bacteria-probiotics-prebioticsI actually want to take the opportunity to dispel some of the myths related to probiotics as well as share with you some of the benefits.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. They are necessary for proper digestion as well as preventing overgrowths of yeasts and other pathogens. They are integral to the synthesis of vitamin K, which is important for bone, blood and liver health, and also for the synthesis of B vitamins.

There are hundreds of different types of beneficial bacteria however the two most common are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum.

Different strains of bacteria are suitable for different health conditions, so it is worthwhile consulting a healthcare practitioner, such as a naturopath, to determine the best probiotic for your individual health requirements.

Symptoms that can be associated with an imbalance in the digestive flora are

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Intestinal & systemic toxicity
  • Constipation
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Food allergies
  • Malabsorption of nutrients
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Plus hundreds more…


The following are frequently asked questions regarding probiotics.

Q. If I eat yoghurt do I get enough good bacteria?

A. If you have taken antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill, steroid drugs etc the answer is a definite NO. You absolutely need to take a probiotic supplement. Also if you are eating yoghurt that is full of sugar then you can forget any benefits from it.

Q. Should I take my probiotics before I eat?

A. Research has shown that it really shouldn’t matter when you take your probiotic supplement. The main rule would be to take 2 hours away from pharmaceutical drugs. Some people like to recommend an ideal time of ½ an hour before meals to give the bugs time to get moving through the stomach but before, during or after a meal really shouldn’t matter.

Q. Does it matter if I leave my probiotic out on the bench overnight?

A. The answer to this is no the product should be fine if left out once or even twice over night. The general rule is that the longer out of the fridge the shorter the shelf life but a short stay on the bench will not destroy your product.

Q. Are there foods other than yoghurt which contain probiotics?

A. Yes. Kefir, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh and umeboshi plums are all excellent additions to the diet to promote good digestive flora.