How to choose a probiotic that really works

How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Why an effective probiotic MUST include multiple strains

A good probiotic supplement will help create a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. It increases the ratio of good to ‘bad’ bacteria in what’s called your microbiome.

This can improve your health in many ways, including improving digestion, stronger immune response, addressing issues like yeast infection (candida) and intestinal inflammation, and even helping to normalise cholesterol and preventing stomach upsets while travelling.

An unbalanced microbiome can cause skin problems like acne, depression and even possibly Type 1 diabetes, allergies and asthma. Moreover, some 25% of medications adversely affect gut bacterial growth.

How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

So, it’s no wonder there has been an explosion of interest in the therapeutic use of probiotic supplements.

But you need to choose a probiotic supplement that has multiple strains.

Because different strains work in different parts of your gut to confer different health benefits.

Colonising AND transient probiotics

One key point to look for in a probiotic supplement is:  Does your probiotic supplement contain both colonising bacteria (also called ‘resident’ bacteria) and transient bacteria?

Colonising good bacteria

Colonising or resident bacteria strains live on the walls of your gut where they help form a barrier or coating that protects you against harmful or pathogenic bacteria.

Transient good bacteria

Transient bacteria strains – as the name implies – move through the digestive system and are eventually evacuated.

But transient bacteria strains are just as important as colonising bacteria. That’s because, while in the gut, they play a role in increasing immune function, and fighting specific harmful bacteria.

We now know there is a direct connection between the gut and the brain, which is why certain strains of bacteria can positively affect the nervous system – meaning that, for some people, a probiotic can improve mood.

The right probiotic mix

The University of Nebraska is a leading probiotic research centre. Work there has led to the development of a combined colonising/transient multi-strain probiotic (with added prebiotics, too) called Microbiotic Plus.

How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Examples of colonising bacteria strains in the multi-strain probiotic Microbiotic Plus include:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis and
  • Bacillus coagulans Produra – this being an especially hardy and effective strain

Examples of transient bacteria strains in Microbiotic Plus include:

  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus plantarum, and
  • Streptococcus thermophilus

By incorporating multiple strains of both colonising and transient bacteria Miicrobiotic Plus better mirrors the conditions of a healthy gut flora.

Think of your microbiome – the mix of billions of different bacteria in your intestines – as a community, which needs different specialists to function properly.

For these reasons, multi-strain formulas have been proven to be more effective than single-strain formulas. Indeed the right combination can boost your ability to even overcome pathogenic bacteria like E. coli and C. difficile.

By taking a probiotic you are adding reinforcements to create a better balance between good and bad bacteria.

Obviously all the bacteria in your probiotic supplement will need to survive the harsh acidic conditions of the stomach to reach the various areas of the gut and became effective.

Research at the University of Nebraska shows the strains in Microbiotic Plus can do this. And your diet helps – high fibre foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, feed the helpful bacteria in your gut.

 You can get a full report on probiotics from this link https://uni-vite.com/microbiotic/how-probiotics-improve-your-health-report/


How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

This article was written by Colin Rose, a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, who has been writing on science for 40 years.


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How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

MicroBiotic Plus is a health supplement in Uni-Vite’s shield range, containing 7 different probiotic strains at a rate of 7.5 billion per capsule, plus 250mg of prebiotic fibre.


How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Dr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from booksellers.

Read it here online or see the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.


How to choose a probiotic that really works NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet.


References:

Manipulating the Gut Microbiota to Maintain Health and Treat Disease. Scott, Karen P. et al. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 26 (2015)

Probiotics: a role in the treatment of intestinal infection and inflammation? E IsolauriP V Kirjavainen, S Salminen, Gut Vol 50 BMJ

Probiotics: effects on immunity. Isolauri E, Sütas Y, Kankaanpää P, et al. Am J Clin Nutr2001;73:S444–50.

Probiotics in human disease; Isolauri E. Am J Clin Nutr2001;73:11425–65

Sought or the Unwanted? ; Sun, Y., Coppé, J. P., & Lam, E. W. F. Trends in Molecular Medicine. (2018).


Yogurt for gut health ☹ – prefer probiotic supplements

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


Yogurts don’t have enough probiotics to deliver gut health benefits

Yogurts in supermarkets do not contain anywhere near enough probiotics – ‘friendly bacteria’ – to have the health benefits you might be looking for.

