Have you spoken to anyone lately who poo poos probiotics? Heard in the media that probiotics are a waste of money? Let’s clarify some of the cloudy, confounding and controversial information out there. We bust 8 common gut myths about probiotics.
Myth #1. You can get enough good bacteria or probiotics from diet alone.
Diet, even though it’s one of the major influences on the balance of good and bad bacteria, is only one part of the gut health story. We routinely kill off our good bacteria (stress, pollution, chemicals, toxins, processed foods, EMFs and other environmental and lifestyle factors) and they need to be replaced regularly. One of the best things you can do for your gut bacteria is to eat raw and lightly cooked veg with meals, every day.
Myth #2. All probiotics are the same and not worth the money.
Probiotics and their effectiveness depend on production methods and type of food or substance on which the bacteria are cultured—be it soil, food, dairy, laboratory produced. It’s a bit like conventional farming versus organic farming. What would you prefer to eat? (Hint … organic!)
Myth #3. Probiotics need to be kept in the fridge.
Not if they come bound to their own food source! Left on the shelf out of direct sunlight, food based bacteria are still viable but dormant in their own food source and come alive when activated in the body. No refrigeration required! However if the probiotics are not bound to food, they will not be as stable and will require refrigeration.
Myth #4. Why take Probiotics when they don’t survive stomach acid?
Beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus literally means ‘acid-loving’. Food based bacteria are well-suited to surviving the acidic environment of the stomach. Fragile bacteria that are forced to multiply in a lab may not be as hardy.
Myth #5. You can get enough good bacteria from eating yoghurt (or drinking Yakult).
Commercial yoghurts laden with sugar are not the best source of beneficial bacteria, especially if you are sensitive to cow milk protein or lactose intolerant. They contain fewer strains and it’s unclear what remains after pasturisation which kills both good and bad bacteria.
Myth #6. Two strains of bacteria is enough for me.
Bacterial variety is essential to a healthy gut. Because there are 1000 species of bacteria in the gut, a multistrain probiotic gives you the best chance to boost the variety and number of beneficial bacteria to help out number the bad guys. More is more when it comes to good bugs.
Myth #7. You only need probiotics if you have taken antibiotics.
If you are on a course of antibiotics start taking Probiotic Foods on the same day, first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach to send a protective message to your gut bacteria. Antibiotics are on the top of the list for wiping out your beneficial bacteria, there are many other influences such as chemicals in food and water, GMO foods, EMFs and stress which kill off your good guys too, so they need to be replaced.
Myth #8. I get all my probiotics from fermented foods that I make myself.
Fermented foods are used mostly as condiments with meals and are a good source of complementary strains of bacteria. Therapeutic amounts of probiotics have a more powerful effect that’s why the Probiotic Foods range comes with a warning: first time users start with an eighth of a teaspoon.
“As soon as I started Probiotic Foods, I noticed an increase in my energy levels even though I eat fermented foods like water kefir and sauerkraut daily.”
Nicolette, Hervey Bay
One of the recent myths going around is that taking prebiotics is more important than probiotics. Both beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and the foods that feed them (prebiotics) are equally important for gut health and both are found in each blend of the Probiotic Foods range.