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During my wellness coaching sessions, I can sometimes work with clients that have food allergies and sensitivities, and gut flora imbalances. I’ve known that probiotics are good for keeping your intestines healthy but I wanted to share more with you.

Probiotics are a supplemental form of beneficial bacterial. It was the Russian physician, Metchnikoff that some 90 years ago invented the word probiotic, which means “in favour of life.” Metchnikoff had a theory that consuming lactic acid bacteria and/or fermented foods containing these good microorganisms increased longevity.  He conducted experiments on animals to prove they can dramatically reduce a wide range of carcinogens and toxins, to increase their life span and they did. His research really surprised me.  So taking probiotics can actually increase longevity for us as well.

Today our modern busy lifestyles involve consuming processed foods, takeaways, alcohol, and stress, so it makes sense to look at probiotics a little more seriously.  The digestive system is home to thousands of different types of bacteria.  They support various digestive, absorptive, immune and endocrine functions.  Yet when there is an imbalance in our gut flora, the embarrassing side effects of gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, and yeast infections make life uncomfortable for us.

If from winter to spring you’ve had a sinus or chest infection and tried to nuke the infected phlegm with antibiotics, chances are you’ve also nuked your good gut flora.  Don’t worry.  Here’s what you can do?

Purchase a bottle of probiotics from your chemist or natural health food shop.  Look for a brand that offers a variety of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains, and containing above 20 billion live cells per dose is most effective.  You could also consider supplementing your diet with cultured foods like yoghurt, kefir, hard cheeses and fermented vegetables (Japanese products).

The benefits of taking probiotics daily are improved urinary health, and a boost to your digestive health and the immune system.  Probiotics diminishes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and food sensitivities; it improves sinus and skin conditions, and reduces the infections we women are too embarrassed to talk about.

Did you know cats and dogs benefit from probiotics?  They certainly do.

Back in June, my Cavoodle, Buddy, had Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE).  HGE is a dog disease characterized by sudden vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.  Buddy spent three days in hospital, but he bounced back and I believe it is due to a probiotic supplement.

After Buddy had finished his course of antibiotics, I purchased a probiotic powder through The All Natural Vet in Rozelle, and sprinkled it on his food daily.  It’s made such a difference to his recovery, regularity, and stools.

I hope the above information has given you some good reasons to consider taking probiotics.  Whilst by themselves they cannot restore you to good health, they can become part of your health regime alongside regular exercise, and healthy food choices.