Have you heard the term probiotic before?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for you, especially your digestive system. Your gut is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in your intestinal system. It’s astounding how many health benefits these little microorganisms offer us.
Science is just now learning the massive importance probiotics have in determining our health, weight, moods, and other bodily functions.
Research shows probiotics, also known as “beneficial gut bacteria,” deliver the following benefits:
- Improve and aid digestion.
- Calm irritable bowel syndrome.
- Help heal a leaky gut (intestinal permeability).
- Boost the immune system. Note: 70% of the body’s immune cells are located in the intestinal tract.
- Improve brain function.
- Counteract inflammation and control the growth of disease-causing bacteria.
- Produce vitamins, absorb minerals, and eliminate toxins.
- Control asthma and reduce the risk of allergies.
- Benefit your mood and mental health.
- Normalize your weight.
- Plus, a lot more!
Obviously, they’re good for us, but what are the different probiotics? And what functions do they perform in our bodies?
Microorganisms living within our bodies:
- Probiotics are microorganisms that positively influence the body, particularly the digestive system.
- Pathobiotics are microorganisms that harm the body.
- Eubiotics can be harmful or helpful to the body, depending upon the size and location of the colony.
One of the most important ways microflora promote health comes by existing in large numbers. Like characters in a wild west movie, the good bacteria say to the villain-like undesirable bacteria, “there’s not enough room in this town for the both of us.”
Research studies show that normal, healthy colonies of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria can help maintain a healthy balance between beneficial and undesirable bacteria.
Fermented foods are one of the main ways people have been getting enough healthy bacteria for thousands of years.
Traditional probiotic-rich, fermented foods include:
- Kefir, miso, tempeh
- Kombucha tea
Unfortunately, most diets don’t include enough fermented foods. One reason why it’s recommended to take a probiotic supplement.
Five compelling reasons to take a probiotic supplement:
1. Antibiotic Use
Use of antibiotics is the most common cause of imbalance in normal microflora populations. Because antibiotics aren’t specific in what bacteria they kill, they wipe out both harmful and helpful bacteria throughout our system. That leaves us more vulnerable to organisms resistant to antibiotics.
Research shows that the populations of beneficial microflora steadily decline with increasing age in both men and women. In addition, research shows an increase in undesirable microorganisms in post-menopausal women.
3. Diet Having the right balance of good bacteria in your body helps with things like digestion, memory, immunity, and a list of other important health benefits. The typical “Western” diet—high in meat, high in total fat, and high in animal fat and protein are associalted with reduced populations of beneficial microflora.
4. Not enough fiber intake
Beneficial microflora “feed” on the otherwise undigested dietary fiber it finds that in the colon. They associate diets low in dietary fiber with lower populations of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
5. Transitional Microflora Populations
The balance of intestinal microflora is constantly ebbing and flowing. Research shows that regular dietary intake of beneficial microflora is needed to maintain high levels.
Having the right balance of good bacteria in your body helps with things like digestion, memory, immunity to name just a few.
What to look for in a good probiotic supplement:
- Good protection from stomach acid.
- Guaranteed live microorganisms when you take the product.
- Well-known and trusted brand with a history of gold standard research.
- Delivers two strands of bacteria.
- Offers a prebiotic that provides the nutrients for the probiotic to thrive.
The only product that delivers all of the above is Shaklee’s Optiflora.
Why Shaklee Optiflora
Optiflora is a unique, two-product system that supplies both prebiotics and probiotics to provide dietary support for the normal healthy balance of intestinal microflora.
Here are Optiflora’s 2 stages:
Prebiotics are nutrients that selectively feed the friendly bacteria. Research has shown that supplementing with prebiotics can significantly increase populations of beneficial microflora.
Probiotics are supplemental populations of the “friendly bacteria” residing in the colon, which help to maintain healthy intestinal microbial balance.
The term probiotics were first used to refer to live microorganisms in supplement form fed to farm animals to stimulate growth and to improve resistance to stress. The term literally means “healthful for life,” and today, probiotics have a broader definition: a live microbial supplement that beneficially affects the host by improving its microbial balance.
