A Closer Look At One Stool, Two Samples

A recent blog post discussed the results of gut microbiome tests of someone who sent two different samples of the same stool to Thryve. Surprisingly the tests found different levels for several bacterial strains, even though both samples were collected from the same stool. For example, Alistipes came at 0.02% in one sample and 7.2% in the other. I’m going to discuss how and why this happens with DNA testing fecal samples. 

 

Sequence Level Comparison of the Two Samples

 
To gain insight into what is going on, I compared the two samples based on their counts of different distinct bacterial sequences. Before showing the plot, let me explain how this sequence level analysis differs from species, genus, or family level tables we often see elsewhere.
 
When a person sends their stool sample to a microbiome analysis lab, the lab extracts DNA from the sample and sends it to a sequencing facility. This sample received by the sequencing facility is a mixture of DNA from various bacteria present in the stool sample. 
 
A sequencing instrument “reads” those DNA sequences. A bioinformatics program then compares them with the known 16S sequences from different bacteria to compute the proportions of Faecalibacterium, Alistipes, and so on.

 

Why Would One Stool, Two Samples Have Different Bacteria Percentages?

 
Here is an important point. The genus or species level counts we see for bacteria like Faecalibacterium, Alistipes, etc. are aggregate counts of many distinct sequences, each representing a different bacteria. The 16S mapping process may assign the same name (i.e. Faecalibacterium) to several different sequences. In fact, sequences with as much as a 3% difference may be assigned the same name. 
 
Given that each type of sequence represents a different bacteria, only a sequence level comparison between the samples shows the true dynamics of bacteria in each sample, as you see below.
 
 
In the above scatter plot, each dot represents the count of a distinct sequence in both samples. Sequences with low counts in both samples are removed for clarity. 
 
The dots in the plot form two clusters, as shown below. The blue cluster represents bacteria with a closely correlated presence in both samples, whereas the red cluster shows bacteria growing strongly in W3YMU but not in MLFTF. 
 
You also find that the blue cluster has many more dots than the red cluster. That means only a handful of bacteria have rapid growth in W3YMU, but not in MLFTF.
 
Let us now check how those dots translate into genus or species level notation for the bacteria. The following table shows the scientific names of the bacterial sequences with similar levels of presence in both samples. 
 
The S numbers in parenthesis are their sequence level identifier in our internal database. You will find that multiple sequences (S32, S25) are associated with the name Ruminococcus.
 
 
The following table shows the names of bacteria growing rapidly in the W3YMU sample compared to MLFTF.
 
Let me summarize the observations. Clearly, a large number of bacteria have similar levels of presence in both samples, and they are shown in the blue cluster. In addition, a small number of bacterial strains grew rapidly in W3YMU compared to MLFTF, and those strains contributed to the differences seen in the mentioned blog post.
 
We can quantify the level of similarity between two samples by computing the linear correlation coefficient of the counts in a log scale. 
 
This number ranges between -1 and 1, with:
 1 representing perfect correlation
0 representing most uncorrelation
-1 representing perfect anti-linear correlation (i.e. one number goes up, when the other goes down)
 
For MLFTF and W3YMU, this correlation coefficient comes to 0.68. Moreover, if we remove only six sequences from the analysis, the number rises to 0.73. This increase in correlation suggests that only a handful of sequences are responsible for the difference seen at the genus or species level.
 
Is 0.68 (or 0.73) high or low? What kind of correlation do we expect if we randomly pick two gut samples from unrelated persons? What is the number if both samples are from the same person? We answer these questions in the following section.

 

Statistical Analysis of Other Gut Samples

 
To understand the correlation coefficient’s general pattern, I analyzed about 500 pairs of samples in the Thryve database, where both pairs came from the same person. Please note that those pairs of samples may have been collected at different times, unlike MLFTF and W3YMU discussed above.  
 
As a control, I did a similar analysis for ~500 random pairs of samples picked from the Thryve database. For each pair, I computed the correlation coefficient in the same manner as the previous section.
 
In the above figure, the histogram in red shows the correlation coefficients for the pairs of samples coming from the same persons. Blue histogram shows the correlation coefficients for the pairs of samples chosen randomly. 
 
You can see that the correlation is higher when both samples are from the same person. It is also observed that randomly picked samples show some level of correlation coming from bacteria commonly present in the gut.
 
To summarize, we do see a strong correlation between two measurements conducted on the same stool samples in the sequence level data. Their reported differences at the genus/species level are contributed by only 6-8 distinct sequences. The statistical analysis of 500 pairs of samples also shows a stronger correlation between the sample pairs from the same person than from randomly selected pairs. 
 
Therefore, the microbiome measurements do represent bacterial compositions in the gut for the individuals. While a majority of the bacteria have similar levels of presence in MLFTF and W3YMU, there were a few bacteria where the measurements did differ between the two collections for reasons that are unknown. Replicate measurements are necessary for a better understanding of this difference and gut health in general.

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Gut Health 101: Microbiome, Probiotics & How to Fix an Unhealthy Gut

“All disease begins in the gut,” proclaimed the “Father of Medicine” Hippocrates centuries ago. Today’s science increasingly confirms Father’s hunch about health issues. Our gut bacteria play a significant role in our overall health. They influence critical human functions, including our mental health, immune system, digestive functions, skin health, and weight [1]. The key to a healthy gut is maintaining a delicate balance of good bacteria and bad. Gut Health 101 covers everything you need to know about gut health, probiotics, and getting rid of harmful bacteria that may be causing you symptoms. 

 

Why Gut Health Is Important

 
In Gut Health 101, we are going to break down all the complexities that make up up the microbiome. We’ll discuss probiotics, health-related conditions associated with poor gut health, and ways to fix your gut health naturally.
 
Most of us are born with a clean slate. We develop from a zygote into a fetus into a kicking and screaming little baby all within the safe environment of a mother’s womb.
 
This environment nurtures the development of the gut microbiome. Once we enter the world, we are greeted by a plethora of different germs that we’ve never encountered before. 
 
Some of these foreign bodies will cause us to get sick but, ultimately, boost our immune system. In other instances, these invaders can cause chronic inflammation that may result in a number of different conditions and diseases. 

 

What Leads to Poor Gut Health?

 
The biggest takeaway of Gut Health 101? Whatever the problem is, chronic inflammation started it!
 
Foreign bodies inside our system are known to trigger immune responses. When the responses become reoccurring and constant, inflammation can become chronic.

 

Pathogens enter our system in many ways, including:
• Eating Foods Contaminated with Pesticides or Bad Bacteria
• Continuously Poor Food Choices like Sugar and Trans Fat
• Eating Foods That Trigger Food Allergies, Celiac Disease, etc.
• Nutrient Deficiency Caused By Poor Diet or Illness
• Toxins Re-Entering Our Bloodstream From Our Waste
• Wearing Cosmetics Made with Synthetic Ingredients
• Long-Term Use of Medications
• Breathing in Toxic Chemicals and Heavy Metals
Underlying Stress like Bills, Work, Relationships
• Catching an Illness From Another Person
 
There are many ways to enter the body, but there is one way out. As pathogens enter the system, gravity takes over. These pathogens enter from pores, your mouth, or the respiratory tract. Inevitably, they drop down into the gut, where they can either get flushed out or eventually ignite inflammation.

 

Chronic Inflammation and an Unhealthy Gut

 
Just as all disease begins in the gut, inflammation is the root of all disease. All germs, viruses, or food that comes into the body ends up entering the digestive tract. Our body is either trying to get all the nutrients out of this potential energy source or attempting to get it out of the system. 
 
Our immune system has a “better safe than sorry” approach. Its innate immune function is to cause inflammation. The innate immune system rids the body of the potential issue, and then curtails the inflammation when the threat goes away [2]. 
 
Unfortunately, threats become more common as we age. The once-booming metabolism we used to enjoy starts to slow down. Eventually, poor dietary choices, inflammatory foods, and other toxins begin to have a cumulative effect on the system. 

 

Chronic Diseases Associated with Chronic Inflammation 

 
The over-arching lesson Gut Health 101 is that leaving your gut unhealthy is a precursor for many illnesses. Over time, our digestive issues may begin to worsen. They’ll start to coincide with other symptoms of an unhealthy gut. 
 
Inevitably, you may develop issues pertaining to:
• Immune System (Allergies, Food Intolerances, Colds, Flu)
• Leaky Gut Syndrome
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)/Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
• Other Digestive Issues (Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IBD], Heartburn, Bloating, Constipation)
• Weight Gain
• Skin Conditions (Acne, Rosacea, Psoriasis)
• Autoimmune Diseases
• Mental Health (Depression, Anxiety, Mood Swings)
• Poor Sleep
 
The reason for these issues is that your immune system becomes overworked by chronic inflammation. That leaves your body more susceptible to pathogenic overgrowth. Plus, chronic inflammation starts to destroy healthy gut bacteria. This battle for survival all takes place in an internal community known as the microbiome.

 

What Is The Gut Microbiome?

 
Your stomach is home to trillions of microscopic living beings known as microbes. There are thousands of different microbes identified by science and probably will be more discovered for centuries to come [3]. 
 

gut health 101 common types of gut microbiota
 
However, the most common types of gut microbiota are:
• Yeast
• Fungi
• Bacteria
• Archaea
• Protists
 
Of the bunch, gut bacteria are the most abundant and studied. Science has confirmed that there are hundreds of bacteria strains. Each plays a specific role in the internal ecosystem that is the gut microbiome. 

 

Common Gut Flora in the Microbiome

 

gut health 101 common gut flora
 
The dominant bacteria phylums typically found in the body fall within the following groups:
• Firmicutes
• Bacteroidetes
• Actinobacteria
• Proteobacteria
 
Around 90% generally fall specifically within the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla.
 
All of these commensal bacteria work together for optimal health of its host — you! They all work in unison, applying the crafts that are their specialties. 

 

The Importance of Gut Bacteria Diversity 

 
It seems like every bacteria has a role. Even Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria strain behind the potentially life-threatening staph infection, can help keep other opportunistic Staphylococcus strains from becoming unruly [4]. Unfortunately, if probiotic bacteria can’t check Staphylococcus aureus, it can become overgrown and result in deadly consequences. 
 
The most beneficial gut bacteria will create metabolites that help prevent other bacteria from overgrowing. For instance, many bacteria strains produce short-chain fatty acids [5]. These serve as electrical currency for our gut cells to rejuvenate, divide, and strengthen the intestinal barrier. In particular, probiotics create the short chain fatty acid, butyrate, which is vital in repairing the gut lining and promoting probiotic bacteria growth. 
 
When everything is going smoothly in the microbiome, then you shouldn’t notice any signs of an unhealthy gut. Things go smoothest when gut flora communities remain in balance. As we age and our cumulative life choices start catching up to us, it might begin to cause a deficit in beneficial bacteria opening up room for harmful bacteria to overtake the system. 
 
As harmful bacteria spread, your immune response ignites inflammation. Unfortunately, most harmful bacteria species thrive in these sorts of environments. It’s your probiotic bacteria that suffer.
 
In the end, this microbial imbalance kickstarts a chain of health-related events that can impede your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to boost your immune system with probiotics and a healthy gut diet plan. 

 

What Are The Symptoms of Poor Gut Health?

 

There is strong evidence that our gut bacteria pretty much run the ship. Different types of live bacteria play unique roles in countless physiological processes. When the diversity of bacterial cells becomes compromised, key aspects of our overall wellness can be jeopardized, too. Here are some of the most vital ways gut issues can impede our day-to-day life. 

 

Weak Immune System 

 
Our gut bacteria and immune cells are besties. They go back to the womb. Live bacteria live within the vaginal microbiome inside of our mother’s amniotic sac and placenta.
 
These beings helped shape our first immune cells [6]. As we formed, what would become our skin traps in our immune cells and gut bacteria to create our gut microbiome. 
 
Over 80% of immune system cells reside in the gut [7]. That’s because everything we ingest ends up there. Our innate immune system kicks in and creates inflammation to eliminate threats and then turns off the fire hose when the danger is a goner. 
 
Unfortunately, our innate immune system gets a bit overworked. We’re always feeding our gut with processed foods, breathing in polluted indoor air, and smearing on gut biome-disruptive cosmetics. 
 
In simple terms, our immune cells are always on duty, working on the messes we make! These actions undoubtedly compromise our immune health. Eventually, they’re going to miss a significant threat, like an opportunistic gut bacteria.
 
Additionally, an overworked innate immune system causes chronic inflammation. Inevitably, that will start to destroy epithelial cells that make up the gut lining.
 
Subsequently, chronic inflammation starts to destroy healthy bacteria. As we’re about to discuss, all of this is how disease starts. That’s why so many scientific journals point to gut health as a key promoter of autoimmune diseases.

 

Leaky Gut Syndrome

 

According to one Harvard paper, “we all have some degree of leaky gut [8].” That’s due to the design of our gut lining. There are porous holes along the barrier that allows for ventilation in the intestines. More importantly, it will enable nutrients from our food to permeate into our bloodstream. 
 
Our gastrointestinal tract starts the food breakdown process as soon as we smell our food [9]. We then chew the food so we can swallow it and allow our stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and organs to break these food sources down to the simplest particles. 
 
