There has been noticeably more interest in probiotics over the past ten years. A significant portion of that interest has been in taking a probiotic supplement. But this is hardly a guarantee for great health. Let’s expand the discussion but not over-complicate it.
VARIETY OF PROBIOTICS IN GUT MATTERS
Trillions of various probiotic organisms inhabit a healthy intestinal tract. These include different species of Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, Streptococci, and yeasts. In global health research studies it has been observed that populations not exposed to processed foods, antibiotics and heavy pollution have double the number of probiotic organisms as compared to persons living in economically developed countries.
ULTRA-HIGH PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS MAY NOT BE THE ANSWER
Well, if sheer numbers of probiotic organisms is the problem, why doesn’t everyone take a capsule containing 50 billion or more cfu’s or colony-forming units every single day? Not so simple. Each of us is individual and no one combination of probiotic organisms fits all. Ultra-high doses may be counter-productive to elevating one’s health. That’s because all these different organisms do different jobs and one may create an imbalance situation. You see, various strains of probiotics produce different substances or metabolites that interact with your own body’s functions. Many of these metabolites help support your health and wellness but excesses or shortfalls may well put your body out of balance.
HERE’S A GOOD SOLUTION
Probiotic organisms are life forms just like yourself or your pet cat or favorite houseplant. As such they need to be fed and cared for. What do probiotics eat? They use different kinds of plant fibers as they foodsource. Many of these fibers are not digestible by your digestive tract. But they are just what the probiotics love. And when they are well-fed and happy, they grow in numbers and increase the probiotic population in your gut. Notice the words “plant fibers“. This is precisely why Hilltop has long-encouraged one to make vegetables, fruits and whole grains a significant part (about 60 – 70%) or your daily diet.
In the case of probiotic supplementation, there are times when this may be important. For example, an antibiotic treatment or severe illness would be grounds to supplement. But it is equally essential to take care of the ones that already live inside you. Keep them well-nourished with moderate supplementation and they will take care of you.