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Hello friends! So I’m finally going to get to Part 3 of my sweet probiotics posts. I know I’m not the greatest at doing them in order, but that’s because I just get so excited by so many other things. I am working on my focus, but at least they all eventually get written 😉

If you haven’t already read the first two parts you can check them out by clicking the following links: Part 1 and Part 2.  For part 3 we’re going to be focusing on a couple specific strains of probiotic bacteria that have been proven in scientific studies to be helpful in managing specific bodily imbalances. So without further ado, let’s get crackin’!

Dear Cait,
I’ve been hearing a lot about these things called probiotics, but I’m really not sure exactly what they are or why they’re important. I thought bacteria were bad for our health and made us sick? Could you help me out? Thanks! –F


Well, in Part 1 we looked at some basics of probiotics and bacterial balance in the body to get a feel for what they do in the body. Last time we took a look at common symptoms of gut dysbiosis and some great strains of probiotics to help rebalance your intestinal microflora. Remember, if you feel like a bacterial or fungal imbalance may be an underlying cause of your health issues, contact me or another practitioner to get a specific protocol for your needs.

Alrighty, so as we discussed last time there are many environmental and dietary factors that can affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive system such as:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Diets high in sugar, processed food, and refined carbohydrates –these foods feed bad bacteria and yeasts.
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Smoking or drug use.
  • Chronic stress.
  • Birth via C-section—babies born via C-section are not exposed to the bacteria lining their mother’s vaginal canal and so can have an altered intestinal microflora that may need to be addressed via diet and supplementation. New moms can put a bit of probiotic powder on their nipples when breastfeeding to ensure adequate probiotic intake.

We have also looked at some of the common symptoms and illnesses that may have gut dysbiosis as an underlying or contributing cause. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune illness and disease
  • B12 deficiency
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • PMS
  • Depression, anxiety, & mood swings
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Eczema
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Psoriasis
  • Cystic acne

Now that we’re caught up on some of the causes and symptoms of gut dysbiosis, let’s take a look at some specific imbalances and the proper probiotic strains to help alleviate those imbalances and symptoms.

Saccharomyces boulardii

This strain of probiotic is actually a yeast that is safe for use by people of all ages from infancy onwards. It’s kind of like a superhero that helps protect and restore normal bacterial balance in our digestive tracts by preventing unhealthy bacteria and bacterial toxins from attaching to our intestinal linings. It’s also great for people with compromised enzyme stores, in that it helps stimulate their production and gets our short-chain fatty acids working away, which can help prevent diarrhea!

S. boulardii is beneficial for use in the following conditions:

  • Diarrhea—caused by traveling, antibiotics, or severe burns.
  • Crohn’s disease—it has been useful in decreasing the number of bowel movements.
  • IBS—helpful for those suffering from diarrhea-type IBS.
  • Protective against disease causing strains of:
    • E. coli
    • C. difficile
    • Cholera
    • Entamoeba histolytica
    • Potential benefits against salmonella, a primary cause of food poisoning.
 Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria Strains

Both of these strains of bacteria produce large amounts of acids, acetic, formic, and lactic, which make our intestinal tracts unfriendly places for nasty bacteria to colonize. Both bacteria are necessary for optimal digestive and physical health, so lets take a look at some of the benefits associated with specific strains of each.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

This strain (which we’ve discussed briefly before) is typically found in our small intestines and is crucial for maintaining the proper acidity of the digestive tract in order to prevent the overgrowth of unhealthy yeasts and bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for fermenting glycogen (a type of carbohydrate) into lactic acid, thereby increasing the pH of the intestinal tract and for producing hydrogen peroxide, which actively kills harmful yeasts such as Candida albicans.

  • LA also produces an antibiotic, acidophilin, that is effective against strains of harmful bacteria such as streptococcus and staph.
  • LA and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are also effective against:
    • C. botulinum and C. perfringens
    • E. coli
    • Salmonella enteridis and typhimurium
    • Staphylococcus aureus and faecalis

Some other sweet benefits of this strain include:

  • Aid in digestion of lactose and dairy products.
  • Improved nutrient absorption.
  • Maintain the integrity of the digestive tract to prevent leaky gut and immune responses.
  • Help prevent vaginal and urinary tract infections.
Lactobacillus Reuteri

Benefits of this strain of lactobacillus include:

  • Inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.
  • Can inhibit the adherence of pathogens to the gut lining.
  • Has been shown to shorten the duration of children’s rotaviral infections, which cause diarrhea.
  • Also helpful in preventing/alleviating vaginal infections.
Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Aids in the synthesis of B vitamins and vitamin K.
  • Improved bowel health and immune response.
  • This study showed notable improvement in alcohol-induced liver injury, making this a great probiotic for those who enjoy the nightlife.
  • Another probiotic that is great for the treatment and prevention of diarrhea! Do you notice a theme?
Bifidobacterium infantis
  • A great probiotic to give infants and babies suffering from eczema, cradle cap, and colic.
  • Studies suggest it may be protective against bacteria that have been found to promote inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Test research shows possible anti-tumor properties.
  • Combined with L. acidophilus, it has been show to reduce illness and death from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in infants.

Well friends, I could seriously go on all day about the health benefits of specific strains of probiotic yeasts and bacteria, but suffice it to say that for the most part, those found in your probiotic supplements or fermented foods are going to do great things for your body. In a nutshell probiotics are great for:

  • People who suffer from chronic diarrhea or constipation.
  • Alleviating some symptoms of IBS and Crohn’s.
  • Boosting our immune system and preventing unhealthy bacteria from attaching to our digestive tracts and making us sick.
  • Helping with vitamin synthesis, food digestion, and assimilation.
  • Helping alleviate eczema and other inflammation-based skin issues.

If you feel like you might be suffering from a bacterial imbalance, contact me or another qualified healthcare professional to get to the root of your issue and guide you back to great health!

And if you’re looking for more ways to get your fermentation feet wet, check out my FREE e-book Eat Your Way to a Happy Belly with Fantastic FermentablesIt’s packed with information on the benefits of probiotic foods and 15 easy peasy, vegan & paleo friendly recipes. Click here to download it now! Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Cait 🙂