• Dr. T. R. Mrazek, ND

Probiotics general Q&A

This is just a quick chat based on some common questions I get asked. Hope you enjoy!

Probiotics are a good idea for maintaining optimal health and Bio K+ products are among the very best out there! Delivered in a delicious yogurt-like form, Bio K+ probiotics have solid clinical research behind them showing that their formulation is not only body-friendly, but also medically relevant in a wide range of digestive & immune concerns. It’s no surprise to my patients that I really like Bio K+.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way...some other Q&A:

Q: Are there other good probiotics you recommend? A: Yes there are a few professional companies I like for their effective formulations. I'll look at the formulations & match them to the case & the needs of the patient.

Q: Are probiotics safe? A: Quality probiotics are safe for children and adults. Pregnancy and breastfeeding too.

Q: Why do probiotics seem to help us? A: The healthy bacteria in our bodies are essential in the synthesis of some vitamins, promoting optimal digestion & absorption of nutrients, and help in the elimination of toxins. Sometime these populations of beneficial bacteria get killed off or suppressed from illness, poor lifestyle, stress, use of anti-biotics and so on. This is where a high-quality supplement can help get things back on track.

Q: Probiotics for daily health maintenance? A: Some people take some every day, others at different intervals and this is based on their needs, strength of their health and other factors. Everyone’s needs are not the same, but in general, a balanced lifestyle can be enhanced with maintenance dosing of probiotics. There is evidence for greater resiliency and immunity in these cases where pre and probiotics are used regularly. Aside: A good Naturopathic Doctor can help you to create a maintenance dosing plan for probiotics. This also applies to other supplements, exercise and other positive measures you'd use for health maintenance. We can talk about the discussion of supplements, health maintenance strategies and 'pre'-biotics another time.

Q: Probiotics used in recovery? A: Supplementing probiotics when things are off track is a great idea. During and after recovery from illness, cold and flu—especially if you’ve used antibiotics. Help your body get back on track faster and reduce change of opportunistic infections when the defenses are down. A healthy gut and healthy immune system are mutually dependent. Supplementing good quality probiotics are useful in supporting the immune system and our body’s ability to fight off illness. The dosing for recovery and therapy is obviously different from maintenance dosing.

Q: What forms do probiotics come in? A: powder, tablet, capsule and liquid.

Q: Are some better for me? A: Capsule form is the most common. It's cheap and convenient. Easy to travel with and pretty tolerant to temperature changes. Bio K+ liquid (think smooth yogurt) is pretty amazing in what it can do. Easy easy to take, kids love it. Tastes good. Has a great shelf life of guaranteed therapeutic efficacy. I get consistent results in the clinic with it & therefore it tends to be my first choice. Downside, takes up fridge space. Travel is possible but takes a little creativity as this product is more temperature sensitive.

Q: Is it all about the quantity? A: that's a big part but not the only part. Consider acidophillus bacteria. There are a few thousand strains out there. Some are good for making cheese and yogurt, other's are good for the human digestive system. Different strains of bacteria produce different results. They're not all equal.

As for quantity, yes, we want a decent amount delivered to the system. Probiotics are tricky business. You want a product that is viable not only when it's made, put in the bottle, sent to the store, sits on the shelf, goes to your home then sits there, but also doesn't get killed when it goes through your stomach! So many hurdles before it gets to the lower digestive tract. So, while labels claiming billions of this and that, in the end, it comes to what is actually going to be present and effective to work for your health.

Q: Bio K+ uses dairy in their products! A: In some yes. There is a tiny amount of dairy in a couple of the standard formulations as a food source for the bacteria. They need to eat too. They also make soy and pea protein formulations, as well as capsules.

Q: Is this a concern for lactose intolerant or dairy issues? A: It can be, but is very rarely a concern. In my clinic, liquid Bio K+ products--with the tiny amount of dairy (and I think these flavours include plain, vanilla and strawberry formulations) are my go-to for almost any case I’m challenged with. They work consistently. Yes, even those that are sensitive to dairy with excellent results. For my most sensitive patients then I’ll bring in their other formulations.

Aside: I was one of the first people in the province to bring their products in. Now you can find it many places! You can check out their website here:

Well, that's not all there is to say on the topic. you've been reading for about 5 minutes. Get up and stretch. Go drink some water! And thanks for stopping by!

Best Wishes! - Dr. Mrazek , ND

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