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Navigating the World of Probiotic Supplements_Final

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>> Hi, and welcome back. In this lecture, we'll be teaching you all about probiotics so that you can really start to understand what the difference is between all of those bottles on the shelf, and the hype behind this entire movement. We know that navigating the supplement world and the various probiotics on the market can be confusing, especially with the probiotics market growing rapidly and new supplements coming out all the time. It can be hard to know what to take, how much to spend, and when you actually need one. In this lecture, we'll go over the most important qualities to look for in a probiotic and how to read the label so that you and your clients can make educated decisions and navigate the shelves with confidence. Let's start by talking about who should take a probiotic. This will help you determine if a probiotic is a good suggestion for a particular client. A probiotic is worth taking if you have taken antibodies in recent years, eat processed foods, or live in an urban area. Given our western diet and lifestyle, most people have a compromised microbiome. Even if you're generally healthy, you can likely benefit from taking a probiotic. But who's better off without them. Now let's discuss two types of individuals who should not take a probiotic. Individuals with SIBO may not benefit from a probiotic. SIBO is an overgrowth of lactic acid bacteria in the small intestine. When more bacteria are thrown in the mix, even as a probiotic or in the form of fermented foods, it can be more harmful than helpful. In this case, you would want to remove the overgrowth before adding in a probiotic. If any of your clients are immune-compromised, they'll also want to avoid probiotics. If someone's immune system is depressed, it can be a bad idea to add in bacteria even if it's the good kind because it can overload the body. I'd like to stress the point that probiotic should be thought of as preventative, and they're not a treatment for any condition. Always consult and follow the advice of a medical professional when looking into what's best for each individual. Let's talk now about what to expect when you first start taking a probiotic. You might feel more gas, bloating, and discomfort. This can be the good bacteria waging war on the bad, producing detox-like symptoms. This is usually a signal that the probiotic is working. However, if the effects are too uncomfortable, you may want to lower your dose. If lowering your dosage doesn't help, the probiotic you are taking might not be the right one for you. One thing to remember is that every person's microbiome is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all "best strain" when it comes to probiotics. Bio-individuality applies here. The biggest ally for you and your clients is awareness. There are many types of probiotics, so encourage your clients to pay attention to their bodies and what works for them. A benefit of taking probiotics is that you'll have more regular and well-formed stools. But if they're loose in the beginning or you feel constipated, either of those symptoms might be due to the changes taking place in your microbiome. This should not last more than a week. If the discomfort is too strong, again, try lowering your dose and work up to the recommended dosage or stop taking that probiotic all together. So which one is best for you? With so many probiotics on the shelves, it can be confusing to choose one. When looking for the right probiotic, there are five main things to consider, consumer versus practitioner brands, the number of colony forming units or CFUs, the number of various strains, the research on the strains, and additives, fillers, or binders. Let's take a look at what each of these means. Distinguish between consumer and practitioner brands. Practitioner brands are only sold through medical practitioners and should be overseen while taking. They're usually a much higher therapeutic dosage and can cause more detox symptoms. This type of probiotic is most effective when used after taking a round of antibiotics or if an individual has a case of gut dysbiosis. Consumer probiotics are sold over-the-counter, either online or in retail stores. These brands are best for maintenance and for promoting general health and well-being as they're just not as strong. If you're choosing a brand off the shelf, how do you know whether to buy a brand from, say, CVS or Whole Foods, or from your trusty acupuncture's office. Doesn't matter. We will address those questions when we get into the details of various formulas later on in this lecture. The brands on the shelf are really self-regulated, so it's wise to educate yourself on the brand and the quality of the supplement. In the supplement industry, there's no one checking up on claims. So companies can get away with saying just about anything that's not referencing a disease state. The FDA doesn't have the capacity to police supplements. Ultimately, they're only looked into if a problem is reported. To help sift through what's good and what's not, you can look at third-party testing sites which have validated that the product contains what it says it does. One reputable site is www.consumerlab.com. A little research can go a long way. Let's go over how to read the labels so that you can do your own research. First, you'll want to decide which type of probiotic you want, a lactic acid bacteria, or LAB, a soil-based organism, SBO, a spore former, or yeast. There's no right answer here. It's really a matter of bio-individuality and discovering which kind works best for each person. I'd like to point out here that some probiotics claim to be "doctor-formulated." This just means that another