A toast to the health of our inner world!

A toast to the health of our inner world!

  • Gut Health

  • By Andréanne Martin, Registered Dietitian

    When you think about it, probiotics are a bit like us humans. Since they were around long before we began to make our mark on Earth, they probably have a lot to teach us about our inner world and our connection to our environment!

    For our digestive health to be at its best, we need to choose quality foods. And the more we strive to make wise choices in terms of diet, physical activity, sleep, stress management, etc., the better off we will be. This search for quality is true for both the food and the supplements we consume.

    Nothing could be more reassuring than the fact that certain food supplements have been manufactured with the greatest care, that each manufacturing stage is subject to several quality controls, and that the finished products are certified by recognized authorities. Such is the case with Bio-K+ probiotics, also proudly represented among the products offered by the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF), a reference program in digestive health. This certification ensures Canadians and health professionals of the quality, efficacy, and integrity of the products as they relate to digestive health.

    Probiotics are environmentally sensitive bacteria. They need to feed on quality ingredients to work properly. Their action will depend a lot on the interactions they have with those around them. And as a bonus, they will have different roles and functions depending on their genes and composition.

    Like us, who evolve differently depending on the environment in which we grow up, we require the best possible fuel for our cells to work at their best. We are influenced by those who guide us and according to our interests, our genetics, and our personality, we will develop specific expertise to contribute to a greater mission than ourselves.

    Under specific conditions, we have every reason to consume probiotics that are like us, but that also reflect what makes us who we are.

     

    Digestive health, a new priority!

     

    We see it coming, this new interest in digestive health and probiotics. Consumers like you have come to understand the importance of intestinal health in achieving overall health. The study of the intestinal microbiota and its inhabitants gives us access to a new dimension of nutrition, one that is adapted to YOUR needs, to the person you are as a whole.

    To achieve your full potential in all areas of your life, health becomes a priority, since it is our main tool for reaching our greatest dreams.

     More and more, the quality and origin of the products we consume is at the core of our concerns, as is the balance of our own intestinal microbiota.

    How the industry applies rigor, quality, and safety to the manufacturing of its probiotics is a perfect example of how we should take care of our inner microbial world.

     

    So, let’s demand quality!

     

    It is important to make the best choice of probiotics for you, based on your symptoms and the reason that motivates you to integrate this type of live supplement. I often direct clients and the general public to the Probiotic Clinical Guide, a practical tool for making an informed decision on the recommended probiotic therapy. It was developed to convert the data into practical and relevant clinical information.

    Beyond this Guide, there are other resources of interest in terms of product quality evidence. As such, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics describes the criteria needed to manufacture quality probiotics:

    • Identification of individual strains of bacteria
    • Proof of safety of strains
    • At least one clinical trial in humans to demonstrate efficacy

    To meet these distinct criteria, clear standards and procedures must be established, measured, and monitored within the company.

    This painstaking and rigorously measured work ensures that the bacteria remain viable and potent until they are consumed. And since probiotics are live bacteria, sensitive to their environment (humidity, temperature, light, etc.), it is important to have an exact process in place, which Bio-K+ follows daily.

    In the same way, we must be thorough in our choice of foods, in analyzing the experts who share information that we rely on to integrate new eating habits and in the way we take care of our intestinal microbiota. Our health is our own. Why not treat ourselves to the best?

     

    One step at a time, let’s take it to the top!

     

    Every step of the transformation is important! You want to change your eating habits, take care of yourself? The best way is to take small steps that will gradually lead you to your own peak.

    I have been talking about Bio-K+ products for a long time in certain clinical settings, those for which the literature indicates their effectiveness (prevention of diarrhea associated with C.diff, prevention of diarrhea associated with antibiotics, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, etc.). We already knew the quality of the strains and the product, but my professional curiosity led me to visit the premises to witness each stage of the manufacturing process.

    Quite frankly, I was amazed to see the extent of the entire process. Basically, everything is validated, measured, and tested during the production of probiotics, from receiving the raw materials, to validating the bacterial purity/identity/compliance, to preparing the ferments, hydration, pasteurization, fermentation, and cooling, to storage, and delivery.

    While performing the quality assurance throughout the plant, a sample of the products is stored in refrigerators or at room temperature to validate their activity until the expiry date, to allow consumers to be certain that the promised number of active bacteria is present in the purchased product.

    Imagine doing this quality control yourself!

    We could check our mental health, our energy, our concentration, the quality of our digestive health, our bowel movements, daily. And based on this daily validation, lifestyle changes can be made to improve the way you feel daily. Because it is true, we are made of what we eat! And on top of that, our microbiota, which is our second brain, will function according to the quality of what we give it.

     

    For a healthy microbiota

     

    Our intestinal microbiota is a complex ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in our gut and play a critical role in our physical and mental health. A large part of our immune system is actually located in our gut and its effectiveness comes down to the quality of the microbiota in place.

    A healthy microbiota is important to maintain not only strong immune defenses, but also efficient digestion and absorption and optimal metabolic function (weight, sugar management, fat absorption, etc.). Recent studies have also shown that our gut microbiota may be linked to our mental health and emotional well-being.

    This is why it is important to choose quality foods and probiotics! We think of dietary fibers (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds), prebiotics (beets, bananas, asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions, etc.), polyphenols (tea, dark chocolate, berries, etc.), fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, etc.), and the addition of probiotics (strains selected based on the Clinical Guide to Probiotics). The chosen strains will then depend on the problem or symptoms at hand, as well as the quality of the finished product and the clinical studies proving their efficacy. 

    In the same way that internal procedures are important in a manufacturing facility, there are some key elements to maintaining a healthy microbiota: food variety and a significant increase in the amount of color and greens on our plates.


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    Andréanne Martin Registered Dietitian
    About the author
    Andréanne Martin is a dietitian and nutritionist who drives projects that enable her to promote healthy lifestyles in order to help as many people as possible to feel better.
    View all articles by Andréanne Martin
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