What Should You Do If Probiotics Arent Working
Read the label: If you experience minor side effects like bloating, nausea or gas, check the ingredients to see whether the label contains any ingredients you might be allergic to. Many probiotics contain lactose, which can irritate the gut, especially in adults. This is also important for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
Try a different brand: Probiotics vary widely in quality and composition. Perhaps the probiotic you are taking just isnt strong enough or doesnt contain the specific strains to make you feel better. Consider looking for a high quality, multispecies and multistrain probiotic that fits your needs.
Seek out a qualified healthcare practitioner: If youve tried several probiotics and none are working, it might be time to seek out a healthcare practitioner with expertise in gut health to help you get to the root cause of your symptoms.
What Diseases Are Associated With Leaky Gut Syndrome
Theres a lot of contradiction correlated with the leaky gut syndrome and whether it is a cause or symptom of a disease.
Nevertheless, leaky gut is associated with several other chronic diseases, and its worth mentioning them here and gaining more insight into this medical mystery.
Celiac disease: This disorder results from increased sensitivity to gluten. As mentioned above, gluten triggers the release of zonulin, which increases intestinal permeability.
Crohns disease: Increased intestinal permeability can result in persistent gut inflammation, characteristic of Crohns disease.
Diabetes: A Lot of controversy lies with this disorder. Researchers suggest that the leaking of harmful substances resulting from a leaky gut can result in an immune reaction responsible for beta cell destruction in the pancreas, cells that release insulin.
Other than the above-mentioned, disorders such as Irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, food allergies, and acne are also associated with leaky gut syndrome.
Probiotic Foods For Leaky Gut
While probiotic foods, such as kimchi and kefir, provide general gut health benefits, probiotic foods generally do not have enough colony-forming units to provide a clinical effect on leaky gut or other digestive system disorders.
You can include fermented foods in your diet, but also consider taking a quality probiotic supplement with CFUs in the billions.
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S To Heal Your Gut Naturally
There are many contributing factors that affect your gut health. Factors such as diet, food intolerances, lifestyle, hormones, sleep, stress and especially medications will affect the state of how your body digests and eliminates what you eat and drink.
Gut health issues are becoming more common, with symptoms such as bloating, IBS, inflammation, reflux and constipation affecting many people and impacting their quality of life.
To help support your digestive health, I’ve gathered my top tips on how to heal your gut naturally. The below information is based on researched studies as well as my own personal journey toward better gut health.
Benefits Of Good Bacteria
The beneficial bacteria that populate the digestive tract work in many possible ways, depending on the type of bacteria and other factors, including:
- protecting against harmful bacteria
- regulating the responses of the immune system
- strengthening the tissue of the bowel wall
- helping to digest food
- producing vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and vitamin K
- enhancing absorption of some minerals
- improving symptoms of some digestive diseases and disorders
- helping to regulate weight
- improving heart health
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Probiotics Help Rebalance The Gut Microbiome
Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance in gut bacteria and is likely correlated with a leaky gut. The makeup of the gut microbiome is closely connected to gut barrier integrity . Its likely that introducing healthy bacteria into the digestive tract through probiotic supplements can help heal intestinal permeability.
The following research supports the beneficial effects of probiotics on the gut microbiome:
- A meta-analysis summarizing 18 clinical trials concluded that probiotics are an effective treatment for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .
- In a study of 181 infants, probiotics were as effective as nystatin in reducing fungal infection and improving food intolerances .
- Two studies show that probiotics can be more effective than standard antiparasitic drug treatment in Blastocystis hominis and Giardia infections .
In summary, we have good science to show that probiotics for leaky gut work well. Even better, probiotics can do this safely and without side effects .
How Do You Add Probiotics To Your Diet
While its common to supplement with probiotics, you can also add probiotic-rich foods to your diet to boost your intake. Probiotic-rich foods include many fermented foods, such as kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, kefir, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut goat cheese and full-fat, grass-fed yogurt.
Probiotic supplements can also be extremely beneficial, but it can be overwhelming to figure out which probiotics actually work and which ones are a waste of money because there are many varieties out there. Dr. Mark Hyman, a physician and best-selling author, says, When shopping for a probiotic, look for one with at least 25 to 50 billion living CFUs , including the most beneficial strains like bifidobacterium bifidum, bifidobacterium longum, bifidobacterium breve, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus bulgaricus.
The United States does not have any federal regulations or standards for probiotic supplements, which means its possible to purchase ones that either do not actually contain the strains of bacteria stated on the label or, even worse, contain strains that are no longer alive. This makes it extremely important to research different brands prior to purchasing to see if there is any evidence-backed data supporting the effectiveness of the product. Dr. Mark Hyman recommends the brands Align, Culturelle and Florastor.
