antibiotics

Spoon filled with various pills

Could Diet Affect Your Gut’s Response to Antibiotics?

We remind you from time-to-time how harmful antibiotics can be to your overall health — not to mention your gut — if you rely on them a lot.

Taking an antibiotic — even when it’s necessary — alters the critical balance of bacteria in your gut that fuels and protects your immune system.

Did you know your diet triggers changes in your gut bacteria when you’re taking an antibiotic too?

What you eat when taking an antibiotic matters

Researchers at Brown University studied the effect of common antibiotics (amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin and doxycycline) on three sets of mice, focusing on changes in gut bacteria balance and how bacteria adapted after those treatments with food.

A couple of basic things really stood out.

For one, the amount of a specific bacteria strain (acteroides thetaiotaomia specific bacteria strain B) actually tripled in size when exposed to antibiotics, affecting the overall healthy balance of gut bacteria in mice.

This second result is interesting and goes straight to the question of eating a supportive gut-healthy diet with dietary fiber.

No surprise, the gut bacteria of mice fed dietary fiber were far less affected by their exposure to antibiotics by a factor of 10.

Once again, these results show how antibiotics alter the balance of gut health, and how the quality of your diet may protect or hurt it.

The take-home message here really is twofold.

  1. Work on increasing the dietary fiber you eat every day by eating more whole foods and fewer heavily processed foods. It doesn’t take much (1 ounce or 30 grams) to make a healthy difference.
  2. Taking a probiotic with 10 strains and 30 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic every day supports and protects the balance of bacteria in your gut — the center of your body’s immune system — when you’re taking an antibiotic.

Resources

Cell Metabolism

Brown University

Mayo Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

woman putting a pill in her mouth

The Newest Superbug Problem: Pain Relievers

Think about the last time you were prescribed an antibiotic or pain reliever by your doctor… Did you really need it?

An estimated 43 percent of the 130 million scripts for antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed or issued for no reason, according to a recent Oregon State University report.

These unnecessary prescriptions are creating a world in which antibiotics are losing their ability to work as they should, and that’s a real health problem for all of us.

Not only does the excessive use of antibiotics harm the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, but these drugs can also leave you vulnerable to superbug infections like Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that are resistant to them.

Taking pain-relieving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may worsen that problem, according to a recent study appearing in mBio.

Are you taking this drug?

Taking any type of drugs come with some health concerns — even small ones. The real challenge is looking for ways to modify those risk factors in the presence of diseases like C. diff, says Dr. David Aronoff, a microbiologist, infectious disease expert, and the lead author of this study.

Scientists tracked the health of two groups of mice treated with antibiotics after being infected with C. diff. One group was treated with indomethacin, an NSAID used to treat severe pain caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, while the control group received no drug.

Only 20 percent of the mice exposed to the NSAID survived to the end of the study. What’s more, mice treated with the pain-relieving drug and antibiotics experienced altered gut microbiomes and worse C. diff infections, a sign their tiny immune systems were harmed.

Why you should be concerned: Indomethacin shares roughly the same biological mechanisms as far more common over-the-counter NSAIDs you may be taking more regularly, like aspirin and ibuprofen. (Taking acetaminophen in large doses isn’t safe for your gut either.)

Protect your gut

Previously, we have warned you about the effect a higher-than-you’d-expect number of non-antibiotic drugs that treat a myriad of problems with mental health, cancer, diabetes and blood pressure have on your gut bacteria.

As much as you’d like to avoid these interactions, that may not possible. You may need to take an antibiotic, one of these other drugs — or both — that may disturb the healthy balance and immune-supportive power, either for a short time or a long time.

So, what can you do?

First, be knowledgeable about those possible interactions when consulting with your doctor or your local pharmacist.

Also, taking a probiotic, ideally, one that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, may be your best weapon to give your body the help it needs to maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, protect your immune system and prevent C. diff infections altogether.

Resources

mBio

American Society for Microbiology

MedlinePlus

WebMD

American Academy of Rheumatology

 

 

image of intestines and pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness

How Gut Health Drives Breast Cancer

When women consider the steps they’ll take to lessen their risks of breast cancer, protecting the healthy balance of gut bacteria may not be at the top of their to-do lists.

