The supplement world is a murky business.
As I continue to expand the range of supplements that I offer one thing I’m finding very hard to come by are manufacturers within the UK who are able to put together good quality supplements, with good quality ingredients, without adding a lot of rubbish to them.
It has truly shocked me just how unconcerned these businesses are about what they are putting into a product, just so long as it had a fancy name and label.
One manufacturer told me about a product they recommend for people with Crohn’s that contains gluten, wheat, dairy and soy!
Erm, no thanks!
This sad fact could not be more true than it is with regard to probiotics.
Most people with Crohn’s / Ulcerative Colitis have either used, or considered using, probiotics at some time.
However, it can be an extremely confusing area, not to mention one where you can waste a lot of money. Therefore, today I thought I’d help to clear up some of that confusion for you with these 5 tips…
Take it easy
Before I talk about how to get probiotics into your life, it’s worth saying up front that you do need to start slowly with things.
If you have too much, too soon, of anything, it can cause a reaction and actually make your symptoms worse.
So starting slowly and increasing very gradually, over time, is important.
If you are one of the people who do notice problems when you start, then it could be that you have a sensitivity to that food or supplement.
Alternatively, it could indicate a bigger underlying problem…
Those who have SIBO (which is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) for example, often don’t do well with probiotics, at least not until the SIBO has been addressed. That would be something that would need to be identified through testing.
Probiotics don’t just come from supplements
There’s no doubt that when the right ones are used, for the right person, at the right time, in the right dose, then probiotics can be beneficial.
But, before you go looking for the latest and greatest supplement, remember that certain foods can also be a very good source of beneficial bacteria.
Things such as kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi can all be beneficial.
Some of these can be made at home if you so desire, but it’s normally much easier to buy online or from a good quality health food store.
However, I would add that many of the “probiotic” yoghurts and drinks (Yakult, Activia, etc) that you can buy in many supermarkets are, for most people, completely useless.
That’s because they are filled with sugar, and by the time the supposedly beneficial live bacteria reach your gut, they are completely dead and, therefore, ineffective. So please don’t waste your money on them!
What do YOU need?
The fact is that probiotics will work for some people, and not for others.
And certain brands of probiotics supplements will work some people, and another brand will work for others.
This is because we are all different and need different things.
Different probiotics provide different strains and amounts of bacteria, which we will all react differently to.
The stool testing that I run on my clients can be hugely beneficial for many reasons, one of which is that it will give us a much greater insight into your gut bacteria levels and help us see if you perhaps have bacterial issues that need addressing.
You need to make sure you aren’t killing it off again
When people benefit from probiotics, it’s for a reason.
And that reason is that their good bacteria levels were lower than they need to be.
Therefore, if you aren’t addressing those things (like I work on with my clients) then probiotics will only have limited effectiveness.
Else you would quickly be killing off the good bacteria that you put back in!
If you do take a supplement, the quality of that supplement is very important.
In particular, the delivery of it and how much beneficial live bacteria actually reaches your gut is essential for you to derive the benefits from it.
Unfortunately, there are very few on the market with sufficient quantities of bacteria in in the first place, or sufficiently designed to survive transit through the body.
As you can see, using probiotics can be a complicated area, and a very easy way to waste a lot of money, but hopefully this has helped!
p.s. one probiotic type supplement that I do currently have available is Advanced Protection. This contains something known as Saccharomyces Boulardii that has been shown to have a huge number of benefits for people with Crohn’s and Colitis and is rapidly becoming one of my most used supplements with the people I work with. Find out more about it here https://autoimmuneinstitute.com/products/advanced-protection