain in a healthy condition. The gut flora needs to be around 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria.
Dysbiosis is an imbalance in our gut system involving specific types of bacteria, fungus, and yeast levels. When this happens, our natural defense system is reduced. The gut is critical for overall health and functional medicine doctors are now including the imbalance of the gut microbes as a reason for inflammation, and potential root causes of certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and cognitive disorders.
Society and Lifestyle Causing an Imbalance
We exist in a society that uses pesticides, some questionable agricultural practices, refrigeration, and conventionally raised meats that involve antibiotics; all of which are involved in killing off the body’s good bacteria. The use of probiotics helps to restore the balance within the gut. I will share the one that seems to be well suited for those with leaky gut and IC.
This is a 100% spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic from Microbiome Labs. This specialty formula promotes microbial diversity, and has a special formulation blend that remains dormant, surviving the digestion process, and then kicking into gear in the gastrointestinal tract to colonize the gut. It has a bi-phastic life cycle that allows it to survive through the harsh environment of the gastric system and brings a microbial diversity that surpasses a majority of the conventional probiotics on the market. One of their highlighted points is that it can bring a 60% leaky gut improvement in 30 days!!
- Increases microbial diversity by changing the pH
- Increases the production of short-chain fatty acids (decreasing inflammation)
- Decreases unwanted pathogens
Always consult with your primary care physician before making any changes to your diet, including supplements and probiotics.
Introducing Mega Sporebiotic should begin slowly. This approach will help you to determine whether your system will be able to tolerate the probiotic well and reduce any symptoms that might be associated with detoxification. It’s recommended that you take the probiotic with food or right after your meal.
Week 1: 1 capsule every other day
Week 2: 1 capsule per day
Week 3 and thereafter: 2 capsules once a day
For those with immune and gut stress, you may want to increase the dosage to 3-4 capsules per day, for 3-5 days. However, if you are sensitive because of increased levels of gut and bladder dysbiosis, you will want to consider starting your dosage at ¼ or ½ capsule every other day for better results, and then making slow increases.
Focusing on the gut’s microbiome is a priority step for addressing the critical interaction between the gut and our genes (as well as our gut and our bladder) for optimal health. The gut microbiome plays a more powerful role than many thought in the past, including influencing gene expression. The interaction between our microbiome and DNA within our environment can be a participant in determining our health. Changes in the gut’s microbiome can affect the bladder’s microbiome, aging, DNA health, heart disease brain function, and our immune system function.
Dr. Marvin Singh who was recently a guest on the podcast “The Broken Brain,” revealed that the gut has its own nervous system, containing more nerves than can be found in the spinal cord. These nerves communicate with the brain as part of the central nervous system, with effects on overall health and wellness. This is a fascinating, yet complex topic, and I will be addressing this later. I will leave my readers with a quote from Dr. Singh that resonated with me,
“If you give your body the ingredients that it needs to do the job that it was born to do, it will do the best that it can under your circumstances and your environment.”
We are the controller of our health and everything that we put into or on our bodies can have a positive or negative effect. A good probiotic is the perfect starting point for your better health journey. Let the probiotic bring the good bacteria to your gut so that it can remain balanced and accomplish the job it was designed to do.
Podcast Broken Brain with Dhru Purohit. How to Fix Your Gut Health Using Innovative Testing, Exercise, and Compassion with Dr. Marvin Singh. July 25, 2019