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How Do You Add Prebiotics To Your Diet
Prebiotics are found in fibrous foods. Therefore, more fiber in your diet equals more prebiotics. The best way to ensure you are consuming enough prebiotics daily is by tracking your fiber intake, just as you might track your carbohydrate, protein or fat intake. If you consume at least 30 grams of fiber a day, more likely than not, you will be eating enough prebiotics to feed the good bacteria in your gut. 30 grams is a great starting point, but dont be afraid to build from there. There has been research on people who have eaten 100 grams of fiber a day and they have shown to have extremely diverse gut flora , shares Rachelle.
How do you include more fibrous, prebiotic-rich foods into your diet? I am a fan of high-fiber smoothies its a simple way to boost your intake. Acacia fiber, dandelion root powder, high-fiber hemp protein, flax seeds, chia seeds, raspberries and plantains are all great high-fiber, prebiotic-rich options to blend into your protein smoothies, says Rachelle. You may find getting enough fiber each day is difficult at first, but if you make small swaps in your diet, it can easily be met. For example, if you eat raspberries instead of strawberries, you can increase your fiber intake by 10 grams.
Some other great options include root vegetables , chicory root, garlic, onions, green bananas, cacao powder, seaweed, coconut, coconut flour and cabbage.
How Often Should You Drink Kombucha For Gut Health
Healthy persons can take Kombucha tea daily but in moderate quantity because higher doses may lead to side effects like headaches, allergic reactions, nausea, or vomiting.
The product choice is also important because a well-fermented Kombucha and a contaminated Kombucha will give you opposite results. If you are making Kombucha at home, make sure to get SCOBY from a trusted source and keep the fermentation jar covered to save your brew from germ growth.
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How To Choose The Right Probiotic
When looking for probiotic products, look for a supplement with the following features
Multispecies and multistrain probiotic: The product should contain different bacterial species and multiple strains of bacteria.
Differentiated products tailored to your needs: Different digestive issues warrant different probiotic strains. Therefore, for optimal benefits, try to seek out a probiotic that is tailored to the specific health outcomes you are trying to achieve.
Clinical studies: The probiotic and its claims should be backed by clinical studies using the final product. This will ensure that you are buying a product whose effects have been studied and proven.
Human strains: Only human bacterial strains can colonize your gut . Other bacteria, such as bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and in soil-based probiotics, cannot colonize the gut and usually pass through your body within a few days. For lasting positive effects, you want to make sure that you have human strains that can colonize.
Free of animal proteins, allergens and fillers: It is recommended to choose a probiotic that is free of dairy and other animal proteins, gluten, soy and yeast to ensure you are taking a clean product.
Delivery mechanism: When you ingest your probiotic, the probiotic travels through the harsh, very acidic environment of the stomach before it reaches the small and large intestine.
Do You Really Need Products To Heal Your Gut
Not necessarily. My biggest gut health product recommendation is fruits and veggies because more plant variety in your diet will help with a more diverse gut microbiome, says Sauceda. In addition to diversifying the plants on your plate, promising evidence suggests that consuming fermented foods with live active cultures can lead to better gut health. Other lifestyle factors, such as controlling stress and getting enough activity, can also support a healthy gut. For example, exercise can increase microbial diversity and reduce intestinal permeability, preventing toxins and other pathogens from escaping and promoting inflammation.
Also, keep in mind that what worked for your favorite TikTok influencer may not be appropriate for you. Influencer advice is particularly appealing when healthcare is expensive or inaccessible. However, influencers arent necessarily experts who are trained in helping someone navigate supplements and make potential diet changes. This requires an expert who can analyze and understand the evidence, including possible risks.
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Is Drinking Kombucha The Same As Taking A Probiotic
Kombucha supplies a variety of probiotics and prebiotics, but its not exactly the same as taking a probiotic or even a symbiotic supplement. The differences are
- Kombucha naturally contains pathogenic bacteria. And if the drink is not carefully brewed or stored, these colonies can grow larger. Resultantly, you can fall ill with enteric diseases instead of getting protection.
- Most Kombucha products, especially homemade drinks, are non-pasteurized, which increases the chances of germ contamination. Probiotic pills are properly screened for pathogenic organisms and are comparatively safer.
- It contains calories and may not be a good choice when using probiotics for a weight loss program.
- Like calorie-rich macronutrients , Kombucha also contains Sodium content, which is not found in probiotic pills.
- Some Kombucha teas have a significantly high proportion of alcohol which makes them different from probiotic capsules and powder. Also, alcohol content adds calories too.
All in all, Kombucha is a good option to add some probiotics and prebiotics and taste to your daily diet, but it cannot provide you with all the goodness and efficacy of a probiotic supplement.
I recommend using multi-strain probiotics instead, which contain more CFUs and beneficial probiotic strains, such as
Say Hello To Saccharomyces Boulardii The #1 Probiotic For Leaky Gut
And thankfully today I dont have to!
Thats because Im going to let the world of probiotic research make the tough decision for me.
Or said differently, Im going to show you THE probiotic strain with the most research behind it when it comes to leaky gut support.
This has undoubtedly become the golden child of the scientific research community!
