Play hard & Stay healthy

shutterstock_290576897 it takes guts family at play

Today’s lifestyle keeps the entire family active from youngsters to their hard-working parents. A strong immune system helps us fight off seasonal illness and maintain healthy energy levels. Like your mother’s advice, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the best way to deal with the common cold is to avoid it entirely!

It is not just germs that cause kids and grown-ups to get sick. A big factor is the strength of their immune response that, believe it or not, starts in the digestive tract where over 70-80 percent of immune system cells reside. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the function of these crucial immune cells.

An important aspect of health is how successfully your immune system recognizes and destroys bad bacteria and other pathogens. According to Ross Pelton, pharmacist, author and holistic health expert, one study indicated that people who ingested probiotics for three weeks were shown to have immune cells that were twice as effective as those who did not.

The friendly bacteria help support the function of immune system cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests like bad bacteria. Probiotics also enhance digestion, which means the body better absorbs all the nutrients it needs from food and supplements. That alone equips the body to stay healthy and more efficiently fight off any bad bugs that come along.

“Unfortunately, due to overuse of antibiotics, stress, and other modern environmental and dietary issues, most people of all ages have a compromised probiotic population,” Dr. Fred Pescatore, author of the best seller Feed Your Kids Well, said. To maintain good health, the ratio of good to bad bacteria needs to stay at 85 to 15. This ratio is almost impossible to maintain without supplementing with a high-quality probiotic. Dr. Pescatore encourages his patients to look for a supplement that encapsulates both the probiotic and its nutritious culture medium.

“A probiotic alone will not necessarily be successful. The friendly bacteria need what is called prebiotic support,” explained Dr. Pescatore who noted that a certain Japanese probiotic, available in the U.S. as Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®, fits the bill. The probiotic formula is encapsulated with its culture medium. The culture medium provides nutritious vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and pH-balancing organic acids and postbiotics. “This prebiotic support ensures that the probiotics take root and thrive in the digestive tract,” said Dr. Pescatore.

With both prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic supplementation in place, the body’s immune system can see some real benefit, which translates into fewer sick days. That’s great news for the whole family.

When relying on probiotics to help support immune response, it is vital to pick the right supplement. There are products that claim to contain “billions and billions” of bacteria. That’s not always a good thing though. Providing too much of a single bacteria strain can actually trigger an immune response; the body treats the supplemented bacteria as a threat. Consumers should also look out for probiotic products that may have undergone manufacturing processes or shipping conditions that render them useless. Avoid some of these pitfalls by finding a brand that has had studies conducted on its own finished product.

Yes, it’s not just germs that make people sick. Poor digestive tract balance can lead to a compromised immune response, making the body especially vulnerable to daily germ exposure. A high-quality probiotic supplement can be a big step toward sound health for the whole family throughout the year.

As healthy micro-ecology is restored, digestion improves and all the body’s organs and cells are able to receive nutrition more efficiently. That can have an incredible effect on whole health and energy helping the entire family to manage a demanding lifestyle.

It Takes Guts… to play hard!


Borrowing from the BEES The Health Benefits of Propolis Part 3

In the first two segments of this blog series, you learned about propolis and what it can do for you! Part 3 of this wonderful series is all about a wonderful propolis product, Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS®!

A Little Recap For You

Propolis is a natural, protective, antimicrobial substance that bees apply throughout the interior of their hives. In beehives, propolis protects against the elements, pathogens, molds and bad bacteria! In the human body, it works as an antimicrobial agent, antioxidant, and helps to balance the body’s natural inflammatory and immune responses!*

Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS®

As if propolis weren’t amazing enough, this particular product combines Brazilian Green Propolis with other therapeutic ingredients for whole health support! There is simply no other single-product combination like this on the market today!

