Image courtesy of naturalhealthsource.com
Today, I was reading the first issue of “Dr. Oz, The Good Life” and low and behold, there was a little article called “Beating Belly Troubles”. It was like a sign from the big yellow brick road in the sky – something was telling me that I need to learn even more about belly bacteria and probiotics. I even found a nifty picture that I included above on a website – that’s really what probiotic bacteria looks like, I’m sure of it! The article contained a section on how to choose a supplement which would have come in handy had I read it before buying. Incidentally, I picked up Health Balance Complete Probiotic at Costco – it’s their own brand. Since the damage was done, I figured that I should just check it out and see if I made a good choice.
- The first thing that they suggest is telling your doctor if you are planning on taking one. Oops – blush – didn’t mention it, but I have to make an appointment in April, so I will!
- The next step is to know the code so that you are taking a probiotic that will restore order to your otherwise disorderly belly. Looks like I get a check but more on that soon!
- Next, they suggest that adults should take at least one billion cells (why is it that I picture Mike Myers as Dr. Evil from Austin Powers going one billion cells with his little finger next to his mouth). Check! My supplements have billions! It’s go big or go home!
- Look online – I went to ConsumerLab.com and Probiotic.org to find out more. The Health Balance brand isn’t reviewed, so I looked at the medicinal ingredients to see if I was getting some bang for my 30 bucks. Mine contain: Lactobacillus casei (supposed to help with Diverticulitis – too challenging to get into, let’s just say pain in your gut and it also helps prevent diarrhea); Bifidobacterium breve (helps with issues associated with antibiotics and prevent yeast infections in women plus helps break down food for digestion); Bifidobacterium longum (“very helpful because it maintains a normal digestive tract, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, and also boosts the immune system.”(2) Other benefits of B. longum include, “diarrhea prevention in antibiotic treated patients, cholesterol reduction, alleviation of lactose intolerance symptoms, immune stimulation, and cancer prevention.” – source probiotic.org); Lactobacillus rhamnosus (helps with immunity, helps prevent intestinal and urinary tract infections plus helps with dairy digestion – this one is a goody!); Lactobacillus plantarum (“been shown to be an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and colitis. It has the ability to destroy pathogens and to preserve critical nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. It has also shown the rare ability to produce L. lysine, a beneficial amino acid.” Source probiotic.org); Lactobacillus helveticus (…”may help lower blood pressure, increase calcium absorption, decrease arterial stiffness, and increase bone mineral content/density.” Source probiotic.org); Lactobacillus acidophilus (helps with IBS, yeast infections, lactose intolerance, high cholesterol and a host of other health issues).
- Check the expiration – mine are good until September of 2015 – another check.
- Keep them cool and dry – they suggest when in doubt refrigerate which I do – so check!
- Track how you’re doing – I don’t do this, but as I’ve mentioned time and again, my belly is feeling much better. I don’t deserve a check, but I don’t think I deserve a big red X either.
All in all, I’m very pleased with my selection. So pleased, that I thought I would entertain you with a little poem…
Ode to Probiotics
Probiotics help to balance my intestinal flora,
And no that isn’t a plant in Bora Bora.
Probiotics make me smile even though I have no dimples,
Since they’ve played a big part in helping with my pimples.
Probiotics help keep my stomach from making me go ooo,
In fact, they even help me go woo hoo (you thought I was going to say poo – fooled you didn’t I?)
Probiotics have really helped my tummy,
Kind of like Dr. Oz’s detox broth made by my Mummy.
Probiotics, I’ll take them daily,
Maybe they’ll speed me up and make me less snailey (it’s a word, I’m almost sure of it).
I didn’t forget my gratitide journal – today, I’m grateful that I’m not really a poet – it’s tough to always rhyme and I’ve never been big on haiku. I’m also grateful that aside from those of you who are laughing at me, c’mon, admit it, there is one friend that is “highly evolved” and will appreciate my little ode.