Jason  asks: “What are
probiotics?”

Answer: In our bodies, we have billions of
micro organisms. Some are friendly and some aren’t so
friendly. 

Probiotics are food or supplement-based friendly micro organisms
that are similar to ones that naturally occur in your body.
They are primarily found in the digestive tract, the
vaginal canal and the urinary tract.

Probiotics help re-establish the balance
between the friendly and the
not-so-friendly micro organisms in your
body.  By having an established balance of micro organisms,
your immune system and your digestive system are able
to function in a much healthier way. It also helps
reduce your susceptibility to vaginal yeast infections and
urinary tract infections. 

In an ideal health situation, friendly micro organisms
would outweigh the not so friendly. But realistically for many
people, there is an imbalance which leans towards a
higher percentage of not so friendly micro organisms. This
disproportion of friendly bacteria can be due to eating too
many foods and substances that are hard on your body such
as: sugar, prescription medications, antibiotics, oral
contraceptives and corticosteroids. Low fiber intake can also
be a contributing factor to this decrease in friendly micro
organisms. 

To increase your friendly bacteria numbers and to help with
regularity, look to the main food source of
probiotics – unsweetened and unflavored
yogurt. I like adding yogurt to homemade
fruit smoothies as an easy way to get a daily dose of
probiotics. Alternately, you can also try integrating a
supplement form of probiotics as well, which
offers a much stronger level of support.  Non-dairy probiotic
supplements are best because they possess a lower
potential to cause an allergic reaction. Make sure you keep
your probiotics refrigerated and try to always take
your probiotics supplement with food because
approximately 60% of the supplement gets wasted when it’s
taken on an empty stomach.  

  
Answer provided by Jackie Yurko, Doctor of Naturopathic
Medicine.

Do you have a question for our Naturopath? Ask
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DISCLAIMER:
This information is for entertainment purposes
only. The recommendations may not work for you, and should not take
the place of the recommendations made by your own medical
personnel. We are not responsible for the outcomes of any
recommendations. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet
without the supervision of your doctor/dietitian. For more
information, please see a Licensed Naturopath in your area. To
find one, visit cand.ca.


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