set of eyes has been on the formulation, based on that doctor's practical experience in the clinic, hopefully. This is a personal matter as to whether this is something you consider important. If the supplement is formulated by a doctor you know and trust, this can be a bonus. But it doesn't necessarily mean it's better than some of its competitors. Brands are often sold touting their CFU counts. CFU stands for Colony Forming Unit, and it refers to the number of live bacteria. The prevailing myth is that the more CFUs, the better the supplement. But really, this depends on the type of probiotics and the effect you're looking for. For example, spore-forming bacteria require a much lower CFU count to be effective. Spore-forming bacteria are bacteria that form spores and can survive harsh conditions, such as, bacillus subtilis. In regard to lactic acid bacteria, you'll want to look for CFUs of 1 billion or higher. Here again, high CFU count is commonly thought to be best, but the latest research is steering more toward quality over quantity. It's more important what the strain does and how well it's been researched, then how many CFUs it contains. The CFU only counts viable bacteria. When a company lists the CFU count, it's an opportunity for them to be clear and transparent, but it's also an opportunity for them to be dishonest. Since there isn't much regulation in the supplement industry, the number listed may not correspond to the actual count. What you'll want to look for is if the CFU count states "at the time of manufacture." This means that they won't guarantee that the number on the label is present by the time you buy and use the supplement. Some of the bacteria may have died off. Make sure to look at the date the product was manufactured and if the number of CFUs is guaranteed. Compare this to other brands you find on the shelves, pay attention to the number of various strains. Some probiotics have only one strain, while others can contain over 12 different strains. How do you know which one is right for you? This comes down to a process of trial and error, since as we mentioned, everyone's microbiome is different. Think of the single-strained bottle as the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James. One superstar player doing all the work. That bottle with 12 strains is the Golden State Warriors, a real team effort with synergistic effects. Which one you prefer is up to you. This is true for probiotics in general. There must be synergy with the strains and each individual microbiome. There are no absolutes in the way the human body works. Note the research on strains. When looking at the label of a probiotic, sometimes there are letters and numbers behind the strain name. For example, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. What does this mean? Lactobacillus is the family name, plantarum is the species name, and the 299v is the specific strain. The latest research is showing that every strain maybe different, meaning that your bottle of lactobacillus plantarum may behave differently than mine. Remember, bacteria are everywhere. So just going by the name of the species isn't really all that specific. Think of the category homo sapien, there's quite a lot of variety under that species name. Okay, so let's talk about specific strains. That letter and number can be traced back to an actual scientist who owns that strain, meaning they've isolated a particular strain and created research on it. This is all a fuzzy area because bacteria are always growing and adapting and changing. But when research is conducted around certain strains, those companies do their best to halt this evolutionary process so that their strain behaves consistently in the same way. When a strain has been researched, you can look into whether it's been checked for potential problems, like antibiotic resistance. If a strain is listed on the packaging with no number or letter following it, it might be great, but there's no guarantee that it will behave in the same way as a similar strain classified by a specific number. For example, lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus plantarum 492 are of a similar kind, but may behave differently. Since bacteria are natural and live organisms, their behavior can vary based on the strain or the person with whom it is interacting. The other side of this coin are wild cultures, like fermentations where bacteria grow and change rapidly. Fermentations are not actually probiotics even if they claim to be on their label. However, they do provide great benefits, and when bacteria are allowed to evolve and adapt naturally, magic can happen. Probiotic supplements and ferments are two totally different products that both have their values and shortcomings. We'll talk more about fermentation later on. Lastly, you'll want to look into which binders and fillers are in the probiotics you are considering. Some formulas may require additives to keep the probiotics stable. As a rule, you'll want to avoid supplements containing magnesium stearate, silica, and titanium dioxide. Let's pause here for a quick recap. The five main things to consider when choosing a probiotic are distinguishing whether you'd benefit from a consumer or practitioner brand, the number of CFUs, how many strains the probiotic contains, the research on the strains, and which fillers or binders are added to the supplement. Before we wrap up, let's go over five of the most common questions we receive around probiotic supplements. Do probiotics need to be refrigerated? This is a big question that often comes up. The idea that probiotics must be kept in the fridge is outdated. If a probiotic can survive living in a gut, it can survive living in a bottle on the shelf. The benefit of refrigeration is to slow down the growth and maintain a high CFU