That’s the conclusion of a major study from University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences. As lead researcher Mary Scourboutakos puts it:

“In some cases, a person would have to eat up to 25 servings of yogurt a day in order to reap the promised benefits, which is completely unrealistic.”

Yet probiotics themselves have been shown to improve:

  • Digestion
  • Medical inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome
  • Immune function
  • and the absorption of nutrients from your diet – which is especially important in the over 60s.

Probiotics can also reduce flatulence, bloating, stomach discomfort, constipation and diarrhoea caused by C difficile or the use of antibiotics.

They may even help reduce depression via the recognised gut-brain pathway.

Probiotics have a good track record of helping clear yeast infections and candida.

Some researchers even claim that certain strains can help with weight management, but the evidence here is limited.

Gut health is vital to a strong immune system

What we can definitely say is that gut health is vital to a strong immune system, because 70% of your immune function is controlled in your gut.

By crowding out bad bacteria – pathogens – probiotics can improve your overall health and, for example, restore gut balance after a course of antibiotics.

Certain strains also prompt enzyme activity which can help neutralise carcinogens and help eradicate the pathogen Helicobacter pylori – which can lead to cancerous ulcers.

All of which explains why the study of the microbiome – your intestinal flora – is now one of the hottest topics in medicine.

Why don’t yogurts deliver these benefits?

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe simple fact is that the level or dose of probiotics in most major brands is many times below the level that would benefit you. Or worse – 25 times lower than were in the studies originally conducted by the agro-food giants and on which their claims are based!

Toronto University again:

 “Our study (done on 92 supermarket yogurts) showed there’s a gap between the health benefits found in clinical trials and the benefits that consumers can expect to receive from the probiotic food products (yogurts) in the marketplace.”

So which are best for gut health – yogurts or probiotic supplements?

To answer that question, here are some key yogurt and probiotic facts.

Yogurt and probiotic facts

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsMany yogurts don’t even qualify as probiotics. Virtually all yogurts are made with a combination of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and/or Streptococcus thermophilus, but they are only there to kick-start the fermentation process, NOT in sufficient amounts to be classified as a probiotic food.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsSo a pack statement ‘made with yogurt cultures’ doesn’t mean it’s going to work like a probiotic. All that means is that the manufacturing process started with live cultures – as it must in order to convert milk to the fermented product yogurt.

Many supermarket yogurts are heat-treated to increase shelf life, but that kills good and bad bacteria alike. So these yogurts don’t even contain live bacteria by the end of their manufacturing process.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsSome yogurt manufacturers do add probiotic strains back to their products after sterilisation. In the UK, there are no standards for probiotics, but in the USA, to be called a probiotic food or to claim ‘promotes healthy gut flora’, a yogurt must contain at least one billion live colony-forming units (ie. active probiotic cultures) of at least one recognised probiotic species per serving.

But unlike probiotic supplements, very few yogurts declare a precise level of colony-forming units. So it’s difficult to tell what you are actually getting – and it’s almost certainly less than 1 billion.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe general scientific consensus is that the more good bacteria there are in your gut, the harder it is for bad bacteria to flourish and cause problems. It appears that you need at least 7 billion probiotic bacteria per serving to get a health benefit.This number should be comprised of multiple strains – because different strains colonise in different parts of your gastro-intestinal tract and each has a specific health benefit.

In addition, there is evidence that strains work together to create a beneficial synergistic effect. For example, Bifidobacterium lactis has been shown to have a greater effect when accompanied by Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsYogurts taste great and are still a valuable source of protein, calcium, magnesium and zinc, so they are a healthy food. Moreover, research published in the specialist Journal Translational Medicine indicates that yogurt does beneficially metabolise starches in fruits, grains and vegetables. But even if they state ‘contains active live cultures’, very few contain enough probiotic cultures in high enough doses to deliver the specific benefits you can achieve with a supplement.

Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsThe only caveat to calling yogurts ‘healthy’ is that some brands – especially and unfortunately marketed to homes with children – contain far too much added fructose, corn syrup or sugar, which can actually increase the level of bad bacteria in the gut!

So many yogurts are more of a sweet dessert than a health food. Indeed, Cornucopia, a US food and farm policy research group, found that flavoured varieties of certain brands of yogurt (eg. strawberry) contained no actual fruit, and included total sugars that rival those in a chocolate bar.