Brazilian Green Propolis (BGP)

BGP comes from the Minas Gerais region of Brazil and is named for its vibrant green color. This propolis is derived mainly from alecrim, a relative of Rosemary, and contains remarkably high cinnamic acid derivatives that enhance its antioxidant effects. BGP is created by Africanized honeybees, which have adapted to living in an extremely difficult environment, and the potency of their propolis reflects this fact!


You’ve heard you should eat colorful foods for health, but you may have wondered why. The answer is carotenoids! Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments that not only make your food prettier but make it more healthy and due to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties! Astaxanthin is a red carotenoid from seaweed, and also the reason that salmon and shellfish, who regularly consume these algae, are pink!

Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that possesses several unique properties such as its ability to reach every part of the cell and also cross the blood-brain, and blood-retinal barrier! It is considered one of the most complete antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances known to man!

Vitamin E Complex for added antioxidant support

Flax Oil

Omega-3s from flax oil help increase the permeability of cell membranes; assisting the other spectacular ingredients in this product to reach every cell in your body more quickly!

Probiotic Extract

This powdered fermented vegetable extract supports nutrient absorption, enhancing the efficacy of all other ingredients! You have heard it said, you are what you eat, but you are also what your body absorbs.

And That’s Not All….

Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS® is also
Gluten Fee
Dairy Free

This formulation is a whole health revolution! Each ingredient complements and enhances the effects of the others, providing the body with antioxidant, inflammation-balancing, and immune system support!

There are no counter indications or issues with taking both Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS® along with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®, in fact, they will work together exceptionally well!

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® stimulates your friendly bacteria in the gut which leads to a healthier, less burdened intestinal system. A healthy gut is able to utilize the nutrients in both food and supplements much more efficiently, therefore increasing the efficacy of ANY supplement you may be taking!*

Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS® does have antimicrobial properties, but unlike synthetic antibiotics, it won’t harm your friendly helper bacteria! It also supports balanced inflammation which will also help with a healthy, happy gut environment!*

Support Whole Body Health with Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS® and Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®!

For more information Click

To learn where to buy

Propolis 60cap Angled Right

Borrowing from the BEES The Health Benefits of Propolis part 2

In our last blog post I told you what propolis is, now I’m going to enlighten you to what propolis DOES. (If you didn’t catch Part 1, read it here Borrowing from the BEES The Health Benefits of Propolis

Propolis has been used as a therapeutic agent for centuries. In ancient Egypt and Greece, propolis was used internally and topically for skin care. Hippocrates was known to use it to heal sores and ulcers both internally and externally. During World War II the Soviet army utilized the power of propolis to treat battle wounds!

Natural Antimicrobial Properties

Bees create propolis to protect the hive against pathogens, molds, and bad bacteria. Lucky for us, the hard work has already been done! We can utilize the bees creations to defend our own “cities”!

Propolis has activity against a wide array of microbes, due to the synergy of all its healthful compounds! Luckily, propolis doesn’t exert any of the side effects attributed to synthetic antibiotics, such as the potential to breed resistant strains or affecting your beneficial bacteria. Propolis effects the ability of pathogenic bacteria to reproduce and strengthens your body’s natural defenses!

Balanced Inflammation and Immune Response

Let me first say that contrary to popular belief, inflammation is NOT a bad thing… if it is balanced. Inflammation is a natural response of the body’s immune system to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens or injury.

A few examples:

If a pathogen is infecting the body, the body will attempt to remove it thus creating inflammation which is a sign that the body is healing.

Or, if you fall and bang up your elbow (something that happens to me often I must add), the inflammation and swelling that is triggered is a warning sign that your injured area needs to be protected.

I will stress again… inflammation is essential in the healing process. Any infections, wounds or damage would be impossible to heal without inflammation.

The problem lies when acute inflammation (inflammation resulting directly from a stimulus) turns into chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to a wide variety of ailments ranging from minor to extremely severe. This can happen when the body is unable to balance inflammation cycles due to a wide variety of causes.

The high quantities of bioflavonoids in propolis can help with a balanced inflammatory response. The antimicrobial qualities also help by fighting infections that may be triggering inflammatory responses.