These compounds enter the small intestine, where they get sorted out as nutrients or waste. Waste enters the large intestine, where water is siphoned out, and toxins are expelled from our backside. Meanwhile, the small intestine allows nutrients from our foods to be distributed throughout the entire body.
 
The small intestine plays a vital role in nutrient absorption. It relies on a barricade of 40 different proteins known as tight junctions [10]. Tight junctions protect the epithelial cells that line our gut. 
 
However, tight junctions are always under attack from chronic inflammation happening on the other side of the gut barrier. Eventually, their tightly-wound structure starts to break down. They become loose, which allows for gut bacteria and other toxins in your intestines to enter the bloodstream. 
 
Also, certain foods can trigger tight junctions to move. For instance, gluten contains a protein known as zonulin. Zonulin can activate the tight junctions to open up [11]. Therefore, toxins, bacteria, and food particles in your intestines can leak into your bloodstream. This preemptive opening may disrupt the appropriate absorption of food nutrients and trigger inflammation. 
 
Leaky gut develops over time. It can become a precursor to many life-threatening illnesses. It’s vital to repair the gut barrier by removing inflammatory foods, eating probiotic foods, antiviral foods, and foods rich in collagen, like bone broth.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)/Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) are two common GI conditions that people may experience simultaneously. Many of the symptoms of IBS and SIBO overlap one another. However, fixing them are two completely different processes. 
 
IBS is a condition that impacts the large intestine. Chronic inflammation messes up metabolic functions that affect muscle contraction. So, bathroom frequency can be thrown off. 
 
Most common signs of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Here, they may experience either diarrhea or constipation. 
 
People with SIBO experience many of these symptoms. However, the cause isn’t muscle contractions. It’s due to a bacterial overgrowth from the small intestine. 
 
When you have SIBO, your gut bacteria are severely impacted. You must take a particular test to diagnose SIBO. From there, you have to eliminate potential foods that trigger inflammation, kill the bacteria with either antibiotics or a high-quality supplement recommendation from a naturopath. You must then reinoculate your gut with a probiotic supplement and feed that bacteria a healthy dietary fiber diet. 

 

Other Digestive Issues

 
Many chronic illnesses can be caused by poor gut health. A few of the more common ones include Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is actually a blanket term to describe two digestive illnesses — Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease.
 
UC is caused by inflammation of the cells within the large intestine [11]. In addition to bloody stools and intense abdominal pain, those with UC are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. 
 
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract [12]. That means it can spark anywhere from the esophagus to the anus. Treating these conditions will require a doctor’s care. 
 
Another common GI condition associated with poor gut health is acid reflux/GERD. When you experience GERD, food particles can backtrack up your esophagus. You can experience severe heartburn and may cause long-term damage to your throat and gut lining. 

 

Weight Gain

 
It’s not shocking that poor gut health can cause weight gain. After all, many of the reasons for an unhealthy gut are dietary choices. However, our gut bacteria play a role in this, too. 
 
We rely on our gut bacteria to help with food breakdown. So, if less probiotic bacteria are working, there’s less productivity going on in the GI tract. Many of these foods can sit around the belly. Eventually, this can cause long-term inflammation. Scientific evidence shows that there is a strong connection between obesity and a lack of gut diversity [13].
 
Also, gut bacteria can manipulate us. When pathogenic bacteria infest us, we’ll start to crave sugars and other food additives actively. These unhealthy foods make it easier for them to survive and for beneficial bacteria to die. 
 
The best way to lose weight is to change your diet habits. You might want to consider intermittent fasting for gut health a few times a week. Also, increase your physical activity. Cut down on foods rich in animal fats and opt for leaner proteins, like fish, legumes, and whole grains. 

 

Skin Issues

 
If you’re inflamed on the inside, it’s going to show on the outside. Your body becomes a pressure cooker, and it’s burning off healthy skin cells. In turn, these dead or dying cells clog up the skin barrier. This backup will manifest as itchy, red, or blotchy skin. 
 
An unhealthy gut, leaky gut, has been strongly tied to many skin conditions, including:
• Rosacea
• Psoriasis
• Eczema
• Acne
• Allergic Reactions
• Arthritis
 
Furthermore, our skin also protects our gut biome from infestations. There are many viruses, fungi, and opportunistic bacteria on other people and surfaces trying to find a new home in your stomach. So, your body relies on your own skin bacteria as the first line of defense.
 
In fact, our skin has its own microbiome. This microbiome communicates with cells on the inside via the gut-skin axis to ensure its host’s overall health. Unfortunately, we destroy these healthy bacteria with toxic beauty ingredients. The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her face every day [15]. So, our skin microbiome is always on high alert!

 

Mental Health Problems

 
Our gut is the second brain…or is it? The gut-brain connection is more than a metaphorical statement or declaration of being hangry. These two are joined at the hip…or at least by a series of nerves. 
 
At the bottom of the brainstem is our vagus nerve. This barometer-of-sorts relies on information from the gut up through the central nervous system [16]. It can influence and collect information from every essential organ along the way!
 
When harmful bacteria overtake our gut, your vagus nerve lets the brain know. In turn, we can develop many symptoms of neurological disorders, including depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity. 
 
Like most things, the key to regulating the gut-brain axis is balance. A diverse gut is essential for mental health. Actually, one meta-analysis on gut diversity and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) found that children diagnosed with ASD had lower levels of Veillonellaceae, Coprococcus, and Prevotella bacterial cells [17].
 
Even more notably, these children also lacked bacterial species, Bifidobacterium and Blautia. These two are essential for making tryptophan, the precursor to our joy molecule, serotonin. In fact, up to 90% of our serotonin neurotransmitters are derived from the gut [18]. 
 
Furthermore, a recent study found that a few microbial species, particularly Bacteroides, produce the neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) [19]. GABA is known as our inhibitory neurotransmitter. It helps calm our racing thoughts, which lowers our cortisol levels. 
 
Cortisol is one of our stress hormones. When we endure stress on a daily basis, it can cause chronic inflammation. As we’ve discussed, chronic inflammation is the root of all life-threatening conditions that compromise human health.

 

How to Improve Your Gut Health Naturally

 
how to fix your gut health 101
 
You didn’t ruin your gut overnight. In fact, many unexpected things ruined your gut health. So, fixing it isn’t going to happen in a day, either. Taking care of your gut is an ever-evolving process. Make little changes that ease common digestive symptoms and then slowly chip away at the bigger picture items. Here’s how!

 

Get Your Gut Tested

 
The first step to fixing your gut health is to know what you’re working with. A surgeon wouldn’t operate without an x-ray. You can’t reintroduce good gut bacteria into your body until you know the bad ones you’re dealing with.
 
We send you everything you need to take a gut test safely in your own bathroom. Just bring the kit in when you do #2. Wipe like normal with toilet paper. Then use one of the sterile swabs to collect a small sample from the toilet paper. 
 
Dip the swab into the vial with a preservative liquid that’s provided. After 20-30 seconds, the liquid will change colors, meaning your DNA is secure. Seal the bottle and dispose of the swab like you would a newborn’s diaper. 
 
Mail your vial to us in the pre-addressed envelope we provide. In just a few weeks, we will give you in-depth insights into your gut health. Most importantly, we tell you which gut bacteria are overstaying their welcome. Based on that info, we can give you a bunch of actionable plans to repair your gut. 
 
For one, we can tell you which foods are causing you digestive issues. Different microbes have a penchant for different foods. So, if you have a surplus of one type of bacteria, there’s a high likelihood that specific foods caused that overgrowth.
 
Furthermore, our gut health program offers you hundreds of recipes that can help you grow the bacteria you need. As we will discuss later, specific foods will give beneficial bacteria the energy necessary to reclaim your gut health.

 

Order A Custom Probiotic Supplement

 
The goal of gut health is to create a diverse microbiome. Probiotics are one of the best microbiome supplements.
 
However, you don’t want to take a generic probiotic supplement because it might be laden with gut bacteria that you already have plenty of. With our gut health test, we can determine which stomach bacteria your gut biome truly needs. 
 
Our custom probiotic supplement is a delivery service. You can easily manage your subscription in our database to change your delivery date or hold your service. You can also get retested in a few months and compare your recommendations and results!

 

Cut Out Inflammatory Foods

 
While you wait for your custom probiotic supplement to come in the mail, there are plenty of actionable things you can do in the meantime. For one, you should cut many of the “usual” suspects.”
 
From there, try alternating some your diet choices. Opt for a different meal plan, like going keto or paleo vegan. In the meantime, try eliminating these foods.

 

Gluten

 
Gluten is the top inflammatory food in the world. It’s in everything from baked goods to cosmetics. While many think that gluten is an issue for people solely with Celiac Disease, that is not the case. Celiac Disease only accounts for about 1% of the population. 
 
Many of us are sensitive to products that commonly contain gluten, such as bread. Many whole grains grown in Western agriculture are made with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Research indicates that GMOs might have the ability to alter DNA [20]. They also change microbial communities in soil [21]. So, what’s to say GMOs won’t do the same to our microbes?
 
Also, we mentioned earlier, the protein zonulin increased by consumption of gluten products, relaxes our tight junctions. Therefore, gluten increases intestinal permeability for people who don’t even have severe gluten sensitivity. 

 

Lactose/Dairy

 
Approximately 65% of us lose the ability to digest lactose after infancy properly. [22] Therefore, many of us are lactose intolerant and are probably unaware of it. 
 
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
• Diarrhea
• Nausea
• Abdominal Pain
• Cramping
• Bloating
• Constipation
 
Many of these lactose intolerance symptoms also mirror the common signs of an unhealthy gut. We’re the only mammals to drink milk past infancy. Plus, we’re the only mammals to drink another mammal’s milk. These might be clear indicators that we should limit our dairy intake. 
 
Not to mention, many dairy cows are preemptively treated with antibiotics. That’s because female calves are milked mechanically. These machines can cause the udders to rupture and get infected by bacteria. So, they’re given antibiotics to stop this inevitable occurrence. Unfortunately, we drink that milk and those antibiotics [23]. 
 
The purpose of antibiotics is to wipe out bacteria — good and bad. So, consuming antibiotic-rich milk can play a major role in depleting your probiotic bacteria levels. 
 
In addition, calves are always kept pregnant so they continue to produce milk. For optimal fertility, dairy cows are treated with estrogen. This might also be why there’s a strong correlation between poor gut health and infertility.

 

Soy

 
Soy is a very protein-heavy plant-based protein. Unfortunately, it’s a common food allergen. For those with a soy allergy, their immune system sees its proteins as a potential threat. Therefore, it will cause inflammation. 
 
There are many soy products, including some you might not be aware of, like:
• Edamame
• Tofu
• Tempeh
• Soy Sauce
• Soy Milk
• Miso
 
It is not uncommon for people with a soy allergy to also have an allergy to legumes. So, you might want to stay away from chickpeas, peanuts, and peas.

 

Lectins

 
Speaking of legumes, some people are sensitive to plant-based compounds known as lectins. Lectins are deemed “anti-nutrients [24].” They latch on the vitamins and minerals our bodies rely on for energy. In turn, we are left bloated and with depleted energy levels.
 
Some of the foods that contain lectins include:
  • • Dairy (Casein in Cheese, Milk, Yogurt)
  • • Legumes (Black Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peanuts, Soybeans)
  • • Nightshades (Eggplants, Goji Berries, Peppers, Potatoes, Squash, Tomatoes)
  • • Whole Grains (Baked Goods, Bread, Corn, Crackers)
 
Unfortunately, lectins are in some of the most nutritious whole foods. Therefore, it can make following a vegan diet difficult. However, it is possible to eat a lectin-free vegan diet.

 

Start Eating Prebiotic-Rich Foods

 
After you eliminate foods that are causing digestive issues, you need to replenish the good gut bacteria that you have. The best way to do this is to feed them dietary fiber. 
 
Our gastrointestinal tract can’t break down all dietary fibers. So, our probiotic bacteria eat these carbohydrates for energy. These food sources are known as prebiotics. Feeding stomach bacteria prebiotics allows these microbes to also create short-chain fatty acids that help repair the gut lining, such as butyrate.
 
Prebiotic-rich foods include:
Bananas
• Jerusalem Artichokes
• Onions
• Garlic
• Leeks
• Apples
• Chicory Root/Inulin
• Barley
• Kefir
 
When eating fiber, start off slow. Going overboard can cause serious cramping. Also, some people have allergies to members of the allium family (onions, garlic, scallions). If you notice issues when you consume these prebiotics, cut back on your intake.
 
The Thryve Gut Health Program has hundreds of prebiotic-rich recipes that are tailored to feed bacteria we’re attempting to grow in your gut. We don’t leave you alone in the kitchen to fend for yourself. Our database provides you with countless recipes to tailor weeks worth of healthy gut meal plans.

 

Eat Probiotic Foods

 
As your first probiotic supplement are on their way to you, you can get ahead of the game by eating probiotic foods. Many foods have live bacteria in them that can help get your digestive juices flowing. Even better, they’re derived from whole foods that are rich in antioxidants that help repair your gut.
 
