Gut Health and Probiotics
The Ultimate Guide from Webber Naturals
Millions of people suffer every day with gas and bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. These tummy troubles can be uncomfortable, painful, and embarrassing—but there is a solution. Probiotics provide an easy and convenient way to keep your gut feeling good so you can get back to living your best life!
In this Ultimate Guide to Gut Health and Probiotics, you’ll learn about probiotics and prebiotics, the gut-brain connection, and how natural health products, including ginger, help support good gut health.
Being Good to Your Gut
The beneficial bacterial cells in your body vastly outnumber your own cells, and most of those bacteria are living in your gut. It’s no surprise, then, that bacterial balance and good gut health play such a huge role in overall health and wellness.
Is Your Gut Unhappy?
An unhappy gut can lead to gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. What’s more, poor gut health means poor digestion and decreased nutrient absorption, as well as an increased risk of yeast infection and bacterial overgrowth.
The Gut-Brain connection
Good gut health also helps keep your brain happy, thanks to the vagus nerve that connects the gut and the brain (among other functions). The “gut brain” contains approximately 100 million neurons and can work both independently of, and together with, the “head brain.”
Most of us know all too well how tummy troubles can affect how we feel and how we think, and how stress and emotional upheaval can wreak havoc on our gastrointestinal system. It makes sense, then, that mental health and gut health go hand in hand.
Keep Your Gut Happy
Fortunately, keeping your gut happy has never been easier. Webber Naturals® offers carefully formulated natural health products, such as probiotics and ginger, to support digestion and bacterial balance and to help prevent and relieve nausea related to various conditions.
Shelf-stable, multistrain probiotic formulas can also help prevent traveller’s diarrhea, support immune function, and offer support at times of stress, and every product has guaranteed potency right through to the expiry date.
Role of the Microbiota
Your microbiota are made up of a collection of microbes that live in your body, including the Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus species of bacteria and yeasts such as Saccharomyces. These microbes have a major impact on a wide range of bodily functions. When healthy, your small intestine microbiota are mainly made up of the Lactobacillus species.
A healthy large intestine (colon) is mostly populated by the Bifidobacteria species. These probiotic species produce and convert nutrients; help protect against pathogens; promote normal inflammatory processes, digestion, and immune function; and are even thought to support mental health by making chemical messengers (known as neurotransmitters).
Even subtle changes in the microbiota can affect overall health and well-being. For instance, bacterial imbalances have not only been linked to digestive concerns, but also to cardiovascular disease, mood imbalances, and immune system dysfunction.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep your microbiota happy and to restore balance if your microbiota have been upset due to diet, lifestyle, antibiotics, or stress.
Probiotic foods contain live organisms that can benefit human health, contributing to a healthy microbiota and supporting digestive health, immune function, and overall health. Probiotics also synthesize essential vitamins that the body cannot produce itself and can create a favourable healthy bacteria environment.
An excellent probiotic food, yogourt can contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria to support digestion and general health.
Avoiding dairy? Look for unsweetened cultured almond, cashew, coconut, and soy yogurts.
Sour, salty, and delicious! Sauerkraut is a source of vitamins and live probiotic cultures. Look for sauerkraut with live cultures at local markets or smaller health food stores.
Like sauerkraut, fermented pickles can be a great source of probiotics. Unfortunately, many store-bought pickles have been pasteurized and don’t contain live cultures, so make your own at home or look for products with live cultures.
This fermented tea contains a plethora of probiotics, including beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Easy to find in your local grocery store, and easy to make at home!
Typically spicy and sour, this fermented cabbage is often used in Korean cuisine to aid digestion. Kimchi also contains vitamins A, C, B1, and B2, beta-carotene, calcium, and iron.
Made from fermented soybeans (and sometimes other legumes), tempeh tastes nutty and mushroom-like and is a source of probiotics and protein. Sautée or bake tempeh and use it in stir fries, salads, and sandwiches.
A staple food in Japan, miso is also popular in macrobiotic diets. This fermented soy paste is chock-full of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, as well as B vitamins. Miso is excellent in soups, stews, marinades, and noodle dishes. Rice, barley, and rye miso are also available.
What are Probiotics?
The gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts, skin, mouth, and nasal passages, are teeming with microorganisms – some good, some bad. Those microorganisms that benefit health are called probiotics.
Over 50 years’ worth of research has given us a good understanding of how probiotics support gastrointestinal and immune system health, along with oral health. More recent research shows that probiotics also support our psychological well-being via the gut-brain connection.
The foods we eat have a significant effect on health, partly due to how different foods affect the microorganisms in the body.
