probiotics

Gut Health Supplements and Life Update

Just when you thought I might never blog again, I am back! 

Sinus Infections and Adrenal Fatigue (Yawn)

The past few months have been tough. I ended up with adrenal fatigue, and then managed to get two sinus infections within the past month. What zithromycin wouldn't kill, levofloxacin plus a NeilMed sinus irrigation system has. (However, the neck and shoulder pain that I sometimes get with Levoquin are tough to take.) 

In the interest of getting my health back on track, I have made a few changes to my routine. Instead of doing a 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol, I am doing 12:12, which immediately helped my energy. I dropped back down to beginner/intermediate workouts, and not every day, and have actually gained some more muscle and lost more fat (who knew?).

I also found a new gynecologist, who is transitioning me to an FDA-approved oral HRT regimen that is still bio-identical. Instead of being on a dosing cycle of every 12 hours with the compounded cream I have been using, I will take the energy-producing estrogen and dhea in the morning and the sleep-promoting progesterone at night. Since my dose will be more regulated, I look forward to less sweating and more sleep!

In supplement news, I stopped taking fish oil after so many studies showing that it has no effect on cardiovascular health (plus I eat fish and good fats all the time), but have continued with probiotics and collagen for gut health and to keep the candida at bay after so many antibiotics!

And that brings me to the lates gut health supplements I have tried, both of which I received free in exchange for a review.

Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics

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How could I ignore an email with "The Princess and the Probiotic" as a subject line? As I know from working at an A-list private island resort, even royalty has gut issues with travel, so why would Meghan Markle be any different? 

What makes these probiotics different? They are fermented for three years with an organic prebiotic food blend. Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics are shelf-stable and effective. I took a capsule twice a day, and found them to work very well, keeping me regular and feeling great. The only issue is cost. To make a quality product like this is not easy or cheap. These will run you $43 per month on Amazon.

These work so well because they are a blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics.

"The three-year fermentation process at seasonal temperatures encourages survival of the strongest bacteria and makes the blend (12 Probiotic Strains) shelf-stable without refrigeration. Unlike other products that claim billions of freeze-dried non-native bacteria is better, we understand that 'more' is not better. Dr. Ohhira’s formula takes probiotic support to a whole new level by providing the biogenic ingredients Postbiotics needed to support your exclusive probiotic ‘fingerprint’."

I also highly recommend their Kampuku Beauty Bar, which fits the hand perfectly, works on face and body, has no smell, and rinses clean.

Hello Beautiful Collagen & Multivitamin Powder

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I take collagen every day, whether hubby's awesome bone broths or a powder. Collagen helps our guts, as well as supporting our structural supports and skin. I am convinced that collagen helped me heal my crushed toe back in 2013! So, when I received an email asking if I would try Musely's Hello Beautiful collagen with multivitamin, I said yes.

They sent me one box of the unflavored and one of the wild berry flavor (20 packets each). The unflavored is great! It mixes easily into coffee, oatmeal, and my protein shake, and I love getting my vitamins and some electrolytes from the dried coconut water in the process. No smell, no residue, just clean collagen.

The mixed berry flavor is very lightly flavored. It mixes well in berry oatmeal and berry smoothies, and I even tried it in cold water, which worked well, much to my surprise.

I do prefer a more robust multivitamin, so this would not replace that for me. But if you have a hard time remembering to take a pill, but will carry and use a packet of powder, this will work for you! Prices range from $29 per box to under $20 in their subscription program.

Why I Take Probiotics

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I take quality probiotics every day, and since I started my health has been better, I sleep better, and my digestion and elimination are much more regular. There are several quality brands of probiotic supplements on the market. Probiogen and Hyperbiotics are two of my favorites.

Why Take Probiotics?

The bacteria in our guts plays a role in most of our important body functions. We now know that the micro-organisms in our guts have a direct relationship on our digestive health, our immune systems, brain and nervous system, urinary tract health, allergies, and levels obesity. That's a lot!