Some of the best sources of probiotic foods include:
• Pickles
• Kraut
Kimchi
• Yogurt
• Kombucha
• Tempeh
• Natto
• Miso
 
Fermentation is an excellent way to preserve whole foods and to create gut-healthy snacks. Creating an airtight environment allows bacteria to feast on carbohydrates within the fibers of sealed fruits and vegetables. In turn, these bacteria enrich the brine and foods with digestive enzymes, amino acids, and other essential vitamins. 
 
Also, try incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. For instance, try adding star anise for its antiviral benefits. Then, include some spirulina, which can provide your body with an array of nutrients necessary to boost your healthy gut bacteria.

 

Exercise

 
All of the dieting in the world will mean nothing if you don’t exercise. Exercise will not only burn fat off your waistline; it helps shake up your probiotic bacteria.
 
Movement causes chemical reactions to take place in the body. That can cause clusters of harmful bacteria to become displaced…and hopefully shown the door.
 
Also, exercise can cause beneficial gut bacteria to interact. In turn, they might create more beneficial short-chain fatty acids or microbes. That’s why research suggests that exercise improves stomach bacteria diversity. 

 

Meditate 

 
Stress is a serious health risk. Unfortunately, many of us take it as a way of life. It doesn’t need to be that way. Chronic stress destroys us mentally and physiologically. 
 
One of the cheapest ways to combat stress is to meditate. All you need is yourself and a quiet room. Stay away from the urge to check your email. After all, too much screen time is compromising your mental and gut health!
 
Pay attention to your breath, repeating a mantra that you feel comfortable saying. Otherwise, mentally think of the words “inhale” and “exhale.” This kind of focus will help stop your wandering thoughts.
 
Just start with five minutes. Work your way up. If your mind wanders, just reel it back to your mantra. Try relaxing your racing mind by using essential oils. In time, five minutes will fly by. Also, the stress will melt away!

 

Talk to Doctor About Alternatives to Medications

 
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written each year [25]. We’re setting our bodies (and the immune systems of others) up for antibiotic resistance!
 
First and foremost, lower your risk of needing medications by improving your health. Try looking up all-natural ways for boosting your overall wellness.
 
For instance, you might find drinks to improve your prostate, recipes to support your immune system, or try incorporating more probiotic foods into your diet. All of these hacks can be preventive measures for worsening ailments.
 
Make changes to your diet and take all-natural supplements. In fact, research suggests that probiotics might reduce the need for antibiotics [26]. 
 
Also, many medications have long-term side effects that can impact your overall health. Try to get to the root cause of your problems. Try a Thryve Gut Health Test and share your results with your physician. Discuss custom probiotic treatments for your symptoms. 

 

How to Fix My Gut Health

 
Fixing your gut health will take time. However, it’s time well invested. Improving conditions in your gut biome play a crucial role in your overall health. Stop playing guessing games with your health and get solid answers. 
 
Order a Thryve Gut Health Test and get a custom probiotic recommendation. Based on these results, stay away from food that has a high probability of causing an immune response. Then, eat a bunch of prebiotic-rich foods that Thryve suggests will feed your probiotic bacteria.
 
Combine these actions with healthier lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to medicines. Increase your physical activity. Also, make sure to carve out some self-care time. All of these go great lengths in improving your quality of life.

 

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Resources

 
[1] Huang, T. T., Lai, J. B., Du, Y. L., Xu, Y., Ruan, L. M., & Hu, S. H. (2019). Current Understanding of Gut Microbiota in Mood Disorders: An Update of Human Studies. Frontiers in genetics, 10, 98. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00098.
 
[2] Xiao T. S. (2017). Innate immunity and inflammation. Cellular & molecular immunology, 14(1), 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1038/cmi.2016.45.
 
[3] King, Charles H., et al. “Baseline Human Gut Microbiota Profile in Healthy People and Standard Reporting Template.” PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, 11 Sept. 2019, journals.plos.org/plosone/article/metrics?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0206484.
 
[4] Cogen, A. L., Nizet, V., & Gallo, R. L. (2008). Skin microbiota: a source of disease or defence?. The British journal of dermatology, 158(3), 442–455. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08437.x.
 
[5] Parada Venegas, Daniela, et al. “Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)-Mediated Gut Epithelial and Immune Regulation and Its Relevance for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 31 Jan. 2019, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00277/full.
 
[6] Collado, Maria Carmen, et al. “Human Gut Colonisation May Be Initiated in Utero by Distinct Microbial Communities in the Placenta and Amniotic Fluid.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 22 Mar. 2016, www.nature.com/articles/srep23129.
 
[7] Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and experimental immunology, 153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 3–6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x.
 
[8] Marcelo Campos, MD. “Leaky Gut: What Is It, and What Does It Mean for You?” Harvard Health Blog, 24 Oct. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451.
 
[9] “Body Basics.” Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, Oct. 2012, www.rchsd.org/health-articles/digestive-system-2/.
 
[10] Anderson, J. M., & Van Itallie, C. M. (2009). Physiology and function of the tight junction. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, 1(2), a002584. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a002584.
 
[11] Fasano A. (2012). Zonulin, regulation of tight junctions, and autoimmune diseases. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1258(1), 25–33. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06538.x.
 
[12] “Ulcerative Colitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Dec. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353331.
 
[13] “Digestive Diseases.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 9 Feb. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/advances-in-the-treatment-of-crohns-disease-and-ulcerative-colitis/mac-20454634.
 
[14] Davis C. D. (2016). The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity. Nutrition today, 51(4), 167–174. https://doi.org/10.1097/NT.0000000000000167.
 
[15] Organics·Need to Know·March 29, 2017·5 min read. “Women Put On 515 Synthetic Chemicals On Their Bodies Every Day.” Organics, 7 May 2019, www.organics.org/women-put-515-synthetic-chemicals-bodies-every-day/.
 
[16] Breit, S., Kupferberg, A., Rogler, G., & Hasler, G. (2018). Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 44. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044.
 
[17] Svoboda, Elizabeth. “Could the Gut Microbiome Be Linked to Autism?” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 29 Jan. 2020, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00198-y.
 
[18] “Study Shows How Serotonin and a Popular Anti-Depressant Affect the Gut’s Microbiota.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 6 Sept. 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190906092809.htm.
 
[19] Strandwitz, P., Kim, K.H., Terekhova, D. et al. GABA-modulating bacteria of the human gut microbiota. Nat Microbiol 4, 396–403 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-018-0307-3.
 
[20] Scott Simonsen, et al. “Demystifying GMOs: New Research Shows Unexpected Changes in Plant DNA.” Singularity Hub, 7 Apr. 2019, singularityhub.com/2019/02/11/demystifying-gmos-new-research-shows-unexpected-changes-in-plant-dna/.
 
[21] “Impact of GM Crops on Soil Health.” ISAAA, 20 Aug. 2020, www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/57/default.asp.
 
[22] “Lactose Intolerance – Genetics Home Reference – NIH.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance.
 
[23] Sachi, S., Ferdous, J., Sikder, M. H., & Azizul Karim Hussani, S. M. (2019). Antibiotic residues in milk: Past, present, and future. Journal of advanced veterinary and animal research, 6(3), 315–332. https://doi.org/10.5455/javar.2019.f350.
 
[24] Roos N, Sørensen JC, Sørensen H, et al. Screening for anti-nutritional compounds in complementary foods and food aid products for infants and young children. Matern Child Nutr. 2013;9 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):47-71. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8709.2012.00449.x.
 
[25] “Appropriate Antibiotic Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Nov. 2019, www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/index.html.
 
[26] “Probiotic Use May Reduce Antibiotic Prescriptions.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 14 Sept. 2018, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180914084840.htm.



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The Role of Gut Bacteria in Strokes and Seizures

The microbiome has been implicated in many different diseases and disorders. Most recently, both epilepsy and strokes have been tied to gut bacteria. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, and it can seriously affect the quality of life for people who have it. Meanwhile, strokes occur more suddenly, claiming the lives of 140,000 Americans every year [1]. So, what is the possible connection between epilepsy, strokes, and gut health? Let’s take a look!

 

What Is Epilepsy?

 
An official epilepsy diagnosis occurs when a person has two or more seizures in their lifetime. About 9% of humans will experience a seizure in their lifetime due to a genetic condition of brain trauma.

 

Types of Seizures

strokes and people
Frequency and severity all differ between cases of seizure activity.
Therefore, each seizure has a different classification.
 
For one, there are focal seizures. These happen in one area of the brain.
 
More regularly, there are generalized seizures [2]. These are more widespread and can affect various parts of the brain.
 
Most common generalized seizures include:
• Absence Seizures – Person Loses Consciousness With No Convulsions
• Conclusive Seizures- Person Loses Consciousness With Convulsions
• Atonic Seizures – Person Falls Into Seizure With No Warning
• Clonic Seizures – Person Loses Control of Bodily Functions During Seizures
 
During these episodes, people may react differently. Some might make noise, while others might lose control of muscles. That’s because electrical currents in the brain are causing a malfunction in the system.

 

What Causes Seizures?

 
The frequency and treatment of epilepsy depend on the person, and sometimes it can be challenging to treat with medication at all.
 
According to the American Brain Foundation,
 

“In epilepsy, the disturbance in neuronal activity due to illness, brain damage or abnormal brain development can cause strange sensations, emotions, and behavior and may also result in convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. The outcomes can be severe, life-threatening and disabling [3].”

American Brain Foundation
Studying epilepsy is challenging because there are many factors involved that lead to a seizure. When electrical currents become erratic, it can influence various areas of the brain that control different functions. All of these factors play a role in how long a person experience a seizure and the lasting effects once the abnormal behaviors cease.

 

Types of Epilepsy Conditions

 
To make matters even more confusing, epilepsy is broken down into different categories. They differ in severity of symptoms, frequency of episodes, and factors that caused the episodes to begin.
 
Types of epilepsy conditions include:
• Lennox-Gastaut – Severe Childhood Epilepsy with Multiple Types of Seizures
Dravet – Prolonged Seizures That Cause Fever
• West Syndrome – Infantile Spasms
• Juvenile Myoclonic – Happens in Sleep With Uncontrolled Body Movement
 
Nobody is sure why a person experiences a seizure. However, research on the gut-brain-axis is circling on gut bacteria. We’ll discuss that in a bit. However, let’s take a closer look at strokes first.

 

What Are Strokes?

ketogenic diet and brain health
Unlike seizures, strokes are not a chronic neurological disorder. Rather, strokes occur more suddenly when a blood vessel in the brain is either blocked or bursts.
 
In turn, you may experience symptoms, such as slurred speech, vision problems, or face paralysis.
 
Symptoms of a stroke are caused by a lack of oxygen making it to the brain. This action causes permanent brain damage and sometimes even death [4].

 

Types of Strokes

 
Much like seizures, strokes are also classified by severity, frequency, and symptoms. There are five types of strokes, with the most common being an ischemic stroke. This type of stroke accounts for approximately 87% of all strokes [5].
 
Types of strokes include:
• Ischemic Strokes – Clot Stops Blood Flow to Brain
• Hemorrhagic Strokes – Eruption of Weakened Blood Vessel
• Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – Mini-stroke That Indicates a Clot
• Cryptogenic Strokes – Strokes Without a Known Cause
• Brain Stem Strokes – Occurs in Brain Stem, Causes Person to Lose Speech
 
Seeing as they both influence the brain, strokes can also cause epilepsy in patients. Now, recent studies have begun to show that the microbiome and gut health is more closely related to the potential development of epilepsy and the prevalence of strokes than previously thought [6]. Let’s dive a little deeper into research that can help that hypothesis.

 

Ketogenic Diet and Seizures

 
keto and strokes and seizures
 
The ketogenic diet is certainly a health trend right now, with everyone claiming health and weight loss benefits. This popular diet was originally created to treat patients with epilepsy and help them manage their condition by decreasing seizures [7].
 
The exact mechanism of the ketogenic diet involves the regulation of certain neurotransmitters and complex hormonal pathways by using ketones. These energetic bodies come from fat. That’s why many believe the keto diet helps with weight loss. Additionally, our body uses ketones as a fuel source instead of glucose [8].

 

Keto Diet and Microbiome

 
salmon Mediterranean diet
Something that has also been observed through the use of the ketogenic diet to regulate epilepsy is it’s impact on the microbiome [9]. A recent study has shown that the alterations in the microbiome through the ketogenic diet is not simply a side note to the diet’s effects, but actually may be a key in why the diet works to treat seizures.
 
In the study, rats experienced electrically-induced spontaneous tonic seizures. The study used two common gut bacteria found in the gut biome of someone following a ketogenic diet.
 
These genera were Akkermansia and Parabacteroides. They placed the bacteria into gut biomes of rats that were sterilized by antibiotics.
 
Studies noted changes in the epileptic rats’:
• Colonic Lumenal
• Serum
• Hippocampal Metabolomic Profiles
 
Results,
 

“Correlate with seizure protection, including reductions in systemic gamma-glutamylated amino acids and elevated hippocampal GABA/glutamate levels. Bacterial cross-feeding decreases gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase activity, and inhibiting gamma-glutamylation promotes seizure protection in vivo.”

