Farmacy not Pharmacy, General Gut Health, Supplements, Uncategorized

Why Your Probiotics May Not Be Working

A lot of people hear how important probiotics are to gut health. And it’s true! Our lifestyle and diet has not made it easy for our guts to nurture and grow a healthy microbiome. So supplementing with probiotics can help incredibly with digestive issues, anxiety/depression, allergies, autoimmune issues, and more. However, they can be pricey and when some people I hear complain that they didn’t notice an improvement from taking them, I can see why many quit after a short trial. Don’t do that!

probiotic killersWhat we forget is that one of the reasons why our lifestyle and diet doesn’t make it easy for a healthy microbiome to flourish in our gut, is that we don’t feed the bacteria in our gut what they need to multiply. Our diets are rich in protein, refined carbohydrates, and fats, but not enough in specific types of carbohydrates our gut flora love and need to survive.

So we spend thirty to sixty dollars a month on probiotics and within a couple of days those billions of bacteria die off before they had a chance to make a difference.

So what are we not eating enough of? Prebiotics. And these are made up of primarily undigestible carbohydrates. These are the carbs that do not get digested in your upper intestine so they make it to your lower intestine where are your bacteria are supposed to grow and thrive.

Probiotic foods dietThose bacteria get hungry, but sadly, pizza, hamburgers, and even many salads are already digested by the time they make it to the lower intestine, which means that those bacteria are starving. And just like any living creature, if they don’t get the food they need to survive, they will die.

So what do we need to eat in order to feed our microbiome from our probiotics? We need inulin, fiber, pectin, flavanols, and fructooligosaccharides and polyphenols.

Prebiotics have one or more of the indigestible carbohydrates from the list above and come in the form of some common and not so common foods. I’ve compiled a list here for you to use and make sure to include a few forms of these prebiotics every single day.

Roots and Tubers:

  • chicory root (drink like coffee)
  • potatoes
  • yams/sweet potatoes
  • yacon, konjac, hicama, and burdock roots
  • jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
  • garlic
  • onion
  • parsnips and turnips
  • celery root

Some Fruit:

  • blueberries
  • unripe/green bananas
  • plantains
  • apples
  • mangos
  • papayas
  • Pulp from ripe, in season, organic fruit.
  • Figs (technically a flower!)
  • dried dates and figs

Some Veggies:

  • celery
  • leeks
  • dandelion greens
  • seaweed
  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • radicchio
  • Belgian endive
  • Cruciferous veggies (cooked if you have IBS)
  • Leafy greens

Some grain:

  • hulled barley
  • oats
  • wheat bran

Seeds:

  • chia/flax seeds

Fungus: 

  • Mushrooms

Some Nuts

  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamias
  • Pecans

Other Starches

  • Shiratake noodles
  • other non-grain “pastas”
  • Some Sauces/Vinegars/Oils
  • lemon juice
  • vinegar
  • Italian balsamic vinegar

probiotic1-13So go ahead and sprinkle some flax seed on that spinach salad, add a yam to your dinner, and don’t forget to flavor up that meat with some garlic and onions. Your probiotics will thank you and you just might start noticing them really work to help you with regularity, reduced anxiety, reduced bloating and gas, and overall wellness.

On the days when you don’t have time or the circumstances don’t lend yourself to any real amount of prebiotics. You can also supplement.There are a few great prebiotic supplements out there from trusted companies like Garden of Life and Doctors in the wellness community including Dr. Gundry, Dr. Lynch, and Dr. Tobias.

 

 

 

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Farmacy not Pharmacy, General Gut Health, Supplements

8 Ways to Fight Infection Without Antibiotics

Antibiotics are an amazing scientific discovery that have saved countless lives. I’m so glad they exist and believe that when there is a real need for them, they are a God-send.

But the sad truth is, they are over-prescribed by doctors. And between antibiotic usage, the S.A.D of most people in the western world, and the stress of American life–our gut and therefore our bodies and minds are paying the price.

Just one bottle of antibiotics kills enough good bacteria in your gut that it takes an entire year for a healthy gut to recover from it, and that is not quite completely.

And that’s a healthy gut.

So when it comes to taking antibiotics, you really need to be careful about jumping the gun and opting into that as a first resort for infection. Make it a last resort unless you have something that is deadly if not used. Here are some ways to prevent infection and what supplements to take if you fear one starting to develop.

Made of Probiotic symbol heart and symbolic medical illustration of the intestinal bacterial floraPrevention #1- Keep Your Gut Healthy in the First Place

First off, I will say that you can be preventative in general of upper respiratory infections that lead to needing antibiotics often times by doing two things– keeping your gut healthy will keep your immune system strong will help. This means staying on a probiotic regimen is necessary to keep your microbiome count diverse and abundant. The more diverse and the more abundant the better. My three favorites include Seeking Health’s Probiota 12, Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotics, and Modere’s Probiotic Support (Tastes amazing and perfect for kids).

