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Probiotics are often in the news, and you’ve probably heard about them many times. But do you take probiotics already? Do you take them consistently? Today, I want to tell you why I take probiotics everyday and how to choose a probiotic for yourself.

Why are probiotics important?

Our bodies are full of bacteria – not the bad stuff that leads to infection, but good, helpful bacteria that we need to survive and thrive. These beneficial bacteria make up about four pounds of your body weight!

These beneficial bacteria help to:

  • digest our food
  • promote regularity
  • keep harmful bacteria from multiplying and making us sick
  • renew cells in the intestinal lining to keep it in optimal health
  • produce certain nutrients, like B vitamins and vitamin K, that we need to live
  • produce short-chain fatty acids that help prevent cancer
  • increase immune response

It’s like there’s an enormous community within us that works around the clock to keep us healthy. Yet this community exists in a delicate balance. If that balance is disrupted, the entire community is thrown out of whack and the body suffers for it.

What do probiotics do?

Probiotics replenish the healthy bacteria that we may have lost and restore the necessary balance to the bacterial community.

The word probiotic means “pro life” or “in favor of life,” and its opposite is antibiotic, meaning “against life.” Though antibiotics are adept at killing harmful, infection-causing bacteria, they simultaneously destroy the healthy bacteria that we need.

How to Choose a Probiotic Supplement

Our digestive systems naturally host over 500 species of beneficial bacteria, and there is no way that any probiotic supplement can contain all of these types. Instead, look for as many of these “biggies” as possible:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • L. bulgaricus
  • L. rhamnosus
  • L. plantarum
  • L. brevis
  • L. reuteri
  • L. salivarius
  • L. casei
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • B. longum
  • B. infantis
  • B. breve
  • B. lactis
  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Saccharomyces boulardii

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