127 – Probiotics for Digestive and Immune Health – My Interview with Dr. Don Brown

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The Benefits of Probiotics Are Far Greater Than Previously Imagined

Dr. Don BrownDigestive SupportProbiotics have finally hit the mainstream. TV commercials now tout the benefits of probiotics for digestive health. Welcome to club. Health food stores have been promoting probiotics for over 40 years. I purchased probiotics and live culture yogurt and kefir over 40 years ago in a California health food store. These are not new things.

So now we have a lot of probiotic supplements on the market. Like every supplement there are distinctions. Not all probiotics are created equal. While yogurt is touted as the best source for beneficial bacteria, it is not necessarily the best. Yogurt is fine as a beneficial food. I eat yogurt almost every day. However I don’t rely on yogurt to be a therapeutic source of beneficial bacteria. You also have to be careful because cheap yogurt sometimes has no beneficial live bacteria.

In this interview with Dr. Don Brown, we will discuss the role of beneficial bacteria for digestive health, immune support and women’s urinary and vaginal health. Dr. Brown will discuss the science of probiotics and how they exert their effects. He explains why specific strains of bacteria are the best choice depending on your needs. Choosing the right product will be a big plus in finding the benefits. How can you as a consumer, know which products to trust? Here are some tips:

  • BacteriaPurchase products from well known and respected companies. The best products will be found in the nutrition supplement industry. If you don’t know then go to a good independent health food store.
  • Understand your objective. Are you looking for a general supplement or one for a specific purpose such as digestive health, immune health, women’s intimate health, etc. New studies have suggested that a healthy probiotic balance may have a positive impact on blood pressure.
  • Purchase products that are targeted for your objective. There are specific formulas, seek them out.
  • Purchase products that use clinically studied strains of bacteria. There are many strains of bacteria. They have not all been studied and shown to have the beneficial effects. You can always ask, is this probiotic clinically studied? If it does not say on the package, you cannot assume. Good companies want you to know what’s in their products. Never be afraid to ask.
  • Take them consistently and over time. Probiotics can rebuild your gut health if you give them a chance. Change your diet and lifestyle as well to suit your overall goals. Do not use supplements to excuse a crappy diet.
  • If you use antibiotics, current research suggests that you begin to take your probiotics at the same time you begin antibiotics. And for some time afterward. Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well and you need to get the good stuff back into your system before the bad bacteria come back. This is critical.

NW_Primadophilus_OptimaThe products we will mention fulfill the above criteria. Nature’s Way Supplement Company has numerous probiotics of various strains and potencies. You will be able to find one that suits your needs. The specific products are Nature’s Way Primadophilus Optima. One for digestive health and one for women’s health.

About Dr. Don Brown

Dr. Donald Brown is a naturopathic physician, author and one of the leading authorities in the U.S. on evidence-based herbal medicine and the safety and efficacy of nutritional supplements. He is the Director of Natural Product Research Consultants in Seattle, WA, providing services for companies in the natural product and pharmaceutical industries, as well as education for health care professionals. Dr. Brown served as Vice President of Medical and Educational Affairs for Schwabe North America (Nature’s Way, Enzymatic Therapy, and Integrative Therapeutics). He is a former assistant professor at the Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences. He serves on the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and was a member of the Board of Directors for the International Probiotics Association for two years.

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