Prominent health journalist Helen Foster has written a piece for the June issue of Red magazine, about the importance of gut bacteria in the body. The article discusses the impact of our gut bacteria, for helping with things well outside of the digestive system, such as weight management, and even boosting the mood. Here she has mentioned our 'For every day' supplement, and we're delighted to be recognised!

RED magazine June

The gorgeous Drew Barrymore graces the cover of Red mag this month - an actress I've somehow mentioned twice on the blog before (I can link anything back to probiotics, challenge me if you dare!)

Helen's piece discusses weight management and the microbiota, and quotes numerous health - and particularly gut health - specialists, including Dr Raphael Kellman, who tells Red, 'I really believe the microbiome is the missing piece of why we're gaining weight and struggling to lose it in the modern world.' Fascinating, eh! We've written about the connection between gut bacteria and weight management on the blog before - last year Jacob looked at research suggesting that gut bacteria could be taken from slim people, and given to overweight people in order to help them to lose weight.

The article moves on to explore the concept of 'psychobiotics' - changing one's mind state with probiotics; 'It seems pretty unbelievable, but French trials looking at how people performed under pressure found that those taking a blend of two specific probiotic strains (Lactobacillus Rosell-52 and Bifidobacterium Rosell-175) said they felt less anxiety when put under stress.' These two strains, as Helen points out later, can both be found in our original OptiBac Probiotics 'For every day' - healthcare professionals can read about the research on this probiotic here. One of the ways that probiotics are thought to confer health benefits, is in 'competing' for space with (or crowding out) other microorganisms in the gut. When one's levels of probiotic bacteria are low, perhaps following a course of antibiotics, there is thought to be more space and favourable conditions for opportunistic, pathogenic bacteria or yeasts to overgrow. This is likely why many women experience thrush after taking antibiotics - as good bacteria is also killed off by the antibiotics, and pathogenic yeasts, such as Candida albicans, are allowed to overgrow, thereby causing vaginal yeast infections. Anyway, back to the point! Helen's article touches on this theory of bacteria competing for space in the gut, as she points out that '..there are undesirable gut bacteria that produce anxiety-increasing chemicals, so taking good-bacteria probiotics may crowd these out.' This is one of the possible mechanisms of action in terms of probiotics and stress.

The piece goes on to describe foods recommended to encourage a healthy gut, for example eating more vegetables; thought to help increase the body's good bacteria levels in the gut. Overall a fantastic write up on gut bacteria, the fact that it is more important than you think, and how you can use this knowledge and apply it in your every day life - by taking a probiotic supplement, or simply by making good choices with your eating habits. So I'd say, pick up your copy of Red magazine this month!

daily probiotic

For every day is our general daily supplement, containing 5 billion high quality strains of live cultures per daily dose. Find out more by clicking on the image above.

Helen Foster is on Twitter @healthehelen and RED magazine is @RedMagDaily


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