These compounds also help to support a balanced (not over-active) immune response!


Propolis has the highest antioxidant activity of any bee product due to its high levels of polyphenols, especially a component of propolis called caffein acid phenethyl ester (CAPE). Unchecked free radicals and oxidative stress are a MAJOR threat to optimum wellness.

And Much Much More

No really… propolis has been attributed to a whole slew of health benefits! Give thanks to the bees! In case you are wondering where to get your hands on this awesome substance (of course you are!) check out the 3rd and final section of this blog series.

Borrowing from the BEES The Health Benefits of Propolis

shutterstock_640542577 propolis

The Health Benefits of Propolis

Let’s talk about some of the most influential contributors to the world as we know it. No, I’m not talking about Steve Jobs, or Benjamin Franklin, or the inventor of the wheel; I’m talking about bees. Yep, you read right… bees! Those flying, buzzing insects that most of us tend to fear! Not only do they carry out the pollination that is responsible for around 30% of the US food supply, but they also produce a plethora of substances that can naturally improve our health and well-being!

Honey, bee pollen and royal jelly are among these wondrous substances and deserve their own books-worth of praise. However, today we’re going to focus on a lesser-known but equally, if not more impressive bee product: Propolis.

Protecting the Hive

There can be up to 60,000 bees living in a typical hive, and due to this crowded environment bees need to be incredibly careful to safeguard their colony from infection! Clever bees started creating an antimicrobial substance that they use to “paint” the hive, protecting it from outside contaminants. But they didn’t stop there! Bees started by creating a propolis “door” in the entrance of their hives, serving as a method of cleansing each bee that enters of any microbes it may have come in contact! Long ago, beekeepers started noticing this waxy buildup and aptly named it PROPOLIS. PRO (in defense of) and POLIS (city)

Propolis is sometimes referred to as “nature’s penicillin” due to its impressive antimicrobial activity. Bee hives are considered the most sterile places in nature!

What Exactly Is Propolis? 

Bees, acting as nature’s most adept herbalists, create propolis from plants and trees that surround their hive. Certain plants exude antimicrobial resinous substances that work to protect them from infection. To put this plainly, think about when you prune a plant in your garden. When you cut a stem, you are leaving an open wound on the plant. To protect itself, the plant secretes a substance to both seal and sterilize the wound. Medicinal plant resins have been revered as therapeutic remedies for thousands of years!

Bees create propolis by combining these plant resins with beeswax and enzymes from their saliva to create propolis!
Sounds good… But tell me more!

Hundreds of active compounds have been identified in propolis! Propolis contains NEARLY ALL of the known vitamins (except Vitamin K), and 13 of the 14 minerals required by the human body (lacking in sulfur). It also contains polyphenols, 16 amino acids AND 500 more bioflavonoids than are found in oranges!
Is All Propolis the Same?

All propolis types are extremely beneficial, however, because propolis is made from the vegetation surrounding the hive, propolis properties vary depending on the regional source.

Brazilian green propolis (BGP) comes from the Minas Gerais region of Brazil and is named for its vibrant green color. This propolis is derived mainly from alecrim, a relative of Rosemary, and contains remarkably high cinnamic acid derivatives that enhance its antioxidant effects. BGP is created by Africanized honeybees, which have adapted to living in a challenging environment, and the potency of their propolis reflects this fact!


Are you sold on propolis yet? I’ve told you what it is… check back for our continuation of this blog series to find out exactly how it can benefit you!

