The Best Probiotics According to the Experts
It’s widely understood that probiotics can keep your digestive system ticking over, but did you know they can also enhance mood, improve skin and boost the immune system? From what they can do to tracking down the right supplement in a crowded market, we went to four experts to find out more.
By Tor West
Dominique Ludwig – Nutritionist
The Benefits For Your Gut Are Endless
“One of the main reasons to take probiotics is to flood the body with helpful bacteria to help repopulate the gut. Having good levels of beneficial bacteria makes it harder for the bad bacteria to multiply as they compete for space. Our good gut bugs are essential for helping us digest our food and for producing vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin K. Supplements that contain both Lactobacillus and Bifidum bacteria are the gold standard when it comes to increasing diversity in the gut. Cytoplan Acidophilus Plus contains nine strains and is my go-to formula.
Your Gut Bugs Are Responsible For Your Mood
“Around 95% of our serotonin – our happy hormone – is produced in the gut, which can influence the way we feel, from being anxious, calm or happy. There is a wealth of research linking poor diversity in the microbiome to conditions such as depression, anxiety and brain fog. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the strain to know when it comes to mood.”
Capsules Should Always Be Taken With Food
“The most dangerous part of the journey for probiotics is our stomach acid, which can easily kill the delicate live bacteria in a supplement if not taken properly. Probiotic capsules should always be taken with food, as the food will naturally dilute acid levels to give the bacteria a better chance of reaching the small intestine.”
AVOID TAKING PROBIOTICS AT THE SAME TIME AS A HOT DRINK as hot liquid can KILL LIVE BACTERIA.
We All Respond Differently
“Probiotics are very individual – just because one worked for your friend doesn’t mean you’ll see the same result. Some people notice an improvement in digestive symptoms in a matter of days, whereas others might not notice any changes until around the four-week mark. Some people may not notice any changes at all. Some even find probiotics can make their symptoms worse, while others will experience mild bloating that goes away over time. Be savvy when choosing a supplement, and keep an eye out for formulas that also contain prebiotic fibres – these may appear on the ingredients list as inulin, FOS or GOS – which support their growth in the gut, a little like fertiliser.”