However, women would probably reconsider in a heartbeat if they understood how restoring that balance affected the severity and aggressiveness of breast cancer.

Disruptions of the gut microbiome balance and inflammation may worsen the spread of at least one form of breast cancer severely, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Research.

Disruptions with antibiotics

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancers (ones triggered by estrogen or progesterone) accounts for at least two-thirds of all diagnoses and these forms usually respond well to hormone therapy.

Major problems arise when these cancers metastasize, spreading beyond the breast into other body tissues. High levels of immune cells in those tissues known as macrophages can fuel early metastasis.

Scientists at the University of Virginia led by Dr. Melanie Rutkowski examined how the gut affects the spread of breast cancer by altering the microbiomes of mice. (They fed mice antibiotic “cocktails” for 14 days or plain water before injecting them with mammary cancer cells.)

Spreading breast cancer

No surprise, the microbiomes of mice treated with antibiotics were disrupted, resulting in inflammation systemically and within mammary tissue.

“In this inflamed environment, tumor cells were much more able to disseminate from the tissue into the blood and to the lungs, which is a major site for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to metastasize,” says Dr. Rutkowski.

Based on these findings, Dr. Rutkowski and her team believe an unhealthy gut and the problems that occur in the body as a result may be early predictors of metastatic or invasive breast cancer.

It’s important to note that the megadoses of antibiotic used to accelerate the long-term imbalances of animal microbiomes wouldn’t happen with patients taking a typical course of antibiotics during a typical cancer treatment, Dr. Rutkowski says.

But, too many patients still rely on antibiotics way too often, even for treating minor health problems that aren’t designed to respond to these drugs.

Gut health affects your entire health!

Your gut affects so many parts of your health that are intricately tied to your immune system, and a lack of gut bacteria diversity harms those efforts.

Although there’s many steps you can take to protect and improve the health of your gut and immune system, taking a probiotic is among the best and easiest choices you can make.

To get the most good out of the probiotic you’re taking, ensure it’s formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria that mirror and enhance the diversity of your gut too.

Formulated to give your immune system a much-needed daily boost, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic contains 10 strains of beneficial bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families — 30 BILLION bacterial allies — that protect your gut every day.

References

Illustration of orange pill bottle on dark blue background

Should You Really Be Taking an Antibiotic?

The last time you visited your doctor, you may have received a prescription of an antibiotic. Did you take the initiative to ask the physician if you really needed that antibiotic you were prescribed?

Often, antibiotics serve as effective tools that solve a multitude of health problems, but only when they’re really necessary. Patients rely too often on antibiotics even for minor problems, like viruses or bacterial infections that don’t even respond these kinds of drugs.

Maybe, you pressured your doctor to prescribe a round of antibiotics just so you could get well and get back to work…

Consider this scary report about the rampant over-prescribing of antibiotics as your latest wake-up call to really consider whether you really need them or not.

No reason to prescribe antibiotics

A team of Oregon-based scientists examined how often patients received prescriptions for antibiotics out of nearly a billion of outpatient visits nationwide.

They examined samples of data culled from the 2015 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, looking for indications whether antibiotic prescriptions were necessary, inappropriate or issued for no documented reason.

Antibiotics were prescribed in about 13 percent of those visits (some 130 million times). A majority of them (57 percent) were judged to be medically appropriate and necessary.

But that’s only part of the story…

The remainder of antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed (25 percent) or issued for no documented reason (18 percent). In other words, many of the 56 million prescriptions for antibiotics in those other categories were probably unnecessary.

Many of those wasted prescriptions were for urinary anti-infective agents, drugs used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). What’s more, patients who spent more time with their physicians or suffered from chronic health issues were prescribed antibiotics for no reason.

Probiotics to the rescue

All of these unnecessary prescriptions come with a huge price: Creating an antibiotic-resistant world where these valuable drugs lose their ability to work properly.

The end results are superbug infections stemming from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) that can be impossible to treat.

The most important takeaway is pretty simple: If you need to take an antibiotic for any reason, be aware these drugs can create imbalances in your gut that harm your immune system and slow down your ability to get well.