Pardon me…. Bellies, bacteria and burps…oh my

Blond boy with pardon me face


Interesting Facts (and Solutions) from Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics ®

Burping, also called a belch, is the voluntary (and sometimes involuntary) release of air and extra gas from the stomach. Bacteria sometimes cause that gas among, among other things…

Why We Burp

In short, burping occurs when the stomach has excess air and/or gas that it needs to get rid of. This excess gas can have many different causes. Here are a few of them:

  1. Drinking or Eating Too Quickly – when you eat or drink, you swallow air along with your food or beverage. Air contains gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. When these gases are swallowed, they need to get out! So your stomach forces them up through the esophagus, which causes a loud – BURP!
  2. Indigestion (and Digestion) – As Dr. O-Hero™ knows, there are billions of tiny bacteria in your gut. These bacteria help digest your food and, in the process, release methane gas. Once again, these gases need to get out! This causes us to burp – or fart. Indigestion can cause MUCH more gas than usual.
  3. Certain food & drink – It is commonly known that certain foods such as broccoli or cabbage can cause more gas than normal due to being harder to digest. For a full list of “gassy foods” see here. Also, soda and other carbonated beverages contain carbon dioxide, which can add to the gas problem.

Burping Solutions from Dr. O-Hero™

  1. Changing what you eat and drink can sometimes cut down on gas and decrease your burps. Try to consume fewer carbonated beverages, chew less gum etc.
  2. Eat each meal slowly, and ideally while sitting down. Typically, this results in less air being swallowed.
  3. Take a high quality probiotic supplement to aid with healthy digestion. Dr. O-Hero’s pick?… Ohhira’s Probiotics® of course! His award-winning probiotic is doctor recommended to support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption which may result in less “burpy situations” for you.*
  4. Don’t use a straw as it may cause you to “drink” more air.

Not to worry! Burping is normal and doesn’t require any medical treatment. In some cultures, a big belch after a meal actually shows your host that it was thoroughly enjoyed and delicious! If your burping does become excessive, see your healthcare practitioner for advice, as it can be a sign of other medical conditions. Oh an always say, ‘excuse me!’.

Do you have any funny burping stories or tricks to prevent burping? Share with us in the comments below!



Drinks & Detox: Holiday and New Year’s Guide to Guilt free Partying


Dr. Ohhira’s Guide to Holiday Cheer (and not too much Beer!)

Tips to avoid hangovers and other troubles this New Year’s

A cocktail or two (or three) will provide you with some holiday cheer and may warm your belly on cold winter nights. But that’s not all alcohol can do for your belly – too many drinks can actually cause an imbalance in gut bacteria by adding toxins to your body. Thankfully, Dr. O-Hero™ can help! He’s put together a quick cheat sheet for you this holiday season including: the best types of alcohol to drink (that’s right, some are less toxic than others!) as well as some natural and proven detox/hangover tips.

But first, let’s take a brief look at how and why alcohol affects our bodies as it does.

Alcohol – A Brief Overview

The active ingredient in alcohol is called “ethanol”. Yeasts create ethanol when they digest sugar in certain foods such as grains or grapes (beer and wine). Ethanol is a toxin that actually kills living cells — that is why it is used to sterilize needles, your skin etc.  So in essence, when you drink alcohol, you are ingesting toxins into your body. This means that your liver, gut and kidneys have to work overtime to try to rid your body of the alcohol.

“The health effects of alcohol on your body are really quite complex,” said Ross Pelton, CCN and one of the world’s leading experts on health, nutrition and substance side effects. “They can vary between the type of alcoholic beverage, an individual’s overall health and the amount of alcohol consumed. So, if you are going to enjoy some holiday cocktails this season, try to choose beverages with the least amount of toxins possible.”

So what would Dr. O-Hero™ do? Here is his list of the alcoholic beverages that produce the least amount of toxic byproduct. These are ordered from best to worst:





Dry cider

Dry champagne

Dry white wine

Red wine


Don’t forget that adding sugary mixers (to vodka for example) will increase the toxic level and push it further down the list. Instead opt for soda water, fresh fruit, sea salt etc. You can find some “healthy cocktails” here!

Natural Detoxification

If you do drink too much and are feeling hung-over (or want to avoid more serious health challenges) there are some natural ways to assist your body in the detox process.

