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Probiotics: The Latest I’ve Learned

Since I began my practice as an Integrative physician 15 years ago, I have seen thousands of patients with various symptoms and diseases. The recurring theme I see for most of my patients is some form of gastrointestinal disturbance. Whether it is constipation, diarrhea, Candida overgrowth, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, Celiac Disease or malignancy, I have seen and treated a host of issues in this arena.

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Continuing Education….

Over this last weekend, my wife Anita (a pharmacist and clinical nutritionist) and I had the privilege of attending a nutritional conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I love attending these conferences for the opportunity to learn new things, meet leaders in various fields, and reinvigorate my passion for integrative health. This conference was especially interesting, and I wanted to share some of the knowledge I learned of gut health and probiotics/sporebiotics with my patients.

I have been a proponent of probiotics for many years. As we know, antibiotics and the foods that we eat in our modern society often disturb our regular GI bacterial flora, which plays a large role in digestion and immune health. Over the last several years, amazing research has been conducted regarding the Human Microbiome Project. For the first time, anaerobic bacteria from the gut has been characterized in all of its complexity. From this project, we have learned that as humans, we have 100 trillion bacteria cells. In addition, the type of bacteria changes depending on the part of the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Probiotic-potential-Altering-gut-bacteria-shows-promise-for-fatty-liver-diseaseWith regular probiotic use, studies from the Food Standards Agency with Reading University have shown that only 4 out of 35 strains of bacteria were able to withstand the harsh pH of the stomach and successfully colonize in the lower GI tract. In addition, the probiotics that are readily available (through food sources, over the counter) often do not have the binding capabilities to make a radical difference in gut health. Many probiotics also contain one or just a few species of bacteria, while our ancestors had a remarkably diverse number of species existing in their intestinal tract. The question then arises: does it make sense to refeed our gut with the same strains of bacteria, when our goal should be to diversify the flora? I encourage my patients to rotate their probiotics and incorporate different strands. However, the harsh pH of the stomach may be prohibiting their growth.

How Sporebiotics May Help

Over the weekend, I was educated regarding a Sporebiotic product, which come from robust endospores that can withstand harsh pH environments, desiccation, antibiotics, UV radiation, solvents, enzymes and high pressure. These products contain Bacillus spores help develop your gut’s immune center, or GALT. They also shift your body’s immune response to curb autoimmune and allergic response. This Sporebiotic has been studied in its ability to provide key nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamins, Vitamin K2, Nattokinase and CoQ10.

I derive joy from helping my patients daily, and finding remedies that work for them. I will continue to read on this interesting subject and update my findings. Clinicians have remarked on the efficacy of this product, and I look forward to seeing if it can help my patients as well.

 

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