Enjoy a Perfect Summer with Perfect Probiotics
Whether summer adventures involve cliff-diving or gingerly wading into a swimming pool as warm as bathwater, Canadians take advantage of the season to gather with friends, travel to new or familiar places, and eat. Always, we eat. But sometimes our summer food and drink escapades can leave our digestive tracts feeling a little off-kilter. No matter if you are globe-trotting this summer or flip-flopping to the backyard for a barbecue, you can preserve your digestive balance with supplemental probiotics.
Probiotics to the rescue
Probiotics are naturally-occurring bacteria that live in the digestive tract and beyond. For humans, the primary bacteria to support our health are the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. These are known as symbiotic bacteria because we give them food and shelter and they provide us with various health benefits in return. In terms of digestion, probiotics help us directly by metabolizing fibers (prebiotics) that we are not able to digest and assimilate ourselves. Through metabolism of prebiotics, probiotics create the B vitamins folate, riboflavin and thiamine, as well as short-chain fatty acids that are critical to our well-being.
After digesting the milk sugar lactose, probiotics produce lactase, which, in a circular fashion, is the enzyme we need to digest lactose. This bit of news is particularly welcome for the 60% of us who have a reduced ability to digest lactose. In fact, in a 2019 review of 15 randomized double-blind studies, researchers concluded that supplemental probiotic bacteria can be helpful to alleviate the clinical symptoms of lactose intolerance. In other words, people with lactose intolerance may still want to turn down the summer ice-cream cone, but regular use of probiotics may lead to reduced suffering if there is undisclosed dairy in the dip at the family reunion.
Research also shows that probiotics help heal the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which is important if a food you eat causes digestive upset. Along with Lactobacillus species casei and paracasei, probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum may protect against the food pathogen that came to your beach-side picnic. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is known to ameliorate diarrhea.
Home and away
Probiotics also make summer travel safer, whether you are camping or cruising. Derived from the skin of the lychee fruit, probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii can help alleviateboth viral and bacterial diarrhea, which makes it an important addition to your go-bag. For added protection, choose a travel probiotic that combines Saccharomyces boulardii with Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
Don’t leave summer memories to chance
Choose a probiotic that contains the species you need to support and protect digestive tract health. Progressive’s Perfect Probiotics has targeted formulas designed to meet the needs of everyone in your family and is the world’s first TRU-ID® certified probiotic line. TRU-ID® is an independent certification program that verifies the DNA of each species in every batch. This means that you can always be confident that formula in the bottle matches the label. Summer is too short to leave anything to chance!
McFarland, L. V. (2007). Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of traveler’s diarrhea. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 5(2), 97–105.
Oak, S.J., & Jha, R. (2019) The effects of probiotics in lactose intolerance: A systematic review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 59:11, 1675-1683, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1425977
Woo, J., & Ahn, J. (2013). Probiotic‐mediated competition, exclusion and displacement in biofilm formation by food‐borne pathogens. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 56(4), 307-313. doi:10.1111/lam.12051