Cornucopia have filed a formal complaint against several yogurt companies with the FDA, and women should note that sugars can feed candida.

So: Are probiotic supplements better than yogurt for gut health?

Probiotic supplements don’t include protein or vitamins and minerals. But if you want the health benefits that researchers say a probiotic can deliver, then a probiotic supplement offers a much clearer way to achieve those benefits than a supermarket yogurt.

So the answer is yes.

But there are guidelines for choosing the best probiotic supplement.

1. It should have at least 7 billion ‘colony-forming’ bacteria per capsule.

2. It should have multiple strains – at least five to seven. Because different strains deliver different benefits.

For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, while Lactobacillus plantarum has proven effectiveness in helping reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been shown to help reduce inflammation within brain neurons – and thereby ease depression.

Other strains like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus plantarum have been shown to improve immune function, and improve vaginal health.

Choosing a supplement that contains the right balance of strains to help with your particular health issues is the key to getting the biggest benefit from a probiotic supplement. There’s a helpful report at

https://uni-vite.com/microbiotic/how-probiotics-improve-your-health-report/

3. The strains in your probiotic supplement must have been researched to be hardy.

The stomach is very acidic and probiotics need to be able to survive long enough to reach and colonise various parts of your intestine to have their beneficial effects.

The University of Nebraska has a world class centre for probiotic research. It identifies two exceptionally resistant strains – being Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bacillus coagulans ProDura.

4. Probiotics are live microbes. Their ‘food’ is prebiotics – sources include leeks, onions, oats and garlic. A well formulated probiotic should include some prebiotics to ‘kick-start’ their colonisation of the gut.

Check probiotic supplement labels

A final point.  As noted above, the US National Yogurt Association requires 1 billion cultures per serving to be classified as a probiotic yogurt. The UK does have a code of practice for yogurts, but this does not include any definition of probiotic standards.

In contrast, probiotic supplements can be much more worthwhile, but check labels carefully.

The UK multi-strain supplement brand Microbiotic Plus contains 7.5 billion cultures per vegan dairy-free capsule or serving – some 700% of the US threshold level.

Conclusion – yogurt AND probiotic supplements

Keep eating your yogurt for its other benefits – ideally traditionally made, organic and live or in forms like kefir.

But to get the real benefits of probiotics, look at scientifically formulated probiotic supplements.

 


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Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsYogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsYogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

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Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals And register now for a free regular e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthYogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of 43 essential nutrients including soy isoflavones, polyphenols and flavonoids from fruits, vegetables and other plants, Omega 3, betaine and greent tea. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.

A free summary report and the opportunity to read the book online is available here.


MicroBiotic Plus is a vegan probiotic/prebiotic supplement Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Mineralscontaining 7.5 billion friendly bacteria of 7 different hardy strains including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bacillus coagulans, plus natural plant prebiotics. See more detail by clicking on the button.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Yogurt for gut health ☹ - prefer probiotic supplements NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


REFERENCES

Mismatch between Probiotic Benefits in Trials versus Food Products Mary J. Scourboutakos et al Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 400; doi:3390/nu9040400

Expert consensus document – The international scientific association for probiotics and prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic.  Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2014, 11, 506–514.

Probiotics, gut microbiota and health. Butel MJ. Mal. Infect. 2014, 44, 1–8.

Probiotics: Delineation of prophylactic and therapeutic benefits.  Med. Food 2009, 12, 219–235.

Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food. World Health Organization. Available online: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/en/probiotic_guidelines.pdf

Metabolism and biochemical characteristics of yogurt bacteria. A review. A Zourari, JP Accolas, MJ Desmazeaud. Le Lait. INRA Editions, 1992, 72 (1), 1-34.

Benefits of Homemade Yogurt Versus Commercial. Mercola, Joseph. Organic Consumers Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2017.

Enhancing immunity by dietary consumption of a probiotic lactic acid bacterium (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019):optimization and definition of cellular immune responses. Chiang BL, Sheih YH, Wang LH, Liao CK, Gill HS (2000). Eur J Clin Nutr 54, 849–855.

Irritable bowel syndrome in the United States: Prevalence, symptoms patterns and impact. Hungin APS, Chang L, Locke GR et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2005;21:1365–1375.

http://www.dairyuk.org/media-area/resources/item/yogurt-cop