Cell.
The ketogenic diet is not the only clue pointing to the microbiome’s role in the development of epilepsy and predisposition to strokes. Let’s take a look at another study that sheds some light on the gut-brain connection.

 

Ketogenic Diet and Strokes

 
A recent study found that gut bacteria can influence the structure of blood vessels in the brain [10]. In a study involving mice genetically predisposed to specific intestinal flora found that gram-negative stomach bacteria produce molecules known as lipopolysaccharides (LPS).
 
According to the analysis,
 

“When the mice received injections of LPS alone, they formed numerous large cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), similar to those produced by bacterial infection. Conversely, when the LPS receptor, TLR4, was genetically removed from these mice they no longer formed CCM lesions.”

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
These malformations can cause strokes and epileptic seizures. Additionally, it was found that when the bacteria were removed, and there were no more LPS in the bloodstream, the development of brain malformations decreased. Inevitably, that would lower the chances of strokes and seizures.
 
This study elucidates that the microbiome can affect disease development in people who are already genetically predisposed, but also that different bacterial compositions can cause different outcomes in people with the same genetic predispositions.

 

Probiotics and Seizures

 
A recent study found probiotics could help mitigate epileptic seizures [11]. The analysis also noted that the use of probiotics improved memory and spatial cognition.
 
Many of the positive benefits were attributed to the increase in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) after probiotic intervention.

 

Probiotics and Strokes

 
While strokes weren’t studied in the aforementioned resource, there has been much research on the benefits of GABA in stroke treatment and the prevention of future strokes [12].

 

The Microbiome, Stroke, and Seizure Prevention

microbiome and strokes
These studies do not prove that probiotics are an effective treatment for epilepsy. Still, it is encouraging to see that supplementing with probiotics could potentially have a positive effect on epilepsy. These findings further suggest that the microbiome plays a role in the development of neurological conditions.
 
The microbiome affects many aspects of our health and wellness. With every study, new ways that the microbiome is implicated in our well-being become illuminated. The connection between the microbiome and epilepsy, as well as strokes, is an exciting scientific development. Through this connection opens the possibility that taking care of our microbiome can help with decreasing our risk of strokes and if you have epilepsy, potentially reducing seizure prevalence.

 

Managing Strokes and Seizures Through Diet

 
A good way to start taking better care of your microbiome is by eating a healthy balanced diet and by taking probiotic supplements. While the science behind probiotic supplementation for epilepsy and stroke prevention is still new, it is clear that probiotics offer a myriad of other health benefits. The possible prevention of epilepsy and strokes are just icing on the cake.
 
As we discover new connections in the web of wellness, it becomes more evident that looking after one part of your health has implications for other areas as well. That’s why Thryve tries to make it easier for you.
 
In the Thryve Gut Health Program, we analyze your stomach bacteria to determine what’s causing unfavorable mental health issues. From there, we recommend a probiotic supplement that helps bring balance to the system. Lastly, we work with you on a diet plan that will help keep harmful bacteria from growing and healthy bacteria flourishing.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “The Internet Stroke Center.” The Internet Stroke Center. An Independent Web Resource for Information about Stroke Care and Research., 7 Apr. 2020, www.strokecenter.org/patients/about-stroke/stroke-statistics/.
 
[2] “Types of Seizures.” Epilepsy Ontario, Ontario Trillium Foundation , 2018, epilepsyontario.org/about-epilepsy/types-of-seizures/.
 
[3] “Epilepsy-Seizure Disorders.” American Brain Foundation , American Academy of Neurology , 7 Apr. 2020, www.americanbrainfoundation.org/diseases/seizure-disorders.
 
[4] “About Stroke.” Www.stroke.org, 7 Apr. 2020, www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke.
 
[5] “Types of Stroke.” Www.stroke.org, 7 Apr. 2020, www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/types-of-stroke.
 
[6] “Microbiome Research in Epilepsy: Hope or Hype?” Microbiome Research in Epilepsy: Hope or Hype? // International League Against Epilepsy, 2019, www.ilae.org/journals/epigraph/epigraph-vol-21-issue-3-summer-2019/microbiome-research-in-epilepsy-hope-or-hype.
 
[7] Kim, Do Young, and Jong M Rho. “The Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy : Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care.” LWW, Mar. 2008, journals.lww.com/co-clinicalnutrition/Abstract/2008/03000/The_ketogenic_diet_and_epilepsy.6.aspx.
 
[8] Rho, Jong M. “How Does the Ketogenic Diet Induce Anti-Seizure Effects?” Neuroscience Letters, Elsevier, 26 July 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304394015300549.
 
[9] Olson, Christine A, et al. “The Gut Microbiota Mediates the Anti-Seizure Effects of the Ketogenic Diet.” Cell, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29804833.
 
[10] NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Brain Blood Vessel Lesions Tied to Intestinal Bacteria.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 18 May 2017, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170518140232.htm.
 
[11] Bagheri, Samaneh, et al. “Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Seizure Activity and Cognitive Performance in PTZ-Induced Chemical Kindling.” Epilepsy & Behavior : E&B, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31026781.
 
[12] Paik, N. J., & Yang, E. (2014). Role of GABA plasticity in stroke recovery. Neural regeneration research, 9(23), 2026–2028. https://doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.147920.
 

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Eat, Breathe, Smile: Manage Your Allergies with Smart Food Choices

It is never easy dealing with a chronic condition, especially one that is as sneaky as allergies that affect more than 50 million people in the US alone [1]. Learning how to manage your allergies is so complicated because nobody knows why allergies happen. Moreover, there is no cure.
 
Sufferers can only manage symptoms and try to stay away from substances that cause problems. That can be especially difficult when it comes to pollen, dust, or insects, as those are all around us. Let’s take a look at some effective ways to manage your allergies so you can breathe easier and live healthier.
 

Potential Problems When You Manage Your Allergies

 
manage your allergies sneezing
Just a reg. case of allergies, NBD!
Allergies are your immune system’s response to something that is basically harmless like grass, eggs, or a bee sting. For those who are lucky, this will mean a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, but for those who will end up in the ER fighting for every breath, the whole situation becomes much more sinister.
 
Allergies are sneaky. They can often happen suddenly and without any warning. Unfortunately for us, there is a rise in adult-onset allergies all over the world.
 
Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University told Living Allergic,
 

“We are now able to estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies. When you compare that to the previous estimate of 15 million, the significance of this emerging disease becomes obvious [2].”

Dr. Ruchi Gupta to Living Allergic
There are many theories out there as to why people in the modern world suffer from allergies, including:
• Genetics
• Pollution
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
• Heavily-Processed Foods
• Too Much Hygiene
 
Unfortunately, there are triggers everywhere. That’s what makes it so difficult to manage your allergies. Sadly, these road blocks will cause people to rely on quick fixes. It’s easier to pop a pill than try holistic approaches.

 

How to Manage Your Allergies Naturally

 
The first line of defense is usually to take medication such as Claritin or Benadryl or to start lengthy and more effective immunotherapy [3]. Still, sufferers can certainly do more instead of taking pills and receiving injections.

 

Ditch Potential Allergens

 
As silly as it might sound, especially to those who suffer from food allergies, changing your diet might be one of the first steps you need to take to manage your allergies. Naturally, you have to avoid food that is causing you trouble (no matter how much you might love it). Avoiding potential allergens will help prevent inflammation, essentially making your gut healthy.
 
manage your allergies with food
Back away from the grilled cheese!
Try to steer clear of:
 Gluten
• Dairy
• Soy
• Lectins
• Nightshade Vegetables
• Artificial Foods
 
With a healthier gut, you can fight allergies more effectively [4]. Once you manage your allergies, slowly introduce potential allergens back into your diet plan. Start with culpirts that are least likely to cause allergies, such as lectins and nightshades. Sadly, dairy and/or gluten might have to go forever.

 

Find Alternatives that Work for You

 
Making small tweaks when it comes to your diet could boost that renegade immune system of yours. Imagine a child having a tantrum, and then suddenly, a plate of yummy cake appears—it really does wonders. Now, replace that chocolate cake with a healthier version such as carrot cake (just as delicious), and you are on the right path to fight your condition on multiple fronts.
 
Switch up your protein sources
Trying to manage your allergies isn’t as easy as swapping out dessert on a child. For many, it’ll be a complete meal haul over. For instance, vegans going lectin-free might hit some road bumps. However, there are plenty suitable plant-based proteins out there, such as avocados, coconuts, and hemp seeds.
 
For meat-eaters, a significant cause of allergic reactions may be caused by the sources. Try to cut back on omega-6-rich meats, such as beef and lamb. Too many fatty meats can cause inflammation in the system, sparking allergies. Instead, opt for lean protein, such as poultry, fish, and plants.
 
Lastly, double check to make sure your meat is raised humanely. You want to ensure the livestock aren’t treated with antibiotics and hormones. Otherwise, you will ingest these particles, making it harder to manage your allergies.

 

Cut Out the Convenience

 
Just keep driving!
We live in a fast-paced society. Sadly, we often eat fast food because it is just that—fast and convenient.
 
Also, we commonly disregard how easy choices affect our health.
 
We’re naive about how diet can make it challenging to manage your allergies.
 
A study conducted by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) found,
 

“People who regularly ate fast food had significantly higher rates of asthma, hay fever or allergic, itchy skin rashes (eczema). The consumption of hamburgers in particular was associated with severe asthma or acute shortness of breath. Those who ate hamburgers at least three times a week had a significantly higher risk than those who only had them once or twice a week. [5].”

– European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF)
It is not easy to face the fact that most of us let this part of our lives slide because we have so many things to accomplish in a day that we compromise in areas where we should not—our daily diet.

 

Eat the Rainbow

 
By hitting the brakes and taking a long, hard look at what we eat, a pattern is likely to emerge. Ask yourself some hard-hitting questions and see how you respond.
 
Ponder:
• How many fruits and vegetables have we and the members of our family eaten this week?
• What variety of colors and types of foods do you see on your plate?
• How much packaged goods, such as salt products and sweets, do you consume per week?
 
fruit basket to manage your allergies
Embrace the fruit basket
Instead of just taking that Claritin first thing in the morning because your nose is already running, why not try and eat the rainbow of healthy and delicious food? These dietary choices will give you a wide-range of antioxidants that will boost your immune system.
 
Take a spoonful of raw honey that can make you less sensitive to pollen. Fresh, organic vegetables such as cabbage, Swiss chard, carrots, and sweet potatoes can help you fight symptoms of hay fever and soothe inflammation. Variety on the plate will make the immune system more robust and make it easier to manage your allergies.

 

Up the Spice

Spice up your life!
 
Learning how to manage your allergies naturally isn’t just about colorful and fresh foods. Spices are your friends too. This sentiment is especially true on those days when you are fighting nasal congestion.
 
Make a delicious curry dish or chili con carne with fresh bell peppers and red kidney beans. Be sure to add plenty of chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic, as those will help unclog your sinuses. If you add a little bit of ginger to the mix, you will have a whole army of spices to help you finally take a deep breath.

 

Probiotics

 
Up to 80% of your immune system cells derive from your gut biome [6]. Therefore, these defenders are in close quarters with your microbes. So, if your stomach is overtaken with harmful stomach bacteria, you have no defense to manage your allergies. Research shows that probiotic bacteria are essential in fighting allergies.
 
One analysis about probiotics and allergies found,
 

“Several randomized studies demonstrated that when Lactobacillus GG or placebo was given to pregnant mothers with a strong family history of eczema, allergic rhinitis, or asthma and to their infants for the first 6 months after delivery, the frequency of developing atopic dermatitis in the offspring was reduced in 2 years, 4 years, and 7 years by 50%, 44%, and 36%, respectively [7].”

Journal of the Chinese Medical Association
Take the time to Thryve Inside
The best way to find the right probiotics to fight allergies is to figure out which stomach bacteria is already in your gut. You can performance this analysis by joining the Thryve Gut Health Program.
 
We will send you everything you need to discreetly and safely collect a sample. Mail it into us with the packaging we provide and we will test your intestinal flora.
 
Based on those results, we recommend a custom probiotic that will help fight off the harmful bacteria while supporting your immune system.

 

Manage Your Allergies Today

 
It is essential to keep in mind that knowledge is power. We live in the age of technology, where the right information is just a click away. By learning as much as possible about allergies, we can make smart choices and implement changes that can work alongside medication to help us battle the symptoms. A healthy diet and a healthy gut should be your priority, not just to better manage your allergies but to improve your quality of life.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Rakicevic, Mira. “Learn How to React: 90+ Allergy Statistics (Infographic).” DisturbMeNot!, 2 Oct. 2019, disturbmenot.co/allergy-statistics-infographic/.
 
[2] Matti, Mariam. “Study Finds Doubling of Adult Food Allergy: 5 Important Takeaways.” Allergic Living, 9 Oct. 2019, www.allergicliving.com/2019/01/16/study-finds-doubling-of-adult-food-allergy-5-important-takeaways/.
 
[3] “Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy): AAAAI.” The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 10 Feb. 2020, www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergy-shots-(immunotherapy).
 
