How Do We Know We Are Healthy?
Truly good health is more than the absence of disease.
Some signs of good human health include:
- Resilient respiratory system; few days sick with coughs, colds, or viruses <1>,<2>
- Good cognition and verbal fluency <3>
- Getting good, satisfying sleep <4>
- Well-formed, regular, comfortable elimination <5>
- Moderate stress response and good neuroplasticity <6>
- Ability to exercise with only minor wear and tear <7>
- Having fresh breath and a healthy mouth <8>
- Relatively little inflammation <9>
- Clear skin <10>
- Minimal visceral abdominal fat <11> and good cardiovascular health <12>
- Recovering well from exercise and muscle wear <13>
- Maintaining immune function into old age <14>
In one way or another, studies have tied these indicators of human vitality to probiotics!
Probiotics Support Our Immune Response
Microorganisms are a vital part—and enormous portion—of our immune system. We need beneficial microbes to mount a robust immune response. Some probiotics have even been used along with vaccines, making them more effective. This works because the bacteria improve the innate immune response to the vaccine.
Where Do Probiotics Bolster Our Immunity?
In our bodies, our innate immunity depends on a thin layer of cells that interfaces with the outside. These cells, lining the inside walls of our lungs, gut, reproductive and urinary tracts, are our first line of defense, and probiotics support their survival and management. Probiotics stick to the walls, blocking bad bacteria and toxins from doing so.
How Do Supplemental Probiotics Help Us?
Having a wide diversity of microbes makes things run smoothly in the background by giving us more tools and options to respond to potential immune problems.
- Make antibacterial substances
- Activate macrophages, special white blood cells that eat viruses, parasites, and fungi
- Protect stem cells
- Produce genes that regulate immune cell function
- Modulate inflammation created by pathogens
Pick an Effective Probiotic
Science demonstrates that effective probiotic performance depends on strong adherence to the cells lining the human gut, which in turn improves the human immune system. Here, they stimulate protective responses from intestinal cells, enhancing gut barrier function and integrity.
Thankfully, all Flora probiotics have been tested and selected for their strong adherence capabilities.
A formula with a variety of well-tested, compatible strains (like all Flora probiotics) is generally good for overall health maintenance, but the proportion and type of bacteria in our bodies change through our lives, so we should choose a formula suited to our phase of life, such as:
- Toddler’s Blend Probiotic
- Kid’s Probiotic
- Adult’s Blend Probiotic or Complete Care Probiotic
- Senior’s Probiotic
For directed support, we may want to use fewer, proven, or more targeted strains. Some strains colonize one part of the body better than others, and some secrete substances useful for specific circumstances. Consider the following suggestions:
- Travel Care Probiotic - deterring infection while traveling or avoiding a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) while in a healthcare facility*
- Pregnancy Care Probiotic - preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) after a C-section*
- Super 5 Lozenge Probiotic - maintaining oral health*
Get Over It
If we have a recurring issue, such as chronic constipation or a tendency towards Crohn’s flare-ups, persistent yeast overgrowth, or frequent urinary tract infections (UTI), using a high-potency formula (like those below) is more likely to help nip these problems in the bud.*
- Super Bifido Plus Probiotic
- Super 8 Probiotic
- Women’s Care Probiotic
Be a Good Host
The results of taking a probiotic are dependant on the host’s genetics and gut environment, too.
To be the best ‘host’, manage stress, eat fiber-rich whole foods, and minimize processed and high-sugar foods. This way, you’ll be doing your part to support a healthy microbiome and a healthier you.
Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.
- <1> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4979858/
- <2> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/
- <3> https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/brb3.756
- <4> https://www.wageningenacademic.com/doi/abs/10.3920/BM2016.0150
- <5> https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/probiotics-may-ease-constipation-201408217377
- <6> https://annals-general-psychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12991-017-0138-2
- <7> https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00284-011-9915-3
- <8> https://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-75/issue-8/585.pdf
- <9> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213508/
- <10> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18762327
- <11> https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201019
- <12> https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/19490976.2014.983775
- <13> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27547577
- <14> https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1010979225018
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.