  • Massage – helps the body detox by pushing toxins out through the lymphatic system
  • Drink Lots of Water – water helps to flush out your system and keep you hydrated
  • Ohhira’s Probiotics® – everyone knows that we get rid of most toxins and waste through our bowels. But if the digestive system isn’t working properly, it can’t get rid of toxins as effectively. Taking a daily probiotic supplement such as Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® (and extra doses before and after drinking) will help maintain a healthy digestive system and can restore good bacteria that are lost to alcohol consumption.*
  • Exercise – sweat out those toxins. Both perspiration and heavy breathing help get rid of the bad substances.
  • Vitamins – there are many known nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B1, and Vitamin E that can be taken before, after or during consumption to help prevent a hangover.
  • Glutathione – one of the body’s most important antioxidants, glutathione plays a major role in alcohol detoxification by binding to toxins and transforming them into compounds that can be secreted. Reg´Activ Liver & Detox is the perfect, natural solution for your holiday cocktail woes!*
  • Take a Bath – Toxic waste in our body’s can be cleared by our skin, which is after all our largest organ. Take a detoxifying bath as described here or here.
  • Yoga – certain yoga moves are especially helpful. Do a seated twist and imagine you are squeezing the alcohol out of your organs.

Hopefully this information helps you to have fun AND make healthy choices this holiday season! Remember be safe and here’s to a happy New Year!

Do you have any healthy cocktail recipes or natural detox tips that have worked for your hangover? Share with us in the comments below!



Avoiding Digestive Distress This Thanksgiving

Gobble, Gobble + Gulp, Gulp = Gastric Distress!

Tips to avoid indigestion, bloating and other tummy troubles this Thanksgiving

Every year on Thanksgiving, Americans come together to celebrate a centuries old tradition. We give thanks for all that we have, visit with family and friends, watch football, and feast on the harvest foods of the season. The turkey is tempting, that ham is enticing, and did that pumpkin pie just call your name? Self control often flies out the window! While Thanksgiving festivities commence with merriment, for many of us, the day will end with digestive woes.

“Trying to eat healthy amidst such an array of indulgence presents some challenges and a test of will power to be sure,” said Martie Whittekin, CCN and author of Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosic and Other Acid Blockers. “But taking a few steps before and during holiday parties may help you control overeating and avoid the discomfort of indigestion, bloating and even diarrhea and constipation.”

Why the Bountiful Banquet May Entice a Belly Ache

Many conventionally prepared Thanksgiving menus, albeit delicious, are hard on your stomach. Greasy ham, fried turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with milk and butter, yams with sugary marshmallows, decadent desserts, not to mention the increased alcohol intake. Even if you eat healthy the rest of the year, sometimes your digestive system just isn’t prepared for the onslaught of rich fare. 

Causes of an upset stomach include smoking, anxiety, too much caffeine and overeating, especially fatty or spicy foods. Bloating is not only triggered by how much you eat, but also by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest.  These undigested substances then pass into your colon producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and create uncomfortable gas.

Fortunately, there is a way to have a delicious and digestively healthy Thanksgiving. Ms. Whittekin has helped us put together tips for healthier holiday eating.

Tips For a Healthier Thanksgiving

  • Use Lean meat – opt for a roasted turkey instead of ham or fried turkey. To maintain moist meat, be sure to baste with broth every hour or so.
  • Eat Your Vegetables – veggies should be a staple of Thanksgiving side dishes, but some are loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Green beans do not have to be topped with friend onions. Instead try a sauté of fresh green beans, garlic, dairy-free butter, and slivered almonds.
  • Monitor Sweets – when you do eat dessert, savor smaller portions as eating sugar can cause bloating and indigestion.
  • Homemade – Bring your own dish to a Thanksgiving potluck — healthy alternatives like Sweet Potato Casserole and Corn Bread Stuffing taste as good (or better) than the real thing.
  • Chew Slow! – Did you know you can reduce bloating simply by chewing your food well and eating slowly? Overloading your stomach, on the other hand, can lead to gas. Simply slowing down your meal may also help you to savor your food – an indulgence so many of us miss these days – and will help you avoid indigestion or gas caused by eating too quickly.
  • Probiotics – A probiotics supplement may help support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, along with promoting healthy intestinal flora. Taking a high-quality, fermented probiotic such as Ohhira’s Probiotics  has been shown to help regulate the movement of food through the intestine and facilitate digestion.  As a result, the space that the food occupies is decreased, and there is less indigestion, gas and bloating. Up your dose of probiotics a few days before the feast for even better digestion.*

