Q—CHARLOTTE’S BOOK READER:
Should everyone take a probiotic?
A—DANA JAMES, triple certified nutritionist & DANIELA TURLEY, medical herbalist
Probiotics and gut health are hot topics right now, so we reached out to two CB experts to get their opinions. The bottom line is: no, not everyone needs to take a probiotic, but it can’t hurt. And for some, it could be a great addition to an already healthy diet.
Dana James told us, “If your diet is clean, you manage your stress levels (your state of mind affects the gut microbiome), and you haven’t taken antibiotics in five years, you may not need it. Your gut is full of micro flora that naturally replicate.”
However, if you struggle with certain symptoms, a probiotic might be the answer. “If you have symptoms like bloating, eczema, weight loss resistance, and hormonal issues, then a high quality probiotic can be extremely helpful,” Dana explained.
“Also, don’t forget prebiotics: they’re just as important. Prebiotics are indigestible starches that feed the good bacteria. They’re found in onions, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, and bananas. A word of caution: if these foods cause painful bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or belching, you may have SIBO or a sensitivity to FODMAP foods. If you have a negative reaction, talk to your naturopath, nutritionist, or herbalist to get tested and treated,” Daniela reminds us.
Dana says to remember that while probiotics can be great for your health, they are not magic pills. “Just remember to eat well too—a probiotic won’t erase your dietary sins.”
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