Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
My very talented Naturopathic Doctor
She treats a wide variety of conditions
Office & phone appointments available
Los Angeles, CA (Pacific Palisades)
Naturopathic Medicine Use Probiotics For Better Digestive Health Interview with Dr. Angela Agrios, ND My personal naturopathic doctor. Dr. Agrios is in Los Angeles and
accepts office and phone appointments.
Okay, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the Bio-K Probiotic supplement. These packages have 50 billion CFUs in each Probiotic container. That’s a really strong probiotic. So colony-forming unit is what CFU stands for, and you'll see that that’s how we measure Probiotics. This basically means how many of them we think are going to seed in your intestine when you take them. Probiotic literally means pro-life. It comes from the Greek. It means pro-life. These are our friendly bacteria and yeasts, including Acidophilus and Bifidus. We first get inoculated when we go through our mother’s birth canal if we have a normal vaginal delivery. That’s how we first get probiotic in our system. We actually have a totally sterile digestive tract until we go into the birthing process, so that’s pretty interesting.
So the mother’s flora (friendly bacteria), at the time of birth, really affects what that baby’s flora is coming into the world. The friendly bacteria - the Probiotics - literally compete for space in the gut. It’s like a turf battle competition. They compete for space with other types of bad bacteria and fungi that normally live in our intestines that are not as desirable. We call them commensals, sometimes even pathogenic bacteria, like when people come to me and they’ve got just a lot of gas going on or there’s just a lot of irregularity, whether it’s constipation or diarrhea. You can almost always bet that they have a deficiency of Probiotics.
We’ve had a lot of antibiotics in our culture, whether it’s deliberate. Like we’ve had acne and so for a year; we’ve been on an antibiotic or food: I mean, if we’re not buying organic meat, our meat supply is inundated with antibiotics. We feed animals antibiotics because they're in too close of living quarters, and so to keep infection down, we feed them antibiotics. And then when we eat that food, that then, you know, happens in our system. We get an unexpected dose of an antibiotic.
So taking Probiotics on a regular basis is not going to hurt you, and I highly recommend it. And if you were having more gastrointestinal symptoms, I would recommend going higher and take more Probiotics.
This one has FOS in it, and so FOS is what’s called Fructooligosaccharides. It is food for the good bacteria, but if you have a lot of unbalanced flora going on, that FOS is actually going to feed the bad bugs, so to speak, too, initially. So sometimes when you take FOS, until you’ve kind of stabilized your bacteria situation, you can actually have a little bit more gas from the FOS. So initially, I actually like to give really high potency without FOS and then add the FOS in.
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PEARLS Acidophilus Probiotics: These kinds are a really great maintenance one, so these are really a lot lower in potency. They're about a billion CFU. These Probiotics are really great to travel with, though, and then they’re packaged in a way that they tend to bypass your stomach acid, and so they do have an easier time seeding, even though the colony count is lower.
So in addition to decreasing symptoms, like helping us with less gas and promoting bowel regularity, Probiotics really improve our immune functions, so we don’t get sick as often. Probiotics also modulate immune functions, so what these mean is that if there is a lot of upregulated function. There’s a lot of inflammation in the system or there is an autoimmune disease. This would be a really helpful addition.
And we actually know now about 80 percent of our immune system lives around our intestines in these little islands called Peyer’s patch. It’s very fascinating just how much…I mean, the old naturopathic doctors used to say things about how gut health was everything, and they really, really focused on GI health, gastrointestinal health. And we now are starting to know some of the science behind why good gut health and gut cleaning out is so important and therefore why taking Probiotics on a regular basis is essential to good health. Learn more about Probiotics in my book.