Why we all need probiotics – The many reasons why Live Bacteria is our ‘hero product’

Live Bacteria

I think many of you already know the story of how developing my own range of digestive and gut health supplements came about, but perhaps you don’t know why probiotics feature so prominently in my range.

When I qualified in colon hydrotherapy 20 years ago, and began treating people with this amazing therapy, I quickly became known as the therapist to see if you’d tried everything else and nothing had worked, especially if you had IBS, constipation and/or painful bloating. With each client that visited my clinic for colon hydrotherapy, I would take copious notes on their health history, and as I gathered more and more of their health histories, it soon became glaringly apparent what a lot of them had in common – antibiotics! Many of them had taken lots of antibiotics over the years, some when they were children for conditions like glue ear, chest infections, then during adolescence for teenage acne, not to mention antibiotics for UTIs, as well as for bacterial gut infections, like food poisoning and viruses like norovirus with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.

I began to put the pieces together and realised that prior to having antibiotics or gut infections/viruses, these people didn’t have any digestive or gut issues. I spent a lot of time studying the gut microbiome, reading research papers about the negative impact antibiotics had on the friendly bacteria in the gut, and in turn, a huge impact on general health and wellbeing; I also read research papers on the safest and most effective strains to help reduce certain digestive and gut symptoms. I began to recommend strain-specific probiotics to my clients to help replenish levels in the gut, strains that are very well documented as being safe and effective at reducing common IBS symptoms, as well as strains to support the immune system. It soon became clear to me the crucial role that probiotics played in helping to heal a dysfunctional gut. I noticed how the advice I was giving to my clients was affecting my clinical practice – as soon as I put people on a course of probiotics, they didn’t need to attend for colon hydrotherapy treatments as frequently.

It was, therefore, a no-brainer that when I developed my own range of digestive and gut health supplements, a probiotic was at the top of my list. Fast-forward eight years, and it comes as no surprise that our hero product is our Live Bacteria probiotic capsules, closely followed by its ‘sister’ – our For Women probiotic capsules that contain strains not just to support digestive, gut and immune health, but bladder and vaginal health too.

What role do probiotics play?

Trillions of microorganisms live inside your digestive system – these include bad and good bacteria, fungi, and viruses. All these microorganisms make up what’s known as the gut microbiota. The balance of the microbiota plays a central role in our overall health.

Probiotics (the friendly, good bacteria) help fight off pathogens in your gut and restore balance. They also play a role in creating vitamins, protecting the intestinal wall, and digesting food. You can boost the population of probiotics in your body with foods like yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, or kefir. However, not everyone is a fan of fermented foods, and even if you are, you aren’t likely to be consuming them in large amounts, so the simplest way to ensure you have the right balance of probiotics in your gut is to take a daily supplement, which provides a more targeted approach for maintaining and restoring gut health.

How do I know if probiotics really work?

One of the first signs that your probiotic supplement is working will be better digestion. You will notice more regular bowel movements, and less gas and bloating. Over time, the lining that serves as a barrier in your gut will strengthen, preventing toxins and pathogens from entering the rest of your body.

This results in less work for your immune system and liver, meaning fewer illnesses for you, decreased inflammation, better skin, improved concentration, and better mood, to name just a few of the benefits that you will notice if you take a probiotic on a long-term basis. Many of our customers report how taking our Live Bacteria capsules not only helps with their digestive symptoms but they also notice how they are able to sleep better and feel a much improved sense of wellness; the key to our overall state of our sense of wellbeing lies in ensuring that there is a healthy relationship between our gut and our brain. Studies have shown that the gut microbiome also interacts with the central nervous system, which means that it could play a role in sleep regulation. Probiotics can help regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle by increasing the production of sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin and serotonin. These hormones are produced in the gut and are affected by the balance of bacteria in the microbiome.

Please do not pay any attention to the claim probiotics do not reach the gut alive because the acid environment of the stomach will destroy the bacteria. It’s absolute nonsense. Of course, some of the friendly bacteria will get destroyed by stomach acid, enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the liver, but I can assure you that enough of the friendly probiotic bacteria will get through, reach the gut alive, and in sufficient numbers to effect a positive change. I’m not interested in how many will get through alive; what I’m interested in is the improvement in my customers’ symptoms!

What symptoms do probiotics treat?

The list is long! Probiotics can help with a host of not only digestive and gut symptoms but ones that you may be experiencing in other areas of your body. Some of these symptoms include:

Gas and bloating

If you experience gas and bloating often, and you have already tried a number of medications and remedies to no effect, it could be a sign that you’re simply dealing with an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. If ignored, this can lead to other issues over time like inflammation and even leaky gut. Taking a probiotic will fight the overgrowth of pathogens and bring things back to balance. In other words, you’ll notice less bloating and better digestion.

