Digestive issues can impact many people and take the form of a range of symptoms such as gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and food allergies. If you suffer from some of these symptoms, what can you do to eliminate them? In one episode of Healthline Live Radio Show, Dr. Robert Marshall, Ph.D. and co-founder of Quantum Nutrition Labs, discusses the importance that probiotics can have on digestive health. “Basically, probiotics are beneficial organisms that can promote the best health and ecology from the mouth to the anus,” he points out.
“If you are unable to digest certain foods, such as carbohydrates, you may get intestinal gas without odor. But if you’re unable to digest protein or fats, you may get gas with a pretty nasty odor,” Dr. Marshall explains. In fact, he finds, this flatulence might be indicative of a larger problem: an unhealthy bacterial ecology. “These are all warnings that the healthy bacterial ecology of the gut is out of whack. Of course, if that happens, you’d want to take a probiotic,” he explains.
The tiny, beneficial microorganisms of your gut have one common enemy: antibiotics. Dr. Marshall warns: “Of course, antibiotics indiscriminately kill both bad bacteria and good bacteria. So if you have used an antibiotic, it’s a really good idea to also take probiotics to encourage the reestablishment of the healthy gut ecology.” You might see many products boasting “probiotic cultures” in grocery stores, such as yogurt, cheeses, or pickled vegetables, but the kind of probiotic you consume is just as important as the probiotic itself. Dr. Marshall recommends that you use: “a live probiotic that is not freeze-dried, so that you don’t have to worry that it won’t come back to life. Also look for a very broad spectrum of probiotics that favors a greater diversity of bacterial ecology.”
Probiotic products might help tip the balance of your microbiome in favor of good bacteria, providing relief from difficult and irritating digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea. True probiotics should contain live, active bacterial cultures with at least 1 billion colony forming units (cfu) to be sure you are getting enough active support. Each kind of bacterial culture produces different results, so be sure to research which benefits you are looking for. A good option is to select a product that contains multiple probiotic strains.