[4] Fujimura, K. E., & Lynch, S. V. (2015). Microbiota in allergy and asthma and the emerging relationship with the gut microbiome. Cell host & microbe, 17(5), 592–602. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.007
 
[6] Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and experimental immunology, 153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 3–6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x
 
[7] Tang, Ren-Bin, et al. “Can Probiotics Be Used to Treat Allergic Diseases?” Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, No Longer Published by Elsevier, 6 Jan. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1726490114003074.
 

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Live a Healthier Lifestyle with These 10 Little Changes

We’re all looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Some of us just don’t know where to begin. A lot of us get lost in the day-to-day. We cling to things that we know work and are willing to ride the status quo until the wheels fall off. Complacency might help you glide through life, but it won’t help you Thryve through it. Here are some little changes you can make to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Why Live a Healthier Lifestyle?

 
Even healthy people can benefit from living healthier. Unfortunately, a majority of us don’t fit into the “healthy people” category. One out of three adults is considered overweight [1].
 
Much like every business expects an increase in profit every year, you should make changes to improve your overall wellness. Always strive for better. Take what you learned in one year, incorporate into your routine, and then come up with new goals the next.
 
Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t an end result. It’s an ongoing process that takes effort. However, once you fully integrate these healthy lifestyle changes, they will no longer be changes. They will be a part of your fabric and become second nature. From there, you’ll find new ways to live a healthier lifestyle to try.

 

10 Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

live a healthier lifestyle
Get ready to live your best life
 
If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you must make alterations to what you’re currently doing in your daily routine. Some of these changes are going to be monumental, such as switching to a healthy gut diet plan. Others are small alterations that will be rather easy.
 
We want to help you live a healthier lifestyle. However, we can’t force-feed you sweet potatoes and inject you with probiotics. All we can do is find ways to make these things more appealing to you so that you can easily adapt them into your wellness regimen. Here are some small changes that can make big differences for those who want to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Cut Down the Screen Time

 
We are hooked to our screens. So much so that our addiction is already altering future generations. Thanks to too much screen time, Our children are evolving to have changes to their biological structure.
 
Younger generations are beginning to sprout bone spurs (exostosis) at the back of their skull [2]. Experts believe 18-30 year-olds are experiencing these changes due to staring down at smart devices for a majority of the day.
 
The analysists stated,
 

“The higher numbers of individuals with EEOP in the 18-30 age group out of all cases examined raises concern about the future musculoskeletal health of this population and suggests a potential avenue for prevention intervention through posture improvement education.”

Scientific Reports via Nature
how to live a healthier lifestyle
Break the addiction
Furthermore, our dependency on smartphones is hurting our mental health. One study found a direct link between phone addiction and depression [3].
 
Our gut health and mental health are connected through the gut-brain-axis. Therefore, excessive screen time can impede our mental state, ultimately altering our gut biome.
 
Look at your smart device and see how much screen time you do. Shave a half-hour off every day.

 

Read More Books

 
Need something to fill the void of less screen time? You did just pick up 30 extra minutes. Try picking up a book. Reading is a lost art, and it’s a real travesty.
 
Reading is fundamental for all
There are many reasons to read. The most important is that reading is mentally stimulating. This activity stimulates muscles in your brain, sparking different regions. Reading can cause connections between memory recall, emotions, and creativity.
 
In addition, reading educates you. While we like to unwind with fiction, try to throw in a wellness book every now and again. The more you know about your body and how to live a healthier lifestyle, the more likely you are to follow through with advice.

 

Switch Up Your Protein Once a Week

 
Take a walk on the wild-caught side
Variety is the spice of life. It’s also crucial to live a healthier lifestyle. A primary reason that society is overweight is due to its dependency on omega-6 fatty acids.
 
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in red meat and dairy products. While they are necessary for vital functions, we consume too many of them. To live a healthier lifestyle, you must tip the fatty acid intake scale in favor of omega-3s.
 
One analysis of the omega discrepancies noted that humans evolved with a 1:1 ratio [4]. We now hover around a 17:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. That would knock anyone off a seesaw. Experts noted we can still have more omega-6s than omega-3s, just a lot less than what we’re doing.
 
They noted,
 

“A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences.”

Biomed Pharmacother.
What’s alarming is that consequences begin at a 10:1 ratio. Since we’re at 17:1, that explains why chronic illness is running rampant across the West.
 
Swap out red meat and cheese for the following at least once a week:
 
plant based protein
Try incorporating more plant protein!
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Mackerel
• Chicken
• Turkey
• Tofu
• Chickpeas
• Edamame
• Tempeh
 
Make sure you are getting organic, free-range, and hormone-free meat sources. Otherwise, your body has to contend with pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. These will inevitably wreak havoc on the systems of those who want to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Go on a Vacation

 
Live a little!
You work hard. It’s time to play hard, too. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you need enrichment. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on another device. Invest in an experience.
 
Many of us forgo vacation time. There are 768 million wasted vacation days every year [5]. We don’t even staycation. Instead, we go to work and let the employers exploit our donated time.
 
Find work-life-balance. Look at your calendar and schedule a vacation. At least start actively looking for spots and daydreaming. These sorts of activities will give you things to look forward to and make life seem to have more meaning.

 

Get an Essential Oil Diffuser

 
live a healthier life with essential oils
Very little work required for this life hack!
This tip is one of the easiest ways to live a healthier lifestyle. You don’t need to do anything. The diffuser does all the work!
 
Essential oils are unique ways to improve your overall wellness. These aromatic molecules trigger a part of our body known as the olfactory system.
 
An analysis of this scent interpreter stated,
 

“The olfactory system provides numerous functions to humans, influencing ingestive behavior, awareness of environmental hazards and social communication [6].”

PLoS One
When we inhale essential oils, volatile molecules named terpenes trigger neural tissues in our olfactory bulb. These influential phytochemicals are able bypass all other systems and communicate directly to the brain. That’s why many find essential oils useful in improving mood, immune system, and sleep patterns.

 

Get to Know Your Cosmetics

 
Know what you’re putting on
We probably don’t realize how many toxins are in our cosmetics. One study found that we put 515 synthetic ingredients onto our skin on a daily basis [7]. How do you know which one these are? They’re usually the names you can’t pronounce.
 
There are fillers, like the parabens family, that are endocrine disruptors. Synthetic ingredients are a huge influence on the rise of infertility. Parabens also bad for the environment. These synthetic molecules are not breaking down in our water supply and ending up in the stomachs of wildlife [8]!
 
Parabens are a small example of all the problems hiding in our beauty items. So, get to know your labels. Learn a bunch of toxic beauty ingredients to look out for and take notes. When you run out of this item, try to find a replacement more conducive to living a healthier lifestyle.

 

Walk More

 
We sit 6.5 hours per day [9]. That’s on top of the supposed eight hours of sleep we’re supposed to get. So, sedentary time in a 24-hour period is almost 15 hours. 62.5% of our time is spent not being active!
 
Good habits start young!
Find more opportunities to get up and move. Go for laps around the building at work. Walk or bike to a get-together with friends. Do whatever you can to get more active.
 
While moving about your office is a nice change of pace, try to take that stroll outside. We need more sunshine in our life. Sun is our primary source of Vitamin D.
 
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that regulates many of our gastric functions. That’s why Vitamin D is one of the best supplements for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So, going walking more will help you live a healthier lifestyle by improving fitness, Vitamin D intake, and gut health!

 

Swap Out Your Oils

 
Fats get a lot of blame for our health woes. As we discussed earlier, we live in an omega-6-heavy world. Many of these omega-6s are rich in the vegetable oils that litter the market.
 
oils
Oil quality matters
Look at labels for hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are the lowest quality oils you can purchase. They’re like the baby carrots of oils. It’s just the leftovers. That’s why vegetable oils are used in everything from fried foods in fast food joints to potato chips in the snack aisle.
 
Research shows that those who follow a Mediterranean Diet have a longer life expectancy [10]. One of their dietary staples is extra virgin olive oil. So, we need to act more like them with the types of oils they use.
 

 

Some of the healthiest oils for cosmetics, salad dressings, and cooking include:
 
• Coconut Oil
• Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) Oil
• Avocado Oil
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Ghee
• Grass-Fed Butter
 
Find a high-quality fruit oil that’s not in a plastic bottle. Make sure the product is cold-pressed oil and not extracted with the use of solvents. You’ll notice the difference in taste and how you feel.

 

Meditate

 
With less screen time, you’ll have more me-time. The ultimate form of self-care is to try meditation. Meditating allows you to unplug from the hectic chatter in your life. That’s why studies show meditation helps lower stress [11].
 
meditate to live a healthier lifestyle
Don’t expect you to get here just yet…but goals!
Meditation helps gut health, too. When you meditate, you channel inward. Your mind will find areas of your body that feel “off.” By working on your intuitiveness, you might recognize a red flag long before your next checkup.
 
Starting a meditation practice can be difficult. So, start off with five minutes for a couple of days. Sit up straight and focus on your breaths. Every few days, start tacking on an extra minute. Work your way up to 15 minutes of meditation.

 

Get a Get Test

 
thryve gut test
Thryve Inside today!
“Father of Medicine” Hippocrates said it best, “all disease begins in the gut.” Our gut biome is home to trillions of cells. While most of them work in unison to help us live a healthier lifestyle, they sometimes need help.
 
A lifetime of diet choices, inactivity, and toxic beauty ingredients can do a number on your beneficial stomach bacteria. In turn, inflammation sparks up, destroying the gut lining. This chain of events allows for pathogenic intestinal flora to set up shop in your microbiome.
 
Figure out who these buggers are. Get a gut health test. From there, we can determine which probiotic bacteria you need. With those results, we can offer you a custom probiotic supplement that will help you live a healthier lifestyle!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Aug. 2017, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity.
 
[2] Shahar, David, and Mark G. L. Sayers. “Prominent Exostosis Projecting from the Occipital Squama More Substantial and Prevalent in Young Adult than Older Age Groups.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 20 Feb. 2018, www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21625-1.
 
[3] Bergland, Christopher. “Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 4 Jan. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function.
 
[4] Simopoulos, A P. “The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909.
 
[5] “Paid Time Off Trends in the U.S. .” Paid Time Off Trends Fact Sheet, US Travel Association , 23 Feb. 2019, www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/document/Paid%20Time%20Off%20Trends %20Fact%20Sheet.pdf?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=8%2E15%2E19%2DPress%2 DVacation%20Days% 20Release&utm_campaign=pr.
 
[6] Learning about the Functions of the Olfactory System from People without a Sense of Smell. Croy I, Negoias S, Novakova L, Landis BN, Hummel T (2012) Learning about the Functions of the Olfactory System from People without a Sense of Smell. PLOS ONE 7(3): e33365. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033365
 
[7] Persad, Michelle. “The Average Woman Puts 515 Synthetic Chemicals On Her Body Every Day.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Mar. 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/synthetic-chemicals-skincare_n_56d8ad09e4b0000de403d995.
 
[8] Dubs, Zoe. “So What Exactly Are Parabens? The Truth About Skincare’s Biggest Bad Guy.” ELLE, ELLE, 21 Aug. 2018, www.elle.com/uk/beauty/skin/articles/a36356/what-are-parabens/.
 
[9] Searing, Linda. “The Big Number: The Average U.S. Adult Sits 6.5 Hours a Day. For Teens, It’s Even More.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 Apr. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-big-numberthe-average-us-adult-sits-65-hours-a-day-for-teens-its-even-more/2019/04/26/7c29e4c2-676a-11e9-a1b6-b29b90efa879_story.html.
 
[10] Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A., & Martin-Calvo, N. (2016). Mediterranean diet and life expectancy; beyond olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 19(6), 401–407. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000316
 

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When’s the Best Time to Take Supplements?

We all know that it takes a village to keep our bodies going. For many of us, we thought exercise and a healthy gut diet plan was the key. However, there’s one more instrumental cog in the wheel that keeps a healthy person churning. That supplement is…supplements. Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting the most out of their vitamins. This missed opportunity is much in thanks to poor timing. So, what’s the best time to take supplements? Let’s figure it out!

 

Why You Should Find Out the Best Time to Take Supplements

 

best time to take supplements
So…which one is it?
 

Vitamin B, prenatal vitamins, and probiotics are all different ways to improve your health naturally.
 
However, they’re all unique formulas. Therefore, taking your vitamins might not be a one-size-fits-all approach…or at least not a one-time-fits-all.
 
The minerals in your supplement have distinct characteristics. That’s why you sought these supplements out in the first place.
 
So, for them to work optimally, you need to figure out the best time to take supplements. Otherwise, you may not receive the benefits you desired.

 

What is the Best Time to Take Supplements

 

Approximately 76% of adults take supplements [1]. Unfortunately, many are going about it all wrong. They’re popping their Vitamin C the same time they’re taking their Vitamin D. Seems harmless, but you’re doing your body a disservice. Together is not the best time to take supplements of differing solubility. Here’s the best time to take supplements.

 

Best Time to Take for Taking Fat-Soluble Supplements

 

Fat-soluble supplements like to blend in with other nutrients. That’s the point of fat. Healthy fats are intended to absorb as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
 

Take fat-soluble vitamins with healthy fats
 

When you consume nutrient-rich foods with healthy fats, the lipids will engulf the vitamins. As the solid food particles meet the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, the fats take the brunt of damage. In turn, the nutrients are free to enter into the bloodstream.
 
