Executive Director, Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
Did you know that good gut health can serve as a gateway to our overall well-being? A healthy gut microbiome contributes to a strong immune system, heart and brain health, improved mood, effective digestion, and many other benefits
Our body is home to nearly 40 million living microbes, mostly in our digestive tract. These microbes play a central role in our well-being. A healthy gut microbiome helps us in many ways, such as absorbing minerals like calcium from our diet, supporting a strong and healthy gut barrier function, and fighting off harmful bacteria that could otherwise make us sick.
How do I improve my gut health?
Our diet has the most direct and effective impact on our gut health.
“When we consume a diet rich in fibre from plant foods such as vegetables and whole grains, a healthy gut microbiome can produce short-chain fatty acids including butyrate, which are critical for keeping us healthy,” explains registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen. “Butyrate is a primary fuel source for our gut cells, in addition to having positive effects on the immune system and even nervous system function.”
That means the more healthy, nutritious foods we incorporate into our diet, the more balanced our gut microbiome will be. Some foods are especially good for gut health, such as bone-broth and soft-cooked vegetables, and probiotic foods like coconut yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
While food is foundational to good gut health, there are things we can incorporate on top of our diet, such as probiotic supplements, that can help us achieve optimal microbiome wellness.
“Probiotics are good microbes that act as allies in our gut health,” says Kelsey Cheyne, Executive Director, Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. “Each probiotic is unique, has a very specific intended purpose, with specific types or strains that can help manage certain specific conditions. These include reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea and managing IBS symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits. These friendly microbes also help us digest fibre and other nutrients.”
A healthy gut microbiome helps us in many ways, such as absorbing minerals like calcium from our diet, supporting a strong and healthy gut barrier function, and fighting off harmful bacteria that could otherwise make us sick.
How do I select the best probiotics?
Figuring out which probiotic is right for your body can be overwhelming, but the most important thing is to ensure its effectiveness. There are five criteria that make a probiotic effective, according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics: high-quality strains, synergy of strains; guaranteed bioactivity, gastrointestinal survival, and clinical study approval.
Not all probiotics are made equal, and not all probiotics meet these criteria. As a leading probiotic in Canada, Bio-K+ is formulated for optimal gut health. Not only does it meet each criterion for effectiveness, but Bio-K+ has also been clinically proven in human trials unlike most probiotics on the market.
In 1960, Microbiologist Dr. François Marie Luquet isolates human bacteria with amazing properties which later inspired Claude Chevalier, the founder of Bio-K +, to create a fermented drinkable probiotic for everyday use. In 1996, the first bottles of Bio-K+ original fermented probiotic founded in Canada went to market.
Bio-K+ has a unique and propriety combination of three probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285®, Lactobacillus casei LBC80R®, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CLR2®, each working in synergy to deliver results. The original Bio-K+ product is available as a capsule and as a milk or soy-based drink.
Recently, Bio-K+ launched the new Extra line, which is 100% vegan and boasts the addition of clinically tested plant extracts with various functional benefits. These include Wellmune for immune health and Cereboost for cognitive function.
“You can now have your probiotic with extra benefits, all in one little bottle,” adds Nielsen.