Your best weapon to protect your health and help your body do the hard work of healing with a little damage as possible is a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

EndoMune’s powerful formula of 10 beneficial strains of bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillusfamilies and a prebiotic (that feeds the good bugs in your gut) not only protects and enhances your immune health.

(If you’re suffering from a urinary tract infection, probiotics like EndoMune are a safe and proven way to treat them.)

It helps that very necessary antibiotic you need to do its job to help you get well when you really need it.

Resources

female reproductive system made out of paper flowers

Bad Gut Health Worsens PCOS Risks For Young Women

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a seriously frustrating condition that affects nearly 20 percent of women who want to conceive or experience hormonal challenges during their reproductive years.

Although the root cause of PCOS remains unknown, some experts believe an overproduction of insulin may be a prime suspect. (Up to 40 percent of women with PCOS have also been diagnosed with insulin resistance.)

Too much insulin can increase the production of androgens, leading to acne, irregular ovulation, depression, excessive body hair growth and weight gains.

More evidence is pointing to another telltale sign of PCOS: A gut bacteria imbalance.

An unhealthy imbalance

Scientists established a connection between gut bacteria imbalances and PCOS while examining the health of young girls for a study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

University of Colorado researchers tracked the gut health of obese and sedentary teens, including 37 patients with PCOS and 21 patients with regular menstrual cycles.

An analysis of fecal samples among teens with PCOS found telltale signs of problems related to imbalances of more bad gut bacteria: Higher levels of testosterone and markers of metabolic syndrome (liver inflammation, the appearance of plasma triglycerides and higher blood pressure numbers)

The good news: Previous research on reducing PCOS symptoms uncovered a simple, healthy solution that can rebalance the gut health of women early in their reproductive years: multi-strain probiotics.

This simple intervention improved issues with depression, lowered testosterone levels and reduced the incidence of extra body hair.

In fact, two of the beneficial bacterial strains used in this previous study from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families are among the 10 gut-healthy ingredients found in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic contains 30 BILLION bacterial allies that protect your gut every day, plus a prebiotic (FOS) that keeps the beneficial bacteria in your gut fed and happy.

References

 

Pregnant woman looking out a window while holding her belly.

Coronavirus and Pregnancy

Coronavirus Adds New Anxieties for Pregnant Women 

Recently, the World Health Organization labeled coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic. Many pregnant women have expressed concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and the health of their unborn babies. Not much is known about pregnancy and the new Coronavirus as more research is being done.

As you might already know, the virus spreads through respiratory droplets sent into the air when a person who is infected coughs or sneezes. It might also spread when someone touches a surface infected by a person who has the virus.

Health officials are urging pregnant women, along with the elderly and others with weakened immune systems, to do their best to avoid exposure to the Coronavirus. Doctors suggest staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowds — including long lines at the supermarkets and other stores — and staying away from emergency rooms if possible.

New information is being discovered daily, but today we answered some of the most common questions surrounding pregnancy and COVID-19.

What can pregnant women do to protect themselves against the novel Coronavirus? 

While there is further research underway across the world, it is currently not known if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public or if they are more likely to have a serious illness as a result of it.

Women experience physiological changes during pregnancy that can weaken their immune systems and place them at higher risk for severe complications if exposed to viruses, especially if they have underlying health conditions. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness in the past.

With little knowledge of how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their unborn children, it is pertinent they protect themselves from illnesses and use all the precautions to reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19.

Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to void infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these actions:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes – using a tissue is best, but your elbow is a good alternative
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables from the store
  • Avoid public spaces (social distancing is important to limit the spread of the virus)
  • Avoid people who are sick – even in your own home
  • Hydrate and rest often
  • Take a high-quality probiotic to promote healthy digestion and immune health
  • Maintain a healthy diet, high in antioxidant-rich foods

Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn? 

It is not currently known if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

In a recent study published in ​The Lancet​, researchers followed nine pregnant women who had tested positive for the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China— the epicenter of the outbreak— during their third trimester. “Researchers found that none of the infants, all delivered cesarean, had the virus at birth. The virus was not found in samples of the mothers’ breast milk, cord blood, babies throats or amniotic fluid.”

“The risk of passing the infection to the fetus appears to be low, and there is no evidence of any fetal malformations or effects due to maternal infection with COVID-19,” according to the study.