Furthermore, fats stick to our adipose tissue around the gut. Eventually, our body will draw energy from these fats, releasing the nutrients from its grasp.
 
Example of fat-soluble supplements include:
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin K

Fat-soluble vitamins enjoy other fats, as they aid in the absorption. One of the best meal options for these types of supplements includes wild-caught salmon with sweet potatoes. You can also get loads of benefits from consuming kale and feta salad with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

 

Best Time to Take Water-Soluble Supplements

 

The best time to take water-soluble supplements is on an empty stomach. You don’t want these supplements to sit on top of a pile of food ready to digest. Otherwise, they will oxidize before hitting the bloodstream. Eating before taking water-soluble vitamins pretty much render them useless.
 

best time to take supplements
Start your day with water-soluble supplements
 

The best time to take supplements that are water soluble is:
 
• Upon Waking
• Half-Hour Before Eating
• Two Hours After Eating
 
The reason you take water-soluble supplements on an empty stomach is that it needs to get acclimated with the water in your system. Once the carbon clings to the nutrients, the rest gets flushed out through your urine.
 
The most common water-soluble supplements include:
 
• Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
• Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
• Niacin (Vitamin B3)
• Pantothenic Acid
• Vitamin B6
• Folic Acid
• Vitamin B12
 
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble supplements don’t get stored in fat. They are used by your cells immediately, with the excess being eliminated from the system. Therefore, dosages of water-soluble vitamins may be higher than their fat-soluble counterparts.

 

Best Time for Taking Prenatal Vitamins

 
97% of women at childbearing age take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy [2]. There are so many hormonal changes going on in a woman’s body. Nutrients are zapped from bones, while minerals from nutrients are being gobbled up by the forming life. That’s why it’s so essential for many pregnant women to supplement.
 

Expecting moms should expect to take prenatal vitamins
 

When you’re carrying something as precious as life inside of you, you should take all precautions in ensuring optimal nutrients. That’s why you should find out the best time for taking supplements for expecting mothers.
 
A majority of vitamins and minerals in prenatal blends are water-soluble, including:
• Calcium
• Iron
• Folic Acid
 

Many of these minerals work best with other water-soluble vitamins. For instance, Vitamin C improves iron absorption [3]. Meanwhile, Vitamin D makes calcium more bioavailable [4].
 
An analysis about Vitamin D and calcium consumption stated,
 

“The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet.”

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resources Center

 
So, the best time to take prenatal vitamins is on an empty stomach, and perhaps with a multi-vitamin. If you can find a blend that’s fortified with these essential vitamins, even better!

 

Best Time for Taking Probiotics Supplements

 
While nootropic supplements and essential vitamins are an essential part of a wellness plan, we’re in the business of probiotics. So, figuring out when the best time to take supplements enriched with probiotics is important to us!
 
The best time to take probiotics supplements is on an empty stomach. Probiotics are living beings. They need a chance to survive. That’s why our probiotics supplements are enriched with inulin.



Probiotics with Inulin

 
Inulin is a dietary fiber that serves as prebiotics for probiotics. That way, the probiotics in Thryve Inside supplements grow strong before they even reach your system. We’ve set them up for success. It’s up to you to see these stomach bacteria through.
 
Thryve Probiotics and Microbiome Testing

 

Take the guess work out of supplements
 
Our capsule is formulated to handle the harsh environment that is our stomach acid. That way, the probiotic bacteria inside can colonize in the colon and gut biome. You don’t want to add roadblocks to the colonization by taking your probiotics with food.
 
Once you take your best probiotics supplements, wait at least 15 minutes. Then, you can start eating. For one, probiotics will help you absorb nutrients [5]. However, they will also aid your system in breaking down your foods. Just like us, probiotics are hungry beings. Once they’re done with the inulin in your capsule, they’re already onto the next meal!
 
Ready to get your gut health in check with probiotics? Let us help you by testing your stomach bacteria. That way, we can recommend a custom formula rich with intestinal flora your gut biome is missing. Biodiversity is the key to gut health, and for stepping up your nutrition game!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “2017 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.” Council for Responsible Nutrition, 2017, www.crnusa.org/resources/2017-crn-consumer-survey-dietary-supplements.
 
[2] “Fewer than Half of U.S. Women Take Recommended Vitamins Prior to Pregnancy, According to March of Dimes New Prenatal Health & Nutrition Survey.” Fewer than Half of U.S. Women Take Recommended Vitamins Prior to Pregnancy, According to March of Dimes New Prenatal Health & Nutrition Survey | March of Dimes, 19 Sept. 2017, www.marchofdimes.org/news/fewer-than-half-of-u-s-women-take-recommended-vitamins-prior-to-pregnancy-according-to-march-of-dimes-new-prenatal-health-nutrition-survey.aspx.
 
[3] Hallberg, L, et al. “The Role of Vitamin C in Iron Absorption.” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. Supplement = Internationale Zeitschrift Fur Vitamin- Und Ernahrungsforschung. Supplement, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1989, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2507689.
 
[4] “Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/nutrition/calcium-and-vitamin-d-important-every-age.
 
[5] Krajmalnik-Brown, R., Ilhan, Z. E., Kang, D. W., & DiBaise, J. K. (2012). Effects of gut microbes on nutrient absorption and energy regulation. Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 27(2), 201–214. doi:10.1177/0884533611436116
 

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Probiotics for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know for Your Best Friend’s Gut Health

You want to give your family members the best lives possible. That sentiment goes without saying for your puppers. Sometimes, our four-legged loved ones are better than our two-legged ones. So, why not give them the best care possible? That’s why probiotics for dogs have grown in popularity. Let’s take a closer look at these supplements for dogs and which bacteria strains might work best for your furbaby.

 

Why Probiotics for Dogs?

probiotics for dogs
We’re more alike than we realize
 
They may look a little different, but dogs aren’t much different than us. Their bodies are supported by bones and muscles. Blood pumps from their heart to various parts of their system.
 
Oh, and they have trillions of microbes that influence everything from digesting food to their anxiety attacks when you leave for work.
 
Probiotics for dogs have become common among pet owners because gut health has made its way to the forefront of wellness. Many realize what’s good for us is probably adequate for a dog. After all, they eat many of the same foods we do. Why wouldn’t subpar dietary choices wreak havoc on their GI tract, as it does to us?

 

Benefits of Dog Probiotics

 
Just as many humans are turning to probiotics supplements, veterinarians are suggesting probiotics may be beneficial for your puppykins, too.
 
American Kennel Club (AKC) veterinary expert, Jerry Klein, DVM, spoke to petMD,
 

“They are believed to help treat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses and diseases, especially those related to the gastrointestinal system,” he explains. They inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens, as well as provide other advantages to the intestines [1].”

Jerry Klein, DVM
One study looked at the microbiomes of canines [2]. The analysis noted how there was a relevant connection between the immune system and a dog’s gut health.
 
The analysis explained,
 

“Probiotic bacteria can produce various antimicrobial substances, for example fatty acids, lactic acid and acetic acid…The effects (again mostly shown in vitro, but also in some animal models of inflammation) include maintenance and fortification of tight junctions, prolonging the survival of IECs and induction of IgA and β‐defensin production.”

Vet Med Sci.
This research makes probiotics for dogs a promising option for pups with easily upset stomachs. It may also serve as a preventative measure for more debilitating conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD).

 

Best Probiotics for Dogs

 
Any time you make a massive change to your pet’s routine, such as probiotics for dogs, please speak to a veterinarian. The world of supplementing stomach bacteria to dogs is still new. There isn’t much research out there.
 
probiotics for dogs
You need to take all little ones’dietary habits into consideration
However, many veterinarians are getting on-board due to the minimal risk of probiotics. With that being said, the word “risk” is there. That’s why it’s pivotal to talk to a vet about probiotics for dogs before you start administering them to your loved one.
 
Now, if you are to get probiotics for dogs, there are a few stomach bacteria strains you may want in their formula. Here are the best intestinal flora for dogs.

 

Bacillus subtilis

 
Bacillus subtilis is also known as the “hay” or “grass” strain. While hay or grass may be seen as an allergen to many, this bacteria strain has the opposite effect. In fact, it has shown to secrete antibiotics into the system, which can help support the immune system of your dog [3]. This natural antibiotic effect makes this bacteria strain an organic antifungal treatment for soil.
 
This bacteria strain can also have your dog ready to take best in show. These intestinal flora have shown to improve the quality of life of dogs.
 
A controlled study with 16 beagles saw,
 

“Dog food supplementation with Calsporin (Bacillus subtilis C-3102) at 1 × 109 CFU/kg improved faecal quality, enhanced fat and carbohydrate digestibility, and contributed to the gut health of dogs by reducing gut ammonia and increasing SCFA content [4].”

Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition
For those who want to up Bacillus subtilis intake for your dog, feed them natto. This fermented soy protein is actually a common ingredient in Japanese dog food. As always, speak to a vet before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.

 

Lactobacillus

 
Lactobacilli are a staple in many Thryve Inside probiotics supplements. These flora derive from lactic acids. There are many bacteria strains in the Lactobacilli family. Here are some of the best Lactobacillus strains in probiotics for dogs.

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus

 
Lactobacillus acidophilus has shown in studies to improve the consistency of bathroom trips and the texture of stool in Lacto-sensitive dogs [5]. Therefore, probiotics for dogs with Lactobacillus acidophilus may improve symptoms of constipation and diarrhea.

 

Lactobacillus plantarum

 
dog probiotics
How could you not want the best for him?

Lactobacillus plantarum has one of the highest survival rates of bacteria strains.
 
They can maintain hydrochloric acid in the stomach and colonize the colon. One study with 16 German Shepards and 16 Yorkshires found that this intestinal flora had about a 45% survival rate in the GI tract [6].
 
Furthermore, this strain demonstrated strong antibacterial properties. The study noted that there was almost a 2mm radius surrounding these intestinal flora.
 
While 2mm doesn’t sound like a lot, when you’re talking about microbes, you might as well call it miles! Therefore, Lactobacillus plantarum keeps pathogenic bacteria at bay.

 

Bifidobacterium

 
Bifidobacterium is another common stomach bacteria strain included in Thryve Inside probiotics. Why wouldn’t you include Bifidobacterium in your dog’s diet? It has the word “fido” in it!
 
These stomach bacteria live in many mammal’s GI tract. They help keep pathogens from taking over and play a big role in mental health.

 

Bifidobacterium bifidum

 
probiotics for dogs
Provide a quality life

This bacteria is one of the most common in your dog’s system.
 
So, if you’re looking to improve their gut health, add more of what actually helps them thrive.
 
Bifidobacterium bifidum can help your dog with digestive issues and also help save your couch cushions from destruction when you’re out for the day.

 

Bifidobacterium animalis

 
The name alone sounds like something an animal may need. There are many benefits to including this particular Bifidobacterium in probiotics for dogs.
 
One analysis on Bifidobacterium animalis and canines stated,
 

“Nutritional management with the probiotic fed at 2 x 10(10) CFU/day significantly reduced the time to resolution. Probiotic B. animalis AHC7 may provide veterinarians another tool for management of acute diarrhea in dogs [7].”

Vet Ther. 
This research found those who took probiotics for dogs saw symptoms of diarrhea stop 26% faster than those who received a placebo.

 

Pediococcus acidilactici

probiotic dog supplement
What a beauty
 
Pediococcus acidilactici is far less known to humans than Lactobacilli or Bifidobacterium strains. However, they’re really important for dogs. This bacteria strain has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that help boost a dog’s immune system.
 
One study shows that this probiotic bacteria can help shorten episodes of vomiting in canines with gastroenteritis. In addition, it may help the dog boost probiotics in its microbiome following a round of antibiotics [8].

 

 

Does Thryve Have Probiotics for Dogs?

 
Currently, Thryve Inside doesn’t offer probiotics for dogs. However, your veterinarian can point you in the direction of many capable brands.
 
Okay, one last puppy!
Be sure to ask about these bacteria strains. Your vet can help you find chews, frozen yogurt, and other treats rich in probiotics for dogs.
 
However, you should also get some human probiotics. After all, who will take care of your dog if your gut health were too fail? Not to mention, research suggests that human and pet microbiomes affect one another. So, get ahead of your pet’s gut health by taking charge of yours today!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] petMD. “Probiotics for Dogs: What You Need to Know.” PetMD, 5 Jan. 2017, www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/probiotics-dogs-what-you-need-know.
 
[2] Schmitz, S., & Suchodolski, J. (2016). Understanding the canine intestinal microbiota and its modification by pro-, pre- and synbiotics – what is the evidence?. Veterinary medicine and science, 2(2), 71–94. doi:10.1002/vms3.17.
 
[3] “Bacillus Subtilis.” Porto, 8 Aug. 2016, microchemlab.com/microorganisms/bacillus-subtilis.
 
[4] Schauf, S., et al. “Effect of Calsporin® (Bacillus Subtilis C-3102) Addition to the Diet on Faecal Quality and Nutrient Digestibility in Healthy Adult Dogs: Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition.” Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 8 Apr. 2019, www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-applied-animal-nutrition/article/effect-of-calsporin-bacillus-subtilis-c3102-addition-to-the-diet-on-faecal-quality-and-nutrient-digestibility-in-healthy-adult-dogs/1D0BEF5B11F5A47A831F8DFD90C08D99.
 
