Primal Defense Probiotics
When I am asked by nutrition clients, “What is the most important supplement to take daily?” My answer is always Probiotics. The reason being is that a good quality probiotic formula supports your overall digestive and intestinal health. If your digestive and intestinal health is compromised, then you may have problems with digesting, assimilating and utilizing your nutrients properly, which can lead to mal-absorption, leaky gut syndrome, and a myriad of other colon health and general health issues.
Dr. Bernard Jensen, DC, ND, PhD states: “It has become crystal clear that poor bowel management lies at the root of most people’s health problems."
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg said over a century ago that “90% of diseases are due to improper functioning of the colon.”
I agree with these great pioneers of natural health. I believe our gastrointestinal health is the key cornerstone to our overall health and well being. When I am consulting with clients on health and dietary issues, I always begin with their “gut” health including their digestion, absorption and elimination, regardless of what their health concern is. A big part of gut health is probiotic organisms, which are bacteria that support a healthy intestinal eco-system by keeping harmful bacteria and viruses in check.
The delicate balance of bacteria in the gut can be compromised by many factors in our modern lifestyle including:
Chlorination in our water and soil supplies (drinking, bathing and ingestion)
Excessive Stress – long term mental and emotional
Excessive Sugar and Alcohol Consumption
Over-the-counter drugs that alter the pH (acid/alkaline) balance of the intestinal tract
Carbonated beverages, especially sugared sodas
Lack of Beneficial Bacteria (Probiotics) in Colon
When this balance of intestinal bacteria is compromised, a condition called Dysbiosis can occur. Dysbiosis is a condition when unhealthy pathogens (overabundance of unfriendly microorganisms) take over the delicate balance in the intestines – creating a multitude of symptoms that can lead to the following to name just a few:
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Food Allergies and Intolerances
Bloating and Distension of the stomach and colon
Candida Yeast Overgrowth
General Health Decline – including fatigue, poor complexion, bad breath, body odor
Other Digestive, Colon and Elimination symptoms and conditions
Did you know that when your intestinal health is compromised, it can also affect your immune health? Studies show that at infancy about 70%, and in adulthood about 40% to 50% of the immune cells are associated with the intestines?
According to gastroenterologist and internal medicine doctor, Dr. Joseph Brasco in the "Restoring Your Digestive Health" book, “The gut-associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) secretes special ‘killer’ cells into the mucosa of the intestines to fight bacteria, viruses and toxins. These cells include macrophages, natural killer cells, mast cells and intraepithelial lymphocytes. Their job is to identify and destroy dangerous substances to keep them from permeating the walls of the intestines and poisoning the body. The intestinal tract is the first line of defense against disease.”
Since so much of the immune system is associated with the intestines, bowel imbalances, conditions and diseases can create health issues not only in the gastrointestinal tract but also with vital immune functions. Also, when the immune system in the intestines fails, toxins and bacteria are able to permeate the through the intestinal lining and toxify the body (a condition called leaky gut syndrome).
Probiotics or intestinal flora provide our initial line of defense for our intestinal health. The word “Probiotics” is derived from Greek: pro (for) biotic (life) and literally means “for life.” But not all probiotic supplements are as effective at restoring bowel health and balance. For those of you that are familiar with my writings on whole food vitamins, you know that I recommend using whole food vitamins rather than isolated vitamins because whole food vitamin supplements are made from whole foods and provide all of the cofactors and nutrients needed to absorb and utilize the nutrients properly, whereas isolates do not.
I believe the same is true for Probiotics – many probiotic supplements are bacterial isolates (isolated from their culture medium) and lack the valuable cofactors that are needed for proper assimilation and colonization in the intestines. Whereas, whole food, fermented probiotics are absorbed and recognized by the body. So in addition to eating high quality, lacto-fermented foods, I also recommend daily consumption fermented, whole food probiotics.
This fermentation process of whole-food probiotics duplicates the lacto-fermentation process in that the probiotics are grown in the proper growth media for the microbes. At completion of the growth process, the microbes are then dried at low temperatures. Including the substrate from the growth media is the key for this fermentation process because of the synergistic, chemical reaction process that occurs – resulting in a host of additional co-factors, enzymes and healthy bacteria that enhances the potency and absorption value of the fermented probiotic.
My top two recommendations for whole food, fermented probiotics are called Primal Defense and Primal Defense Ultra by Garden of Life. Both of these probiotic formulas are fermented from whole food sources and also contain a more resilient and hardy strain of bacterial organism called Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSO’s) which are tiny bacterial microorganisms that originate in nature’s soil. Their function is to provide the soil and plants with nutrients, by releasing enzymes into the soil that kill off molds, yeasts and other pathogens that obstruct plant growth. HSO’s provide the same benefits for our G.I. tract as they do for plants and soil by destroying pathogens including: fungi, molds, yeasts and viruses. HSO’s also help maintain homeostasis (balance) by clearing harmful pathogens and facilitating the absorption of food and nutrients. HSO’s are able to withstand stomach acids and temperature unlike most other types of probiotics.
Due to our modern lifestyle and commercial farming practices, many of these life-enhancing HSO’s are no longer prevalent in our foods. Practices like pesticides and other farming chemicals, chlorinated water, pasteurization and heat food processing have all decreased and/or eliminated these health supporting HSO’s in our diets. For more research and information on the value of HSO’s, see the recommended reading resources below.
Primal Defense and Primal Defense Ultra by Garden of Life are both shelf-stable, fermented, whole food probiotics that contain Homeostatic Soil Based Organisms. Both of these formulas support a healthy gastrointestinal environment, support regular bowel function and support a healthy immune system. The key probiotics in these formulas are able to thrive in stomach and bile acids for maximum effectiveness. The HSO’s in the Primal Defense probiotic formulas support normal absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the G.I. tract.
For those with looser bowel movements, I recommend using the Primal Defense probiotic formula and for those who tend toward constipation or drier bowel movements, I recommend the Primal Defense Ultra. Both of the Primal Defense probiotics contains 12 - 13 species of beneficial probiotics, including the HSO’s.
To Your Vibrant Health & Well-Being!
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