Post on: January 21, 2016.

Posted in: Read.

Inside your body there is an epic battle waging between the bad microbes and the good microbes (probiotics). The good microbes are called probiotics – they have the metabolic ability equivalent to an organ. Probiotics greatly influence your health from head to toe!

We always want the good guys to win but, are you unknowingly sabotaging them?


1. Stressed Out?

Being stressed can negatively affect probiotics in your body. Take a breath. Arrive 5 minutes early to appointments. Make a list so you feel organized. Being stressed can trigger many things in your body from changes in blood sugar to inflammation – stress also makes it tough for probiotics to hang out in your gut and wage war against those bad microbes, such as E. coli, yeast and Salmonella! Be kind to your probiotics – destress. Physical stress can also have effects on your probiotics – and vice versa taking probiotics may benefit those of you who love to be active, according to a study in Medicine and Sport Science – PubMed.


2. Full Tummy

When probiotic supplements were first introduced to us, some manufacturers suggested we take probiotics on an empty stomach. Should we take probiotics on an empty stomach? No! The pH of the stomach is much more amicable to probiotics when there is food present – make life easier on those helpful probiotics in your supplement and take them with food.


3. Sittin’ on the Shelf

Probiotic inside your supplement capsule or bottle in a sort of dormant or sleepy-state. Yet, over time and in any heat they slowly die. As such, if you can, store your probiotic in the fridge. Do you have to store your probiotic in the fridge? No. Many advances in technology have created probiotics that are relatively shelf stable – check your product’s label for recommended storage conditions. However, either way storing your probiotic supplement in the fridge can help increase shelf life and maintain potency (CFU count).


4. Diet Blues

Probiotics are living things too – and they get hungry. Go on, feed them! Probiotics love to eat prebiotics. Prebiotics are indigestible plant fibres (fibre our body can’t use). You can feed your probiotics by eating more foods that contain prebiotics: such as asparagus, artichoke, raw garlic or leeks, wheat bran and bananas.


5. Antibiotics

Antibiotics kill all microbes, good or bad. If you have to take an antibiotic you are killing off the cause of your infection as well as many of your probiotics. What to do? Replenish your body’s probiotics when you take an antibiotic. It is best to take a probiotic at least a few hours apart from your antibiotic dosage.


Want more? Take a read through this great review on probiotics and their impact on our health published in 2015 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.


Allison Tannis, BSc MSc RHN is the author of Probiotic Rescue (Wiley 2008).