[5] Pascher, Martina, et al. “Effects of a Probiotic Lactobacillus Acidophilus Strain on Feed Tolerance in Dogs with Non-Specific Dietary Sensitivity.” Archives of Animal Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18459535.
 
[6] Fernández, et al. “Characterization of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus MP01 and Lactobacillus Plantarum MP02 and Assessment of Their Potential for the Prevention of Gastrointestinal Infections in an Experimental Canine Model.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 3 May 2019, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01117/full.
 
[7] Kelley, R L, et al. “Clinical Benefits of Probiotic Canine-Derived Bifidobacterium Animalis Strain AHC7 in Dogs with Acute Idiopathic Diarrhea.” Veterinary Therapeutics : Research in Applied Veterinary Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20037966.
 
[8] Herstad, H K, et al. “Effects of a Probiotic Intervention in Acute Canine Gastroenteritis–a Controlled Clinical Trial.” The Journal of Small Animal Practice, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20137007.
 

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FDA and Probiotics Supplements: What’s the Deal?

Many consumers see the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the watchdog for their best interests. So, when people find an FDA disclaimer on a supplement package, it may raise a red flag for any potential consumer. However, disclaimers should be no cause for concern. There are no regulations between FDA and probiotics because probiotics are considered a nutritional supplement. They are not intended to cure any ailment. However, they may help you live a better life. Let’s discuss.

 

Brief History of FDA

 
The roots of the FDA trace back to 1848 with the creation of the Agricultural Division in the Patent Office. Following the 1906 passage of the Pure Foods and Drugs Act, the FDA took on more responsibility in protecting consumers’ health.
 
As explained by the official FDA website,
 

“The 1906 Act was passed thanks to his efforts and in response to the public outrage at the shockingly unhygienic conditions in the Chicago stockyards that were described in Upton Sinclair’s book ‘The Jungle [1].'”

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Groundwork for the FDA was set forth by chief chemist of the Bureau of Chemistry of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Harvey Washington Wiley. As he found the FDA, the position of chief chemist morphed into the commissioner of food and drugs.
 
FDA History
FDA inspects a spinach farm in 1912
From that day on, the lines between the FDA and probiotics supplements (and all other dietary supplements for that matter) became blurred.

 

What is the Role of FDA?

 
Over the course of the next century, consumerism hit a peak. Naturally, the role of the FDA amped up. They became an official division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [2].
 
Now, the government-run department has regulatory jurisdiction over the following:
 
Regulated Product Find Information about:
Human Foods Foods for human consumption, including dietary supplements, and color additives
Human Drugs Active pharmaceutical ingredients and both prescription and over-the-counter medications
Vaccines, Blood and Biologics Biologic products such as human blood, blood donor screening tests, human tissue, embryos, human plasma, and medical devices for use in blood banking operations
Medical Devices Medical devices such as first aid kits, pacemakers, and surgical instruments
Radiation-Emitting Electronic Products Radiation-emitting products such as x-ray machines, microwave ovens, CD-ROMs, and laser pointers
Cosmetics Cosmetic products such as shampoo, make-up, and face creams
Animal and Veterinary Animal food and feed as well as veterinary medicines
Tobacco Products FDA-regulated tobacco products such as cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems, cigars, and all other tobacco products
 
Each division of the FDA has its own set of regulations that manufacturers within those categories must follow. However, each department has the same core missions.

 

FDA Mission

 
There’s a lot of information out there. Much of this news is hard for the average person to wade through. That’s why so many rely on the FDA.
 
The FDA ensures:
  • • Consumer Items Are Properly Labeled
  • • Consumer Items Are Generally Safe for Consumption
  • • Consumer Items Are Manufactured in Sanitary Conditions
  • • Consumer Items Don’t Serve as Potential Health Hazard
 
This agency protects consumers when they buy drugs their doctors recommend. Consumers also trust the FDA when they decide to purchase an all-natural supplement from the grocery store.
 
food inspection
FDA checks labeling of products
 
With these core values in mind, each division has a set of regulations unique to that division.
 
Just as regulated as probiotics

These regulations are based on how the products are made and the intended use of these items.
 
When it comes to the FDA and probiotics, supplements are considered food products. So, they are regulated in the same manner as your mustard.
 
Most people hold supplements in a different regard than they would their condiments. Sure, mustard improves your hot dog. However, supplements are supposed to support your everyday life! That’s where perception and reality gets a little murky for consumers.

 

Difference Between Supplements and Drugs

 
The reason people take supplements is that they want to improve their quality of life. However, many who purchase supplements sometimes expect these potential life-enhancers to be cure-alls. That’s why for legal reasons, all supplements will brandish a disclaimer on their label.
 
Disclaimers found on supplement bottles typically state:
 

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

– FDA Disclaimer
As a potential consumer, that statement might be off-putting. However, if the consumer changed their perceptions of supplements, they might not be so turned off by this disclaimer.
 
Supplements are made of food-grade materials that are mostly organic compounds. While formulas are made in laboratories, supplements aren’t engineered in the same vein as a prescription drug.
 
fda and probiotics
Pharmaceuticals must undergorigorous FDA testing

The intention of a supplement isn’t to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent. It’s to supplement all the other things you do to treat and prevent your own health. That’s why supplements don’t need to be pre-approved by the FDA like pharmaceuticals must.
 
For instance, probiotics supplements are intended to help fight off the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
 
However, it’s on you to eat a balanced diet, follow up with doctor visits, exercise, and do all of the other essentials for living a long, healthy life.
 
Just because supplements are classified as food items doesn’t mean the relationship between FDA and probiotics are over. Let’s take a look at the regulations the FDA has set on the supplement industry.

 

FDA and Probiotics Supplements Regulation

 
Probiotics supplements are in the FDA jurisdiction. They are classified as any other vitamin on the market. Let’s take a look at what that means in terms of FDA and probiotics regulation.

 

FDA Regulates Packaging Terms

 
As we mentioned above in the FDA mission section, this branch of the government is particular about verbiage. The FDA doesn’t want any consumer to feel misled. That’s why the FDA drafted The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) [3].
 
As per DHSEA, all supplements must claim they are not intended to, “diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” This verbiage points back to the differences between supplements and medications.
 
FDA oversees labelson items sold in pharmacies

Doctors diagnose diseases, come up with a treatment plan, attempt to cure the disease with medication, and then discusses preventative measures with their patient.
 
That’s a lot of faith from a consumer and responsibility on a doctor and a drug company.
 
Therefore, drug manufacturers must meet a far more extensive list of demands from the FDA than a supplement company.
FDA Enforces Good Manufacturing Practices
 
Harkening back to the Chicago debacle in 1906, the FDA ensures that all manufactured items are created inside sanitary conditions. The FDA performs regular inspections to ensure compliance.
 
Based off these inspections, the FDA reserves the right to remove any items they deem as hazardous from the marketplace. If the FDA approves, then they will issue a certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Look for this seal of approval when buying probiotics supplements.

 

FDA Marks Genuinely Recognized as Safe

 
One of the most significant regulations between FDA and probiotics is the Genuinely Recognized as Safe (GRAS) mark. Any food and supplement manufacturer must provide a list of the active and inactive ingredients in their product.
 
The FDA has a database of chemical compounds. This database ranks the potential dangers posed by these ingredients. The ingredients in a product are compared to those on the FDA list. If most of the ingredients listed show little to no side effects on humans, then the product is deemed GRAS [4].

 

FDA and Probiotics: Who is Approved?

 
The FDA makes sure there’s nothing in a supplement that can potentially harm you. They see to this by ensuring a safe manufacturing process and by cross-checking the ingredients for potential health dangers. That’s where the relationship between the FDA and probiotics ends.
 
As long as supplements remain under the Human Foods division of the FDA, there will not be any FDA-approved probiotics supplements. If so, then then the supplement would undergo more rigorous testing. At that point, supplements would be classified as Human Drugs rather than Human Foods.

 

Is It Okay to Take Probiotics That Aren’t FDA-Approved?

 
The thing about the FDA is that it’s a great tool to filter out the really bad products out there. However, there’s some accountability on the consumer as well. Not every product is going to provide the same experience for one person as it will for another. So, see for yourself.
 

gut health dietSupplement your wellness

Under the FDA’s eyes, you know that probiotics supplements are made in a safe environment with ingredients that aren’t hazardous to your body. With that worry out of the way, do some research.
 
Just because the FDA hasn’t regulated it, doesn’t mean research on the benefits of probiotics hasn’t been done. While microbiome studies are in the early stages, the research is very promising.
 
In fact, one government analysis of probiotics states:


“Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.

Probiotics might:

— Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your body’s community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
— Produce substances that have desirable effects
— Influence your body’s immune response [5].

National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health
As you can see, that statement was made by the National Center of Complementary and Integrative health. We want to emphasize the complementary and integrative aspect of their name. That’s the purpose of supplements.

 

Microbiome Testing

 
In addition, the quote states probiotics have a “variety of effects” and “different probiotics may act in different ways.” That is why the Thryve Gut Health Program implements microbiome testing.
 
We know the bacteria in your gut biome, and you as an individual are both unique. So, we attempt to supplement your lifestyle by tailoring your probiotics supplements for your gut biome.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Commissioner, Office of the. “When and Why Was FDA Formed?” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-basics/when-and-why-was-fda-formed.
 
[2] Commissioner, Office of the. “FDA Fundamentals.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-basics/fda-fundamentals.
 
[3] “Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 Public Law 103-417 103rd Congress.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ods.od.nih.gov/About/DSHEA_Wording.aspx.
 
[4] Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/food/food-ingredients-packaging/generally-recognized-safe-gras.
 
[5] “Probiotics: What You Need To Know.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Aug. 2019, nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm.
 

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Probiotics Yogurt: An In-Depth Look at One of the Most Popular Probiotic Foods

As gut health becomes more popular, yogurt has skyrocketed to center stage as one of the top gut health foods. Yet, you have to wonder, is all the hype around yogurt deserved? Do all brands make probiotics yogurt, or is this healthy treat just a sugary snack? Let’s take an in-depth look at this staple in a healthy gut diet plan.

 

General Health Benefits of Yogurt

 
Yogurt has long been used as both a food and medicine in many (no pun intended) cultures [1]. Only in modern times have we discovered that the key to many health benefits of yogurt is due to the probiotics yogurt contains.
 
probiotics yogurt
Probiotics FTW
Yogurt is an optimal choice for a healthy gut diet plan. That’s because it’s a fermented food. Therefore, yogurt is naturally enriched with beneficial bacteria.
 
On top of probiotics, yogurt also contains a ton of nutrients that are essential for the growth of beneficial intestinal flora in your gut biome. This sort of all-natural nutrition is precisely why we highly recommend probiotics yogurt to members of the Thryve Gut Health Program.

 

Nutritional Content of Yogurt

 
This live culture snack is packed with many essential vitamins and minerals that keep all systems a-go.
 
Nutritional content of full-fat or Greek probiotics yogurt includes [2]:
 
• Protein
Healthy Fats (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
• Calcium
• Phosphorous
• B-Vitamins
 
Yogurt has been on and off lists that encourage healthy eating. Many look at the high-fat content in yogurt and grow concerned. However, there are many benefits to the healthy fats found in probiotics yogurt.

 

Yogurt Probiotics and Weight Loss

 
When people hear the word “fat,” they tend to tense up. However, we need fats to assist us with nutrient absorption, repair the gut lining to prevent GI problems, and to provide us with protein to build muscle. Also, this probiotic food can assist you with losing weight.
 
A study involving 18,438 women over 11.2 years found that the healthy fats in yogurt actually lowered the risk of obesity by 8% [3]!
 
The analysis stated,
 

“In conclusion, in this prospective study of middle-aged and older women with normal BMI at baseline, higher total dairy intake was associated with less weight gain.”

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
While the study looked at many high-fat dairy products, yogurt was one of the primary subjects. Yogurt may be a dairy product, but its nutritional profile is much different than that of whole milk. Much of that is due to the fermentation process altering the genetic makeup of the dairy.

 

Differences Between Yogurt and Milk

 
There are two primary reasons people turn to dairy products. Besides their delicious flavor, dairy products are fortified with two essential vitamins–Vitamin B1-2 and Vitamin D.
 
There are many differences between yogurt and milk
Naturally, yogurt has a lower concentration of B-12 than plain milk.
 
However, manufacturers can still add back in B-12. That’s what many plant milks do to appease the needs of vegans.
 
While milk has more natural B-12 content than yogurt, yogurt has a much higher amount of folate. Make sure to look at the nutrition label of each yogurt brand for an accurate representation of the vitamin and mineral content.
 
Lastly, yogurt also has elevated levels of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) since they are a byproduct of the fermentation process. CLAs reduce the risk of cancer and strengthen the immune system [4]. 

 

How is Probiotics Yogurt Made?

 
Traditional yogurt is made from milk and two specific starter cultures, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus [5]. The two bacteria work together to create a tangy and distinctive yogurt flavor.