Can you breastfeed if you tested positive for COVID-19? 

While there is no ​evidence​ of the virus in breastmilk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s still not clear whether the virus can be transmitted to infants during feedings.

“Given that the virus is spread through respiratory droplets, mothers should wash their hands before feeding their babies, consider wearing a face mask to minimize the infant’s exposure and properly clean their breast pumps.”

Stay Positive and Take Your Probiotics

It’s important to keep it all in perspective! Create a new daily routine at home to help maintain a sense of normalcy until the baby arrives and take your daily probiotics to help build the best defense.

Resources

US National Library of Medicine

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Lancet

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist

 

Image of test results for Urinary Tract Infection

Reduce Recurrent UTI Risks with Probiotics

Many of you know about urinary tract infections (UTIs), common health problems caused by bacterial infections in the urinary system (most often in the urethra and bladder).

The treatment most doctors recommend for treating a UTI — a common issue for kids, women and older adults — is a commonly prescribed antibiotic, like amoxicillin or ciprofloxacin.

Too much of a good thing?

Unfortunately, doctors and their patients often rely too much on antibiotics. In fact, antibiotics may be not necessary as much as 43 percent of the time, according to recent numbers reported by The BMJ.

Plus, with the over-prescribing of these drugs comes a greater risk of antibiotic resistance, a huge problem that can arise when they are needed most.

Probiotics have become the go-to answer for fighting antibiotic resistance and protecting the balance of bacteria in your gut, even when you absolutely have to take these drugs.

This is important because UTIs can come back, and some people are more to prone have them than others.

Probiotics are a proven tool that can help you and your family treat UTIs, as well as prevent them from becoming recurring issues too.

How probiotics fight UTIs

Probiotics made with multiple strains of Lactobacilli (like the EndoMune family of products) help to prevent UTIs in a number of ways.

The presence of Lactobacilli naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, its own kind of natural antibacterial agent in the urinary tract. (It can lower the urine’s pH levels too.)

What’s more, Lactobacilli produce a biofilm that prevents bacteria from attaching to cells in the urinary tract.

Kids and UTIs

For adults, UTIs aren’t great, but they can be a whole lot worse for young kids, especially recurrent ones. Plus, the risks of greater health problems — bladder and bowel issues or urine reflux — grow with recurrent UTIs.

What makes these UTIs even more concerning for parents and children: The symptoms depend on the age of your little one.

The only sign you may see in a baby is a fever or extra fussiness. Older kids who are able to communicate more clearly can tell you if they are experiencing extra burning, lower abdominal pain or back pain.

If you’re a parent worried about UTIs and how to treat them safely, you’ll be happy to know that multi-strain probiotics are highly effective in preventing the recurrence of febrile (infant) UTIs, according to the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society.

Multi-strain results

Some 180 healthy children who had been treated and recovered from a UTI participated in the probiotic trial (from age four months to five years) for 18 months.

Kids were assigned at random to receive either a placebo or a probiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

(These four strains are part of EndoMune Advanced Probiotic’s mixture of beneficial bacteria for adults, while EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder and EndoMune Junior Advanced Chewable Probiotic contain all but Lactobacillus rhamnosus.)

Over that time, more than twice as many children (14 girls and two boys) on the placebo side experienced a recurrent UTI, compared with only six girls who took a multi-strain probiotic.

Given the success of this study, scientists recommended further research, including more testing with older adults.

Until that time comes, taking a probiotic like EndoMune with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria may be a wise choice to treat a UTI safely, with or without an antibiotic.

Before giving your young child a probiotic, be sure to check with his/her pediatrician first!

Resources

Infectious Disease Advisor

University of Colorado Women’s Health

WebMD

CDC

Journal of the Infectious Diseases Society

Harvard Medical School

Medical News Today

Healthy Children.org

Childhood Kidney Diseases

Medscape

Photo of pregnant woman and text "probiotics and pregnancy"

Why You Should Consider Taking A Probiotic While Pregnant

There are many things you have to consider and prepare for when pregnant, and your gut should be one of them. A strong and healthy gut is vital for both mom and baby. If you have a poor diet, drink soda, take antibiotics, or have high-stress levels while pregnant, it can take a toll on your gut and your baby’s immunity. If you are taking a probiotic while pregnant, it could be essential to the health of you and your baby.