Probiotics vs. Prebiotics
It’s easy to confuse prebiotics and probiotics, especially as many foods and supplements contain both. To simplify, probiotics are the beneficial or good bacteria that support good health, while prebiotics are the foods that feed these beneficial bacteria.
Prebiotics are types of fibre that are indigestible to humans, including inulin, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). These prebiotics may be included in probiotic formulas to help the bacteria establish themselves in the gut. Ensuring a good intake of prebiotic foods helps to nourish good bacteria and gives them an advantage over pathogens.
Prebiotic foods are also often a source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and can support the absorption of nutrients from other foods by helping to create more favourable gastrointestinal conditions. Prebiotics are found in whole plant foods, including nuts and seeds, legumes and pulses (beans, lentils, and peas), vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
How Probiotics Work in the Gut
Probiotic supplements can help to restore and maintain a healthy, balanced microbiota. This is especially important if you are taking or have just finished a course of antibiotics or if you experience vomiting or diarrhea, which can cause a loss of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are also helpful if you are taking antacids or have low stomach acid, as stomach acid helps protect against some pathogenic organisms. There are myriad benefits associated with probiotics. Here are just a few:
Probiotics can help reduce the risk and severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by restoring and maintaining a healthy bacterial balance.
Probiotics help to support immune function, especially in times of stress. Some strains have been found to help reduce the likelihood and duration of cold-like symptoms and winter infections in healthy adults.
Certain probiotic strains help support the gut-brain axis to promote a healthy mood balance, moderate feelings of anxiousness, and help reduce stress-related gastrointestinal symptoms.
Key probiotic strains provide intestinal support and can help reduce stress-related nausea and abdominal pain
Probiotics help support the complete digestion of lactose (milk sugar) to reduce unpleasant symptoms of lactose intolerance such as gas, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and bad breath. Probiotics also support immune function and may help reduce the likelihood of cow’s milk-induced food allergy in infants and young children.
By supporting a healthy bacterial balance, probiotics can help reduce the incidence and severity of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infections.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Probiotics help restore and maintain intestinal flora and support gastrointestinal health. Certain strains have been shown to help reduce the duration of diarrhea in those with IBS.
Nutrient synthesis and absorption
Beneficial bacteria turn indigestible fibre into essential nutrients. These probiotics can synthesize B vitamins and vitamin K, as well as short chain fatty acids, neurotransmitters, and other useful substances, all while supporting the proper digestion of nutrients from food.
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You
Choosing a probiotic supplement can be confusing because there are so many available. Where should you start? Here are a few key things to keep in mind when selecting a probiotic supplement:
Why are you taking it?
Different formulas support certain aspects of health. For example, probiotics can be taken to reduce the negative effects of antibiotics, as well as provide support during traveller’s diarrhea, stress-related tummy upset, or symptoms of IBS.
What does the label say?
Supplements can contain different probiotics strains – some products may provide one strain, while others can provide 10 or more! In addition, supplements will have varied active cell counts, or the number of beneficial bacteria per capsule. Some products may provide 5 billion active cells, while other critical care formulas may provide much higher counts, such as 50 billion.
Is there a guaranteed potency?
The potency claim on the label of a probiotic supplement should indicate the number of active cells at the product’s expiry date and is based on the indicated storage conditions. When choosing a probiotic, it’s important to know where the product should be stored – is it shelf-stable (not requiring refrigeration), or does it always need to be refrigerated? This is especially helpful when choosing a product to use during travel or work..
Webber Naturals provides innovative and condition-specific probiotic formulas that are supported by research. Our products are shelf-stable and guaranteed to have the minimum stated number of active cell counts at the time of manufacture and at expiry.
Probiotics – Which One is
Probiotics – Which One is Right for You?
8 probiotic strains
|Probiotic 100% BB536®|
5 Billion Active Cells
1 probiotic strain
|Probiotic 5 Billion|
with 200 mg Cranberry
5 probiotic strains
|Probiotic IBS Support|
4 probiotic strains
|No Refrigeration Required||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Constipation, Diarrhea, Gas, Bloating||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)||✓||✓||✓|
|Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)||✓||✓||✓|
|Urinary Tract Infections||✓||✓|
What are probiotics good for?
Probiotics support good gut health and can have a wide variety of benefits, depending on the strain. In general, probiotics help support a healthy bacterial balance in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract.
Select strains have also been associated with reductions in antibiotic-associated diarrhea, traveller’s diarrhea, constipation, gas and flatulence, bloating, coughs, and colds, as well as Helicobacter pylori infections and even low mood and feelings of anxiousness.
What is the recommended dosage for probiotics?