count. Cool temperatures slow down the metabolism of the bacteria so that they don't die, similar to how a fermented food doesn't keep fermenting at the same rate when it's refrigerated. It's more of a control measure to maintain the efficacy and structure of the product with minimal change. Can probiotics be genetically modified? Yes, like anything else, probiotic strains can be genetically modified. Even though bacteria naturally alter their genetics constantly, we suggest you look for strains that are not genetically modified on purpose. Now this sounds like an odd thought, but have you ever had a client ask, "Does this probiotic use human strains?" This question does come up. After all, many lactic acid probiotic formulas originate from the microbiome of cows. These bacteria are isolated to ferment foods since cows innately know how to ferment things in their gut. Now a lot of emphasis is being put on whether a strain needs to come from a human gut to be most effective. The jury is still out and this isn't the thing just yet. But perhaps, it does seem more natural to be taking probiotics that normally exist in humans and come from humans. What do you think? Are probiotics a waste of money? Some people claim that probiotics don't actually do anything or that they've never noticed a difference after taking one. If you have an overgrowth of bad bugs or have constant triggers, such as, chronic inflammation, then taking probiotics is probably not going to do anything for you. Probiotics won't fix or override a bad diet, they can be an asset to the rebuilding phase, but you have to stop the insult to your microbiome and addressing the overgrowth first. Ultimately, this is a personal decision. Probiotics don't work for everyone, but a focus on a healthy microbiome can benefit everyone, no matter how they get there. Everything seems to say "probiotic" from foods and drinks to supplements. How do you know what is truly probiotic? Another confusing point maybe that probiotic now appears as a buzzword on all kinds of different foods and beverages, not just yogurt anymore. While these probably can be beneficial, you won't find the same amount of live bacteria in a food or beverage that you will in a supplement, and the bacteria present are more often a wild culture or have a probiotic supplement added back in. These are good foods to include in your client's diets, but they won't compare to the strength or precision of what is found in a capsule. Now that we've addressed these five common questions that are likely looming in many of your client's minds and now that you have all of this great knowledge on navigating probiotics, let's go back to the original question we posed at the beginning of the lecture. How do I know which supplement to buy? One, from my doctor, or a store like CVS, or a health food store? As you've probably figured out by now, the answer to this question depends on the type of goal you want to achieve, and it often requires a bit of detective work to figure out what works best for a specific individual. Picking a probiotic maybe a bit of a trial and error process. By knowing the different types and how they're made, you can gain a better idea of which might be a good fit for you. Probiotic supplements fall into the same realm as any other supplements. Begging the questions, can we still get enough from our food and is our current lifestyle placing more burden on our system than we can handle? These are not easy answers, but hopefully, can point us back in the direction that our own health depends on the health and wellbeing of the world we live in and the choices we make. Teach your clients how to get in touch with and listen to their bodies and their guts. Listening to how you feel will guide you back to better health and taking a probiotic is pro-life, pro-microbiome, and probably can't hurt. To recap, most of us could probably benefit from taking a probiotic. As a rule, the exceptions are individuals with SIBO and those who are immunalcompromised. Our lives have become so sterile that we need to add some healthy bacteria back into the gut. However, it's important to keep in mind that probiotics are one way to promote gut health and a useful tool for prevention, not a treatment or a cure for health conditions. Picking out the right probiotic is largely a matter of bio-individuality and an exercise in trial and error, since what's most effective for one person may not work as well for the next. When picking out a probiotic that's right for you, pay attention to whether your goal will be met through a consumer or a practitioner brand, the number of CFUs, how many strains the supplement contains, the research on the strains, and what kind of additives are in the supplement. As research continues to unfold, we're learning more about what's myth and what's fact when it comes to probiotics. You now have the answers to some of the most common questions about probiotics that clients tend to ask. Encourage your clients to experiment with what works for them and to invest their money in a quality supplement rather than foods and beverages containing probiotics. Do you or have you ever taken a probiotic supplement? What kind did you take? What do you look for in probiotics and what was your experience like? If you're a new to probiotics, I encourage you to spend some time this week browsing the shelves and looking at the labels. The more you practice navigating the world of probiotics, the more comfortable you'll feel suggesting them to clients, so get on out and explore, and we'll see you soon.

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Duration: 17 minutes and 3 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: ninaz on Mar 21, 2018

Navigating the World of Probiotic Supplements_Final

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