These good bacteria (yeasts and bacteria) are also called Probiotics, and they live primarily in our guts. With over 75% of our immune system residing in our guts, its extremely important that we get our daily dose of these probiotics to keep everything functioning as is should. These organisms not only help aid digestion and alleviate symptoms of ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea, but they are even beneficial for young children and infants with colic.
The reason probiotics are so essential to the proper functioning of our guts is because our microbiomes resides there. With a little help from our good bacteria, our intestines are able to properly extract energy from the food we eat, absorb the nutrients we need, and remove the waste we don’t want.
When we consume probiotics, either through certain dietary foods or with daily supplementation, we are providing our microbiome with the ideal ecosystem to keep our guts healthy and happy! These bacteria not only support the integrity of our intestines (our gut lining), but they ultimately improve our immune function!
While most of the resent research done on the functioning of the microbiome has only come about within the last 20 or so years, we know that there are correlations seen between irregularities in our gut ecosystem and disease states like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even anxiety and depression. This is one of the reasons why it is so incredibly important that we are mindful about what foods we choose to fuel our bodies with.
When we pick foods that provide a generous source of diverse probiotic strains, we are directly helping keep our gut-mind connection in check. I know you’ve heard it before and I have definitely said it too that we are what we eat!
-Dr. Chloe, PharmD
If you want to properly fuel your microbiome, then you have to start by incorporating the proper nutrients into your diet. This means not overindulging on refined carbohydrates and instead, choosing foods that are rich in fiber. Fiber-rich foods are also called prebiotic containing foods. These are things like dark leafy greens, whole grains, legumes and vegetables, and these foods will help feed our good bacteria. Next, consuming foods like yogurt, fermented cabbage, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh and sauerkraut will provide you with the probiotic foods that your body desperately needs to function at optimal capacity!
Along with eating the proper foods, it is also important that we prioritize our sleep, limit stress, and avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics and antacids.
With antibiotics in particular, their job is to eliminate the bacteria causing said illness. However, in the process, they also end up killing off ALL the good bacteria residing in our guts. This can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria which is one of the main reasons why it is so important for pharmacists to actively engage in antibiotic stewardship when collaborating with prescribers. Antacids on the other hand will work to decrease your gastric output which sometimes is beneficial, but you want to remember that gastric secretions are essential for digesting the foods you eat!
Utilizing a probiotic supplement is another great way to ensure that you are restoring those good bacteria to your microbiome. My personal choice and recommendation to my patients are Florajen Probiotics. There are several key factors to look for when choosing the probiotic supplement that is right for you and Florajen Digestion (formerly Florajen3) and Florajen Acidophilus meet all the criteria I prioritize as a pharmacist.
Both products contain a multiculture blend of probiotic strains that aid in the healthy functioning of the digestive tract. Lactobacillus Acidophilus in particular is a resilient strain that has demonstrated benefits in many different parts of the body for overall balance and health. Because the human body contains trillions of microorganisms, a probiotic with billions of cells is needed to help maintain proper balance. That is why Florajen Acidophilus is one of my favorites as it offers 20 billion live cultures per capsule that will help support immune, digestive and vaginal/urinary health.
Another unique feature of Florajen probiotics is that they must be kept refrigerated. Refrigeration is important because it helps maintain the product’s potency. Cells inevitably degrade faster when stored at room temperature so looking for a probiotic product that is kept refrigerated is another key factor to keep in mind as it will naturally be more consistent than those products simply stored on the shelf.
While consuming a diet rich in probiotic foods is the best way to maintain a happy gut microbiome, probiotic supplementation remains a healthy and safe way to offset any imbalances. Always consult with your physician and pharmacist first and supplement as you feel necessary! For disease states like ulcerative colitis, necrotizing enterocolitis, traveler’s diarrhea and antibiotic-associate diarrhea, probiotic supplements will work wonders!
To learn more about the Florajen products mentioned in this post, visit