I recommend probiotics to almost everyone I meet. It's the most common supplement I mention to clients, friends and family (well, those that talk to me about their health stuff, lol).
In addition to the more obvious reasons (digestion), there are two other huge reasons why I'm so into them:
- about 70% of our immune system tissue lives in the gut
- about 90% of our serotonin (a neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining mood balance) is made in the gut
Pretty much, a huge chunk of your health + happiness (ie what we all want) starts in your gut.
So what I'm talking about are the bugs in your belly.
We have a shitton (that's the scientific measurement) of tiny little microorganisms living in our bodies. We need to keep a nice balance of the kinds of these microorganisms. Antibiotics, stress, infections, food poisoning, excess sugar, among other causes, can kill the helpful bugs and/or make the detrimental bugs take over and crowd the good bugs out.
So, how to make sure we're keeping a high ratio of the 'good' bugs...
Always the priority, but I'm a realist, so I know not everyone is willing to eat these every day, and it's also tricky to get a decent variety of the kinds of probiotics every day. (I eat some a few times a week, but to be effective, it needs to be more.) Probiotics are in fermented foods (sorry, not beer and wine!)... these are the most popular right now: kimchi, sauerkraut (the refrigerated kind, without vinegar - Trader Joes has one that I love near the hummus), kefir, kombucha, yogurt (to be most effective it should be from grass-fed animals, low sugar, and organic).
If you want extra assurance that you're getting a high variety and quantity, or you really just can't stomach the thought of eating those above foods, go for a supplement. This is the one I've been using for over a year; you only need to take one a day and doesn't need refrigeration. The key with a probiotics supplement is to be over 10 billion CFU's and have a variety of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, including L. acidophilus, B. longum and B. bifidum.