 

Probiotics and Digestion of Food

 
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are beneficial bacteria for those who get GI issues such as diarrhea or constipation. These two bacteria assist people who are lactose intolerant with digesting yogurt.
 
The reason for this benefit is that part of the fermentation process causes L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus to break down most of the lactose in yogurt [4].
 
One analysis of probiotics yogurt and gut health found:
 

“During fermentation of milk, lactose is partially hydrolyzed, which results in a lower lactose content in yogurt than in milk (2). However, this reduction in lactose may not be significant, because milk solids are usually added during processing. The greater tolerance of lactose from yogurt than of that from milk among lactose-intolerant subjects may be due to the endogenous lactase activity of yogurt organisms.”

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
While organic beings, these two beneficial bacteria are not typically found in the human gut biome. They cannot survive digestion, so they do not offer many probiotic health benefits [6].
 
Although our body doesn’t reap the nutritional benefits of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus doesn’t mean they are useless. There are compounds produced by these bacteria that are found in fully-fermented yogurt that have nutritional benefits.

 

Additional Probiotics Yogurt Contains

 
Some probiotics yogurts have additional bacteria strains added to them that increase the probiotic benefits. The most common bacteria added besides the initial starter cultures are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium [7]. These bacteria strains have some amazing health benefits since they are naturally found in the healthy human gut biome.

 

Increased Immune Function

 
L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium help the body to produce many different compounds that stop pathogenic bacteria from colonizing the gut [8].
 
Studies have also shown that L. acidophilus can help the body to produce more white blood cells to defend it from attack by pathogens [9]. One analysis involving mice saw the benefits this probiotic bacteria had on the immune system.
 
Scientists concluded,
 

“Activation of the immune system began on the 3rd day, reached a maximum on the 5th, and decreased slightly on the 8th day of feeding. In the 8-day treated mice, boosted with a single dose (100 micrograms) on the 11th day, the immune response increased further.”

Immunology
This sort of reaction only strengthens the correlation between the gut-immune-axis.

 

Decreases Colon Cancer Risk

 
L. acidophilus, along with other strains of bacteria found in probiotics yogurt decreases the production of compounds produced in the gut biome that are associated with colon cancer [14]. This superpower of L. acidophilus is just another reason to break out the cultured yogurt.

 

Helps Ease Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Symptoms

 
Patients with IBD have much lower concentrations of both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria in their gut than in healthy patients [10].
 
When patients supplemented with these two types of bacteria, they showed improvement in their IBD symptoms. Therefore, yogurt with these bacteria added in could potentially help in some cases to ease IBD symptoms.

 

How to Pick the Right Probiotics Yogurt?

 
There are many different types of yogurt on the market, and not all of them have the same health benefits. When you are shopping for yogurt to get the most probiotic health benefits, it’s essential to find yogurt incorporating L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bacteria.
 
Lost while shopping for probiotics yogurt?
Incorporating these bacteria into yogurt can be tricky since they have specific pH, temperature, and oxygen requirements to grow. Therefore, it is vital to look for the “live and active cultures” label on your yogurt if you want to get all the health benefits of L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
 
In addition, make sure you are checking out how much sugar is in your yogurt. Many companies add sugar and high fructose corn syrup into their yogurt for taste.
 
Added sugar can take away from many of the health benefits of probiotics yogurt.
 
Opt for plain yogurt to avoid added sugar. After all, sugar is a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. However, you can always add toppings yourself later.
 
If it’s possible to buy organic yogurt, you should. Studies have shown that organic milk has a healthier fat composition than conventionally farmed milk [20]. Healthier milk makes healthier yogurt, and healthier yogurt makes a healthier you.
 
If you need help sifting through yogurt brands, join the Thryve Gut Health Program. We will help you rebuild intestinal flora that will power your mind, body, and digestive system.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 
[1] Mauro, et al. “History of Yogurt and Current Patterns of Consumption.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 11 July 2015, academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/73/suppl_1/4/1819293.
 
[2] Buttriss, Judith. “Nutritional Properties of Fermented Milk Products.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 9 Aug. 2007, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1471-0307.1997.tb01731.x.
 
[3] Rautiainen, et al. “Dairy Consumption in Association with Weight Change and Risk of Becoming Overweight or Obese in Middle-Aged and Older Women: a Prospective Cohort Study.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 24 Feb. 2016, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/103/4/979/4662886.
 
[4] Ruiz, et al. “Conjugated Linoleic Acid of Dairy Foods Is Affected by Cows’ Feeding System and Processing of Milk.” Scientia Agricola, Scientia Agricola, www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103-90162016000200103.
 
[5] Oskar Adolfsson, Simin Nikbin Meydani, Robert M Russell, Yogurt and gut function, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 80, Issue 2, August 2004, Pages 245–256, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/80.2.245.
 
[6] E Lerebours, C N’Djitoyap Ndam, A Lavoine, M F Hellot, J M Antoine, R Colin, Yogurt and fermented-then-pasteurized milk: effects of short-term and long-term ingestion on lactose absorption and mucosal lactase activity in lactase-deficient subjects, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 49, Issue 5, May 1989, Pages 823–827, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/49.5.823.
 
[7] “Yogurt as Probiotic Carrier Food.” International Dairy Journal, Elsevier, 21 June 2001, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095869460100036X?via%3Dihub.
 
[8] Macpherson, A J, and D. Gatto. “A Primitive T Cell-Independent Mechanism of Intestinal Mucosal IgA Responses to Commensal Bacteria.” Science, 23 June 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10864873.
 
[9] Perdigón, G, and M E de Macias. Systemic Augmentation of the Immune Response in Mice by Feeding Fermented Milks with Lactobacillus Casei and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. Immunology, Jan. 1988, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3123370.
 
[10] Fabia, R, and A Ar’Rajab . Impairment of Bacterial Flora in Human Ulcerative Colitis and Experimental Colitis in the Rat. Digestion. 1993;54(4):248-55., 1993, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8243838.
 
[11] Benbrook, Charles M., et al. “Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States–Wide, 18-Month Study.” PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0082429.
 

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The Banana Prebiotics Hack Your Gut Health Needs

As we tell our children, they need to eat healthy foods, so they grow big and strong. Our stomach bacteria need the same consideration. Everything we eat has a monumental impact on our intestinal flora. Either we can set up our gut for failure or success. For optimal stomach bacteria growth, you need prebiotics. These fibers feed healthy intestinal flora. Learn more about a healthy gut diet plan by adding this banana prebiotics hack to your wellness routine.

 

What is Prebiotics?

 
No, this isn’t probiotics with a typo. Prebiotics are food for probiotics. These are carbohydrates that don’t break down during the digestion of food. Since they sit there, these food particles naturally ferment. As this happens, beneficial stomach bacteria feast on these fibers. Therefore, your gut biome gets nourished with more healthy intestinal flora.
 
Not everything you eat is prebiotics. The typical Western Diet is rich in omega-6 heavy meats, allergen-rich bread and dairy, and artificial sweeteners.

 
Ultimate Guide to Weight Gut Axis
Learn More: Ultimate Guide to Gut-Weight-Axis

 
All of this overconsumption of immunity triggers can lead to an inflamed gut biome. Essentially, this toxic environment kills off the healthy intestinal flora. Ultimately, this opens the gate for opportunistic stomach bacteria to take over the system.
 
Therefore, consuming probiotics supplements isn’t going to fix your gastrointestinal distress. They need a fighting chance to survive your gut biome by being fed. The only way to do this is actually to eat the food yourself.
 
Some of the best sources of prebiotics include:
prebiotics
• Jerusalem Artichokes
• Onions
• Garlic
• Leeks
• Dandelion Greens
• Barley
• Oat
• Dark Chocolate
• Chicory
• Fermented Foods
• Bananas
 
While prebiotics is essential for a healthy gut diet plan, not many people are going to find many of these foods appealing. That’s why you need to fuel on the ones you do like. Bananas are easily accessible. Therefore, you should add bananas to your healthy gut diet plan.

rebuild gut flora
 
With that being said, banana prebiotics has different stages. Each has different nutritional content that will provide you with the energy you need to push you through your day. However, if you are not a big prebiotics food fan, you are going to need all the prebiotics you can get from bananas. Follow this banana prebiotics hack to rebuild gut flora.
 

Banana Prebiotics Hack for Restoring Gut Flora

 
1.3 tons of food goes to waste every year [1]. There are a number of reasons for this alarming statistic. Some are because of poor supply and demand analysis; others are because people throw out nutritional food that looks “ugly.” However, a big reason for this staggering amount of waste is due to miseducation.
 
A lot of us are misinformed on how to eat healthy foods strategically. We won’t eat something because it’s not ripe yet or throw it out when the food feels too mushy. These stages of a fruit’s life are essential for making the most out of this banana prebiotics hack.

 

Unripe Bananas for Gut Health

 
green bananas
The trick for getting optimal benefits out of your prebiotics is to eat a banana when the peel is still green. We know. It’s firm, not very sweet, and tastes so wrong.
 
However, not everything is about you. This is about restoring gut flora.
 
Eating an unripe banana is ideal for creating good gut bacteria for weight loss. That’s because this fruit is low in sugar. Therefore, the carbs that are in the unripe banana won’t add to adipose (fat) tissue buildup. They’ll just provide fuel for your probiotics.

 

Starch Diet Benefits

 
On top of feeding good gut bacteria for weight loss, unripe bananas are rich in starch carbohydrates. Starches are great for keeping the waistline in check because they make us feel fuller longer. Therefore, we don’t feel the need to overindulge.
 
Recently, a study published in Nutrition Journal looked at the benefits of a heavy starch diet. They followed the vitals of volunteers over a week-long, low-fat meal plan that was 80% complex carbohydrates.
 
The results found,
 

“A low-fat, starch-based, vegan diet eaten ad libitum for 7 days results in significant favorable changes in commonly tested biomarkers that are used to predict future risks for cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases.”

Nutrition Journal
While biting into an unripe fruit isn’t ideal, it’s essential to get the most of your banana prebiotics hack. If you aren’t a fan of eating unripe bananas, throw them into a spirulina smoothie. Maybe you can toss some honey onto the unripe banana to sweeten it up. Perhaps even a kefir yogurt bowl? This combo with banana prebiotics is a dream meal for rebuilding gut flora.
 
Although an unripe banana is the best way to get your prebiotics for probiotics, it’s not the only way. Don’t toss your banana out when it’s fresh. There’s still plenty of banana prebiotics left in that fruit!

 

Ripe Bananas for Gut Health

 
When a banana gets mature, the sugar content increases. However, it’s still low on the glycemic index [3]. Therefore, those with diabetes could even add banana prebiotics to their healthy gut diet plan.
 
ripe banana
On top of being a great source of natural energy (sugar), ripe bananas are easier to digest. When they are unripe, they serve as prebiotics for your intestinal flora. As the fruit becomes mushier, it’s easier for us to pass. Therefore, a ripe banana may help cut bloating.
 
Lastly, a ripe banana has more antioxidants than the unripe banana. Antioxidants are essential for fighting off free radicals. Therefore, eating a banana can help your body defend itself from the onslaught of illness.
 
Obviously, eating a ripe banana is a piece of (banana) cake. Admittedly, we all get a bit grossed out by browning bananas. However, there is still a load of banana prebiotics in that tropical fruit. So, don’t throw it out just yet. You can have your brown banana, and eat it, too!

 

Brown Bananas for Gut Health

 
When a banana’s peel becomes brown, we tend to write the fruit off as past its prime. However, there’s still plenty of vitamins and minerals in these gut health foods.
 
Early research on bananas and their effect on our health suggests that brown bananas have an elevated level of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) [4].
 
TNF is a cytokine that our immune system produces. It creates a controlled bout of inflammation that destroys harmful stomach bacteria. Then, the rest of the immune system puts the fire out, allowing the growth of beneficial intestinal flora.
 
The study stated,
 

“Banana extract administration resulted in a dose-dependent accumulation of neutrophils and macrophage activation. In the i.p. experiment, the priming effects on cytokine induction increased with maturity and were slightly more marked for the highland banana. In the p.o. administration experiment, the activity exhibited by the regular banana increased with maturity.”


Food Science Technol.
If you don’t love a mushy banana, use it for baking. It’s a great thickening agent. Plus, it’s higher sugar content makes for some delicious treats. When your banana is far past expiration, please consider composting. Every bit goes a long way in helping the environment and ultimately, your gut health, too.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Key Facts on Food Loss and Waste You Should Know!” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/.
 
[2] McDougall, J., Thomas, L. E., McDougall, C., Moloney, G., Saul, B., Finnell, J. S., … Petersen, K. M. (2014). Effects of 7 days on an ad libitum low-fat vegan diet: the McDougall Program cohort. Nutrition journal, 13, 99. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-99.
 
[3] “Can a Diabetic Eat Bananas?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/349099-can-a-diabetic-eat-bananas/.
 
[4] Iwasawa, Haruyo, and Masatoshi Yamazaki. “Differences in Biological Response Modifier-like Activities According to the Strain and Maturity of Bananas.” Food Sci. Technol. Res , 15 (3), 275 – 282, 2009, 4 Feb. 2009, www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/fstr/15/3/15_3_275/_pdf.

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