The Zoo Inside You

We’ve all heard of probiotics, but what are they?

Probiotics seem all the rage these days, gut health is finally making it’s way onto the stage, we have the likes of Yakult and other probiotic drinks in our supermarket aisles, we now even have Kefir showing it’s face too! Times are changing and personally I’m glad to see people taking gut health seriously.

Probiotics are affectionately known as ‘friendly bacteria’, these are the good guys in your gut which play a major role in keeping you healthy. Unfortunately these days we’re forever killing them off with antibiotics and diet. With antibiotics in Latin meaning ‘anti-life’ and probiotics meaning ‘for life’ we can definitely see which ones we should be taking more than the other! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for antibiotics if someone has an infection that the body clearly can’t fight itself but I think we tend to pop them like Tic-Tacs now and that’s having an undesirable effect.

How Many?!

The human microbiome includes around 100 trillion bacterial cells, that’s more than the typical 10 trillion human cells making up an average human adult. We have a duty of care to look after these little guys, they’re making us what we are!

Myself and my husband take a probiotic every evening, it’s no hardship – just a little capsule taken on an empty stomach. However these probiotics pack a punch, boasting 20 billion live cultures in every capsule. More recently I found a probiotic suitable for children and both girls now have these every evening too. They offer 1 billion live cultures for their gut flora health and they love them. They’re cleverly disguised as ‘chocolate balls’ and taste great.

We personally use the BioGlan brand but, I always think that something has to be better than nothing, so if you want to take the plunge into probiotics, see which ones are affordable for you and try to ensure you’re getting some of the major strains detailed here.

A different kind of library book…

If any of the above piques your interest to learn more, there’s a wealth of information, studies and books written about the microbiome and gut health. Luckily they don’t all read like PHD papers or they’d certainly go over my head. Most that we’ve read have a real desire to use language which helps you understand why this is such an important area of our lives that we’ve been ignoring for too long.

A couple that are good to start with are ‘The Microbiome Solution’ by Robynne Chutkan and ‘GUT’ by Giulia Enders.

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