Probiotics have several health benefits for pregnant and nursing women. Studies have shown that what a woman consumes during pregnancy can have numerous effects on her and her baby, ranging from gestational diabetes and hypertension to asthma and depression.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy.

Improved digestion

One of the most common conditions that can cause discomfort for pregnant women is constipation. It’s often the result of hormones that cause the smooth muscle in the GI tract to relax. Dietary manipulation that includes increasing fiber and fluids can help reduce constipation. Probiotics with a prebiotic (symbiotics) can be an excellent additional nutrition therapy, too.

Because probiotics help with digestion, healthcare professionals believe that they can be beneficial for pregnant women who could be more prone to constipation or diarrhea.

Better nutrient absorption 

A healthy gut also ensures that nutrients are absorbed efficiently. If the mother gets more nourishment, the baby will, too.

In 2016, a study evaluated the effect of high-dose probiotics in women during late pregnancy and their breast milk composition and if differences in breast milk can affect stool samples in newborns.

It was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial where 66 women took either the probiotic or a placebo daily. There were decreased incidences of infantile colic and regurgitation and improved gastrointestinal function in the infants whose mother received the probiotics.

Reduce the risk of Infant atopic eczema and food allergies

Eczema, recognized by red, itchy patches of skin, is a precursor to a variety of other conditions such as food allergies and asthma, so reducing or preventing it is very important.

We know that differences in a baby’s microbiome link to increased allergy risks, and research is supporting the use of probiotics to prevent eczema.

A large Meta-analysis reported that pregnant women given probiotics during as well as the initial postpartum period reduced eczema by 22%.

Protect against Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

High blood sugar is never good, and it’s especially harmful during pregnancy. When glucose intolerance appears for the first time in pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes mellitus.

During pregnancy, an imbalance in gut flora resembles metabolic dysfunction with increased inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity.

A 2019 Meta-analysis using ten studies with a combined total of 1,139 participants, found that probiotics supplementation was effective at reducing GDM; it reduced the fasting blood glucose serum insulin levels and insulin resistance. It also shows that multi-strain probiotics are more effective than single-strain probiotics.

Did you know EndoMune Probiotics is multi-strain and multi-species? With ten different strains and 20 billion bacteria, you and your baby can rest assured you're getting the beneficial bacteria you need!

Reduced risk of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, is the number one cause of maternal death in the United States. Symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet, and protein in urine. A study featured in the BMJ Open found a reduced risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery when taking a probiotic supplement.

Healthy mom, healthy baby

We are all looking for ways to ensure pregnant moms and babies have all the possible advantages to a healthy and happy life.

The research shows probiotics may prevent pregnancy complications for mom and reduce baby’s risk of infant atopic eczema and food allergies.

While further studies continue, pregnant women should eat healthfully, exercise diligently, and consider taking a multi-species probiotic and prebiotic supplement.

Shop EndoMune Probiotics

various liquid medicines in syringes, measurement spoons and cups.

“Helpful” Drugs Expose Your Child’s Gut Health To Obesity

There’s no question obesity rates are growing sharply across all age groups of Americans.

So far, nearly 40 percent of all adults age 20 and older have lost the battle with obesity, based on statistics collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

As with many health problems, however, problems with obesity start very early. According to the NCHS, some 14 percent of young children as early as age 2 may already be obese, and the numbers keep climbing to 20.6 percent by the time kids reach young adulthood.

These statistics appear to be pretty close to the mark, if not a little low, according to data collected by Harvard University that we cited recently.

What could trigger that slide to obesity so quickly?

Exposure to antibiotics and heartburn drugs in the gut may be the culprits, according to a recent report appearing the journal Gut.

Too many “helpful” drugs?

Researchers examined the records of more than 330,000 children enrolled in the U.S. Department of Defense’s TRICARE health system, looking specifically for antibiotic and heartburn drugs (H2 blockers and PPIs) prescribed to kids during the first two years of their lives.

Nearly every child in the study had been prescribed at least one round of antibiotics (72.5 percent) or a heartburn drug (15 percent), and nearly 6,000 kids were prescribed at least one round of all three drugs.