Foods to Limit in your Menu:

  • High-fat and fried food – both of these can distress the stomach resulting in heartburn and indigestion. As we note above, roast your turkey instead of fry and limit the oil you use to sauté your side dishes.
  • Dairy – too much milk or cheese has been known to cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Instead of mixing BOTH milk and butter in your mashed potatoes, pick just one.
  • Alcohol – relaxes the body, but can also inflame the stomach lining and prevent certain digestive enzymes from doing their job. Try to limit to 1-2 drinks.
  • Sugar – too much sugar can lead to a host of digestive inefficiencies. Try subbing honey on your yams instead of marshmallows.

If you make wise choices regarding which foods to eat, you will be rewarded with a sense of physical well-being. In general, avoid anything that is fatty, creamy or fried, as foods with a high fat content may result in unpleasant digestive symptoms. In addition, be cautious about your choice of drink; as alcohol and caffeine can both be irritating to your system.

Most importantly enjoy the time with family, friends and good conversation.  If you are talking, you are less likely to be overeating! Click on Thanksgiving Discount for 20% off your order of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, Original Formula.


Do you have any healthy menu planning tips that you like to stick to during Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments below!



Why this ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Presidential Election Can Make You SICK!

Are you sick and tired of the 2016 election? Political scandals, name-calling, protests, bad behavior are all stressors that can make you physically ill. And with Election Day fast approaching, tempers are flaring and anxiety abounds regarding which candidate will be chosen to lead our great nation.  All this worry and angst, as well as modern living, an ‘iffy’ diet, and lack of sleep can lead to major digestive distress and disturb your body’s entire bacterial balance, leading to a myriad of health issues. Fortunately for you, there is a safe and natural approach that can minimize the damage and actually help you body recover from the negative onslaught of this election.

“So many of our body’s functions depend on a healthy digestive system.  Science has proven that proper amounts and strains of probiotics directly affect not only healthy digestion, but a healthy immune system, thyroid function, brain function, efficient detoxification, and mood,” said Dr. Natalie J. Engelbart, DC, and a Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology.

Every person on the planet has their own ecosystem of good bacteria that lives in their intestines and gut. You probably know that these colonies of good bacteria can help breakdown food, support your immune system and promote good digestive health. But what is very interesting, is that recent studies have shown that there is an undeniable link between a person’s mental health and their gut bacteria.[1], [2]*

A University in Ireland conducted a study where a group of men were given probiotics (specifically Bifidobacterium longum) for a month and then unknowingly switched to a placebo for a second month. During the time frame that the men were taking the probiotic capsules, they reported less stress and anxiety AND they actually had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than when they took the placebo pills.[3]

So why is this? Well, other research has found that probiotics have a significant effect on GABA levels (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter for your central nervous system). It is also important to understand that neurons exist in your brain, but ALSO in your gut. Amazingly, the largest concentration of serotonin (which helps control mood) is actually found, not in your brain, but in your intestines! [4]

So… load up on probiotics to help ease your 2016 Election Day woes! Here’s how:

1.) Yogurt or kefir – fermented dairy products that normally include probiotics  Here is a recipe to make coconut yogurt if you are game.

2.) Sauerkraut and Kimchi – fermented cabbage and other vegetables that help support the growth of your good bacteria and if you love the spicy Korean cabbage C & J Nutrition has a great recipe for Kimchi.  For great sauerkraut you will love The Prairie Homesteads version.