Woman with allergy symptom blowing nosePrevention #2–Eliminate Allergens, Which Can Lead to Inflammation and Infections

Eliminating allergens from your life including foods that you are allergic too, is key. And I don’t mean allergies that make you go into anaphylactic shock. Obviously that, but food allergies can show in other ways too.  I’m talking about the foods that cause bowel issues, or nasal congestion and inflammation in your body because that causes complications that lead to infection.

I used to get 1-3 upper respiratory infections a year that lead me to get antibiotics. This was a common issue that to me was normal. And I even prided myself in the fact that I only needed to go to the doctor 1-3 times a year.

It wasn’t until I got off dairy and wheat that I noticed, I didn’t get those upper respiratory infections anymore. I saw a D.O who took an allergy panel on me and told me that if I stayed away from those two foods, I probably wouldn’t have any more issues. That it was caused by congestion that turned into bacterial infections. Sure enough, she was right. The only antibiotics I have had in the last 8 years have been a bottle of antibiotic eye ointment for a bad case of pink eye my usual natural remedy couldn’t get rid of.

But in the case that you do get a UTI, a bad cold, a possible sinus or ear infection, or some dreaded pink eye– here are some ways you can get on top of it so you don’t need to get on antibiotics. Definitely Put These in Your Medicine Cabinet and cold-kits.

elderberriesElderberry Extract– Now this is more of a natural anti-viral. But a lot of viral colds can turn into a bacteria-ridden infection if they are complicated by allergies or are not cleared up so bacteria starts collecting in the congested areas. This is very preventative. It will help you get over a cold or flu much faster and prevent you from getting an infection.  I personally prefer the droppers with concentrated elderberry and no alcohol over other tinctures and syrups. They have to be carefully made so it is safest to buy them rather than make your own from elderberries.

silverColloidal Silver– This stuff is amazing! It is a natural antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial positively charged mineral that attaches to the cells of these bugs and destroys them. It is not safe to use it all the time or in large quantities but with the recommended dosages, it is safe and incredibly effective. I prefer Sovereign Silver brand because their’s is 98% positively charged as well as use the tiniest particles available to make it easy to absorb and eliminate. I use it in my kids ears when they have ear aches, sniff it up my nose when I have a cold that I don’t want to turn into a sinus infection, and even in my eyes when I have gotten an eye infection. You can get it as a nasal spray and as a dropper and I always have one of each in my medicine cabinet. They now have one with dosage best for kids! Woohoo! I’ve used it on cuts and on ingrown toe nails.

oregano oilOregano oil — in concentrated form, oregano oil has natural antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral effects. Many of my friends swear by it for their yeast infections, UTI’s, colds, flus, and more. You can can take it in capsules or straight from a dropper! Studies show that it is particularly great for gut health as well, reducing inflammation, ridding the body of candida, and helping ailments such as colitis.

cranberriesD-Mannose— This is my go-to for UTI’s. It is a type of sugar that is in cranberries that has an amazing ability to prevent bacteria like e-coli from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract and causing infection. E-coli is the number one cause of urinary tract infections. So it is a great first resort if you notice the early stages of one coming or if you are prone to them as part of your regular preventative routine. If you don’t notice a difference in a day of taking D-Mannose, try the Oregano oil before heading to the doctor for those antibiotics. If you catch it early, you can get rid of it within a couple of days.

garlicGarlic and Garlic Oil– Not only does garlic add flavor to your food, but it also has incredible anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Swallow the garlic toes whole or in concentrated form in capsules for cold fighting strength, or drop the garlic oil in your ears for an ear infection. I like to alternate between garlic oil and colloidal silver for ear infections. My kids find instant relief since they are the ones more prone to them.

Manuka_flowers_and_native_beeManuka Honey– Honey has been used for centuries as a natural anti-biotic, with incredible benefits on bacterial skin infections. But Manuka Honey has had the most of the reputation for such medicinal qualities. You can not only eat it straight and raw, but you can also buy skin creams with it. But it has been known to destroy MRSA and prevent/treat strep throat and other staph infections.

If you are good about keeping your immune system strong and allergies to a minimum, you are already well on your way to reducing your need for antibiotics. But if you are getting sick or catch the beginning stages of an infection, these are excellent natural remedies that will help you get well, and keep that gut flora vibrant.

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-434/elderberry

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/colloidal-silver#benefits

https://www.verywellhealth.com/oregano-oil-health-benefits-89490

https://chriskresser.com/the-high-price-of-antibiotic-use-can-our-guts-ever-fully-recover/