The suggested dosage for probiotics depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Higher dose probiotics can be beneficial for addressing significant dysbiosis after antibiotic treatment, infection, and diarrhea, for example, while a lower dose is often suitable for everyday maintenance and support for gut health.
Studies typically report beneficial effects with doses over 3 billion colony forming units, assuming a guaranteed potency at the time of expiry for a probiotic supplement. Speak to your health care professional to find out the probiotic dosage that is right for you.
Do probiotics have risks or side effects?
Probiotics are generally considered safe; side effects, if they occur, tend to be mild and digestive in nature (such as gas or bloating).
More serious effects have been seen in some people, such as those who are immunocompromised, where probiotics might theoretically pose a risk of infection. Prior to using a probiotic, speak to your health care professional if you have any health concerns or conditions.
Are there any contraindications for probiotics?
Anyone who is immunocompromised or who has short gut syndrome should consult their physician prior to using probiotics.
Do you need to take probiotics with food or on an empty stomach?
Probiotics that are gastric acid resistant can be taken with food, while others need to be taken 2–3 hours before or after food.
Webber Naturals probiotic formulas feature gastric acid resistant probiotic strains, meaning they can be taken at any time and will still survive to reach the intestines intact for maximal benefit.
Do I have to refrigerate probiotics?
Some probiotic supplements lose potency unless refrigerated. Webber Naturals probiotic range features carefully selected shelf-stable strains that do not require refrigeration and have guaranteed potency right up to the expiry date.
What dose and strain(s) should I look for in a probiotic?
The recommended doses for probiotics range from 1 billion to 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) for supporting gut health and general health.
A multistrain formula containing a guaranteed minimum of 10 billion CFU is typically considered sufficient for maintaining beneficial bacteria populations and good gut health, but higher doses (up to 50 or even 100 billion CFU) may be helpful during antibiotic use.
As for strain selection, it is best to choose a probiotic formula specifically designed to offer support for your current health concern, whether preventing traveller’s diarrhea, relieving symptoms of IBS, or helping with the gut-brain connection.
Can you take a probiotic every day?
Yes! It’s a good idea to take probiotics regularly to help maintain and restore beneficial bacterial populations. Some beneficial bacteria are “transient,” meaning they do not form colonies in the gut and instead exert their beneficial effects as they pass through the system. As such, it is helpful to take a multistrain formula daily and to eat prebiotic and probiotic foods.
How long does it take for a probiotic to work?
Some probiotic strains have a generation time (the time it takes for the number of bacteria to double) of just 2–3 hours. This means that these strains get to work right away to help crowd out pathogens and support gut health.
Other bacteria take a little longer and tend to have the most impact after two to three weeks of regular use. And, some probiotics are transient species that do not form colonies in the gut, meaning that regular, daily intake is important to replenish the population.
For prevention of traveller’s diarrhea, start taking probiotics five days prior to your trip and continue for the duration of travel for full benefit.
Can you take probiotics with coffee?
Most probiotics are killed by intense heat, so it’s best not to mix or take probiotic supplements directly with a hot beverage or food. However, taking your probiotic with a cold drink or mixing it with cold food like yogourt or a smoothie, and then having coffee, tea, or a hot meal, is fine.
Are probiotic supplements really necessary?
Poor gut health is a common complaint and can have significant effects on quality of life. While some fermented and cultured foods contain probiotics, most of us simply do not consume these at a level sufficient to maintain a healthy bacterial balance, let alone restore beneficial bacteria or guard against pathogen overgrowth. Taking a daily probiotic for general maintenance can be beneficial for many people, while tailored formulas have been shown to help with specific health concerns such as traveller’s diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and IBS.
Can probiotics be taken with antibiotics?
Yes! In fact, it’s a good idea to take probiotics when taking antibiotics as this helps to replenish beneficial bacteria and reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Be sure to take probiotics 2–3 hours before or after taking your antibiotic medication, however, as many broad-spectrum antibiotics kill probiotics if taken simultaneously.
Who needs probiotics?
Everybody! We all need a healthy balance of bacteria to support and maintain good health. Probiotic supplements can help maintain and restore a healthy microbiota, especially in cases of antibiotic use, infections, diarrhea, or other health concerns.
Probiotics are also particularly helpful when travelling to an area where food and water may be contaminated with pathogens, and can also help support digestive function and the gut-brain axis during times of stress.
Which probiotics are best for IBS?
Probiotic IBS Support from Webber Naturals is a unique multi-strain formula clinically proven to help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Each vegetarian capsule provides 7 billion active cells composed of proprietary Lactobacillus, Bacillus, and Enterococcus strains to restore and maintain the intestinal microbiota and support gastrointestinal health.
Where to Buy Webber Naturals Probiotics
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