3.) Kombucha – fermented black tea with a host of probiotic benefits.  This is a great bubbly alternative to soda and the best video to show you how to make it at home.

4.) Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® – while probiotic support would ideally be maintained through a natural diet, most of us do not include a large selection of fermented foods in our typically menus. In fact, the current Western diet – full of sugars, carbs and fats – actually prohibits the growth of good bacteria. So the majority of the population really needs to take a probiotic supplement.





Sugar: The Ghastly Ghoul That Will Scare Your Guts And Petrify Your Probiotics!

halloween blog photo girl and candy.jpeg

Halloween is like the Super Bowl for kids. There are costumes, ghost stories, parties, and candy. Lots and lots of candy. And it’s not just candy—cookies, caramel apples, cakes, and other treats overflow from school, friend’s houses, and any other organizations your children might be involved in. This can be a huge problem for families that choose to limit or avoid processed sugar.

How sugar affects the gut and probiotics:

Before you give in to your overly-sugared aunt who tells you that sugar is just fine for kids, remember this: A study conducted by Oregon State University in 2015 discovered a correlation between a high-fat and high-sugar diet with the bacteria in the gut associated with cognitive function. The study went on to find that both short and long-term memory were also affected by diets high in sugar and fat.[1] And if you needed any more reasons to avoid sugar, studies have shown that it can also throw off your hormones, endocrine system, and digestion.[2] So what is a well-informed, sugar-avoiding adult and/or parent to do? 

Have a game plan:

Here is the thing: adults don’t always ask parents before they hand them a piece of candy. Everyone from your neighbor, to your mother, to the dentist will have a bowl of candy just lying around ready to destroy all of your hard work to avoid processed sugar. So what can you do to limit the amount of sugar your kids will ingest this Halloween?

 Talk to your kids

You can’t always be there with them, so talk to your kids about sugar. Remind them how you eat at home, what happens when they eat too much sugar, and explain that your long-term goals are to raise healthy kids.

  • Send a note

If your kids are especially sensitive to sugar, send a note with them to their caregiver or teacher that explains you are trying to limit their sugar consumption. It’s not that you want your kid to sit in the corner during the class party, but instead eat the foods you packed for them. That being said…

  • You provide the treats

If you can plan ahead and know that your child will be somewhere with excess amounts of sugar, pack their own low-sugar or sugar-alternative treats for the party.

  • Offer a trade-in

Nobody wants to be the monster that steals their kids’ candy when they come home from trick-or-treating. Instead, try offering to either buy or trade their candy stash for something else. Toys, a day-trip somewhere, or a night out at the movies are popular options.

 Sweet alternatives

You can always make your own Halloween treats that are low in sugar or contain sugar alternatives that you and your family approve of. You can also make Halloween themed foods out of fruits and veggies (Pinterest is rife with these ideas). Once you have created your own Halloween treat alternatives, pack them into your kids’ school bags or offer to bring a plate to your next party.

Counter the effects of sugar

Some people find that eating too much sugar causes symptoms similar to that of the flu or a hangover. This goes for parents and children alike. Take care of yourself by being gentle with your diet, drink lots of water, stick to a healthy, whole-food diet, and take your probiotics.* (LINK TO: Dr. Ohhira’s Page) You can also support yourself and your family with these tips:

  • Lemon juice

Drinking water or tea with lemon juice can help to support the gut while also acting as a diuretic.

  • Green tea

Also a diuretic, green tea (for adults, at least) can help to support the endoctrine system and your digestive health.


Be sure to take (or even up your dose of probiotics). Not only do probiotics support your immune system, studies have shown they work with your good gut bacteria to reduce sugar cravings.[3] In addition, yet other studies have shown that certain probiotic strains will help to promote control of healthy blood glucose levels.[4] So not only do probiotics REDUCE your sugar cravings, they also help keep your blood glucose in the healthy range if you do eat sweets. It’s a Win, win!*

  • Get a little exercise

Seek out some gentle exercise like swimming or walking the day after eating too much sugar.

