How to Decipher Probiotics
Have you ever found yourself staring at the multitude of different probiotic supplements on store shelves - and not knowing how to pick one that’s right for you?
Rest assured, you’re not alone in feeling confused and overwhelmed. Probiotics are the bacteria and yeasts that live in your body and keep your gut healthy. These friendly bacteria patrol your intestines and keep your digestive system running smoothly by helping to digest food, absorb nutrients, and destroy harmful disease-causing bacteria.
To help sort out the most important criteria in choosing a probiotic, we’ve provided some key points that could be worthwhile considering before making a decision.
Good gut health is foundational for overall physical and mental well-being. “All disease begins in the gut” is a quote famously attributed to the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates nearly 2,500 years ago. Modern day science has shown that 70%-80% of your immune system is housed in this area as it contains about 100 trillion bacteria with over 1,000 different bacterial species.
Creating and maintaining a broad diversity of microbes in the gut has been viewed as an important biomarker for good health - numerous studies have observed lower diversity as being associated with various diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, obesity, and other health concerns.
Factors such as food additives, stress and prescription drugs can have a negative impact on our guts. Research has shown that it can take several months, and even years, for this ecosystem to recover after antibiotic use.
Quantity and diversity of probiotic strains
Probiotic supplements can vary greatly with respect to the quantity of beneficial bacteria, ranging from millions to billions (expressed as Colony Forming Units, or CFU) as well as the diversity of strain types.
Currently, the most powerful manufactured probiotic supplement on the market is 500 billion CFU with 4 strains. While others are less powerful, they typically provide up to 15 different types of strains.
The Cultured Coconut, a traditionally-fermented coconut milk kefir, is significantly higher in both the number of strains, and also type of strains.
A microbial analysis that was conducted by a bioscience food lab in Cork, Ireland confirmed that there are 4+ trillion CFU and 40+ different types of probiotic strains in just 1 daily tablespoon. To put that value in perspective, the probiotic value of The Cultured Coconut (based on the daily tablespoon amount) could be matched by taking an entire bottle of a typical probiotic supplement with the strength of only 150 billion CFU per capsule.
One could certainly say that the numbers speak for themselves.
Survival of the fittest
The naturally-occurring probiotics found in The Cultured Coconut, by their very nature, exist in an acidic environment (although they affect the body’s pH in a favourable way) . During the traditional fermentation cycle, these microbes have had to evolve in order to cope, so they're naturally able to survive. That helps them withstand the stomach acid in order to then have an influence in the intestinal area on the other side.
The beneficial bacteria are both live and active (in liquid form), so they can start to take immediate affect. They also have the unique advantage of making physical contact on their journey between your mouth and the stomach.
The potential health benefits of manufactured probiotic supplements may not be fully realized because of the potential reduction in their viability during their journey through the gastrointestinal tract. To prevent this from happening, a process called microencapsulation is often used to enhance the resistance of probiotics to unfavourable conditions.
However, there can be a downside - the use of chemicals in creating this protective coating around the probiotic strains. One of the most popular probiotic supplement brands uses titanium dioxide (used as a colourant in food, drugs and cosmetics) is known to trigger a significant immune response and inflammation in the gut.
The Cultured Coconut only contains three natural ingredients - filtered water, organic whole coconut, and probiotic strains that naturally form during the traditional fermentation process. Absolutely nothing artificial, so what you’ll get is quite simply, nature’s finest probiotic.
Synergy of strains
The full spectrum of 40+ probiotic strains found in The Cultured Coconut form naturally through the traditional fermentation cycle. The kefir grains used, living entities that resemble little gelatinous pieces of cauliflower, essentially infuse the coconut milk with an exceptionally high level of probiotic bacteria and beneficial yeast. Thanks to Mother Nature, every single probiotic strain is in the perfect ratio to one another. As a result, they all possess an inherent ability to work together synergistically and act in unison as a natural family.
By definition, their interaction produces a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. As a result, there is no requirement to rotate different probiotic supplements in order to achieve more diversity of your friendly bacteria.
The Cultured Coconut is safe to take daily and on a long-term basis.
For further information, a scientific article entitled ‘The Microbiota and Health Promoting Characteristics of the Fermented Beverage Kefir’ can be found here.
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