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Microorganisms And Our Health
While the term microorganism refers to all types of microbes, we are going to focus primarily on bacteria. When we think about the bacteria that colonize, or live in, our intestinal tract, we typically sort them into two categories: beneficial strains of bacteria , including those in the genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, and potential disease-causing strains of bacteria , including enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Shigella, and Clostridioides difficile. While its much more complex than this, it is an easy way to sort which bacteria will generally improve our health or harm us. Beneficial bacteria keep pathogens in check and offer many health benefits. Disease-causing bacteria release proteins and toxic by-products that can cause inflammation and harmful symptoms such as diarrhea. Some, such as Helicobacter pylori, can be both beneficial in certain quantities and harmful in other quantities.
The balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria is important for maintaining health. The diversity, or different types of microorganisms, of our gut microbiome is critical greater diversity allows our gut to be resilient and bounce back from any disturbances to the balance. Several factors can upset this balance, including diet, stress, hygiene, and medications, particularly antibiotics. Dysbiosis occurs when there are shifts in the balance of the microbiota.
Probiotics Help Prevent Gut Permeability But May Stimulate Gut Inflammation If The Gut Is Already Permeable
Dr. Kim and his team also wanted to see whether the state of the gut barrier determined the therapeutic efficacy of probiotic treatment.
When the gut epithelium was intact, adding the probiotic formula VSL#3 to the luminal compartment significantly improved gut barrier function. Even when it was later challenged with DSS, the barrier integrity was maintained.
However, when the gut epithelium was challenged with DSS before addition of the probiotic VSL#3, the epithelium progressively lost barrier function, regardless of the probiotic treatment. The VSL#3 bacterial cells were also able to pass through the disrupted barrier to the submucosal compartment, where they potently stimulated the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
The authors write:
This result implies that probiotic administration may be risky when intestinal barrier function is notably compromised.
However, when I looked at the data objectively, I had a hard time coming to the same conclusion.
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Super Fruits To Improve Gut Health
These super fruits are prebiotic foods for good bacteria in the gut. Add them to your healthy gut diet to restore your intestinal lining, strengthen your gut wall, and combat inflammation.
Find out the perfect foods for your gut bacteria with the Atlas Microbiome Test and get personalised weekly recommendations to improve digestive health.
Which Probiotic Blends Are Beneficial For Leaky Gut Syndrome
It is often suggested to take a course of a multi-species probiotic blend for maximum benefit and maintenance of a healthy gut lining. However, it gets quite perplexing when deciding which ones can reverse intestinal hyperpermeability.
Many clinical studies suggest that the best blend consisting of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains is the right option.
These strains aid in a healthy inflammatory response and create a balanced bacterial flora in your gastrointestinal tract.
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Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
Gut Microbiota And Autism
2016 review , autistic children often develop significant digestive problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
In a small 2017 study, researchers compared stool samples from two groups of children autistic children with GI symptoms, and those without autism or GI symptoms. The researchers identified significantly higher amounts of Clostridium perfringens bacteria in samples collected from autistic children with GI symptoms.
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As With Everything In Life Balance Is Key So I Recommend You Look For A Product With Around 10
The 2 most important groups of bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium36. So making sure you choose a product with strains from these 2 groups is crucial, eg L Acidophilus.
Importantly, look for a probiotic containing my 7 favorite strains: L Plantarum37, L Rhamnosus38, L Acidophilus39, B Bifidum40, B Longum41, B Lactis42 and B Coagulans43.
Can Probiotics Heal A Leaky Gut A Look At The Research
All this leads us to question that if diet, environmental contaminants, stress and dysbiosis can trigger wide spread inflammation and also an over-production of zonulin that lead to leaky gut, is it possible that probiotics could play a part in healing it?
Disappointingly, there have been relatively few human studies looking at the potential role of probiotics in reducing intestinal permeability. Most of the research to date has been performed using animal models for example, in 1996, it was shown that the human probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and the rat-originating strain Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC could reduce intestinal permeability in a methotrexate-induced colitis model in rats.
Subsequently, many animal models have shown that lactobacilli are able to counteract increased paracellular permeability brought on by factors such as diet, chemicals, infections, or stress. It has also been demonstrated that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG® is able to improve intestinal barrier function in rats whose tight junctions had previously been compromised by either rotavirus infection1 or exposure to cow’s milk antigens2.
Probiotics shown to reduce intestinal permeability in children with atopic dermatitis
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How Long Should I Take Probiotics For
Unlike a lot of other supplements that you might only use for a short period, eg anti-fungals for candida, or you might cycle on and off, eg vitamin D in summer, I take probiotics every day.
The reason I do is to help to maintain my gut health, keep inflammation at bay and ensure leaky gut doesnt come back.
The good news is that you shouldnt need to megadose probiotic supplements to help maintain a healthy balance of good vs bad bacteria. Instead, simply taking the recommended dose of probiotics , paired with probiotic-rich foods, will help do the job.