One thing that makes Optiflora so special is their exclusive technology for guaranteed delivery of live microorganisms to the intestines.
Their state-of-the-art, patented triple encapsulation uses only natural ingredients to protect microflora until it releases them in the intestine.
The unique combination of ingredients in Optiflora provides gentle, natural, dietary support for the body’s natural ability to maintain a normal, healthy balance of intestinal microorganisms.
Optiflora promotes colon health by supporting the growth of healthy microflora naturally found in the colon.
It delivers guaranteed active probiotics Bifidobacteriumlongumand Lactobacillus acidophilus along with the prebiotics FOS and inulin.
Optiflora also provides gamma-tocopherol, a nutrient associated with colon health.
Finally, Shaklee Optiflora has no additives, preservatives, or fake colors. Just the pure wholesome goodness of healthy microorganisms your body needs to thrive.
Who Should Take Shaklee Optiflora
If you’re experiencing any digestive challenges like flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, colitis, candida, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, dysentery, or other digestive disorders, then we recommend that Shaklee Optiflora be part of your daily health regimen.*
If you’re taking antibiotics or steroids or on chemotherapy then your good microflora is being wiped out and its important to your health to replenish it.
If you have allergies, are prone to urinary tract or ear infections, you could benefit from more healthy bacteria in your system.
Finally, if you travel abroad we highly recommend taking Optiflora with you. We’ve personally seen it dramatically help lessen the symptoms of food poisoning or bacteria you might get from eating in foreign lands.
If you fall into any of the above scenarios then increase the use of fermented foods in your diet and take a proven prebiotic/probiotic digestive health system like Shaklee Optiflora and see how much better you can feel. As the famous saying goes, health begins in the colon!
Like all Shaklee products, Optiflora is clinically proven to be safe and effective and comes with an unconditional money-back guarantee.
UPDATE: Introducing New Shaklee Optiflora DI:
Since the original publication of this article, Shaklee has launched Optiflora DI.
Optiflora® DI delivers unique benefits via a proprietary formula containing 10 billion CFUs with 4 bacterial strains, the most prominent being the powerhouse Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, clinically proven to support BOTH digestive and immune health.
At least 70% of our immune system is in our gut. Adding good bacteria from this strain helps restore the balance of intestinal microflora, supporting immune health.1 Optiflora DI is also clinically proven to help maintain digestive balance and comfort. And to help reduce occasional gas and bloating.
Optiflora DI probiotics were also tested to improve gut transit time – the speed at which our food is digested. When food passes through the digestive tract quickly, it is associated with a healthier gut. Danish researchers believe healthy gut transit time supports better gut metabolism.2
1. Gill HS, Rutherfurd KJ, Cross ML, Gopal PK. Enhancement of immunity in the elderly by dietary supplementation with the probiotic Bifi dobacterium lactis HN019. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Dec;74(6):833-9.
2. Waller PA, Gopal PK, Leyer GJ, Ouwehand AC, Reifer C, Stewart ME, Miller LE. Dose-response effect of Bifi dobacterium lactis HN019 on whole gut transit time and functional gastrointestinal symptoms in adults. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep;46(9):1057-64.
What’s the Difference Between Optiflora and Optiflora DI?
There are differences in the number and type of bacteria: Optiflora Pearl contains two strains (Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus acidophilus) for a total of 500 million bacteria, whereas Optiflora DI contains four strains (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019TM, Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14®, Lactobacillus Plantarum Lp-115®, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GGTM) totaling 10 billion bacteria. While it is tempting to consider “the more the merrier” in terms of number and type of strains, more impactful is the type of strain. The strains in the OptiFlora Pearl have been demonstrated to help maintain a healthy digestive balance.* Optiflora DI contains an individual strain, HN019, that has been clinically proven to support both digestive and immune health.
The products can be taken together if desired. It is always a safe regimen to add more “good” bacteria to help support a healthy gut.
To order the New Optiflora DI CLICK HERE.
To order the Optiflora Prebiotic and Probiotic System CLICK HERE.
Note: The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.