This year I’ve found myself becoming much more interested in the importance of probiotics, and actually ensuring I take them as part of the daily routine. In a nutshell, probiotics support our digestive health via specific enzymes which are needed in the breakdown of foods. This in turn assists with the absorption of vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream.
With 70% of the body’s natural defence system thought to be in the gut, they really are a crucial addition to your day. Probiotics help to ward off harmful bacteria and keep us healthy.
Forget the sugar-laden yoghurt versions, as these are distinctly counter productive. Focusing on the fact that we all have different needs, you can find OptiBac probiotics which are tailored to your own wellbeing. OptiBac probiotic categories include immunity, women’s health, and even tablets if you’re on antibiotics.
I’ve recently been trialling their ‘one week flat’ product which is designed to decrease tummy bloating. You add a sachet to water and drink it with breakfast, choosing either the 7 or 28 day plan. Being completely honest with you, I have noticed a difference and would thoroughly recommend trying the programme, especially if tummy bloating is an area of concern.
Over to the experts at OptiBac Probiotics, who spoke to me about how crucial probiotics are for our health…
Tell us about the importance of probiotics for our general health?
Probiotics when taken in the right amount can have significant health benefits, keeping the balance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut the way it should be. The payoff can extend well beyond your gut – your immune system will also reap the benefits too (this is important because more than 70% of the body’s immune defences are thought to be based in the gut); research suggests that regular doses of probiotics can help reduce infections, soothe allergies and aid skin complaints.
They accomplish all of this by blocking pathogens from adhering to the gut, and modulating the production of chemical messengers called cytokines, which communicate with the immune system throughout the body.
There is also research gathering around the gut/ mind connection. There is an increasing amount of promising evidence to support the ‘gut-brain’ connection; in particular, a French clinical trial1 published found that two specific probiotic strains could potentially cause beneficial psychological effects in humans. The study, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, tested the effects of probiotics on mental health in both rats and human subjects.
How does OptiBac Probiotics ‘One week flat’ work?
If you are feeling gassy, bloated and generally a bit lethargic. ‘One week flat’ contains 5 billion live probiotics per daily dose and four targeted probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus casei Rosell-215, which reach the gut alive, to support a healthy digestion, giving a lighter feeling and helping achieve a flatter, more comfortable, stomach
Do you have any tips for choosing the right probiotics?
Choose potent probiotic strains that have been clinically trialled, and proven to survive at room temperature, and to survive to reach the gut alive, as well as for specific health benefits.
It’s also important to choose a product containing well-researched strains that have been extensively researched; not just in ‘in vitro’ tests but also in human clinical trials, preferably on the finished probiotic formula. A good probiotic will have double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials that have been carried out in humans. You should be able to type a probiotic strain name into Google and see a list of clinical trials which have been successfully undertaken on that specific strain.
Different probiotics have different properties and benefits for the individual and it is certainly not a case of ‘one-size-fits-all’. Looking at the specific probiotic strain is a key aspect to consider when choosing a probiotic, choose a probiotic that contains strains that are specific for your individual needs.