Is your daily probiotic really helping you?

2 Your Health

Cheese pizza — it’s a staple in many households. But high caloric, fatty foods like this could be giving you what’s called leaky gut.

“The way you think about this is in your small intestine there is a line of cells. The gut barrier that protects your body from the contents of your gut,” explained Professor Brian McFarlin at the University of North Texas. “Some individuals, they have slight disruptions in the gut barrier that make them susceptible to things that they eat.”

Probiotics are marketed to promote gut health, but McFarlin says not all are created equal.

In his study, he fed pizza to a test group of healthy people and then gave a probiotic to those who developed leaky gut.

“We actually showed that we were able to improve gut barrier function by about thirty percent after a thirty-day intervention with a probiotic taken on a daily basis,” he said.

So, what kind of probiotic was it?

“It was spore-forming probiotics or ground-based probiotics,” said McFarlin. “These are actually not things that are cooked up in a laboratory, these are naturally occurring substances. They are actually found, a lot of times they are found in dirt or they are found on the peels of fruit.”

He says since nowadays we thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, we don’t consume these kinds of natural gut healers anymore.

Still, we can find good alternatives at the supermarket.

“I think looking at a probiotic with that’s a spore-based probiotic or a ground-forming probiotic tends to be the best because those probiotics, the way that they exist in nature, they actually can survive the stomach acid and they actually can populate the small intestine which is the really important part.”

The participants in the study maintained their normal diets and lifestyle.

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