Our levels of bacteria are affected by pollution, stress, poor diet, and antibiotics. Since I live in NYC, have a reasonable amount of stress, and have only recently lost over 40#, my gut flora are a concern.

Choosing a Probiotic

The most important qualities in a good probiotic are that it contains useful strains of bacteria, and that they are alive in sufficient quantity when they hit your gut. Your supplement can contain billions of bacteria, but if they are all dead or not of a useful form, the supplement is useless.

Your supplement should not require refrigeration. If the bacteria cannot survive heat, how exactly will they survive your digestive tract? You want live spores in your digestive tract. Really!

Probiogen

Probiogen is formulated by microbiologist Kiren Krishnan, who specializes in nutrition research. He chose the most needed and effective bacteria, DNA-verified the strains, and made sure they could stay alive.

probioticsThey make several formulas, including allergy, stress and mood, and weight balance. I have tried just about every formula, and my body has responded well. The herbs that support the probiotics are well chosen, and the supplements do help.

For the weight balance supplement, Krishan did his own hunger study with healthy college kids, testing their ghrelin levels after a fasted state and also after a 2000 calorie fast food breakfast.  The out-of-whack Western ghrelin response was nearly identical. But after 30 days on the probiotic strain included in the Probiogen Weight Management formula, their ghrelin levels dropped after the calorie-laden meal, as did their insulin responses.

Easy to take and no refrigeration needed. Dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian, non-GMO.

Hyperbiotics

probioticsHyperbiotics was founded by Jamie Morea, who developed the line after she took a life-changing trip from Guatemala to Thailand and contracted Entamoeba histolytica, a rare intestinal parasite most common in developing countries.

She pulled together a team of microbiologists and started creating a probiotic supplement that works. Hyperbiotics also gives back with carbon-offset programs and the Change for Women Collective.

Again, easy to take, no refrigeration needed, and these you can buy at Target!

Great Gut Prebiotic Fiber Review & Giveaway

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Great Gut Works!

Fiber is a crucially important part of our diet. Seriously, fiber is what bulks up our stools so that they pass easily, allowing us to process nutrients and handle waste efficiently. Our contemporary diet contains precious little fiber, especially in the US, where produce consumption is down while fast food consumption is up!

What Is PreBiotic Fiber?

Prebiotics are a special class of functional food ingredients that resist digestion in the stomach and are selectively fermented in the colon. They stimulate the growth of the good bacteria in our gut that have been associated with positive health benefits, particularly in combination with a gut health diet. Note that probiotics are the good bacteria. Great Gut Prebiotics stimulate the growth of probiotics as they add fiber.

Unlike psyllium, and other purely bulk producing fiber supplements, prebiotic fiber mixes easily in hot or cold water, without making them slimy and weird. Plus, they promote regularity while balancing out your gut flora, which is always a good idea.

The Great Gut Promise

I found this product during a search for a fiber supplement that was unflavored and wouldn't turn everything I mixed it with into a gross slimy gel. Great Gut promised easier bowel movements, a healthy gut, no flavor, and easy blending. Plus, you get a good number of servings in the tub.

Great gut

The Good: The dose is small. Just a small scoop (1t). Blends easily, especially into warm beverages, soups, and warn cereals, so you can have fiber in your coffee or tea! Very little flavor. What is there is a bit sweet, but unnoticeable in most foods. I have tried it in chili and soup, as well as oatmeal and yogurt, and no noticeable taste. Bowel movements are definitely better - easier, more formed, more regular.

The Bad: It doesn't always dissolve well in colder liquids, but is fine in cold yogurts and puddings. So really, not so bad.

I don't use Great Gut all of the time, as I have a pretty good whole foods diet with tons of fiber, but I use it as needed and it always works, in a very gentle and efficient way.

The Great Gut Giveaway

Two of my fabulous readers will win a tub of Great Gut! And hey, when you try it, please leave a Great Gut review on Amazon and let folks know your experience. It helps!

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