  • Eat protein

Healthy fats and lean protein will help to fill you up while slowing the digestive process back down to an acceptable and normal speed.[5]

  Above all, stay calm

Halloween is a great holiday. Stick to the fun with parties, costumes, and games. And even if you can’t avoid all of the sugar, take comfort in knowing you can at least avoid some of it.


How do you handle the Halloween sugar rush in your household? Tell us in the comments below!









October is World Osteoperosis Day: 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to Osteoporosis

Bone density word cloudResearch reveals Beneficial Bacteria and ‘Sister Minerals’ Support Calcium Uptake and Builds Bone Density.

It has been a mystery in the United States for years. With our high consumption of dairy products, why is it that we still have an incredibly high incidence of osteoporosis? Researchers in Asia, where both osteoporosis and dairy consumption have historically been quite low, might have found a major clue.

It turns out the calcium we consume through milk and supplements is not always absorbed or used to build bone. In fact, without a healthy probiotic population in the gut and the presence of other bone-building cofactors like vitamins D and K2, magnesium, zinc, and essential fatty acids, calcium can pass right through undigested. Or, even worse, excess calcium turns into unhealthy deposits in soft tissue and arteries.

The good news? There are simple dietary adjustments that can alter the body’s internal chemistry in favor of building strong bones. Research done exclusively on Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® found that when women ages 48 and older took a Japanese probiotic supplement for at least eight weeks, their bone density was 36 percent higher when compared to those who didn’t take the supplement.

“Scientists suspect that probiotics help the body properly digest calcium,” said Fred Pescatore, M.D., a science advisor for Dallas-based Essential Formulas Incorporated, the U.S. distributor of the Japanese probiotic supplement used in the study. “The friendly bacteria also manufacture some of the vitamin cofactors needed for bone-building including B6, B12, K, and folic acid.”

It’s a surprising side benefit of probiotics, which are frequently touted for supporting digestive health and immune response. Derived from a fermented vegetable blend, it is actually a whole food that contains probiotics, prebiotics (substances that feed probiotics), and organic acids. Scientists have noted that it is important to provide both pro- and pre-biotic components for the GI tract to enhance calcium uptake. Such dramatic results might not occur when using common freeze-dried probiotic supplements.

In addition to probiotic and prebiotic supplementation, Dr. Pescatore encourages women to consider increasing magnesium intake for better bone health. “Magnesium regulates calcium absorption into our bones, and ensures that calcium deposits don’t wind up in the soft tissue. The proper balance for our body is a ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium. But if you have been deficient in magnesium due to high stress, or from taking calcium rich supplements or foods, you may want to increase your magnesium intake even more.”

These dietary tips are encouraging to the 8 million American women who are diagnosed with osteoporosis and the approximately 24 million others who have a high risk of developing it. Once again, prevention is key. Not only should mature adults make sure they keep up on prebiotic and vitamin supplementation for bone health, they need to pass those habits along to the next generation.

Bone Health Fast Facts

•In the United States, 1.5 million osteoporosis-related fractures occur annually, resulting in over $47 million in direct medical expenses per day.
•More women die each year from osteoporosis-related injuries than from ovarian and breast cancer combined.
•You get more calcium (and healthful nutrients) from a cup of cooked collard greens than a cup of milk.
•Sugar, soft drinks, caffeine, smoking and excess alcohol intake can hinder the bone-building process.
•Osteoporosis is a disease that can begin at any age
•1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis
•80% of Americans with osteoporosis are women
• Osteoporosis fractures most often occur in the hip, spine, and wrist

Kawakami, Masayuki, Ohhira, Iichiroh, et al. The Influence of Lactic Acid Bacteria (OM-X) on Bone Structure, The Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vo. 53, No. 1, 2003