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!


Is Your Gut Making You Depressed?

Sometimes my gut makes me depressed, for example, when I look in the mirror after a weekend of consuming junk food and see the bulging result. However, this is not the kind of gut depression we are talking about. Your gut is believed to be your second brain, and the interactions between the two can greatly effect how you are feeling. The following article is by Ross Pelton, a member of our Scientific Advisory Board, and he discusses the vital connection between our gut health and our brain/emotional health.


rossDid You Know Probiotics Affect Brain Function? An article in the April 2014 issue of Psychology Today coined the term The Psychobiotic Revolution announcing how intestinal bacteria/probiotics communicate with your brain to influence your emotions and your behavior. Psychobiotics are defined as live organisms that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produce a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness. This understanding could create a revolution in psychiatry.

In one study, mice were infected with very small doses of a bad bacteria called Campylobacter. However, the doses were so small that it did not cause an immune reaction (the mice did not get sick). Although the doses were extremely small, several tests revealed that the mice exhibited greater levels of depression and anxiety-like behaviors. The lead scientist conducting this research stated, “This could be an exciting new approach to treating patients with psychological problems.”

In a human trial, Kirsten Tillisch, MD gave women who had no history of gastrointestinal or psychiatric symptoms oral doses of probiotics twice daily for two weeks.  Dr. Tillisch conducted functional MRI brain scans (fMRI) which revealed that consumption of probiotics produced changes in regions of the brain that regulate processing of emotions and sensation.

Your gut communicates with your brain. Research like the studies above are opening up a whole new frontier in the treatment of mental & emotional disorders. Other studies suggest that gut bacteria could also influence conditions like autism and ADHD.

Did you know that the GUT is your SECOND BRAIN? The vagus nerve facilitates direct communication between the gut and the brain. The human intestinal tract contains approximately 100 trillion bacteria. Recent research now reveals that bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract generate signals that influence the brain, especially our mood and emotional states.

In this post, I am going to report on fascinating research conducted by Stephen Collins at McMaster University in Canada. Collins used two different strains of mice for this experiment. For simplicity I will call call them Strain A and Strain B. Strain A have been bred to have high levels of anxiety. They are very timid and anxious. Strain B are bred to be very courageous, bold and exploratory.

Collins and his colleagues took bacterial samples from the intestinal tract of each strain of mice and implanted the samples into the opposite strain. This caused a complete reversal of the behaviors of both strains of mice! The mice with high levels of anxiety become bold, courageous and exploratory. Conversely, the mice that were formerly bold and courageous became very timid and anxious.

Changing gut bacteria totally altered behavior. This research suggests the following: Your Anxiety May Originate In Your Gut, Not In Your Head. Collin’s study was published in Current Opinion in Microbiology, Vol. 16(3), June 2013. – See more at:


It takes guts ® to have a healthy brain!fb