This was certainly the case for our customer, Jan:

Live Bacteria Probiotics review

It’s worth noting that when you start to take a probiotic supplement, there can be a slight increase in gas and bloating, but that this is completely normal as the probiotic bacteria begin to crowd out the pathogenic strains. Things should settle down within a few days, however, if bloating persists, then it could be a sign that you have developed Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), especially if you’ve had lots of antibiotics and/or have taken PPI medications such as omeprazole and lansoprazole for a long time. SIBO can also affect the migrating motor complex in the gut, causing it to slow down or speed up. To diagnose SIBO, you take a breath-test. The test will identify if someone has methane-dominant SIBO that causes constipation or hydrogen-dominant SIBO that can cause loose stools. However, in conventional medicine, the only tool available to try and eradicate SIBO is more antibiotics. The natural medicine/naturopathic way is natural antibiotics and antimicrobials, which need to be given with the help of a naturopath or nutritional therapist who specialises in such areas.

IBS symptoms and diarrhoea

Research shows that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) commonly lack certain important strains of bacteria in the gut. Taking a probiotic can help in managing symptoms and increasing quality of life. IBS causes inflammation in the gut, which leads to discomfort, diarrhoea, and constipation. Taking a daily probiotic can facilitate balance, alleviate inflammation, and allow the gut to heal.

Probiotics may also help reduce the frequency of diarrhoea, even if you don’t have IBS. There are lots of reasons why someone may experience diarrhoea. It’s a very common symptom of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), bile acid diarrhoea (BAM), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and anxiety due to the flight/fight response (over responsive sympathetic nervous system).

Taking an antibiotic for other illnesses kills both good and bad bacteria in your gut. This leads to imbalance, which may trigger diarrhoea. Taking a probiotic is an absolute must for anyone who needs antibiotics so that the good bacteria can be replenished and restored.

Our Live Bacteria capsules have made a big difference to Carol’s IBS symptoms:

Live Bacteria Probiotics review

Weak/compromised immune system

Around 70% of the body’s immune cells live within the gut. A poorly balanced gut microbiota can seriously compromise these cells, and therefore the body’s immune function.

The immune system and the digestive tract have a mutually beneficial relationship. When the gut is in a state of homeostasis, it takes some work off the liver and the rest of the immune system. In turn, the immune system works more efficiently.

Probiotics also communicate with immune cells to eliminate pathogens. This reduces the chance of pathogens entering the bloodstream and straining the immune system.

The intestinal wall is another crucial line of defence for our immune system. When probiotics work to establish a balance of microbiota in the gut, the immune cells that make up this barrier can flourish. A stronger intestinal wall and improved mucus layer keep toxins and pathogens out of the bloodstream.

Have I convinced you yet? In short, taking a daily probiotic will help you stay healthy and fight infection more quickly when you come down with something.

For symptoms beyond the gut

Gut health extends far beyond the digestive system. The function of your gut and the cells within strongly impact many of the systems throughout your body. Therefore, taking a probiotic can improve symptoms that seemingly have nothing to do with the gut. Some of these include:

Migraines and anxiety

Scientific evidence shows a strong link between the gut and the brain. Because of this close relationship, taking a probiotic can help with conditions like migraine and anxiety. When the intestinal wall is weakened due to an imbalance in the gut microbiome, toxins and pathogens travel to the rest of the body. The result is an inflammatory response, which is a major contributor to migraines. When the brain lacks certain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, conditions like anxiety can arise.

Skin health

The skin is often referred to as a mirror of our gut. In other words, our skin can tell us a lot about the conditions in our gut. Gut inflammation that leads to systemic inflammation can have a ripple effect on skin health. Probiotics help absorb important nutrients for the skin. A stronger intestinal lining keeps toxins from getting into the blood and reaching the skin.

Gut health is the root of our health in many ways. Taking a probiotic strengthens that root, bringing benefits far beyond the gut. Whether your goal is to restore and support diversity in the microbiome, improve digestion, or support your immune health, our best-selling Live Bacteria probiotic capsules can help.

I have lost count of the number of people who have started taking our Live Bacteria, and then report how they have discovered the ‘missing link’ to finally finding relief from conditions that affect not only their digestive and gut health but also other systems in their body, and their overall sense of wellbeing.

Live Bacteria Probiotics review

If you have any questions about a digestive and gut health issue or would like to know more about a tailored supplement protocol, please get in touch.