Bacteria often has a negative connotation. But what if I told you bacteria can actually be good for you? Even help with your asthma and allergies this time of year? Probiotics are your answer.
What are PRObiotics?
They are GOOD live bacteria that promote health, help with proper digestion of food and help our immune systems defend itself against BAD bacteria, viruses and fungi, which promote illness. This “good” bacteria, or “intestinal microflora” which live primarily in our gastro-intestinal tract (your gut) promote optimal health and prevent illness, so long as there is a sufficient amount.
How do Probiotics work?
Probiotics work to maintain a healthy environment within the GI tract. With a proper balance of probiotics, the body works to prevent the presence of too much bacteria and viruses. If the healthy environment is disrupted, we become predisposed to illness, infections, allergies, and inflammation. How is the environment disrupted? All kinds of things, many of which you encounter on a daily basis. Improper diet consisting of too much sugar, grains, alcohol, sweeteners, and preservatives, and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables or fiber, can easily disrupt the balance of probiotics in the gut. Other factors include stress, toxins, and prescription or non-prescription drugs.
How can this affect my allergies and asthma?
Since probiotics have a large influence on the defense capabilities of our immune systems, we need adequate amounts to properly fight off allergens and inflammation. Asthma is simply that, inflammation of the bronchial tubes. If our immune system is not able to defend itself against incoming bacteria, it cannot produce the proper immune response. Most standard diets are dangerously DEFICIENT in probiotic consumption. The addition of probiotic supplementation can help to regulate the immune system and restore the healthy environment within the GI tract, thereby preventing allergens from taking over and inflammation causing asthma.
How do I know which ones to take?
Keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal. To ensure you are getting what you need, be aware of what you are putting in your body. Choose a probiotic that is 100% vegetarian with no synthetic material, to ensure proper absorption. Ensure your probiotic has multiple strains of bacteria as these can be more effective than ones which contain higher concentrations of only 1 or 2 strains. Look for packaging that prevents exposure to too much light, heat and moisture, and look for probiotics that are refrigerated. These are afterall, live bacteria which need to STAY alive to do their job. One last tip, stay away from supplements which contain any of the major known allergens including grains, dairy, soy, or corn. You’re trying to limit the presence of allergens, not add to them.
This month at Synergy Chiropractic is Asthma and Allergies month, so our preferred brands of probiotics are all for 15% off! We choose to carry only the highest quality of supplements to ensure you are getting exactly what you need. Feel free to ask Dr. Craig, Kayleigh or Susan next time you’re in.