One of the top ten questions people ask me is, “Which probiotic do I use?” While most now understand the importance of taking a daily probiotic, they aren’t all created equal. Some probiotics can be problematic for those who suffer from interstitial cystitis (IC), leaky gut, and gut infections. However, a few brands are tolerated well, and I will share my top pick with you.
I must offer a preliminary comment that I was a huge fan of Dr. Axe’s SBO (soil-based) probiotic for quite some time. However, as I have extended my research, I have found that it’s not designed for people who have SIBO. One of the main reasons is that it contains prebiotics that can cause discomfort for those with small bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) and the overgrowth of candida. It’s an excellent brand, with well-thought-out ingredients strategically incorporated into the blend. However, this is a heads-up for those with greater dysbiosis levels and gut infections, as they may be unable to tolerate it.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that exist in our system as a natural solution for gut health. They are considered “good” bacteria that line our digestive tracts and assist in supporting the balance of the gut, which is crucial for absorbing nutrients and fighting infections. The gut’s microbiome is made of a delicate ratio that must be balanced to remain healthy. The gut flora needs around 85% good and 15% bad bacteria.
Dysbiosis is an imbalance in our gut system involving specific types of bacteria, fungus, and yeast levels. When this happens, our natural defense system is reduced. The gut is critical for overall health, and functional medicine doctors now include the imbalance of the gut microbes as a reason for inflammation and potential root causes of certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and cognitive disorders.
Probiotics offer potential benefits for individuals with interstitial cystitis (IC), such as reducing inflammation by balancing gut microbiota, regulating immune responses, and supporting urogenital health. They might also help manage associated pain and discomfort. Rotating probiotics to ensure diversity in strains is advisable, which can be advantageous for both gut and bladder health. This practice prevents the overgrowth of specific strains in the gut, reducing the risk of imbalance.
Society and Lifestyle Causing an Imbalance
We exist in a society that uses pesticides, some questionable agricultural practices, refrigeration, and conventionally raised meats that involve antibiotics, all of which are involved in killing off the body’s good bacteria. The use of probiotics helps to restore the balance within the gut. I will share the one that seems well suited for those with leaky gut and interstitial cystitis (IC).
This is a 100% spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic from Microbiome Labs. This specialty formula promotes microbial diversity and has a unique formulation blend that remains dormant, surviving digestion and then kicking into gear in the gastrointestinal tract to colonize the gut. It has a bi-phasic life cycle that allows it to survive through the harsh environment of the gastric system and brings a microbial diversity that surpasses most of the conventional probiotics on the market. One of their highlighted points is that it can bring a 60% leaky gut improvement in 30 days!!
Increases microbial diversity by changing the pH
Increases the production of short-chain fatty acids (decreasing inflammation)
Decreases unwanted pathogens
Always consult your primary care physician before making any dietary changes, including supplements and probiotics.
Introducing Mega Sporebiotic should begin slowly. This approach will help you determine whether your system will be able to tolerate the probiotic well and reduce any symptoms that might be associated with detoxification. It’s recommended that you take the probiotic with food or right after your meal.
Week 1: 1 capsule every other day
Week 2: 1 capsule per day
Week 3 and thereafter: 2 capsules once a day
For those with immune and gut stress, you may want to increase the dosage to 3-4 capsules daily for 3-5 days. However, if you are sensitive because of increased levels of gut and bladder dysbiosis, you will want to consider starting your dosage at ¼ or ½ capsule every other day for better results and then making slow increases.
Focusing on the gut’s microbiome is a priority step for addressing the critical interaction between the gut and our genes (as well as our gut and our bladder) for optimal health. The gut microbiome plays a more powerful role than many thought in the past, including influencing gene expression. The interaction between our microbiome and DNA within our environment can be a participant in determining our health. Changes in the gut’s microbiome can affect the bladder’s microbiome, aging, DNA health, heart disease, brain function, and immune system function.
Dr. Marvin Singh, recently a guest on the podcast “The Broken Brain,” revealed that the gut has its own nervous system, containing more nerves than can be found in the spinal cord. These nerves communicate with the brain as part of the central nervous system, affecting overall health and wellness. This is a fascinating yet complex topic, and I will be addressing this later. I will leave my readers with a quote from Dr. Singh that resonated with me,“If you give your body the ingredients that it needs to do the job that it was born to do, it will do the best that it can under your circumstances and your environment.”
We are the controller of our health, and everything we put into or on our bodies can have a positive or negative effect. A good probiotic is the perfect starting point for your better health journey. Let the probiotic bring the good bacteria to your gut so that it can remain balanced and accomplish the job it was designed to do.