Roughly 37,000 of the 47,000 of children who became obese over the eight-year study were prescribed a heartburn drug or antibiotic. A single round of prescribed antibiotics elevated a child’s obesity risks by 26 percent.

Another gut-related factor to childhood obesity discovered by scientists — C-section births — was a difference-maker, too.

The good news about this study: health providers are becoming more aware by the day about the damage common “helpful” drugs like heartburn meds and antibiotics can do to the bodies of our little ones (and their parents too), often through harming their gut health.

My probiotic protocol

There are times your children just can’t avoid taking an antibiotic or heartburn drug.

My best recommendation to protect the health of your kids and yourself safely and effective: Follow my simple protocol for taking a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

One more thing to remember about taking a probiotic: Give your child’s body at least a two-hour break between taking an antibiotic or heartburn drug and a probiotic to allow those beneficial bacteria to do their work to protect his/her gut.

Just a reminder that EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic contains four key strains of helpful bacteria and a prebiotic (FOS) that helps feed the good bugs in their gut.

For convenience, EndoMune Junior comes in two forms: a powder to sprinkle on your toddler’s soft foods (for children up to age 3) and a chewable, berry-flavored tablet (for children ages 3-8).

Image of Text: "5 reasons why you need to take a probiotic!"

5 Reasons Why You Need to Take a Probiotic

If you’re seeing our blog for the first time — or the tenth time — you may be wondering why we share tips and news about the ever-changing, ever-shifting, ever-growing world of gut health many times each month in this space.

Our lives — full of work, life responsibilities and stress — leave us so little free time just to be…

Many of us fail to take even the very simple and necessary step of protecting our gut health by taking a probiotic every day.

Gut health affects so many parts of our own health and well-being, that a natural boost with a probiotic can make a world of difference to keep our bodies working just as they should.

Need some solid evidence that probiotics can make a world of difference to your health? Consider these five questions when you’re considering why you need to take a probiotic for your health, based on the latest research.

Have you taken a lot of antibiotics?

People rely so much and so often on antibiotics as a quick fix to solve all sorts of health problems — even minor ones like colds and sore throats — that doctors tend to over-prescribe them.

This excessive use has created an antibiotic-resistant world in which these drugs are quickly losing their ability to do the healing work they were meant to do.

The problems have become so acute that more people than ever are being sickened from exposure to superbug infections like Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) and some will die from them.

Antibiotics deplete the beneficial bacteria in your gut that keep your immune system strong. If you really need an antibiotic to solve a health problem, to take a probiotic two hours before taking an antibiotic to give those beneficial bacteria some extra time to reach and protect your gut.

Have you felt constipated lately?

Even a common gut-related health problem like constipation can be a sign of more serious health problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and kidney disease. Taking a probiotic restores the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut and lessens the need for harsher medications like mesalazine.

How are your emotions?

Disruptions in your gut-brain axis — the vital link that connects your gut, emotions and intestines — can add to challenges you may have with your sleep, mental health and mood. Taking a multi-species probiotic every day protects your gut’s ability to produce neurotransmitter chemicals like serotonin.

Could eating fermented foods help or hurt your gut?

Depending on how they’re prepared, fermented foods — such as pickles, yogurt, kombucha tea, pickles and miso — don’t provide the dependable gut health benefits that probiotics do and, in some cases, create more problems for your health than they’re worth.

Are you having trouble sleeping?

Shifts in your body’s circadian clock (the biological levers that control your wake-sleep schedule) due to work schedules or traveling long distances affect your gut health. Taking a quality probiotic that also contains a prebiotic (food for the good bugs in your gut) can help you get your sleep schedule back on track.

When evaluating a quality probiotic, you’ll want to consider a product that contains multiple strains of proven and beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic.

BONUS QUESTION: How is your bone health?

If you’re having trouble maintaining your bone health, probiotics aid the production of butyrate (short-chain fatty acids created when your gut processes soluble fiber) that may increase bone mass.

European Journal of Public Health

Frontiers in Psychiatry

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

BioMed Research International

Sleep Medicine

Microorganisms

Immunity

Mayo Clinic

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