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Probiotics – better than a multivitamin

Probiotics are an important supplement to be taking. I think they are so important that I often say they’re even more important than a multivitamin! Why is this, you might ask. Let’s start by seeing what they are and what they do.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are a supplement that helps support your own native digestive system. They are a living supplement. The probiotics that I carry in the office have randomized clinical studies showing the positive effect they have on the body’s functioning. Why is this important? Because it is showing that the bacteria in the probiotic supplements will positively change your health. Studies are showing that specific bacteria are decreasing anxiety, improving cholesterol levels, improving weight, and improving your immune function for example.

By supporting your gut microbiome with probiotics you can change your health.This is exciting! And this is why taking a probiotic on a regular basis is so important.

What do probiotics do?

  • They affect multiple systems in our body – from the brain, to joints, to vaginal tract, and of course the gut (and more)
  • Help to maintain homeostasis (balance) in the body
  • Restore microbial balance (dysbiosis) – for example in IBS or SIBO
  • They can improve your body’s functioning

Is your probiotic good?

How do you know if your probiotic is effective? That’s a great question. Check and see if the label has a sub-note that says *X billion bacteria at the time of manufacture”. This is an important key to reading your label! It basically tells you that the brand has no responsibility to the amount of bacteria that survive during the shelf life. So you aren’t really sure what you’re buying. The number of bacteria is definitely important but living bacteria is even more important. This is why I provide the probiotics that I do.

The HMF brand probiotics are derived and isolated from humans which means they are guaranteed to work. They have been screened for the ability to survive the stomach and small intestine environment, the action they have on the body, and if they’re sensitive to antibiotics. They are also developed to be stable and maintain the amount of bacteria stated on the label for the duration of the shelf life. You get what you pay for really is true when talking about probiotics.

When do you need probiotics

Beneficial bacteria can decrease in the following circumstances.

    • Age
    • Medication use
    • Lifestyle
    • Dietary changes or poor diet choices
    • Stress
    • Travel

By maintaining beneficial bacteria you are promoting healthy digestive function. This positively affects many other systems in your body.

Who should take probiotics?

I recommend taking probiotics on a regular basis to maintain optimal health and digestive function. Probiotics support optimal health with:

  • Pre and post-pregnancy
  • Infants (1 year+)
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Seniors

As you can see probiotics are good for everyone. They make a big difference.

The HMF product line is just one of the probiotics I carry in the office and recommend. They are highly researched and effective, as are the other brands I recommend. If you’re not on a probiotic now I highly recommend that you start taking one. It can make a difference in your brain health, your immunity, your gut health, your athletic endurance, and more! 

Dr. Laura Enfield, ND, LAc

Dr. Laura Enfield is a California licensed naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist. She is an expert in helping people with acute and chronic joint pain, digestive issues, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, and thyroid issues.

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