Purely Nutrition School // What Probiotics Are REALLY Good For
We love probiotics here at Purely Elizabeth! So much so, we added them to some of our granolas: Chocolate Sea Salt + Maple Walnut. You’ve probably heard that probiotics are good for you. They do something good for your gut/digestive system… But what does that actually mean?
Well buckle up, we are headed to Nutrition School. Here are the ACTUAL benefits and the science behind probiotics.
What is a probiotic?
A probiotic is a “live microorganism that, when consumed in adequate amounts, confers an health benefit to the host” (World Health Organization).
What kind of probiotics does Purely Elizabeth use?
We add GanedenBC30
This probiotic (bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 for all you science nerds) is a patented vegan strain of probiotics that is found in a lot of other food, beverage, and companion animal products throughout the world. It can survive the baking process and is highly stable through shelf life and stomach acid. It comes in a powdered form and is super easy to add to granola! :)
This probiotic is known to support digestive health (at 1 billion CFU), support immune health (at 500 million CFU) + support protein utilization (at 1 billion CFU).
Our granola has 500 million CFUs per serving, so we recommend two servings per day to reach OPTIMAL probiotic benefits.
How do they survive? What about refrigeration?
Many lactic acid bacterium, like those found in yogurt, do require refrigeration to maintain viability. But the probiotics in our granola are spore-forming microorganisms, meaning the organism is naturally capable of forming a dormant spore which protects the genetic core of the cell for long periods of time. That dormant spore will not germinate and reproduce until it is in an environment of 30 degrees Celsius with available water and food. Cool huh?
So this spore-forming quality keeps the probiotics dormant through the manufacturing processes, a 3 year shelf life, and low pH and bile salts of the gastric transit. THEN once it hits the digestive system, where the moisture, food source, and temperature conditions are just right, it comes out and germinates, providing benefits to that belly.
So about this “Gut Health” Hoopla:
- 90% of serotonin (chemical/neurotransmitter responsible for mood balance) is produced in the gut
- 50% of dopamine (chemical/neurotransmitter responsible for motor symptoms as well as emotions/sensations of pleasure and pain) is produced in the gut
- 70-80% of your immune system lives in your gut
- Your gut has over 500 million neurons. Like a second brain, it senses environmental threats and influences your response
(source: Body + Eden)
So since all these chemicals, systems, and neurons are so concentrated in the gut– it is vital to keep it happy and healthy.
Here comes those BENEFITS of Probiotics:
Your body is a microbiome, containing trillions of bacteria that form an eco-system in each person. This bacterium inside of us has important effects not only on digestion, but also the immune system and potentially even mood, because of all those neurons/chemicals in the gut!
Think of Probiotics as GOOD bacteria, the same or very similar to the bacteria already in your body. The good kind. Whenever your body has too many of the “bad” and not enough of the “good” bacteria, it becomes off balanced which can cause all kinds of issues in your body’s systems.
Lactobacillus bifidobacteria, Saccharomyces boulardii and Bacillus coagulans (fancy science names for certain probiotics) are known for being highly beneficial as a supplement. They help put your microbiome back into balance and other health benefits include:
- Promote a healthy immune support
- Help manage weight
- Prevent digestion issues like diarrhea or constipation
(source: Mayo Clinic)
Gimme More– The Digestive System:
Your digestive system powers your entire body. It’s home to 70% of your immune system, and it’s where nutrients, vitamins and minerals are absorbed. It’s two essential functions are:
- The absorption of nutrients and
- The elimination of harmful bacteria
Those two functions help keep us healthy and feeling our best! A proper balance of good vs. bad bacteria will allow the digestive system to perform these functions smoothly. Remember adding probiotics to your diet helps with that balance!
Gimme More– The Immune System
Since 70% of your immune system is housed within the digestive system, a healthy digestive system is clearly going to also benefit the immune system. We want to create an optimal environment for the immune system to function.
So be good to your gut– grab a bag of Purely Elizabeth Probiotic Granola and eat a serving OR TWO! Also you can check out our Gut Healthy Shopping List from our Purely Winter Magazine for other probiotic suggestions.
Thanks for letting us talk nerdy to you ;) If there are any other nutrition questions you have leave a comment! Maybe it’ll inspire another science lesson post.