Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Health: Friendly Bacteria and ProVen Probiotic Review

Having a doctor as a husband and being interested in science and health myself new research is always a welcome topic in my household!
After years of tummy pains (all my friends will confirm how much fun I can be to travel with) I was tested for allergies and intolerances and subsequently have tried to reduce certain foods in my diet that I have been deemed intolerant to (mainly dairy and gluten/grains). I have written before about my success with the Paleo lifestyle, but honestly it’s not something that I can keep up 100% of the time. If I was able to work from home and prepare all my own meals I think it would be much easier, but alas with work, travel and inevitably socialising it becomes very difficult to be restrictive. Most of the time I just hate being a pain or sounding rude so will eat things I know I really shouldn’t as I don’t want to offend… though other times it is just because I’m in a bad mood and want ice cream!

Recently I have seen a lot of articles popping up about gut health and ‘friendly bacteria’ in the mainstream press. There’s a lot of differing evidence (which my husband would be very happy for me to cite, but I know most people would skip over), but ultimately imbalances in gut flora have been linked to all manner of complications from serious illness following prolonged antibiotic use to acne (see this month’s issue of Women’s Health), weight gain and even shyness!
Being a stickler for rigorous trials my husband is more sceptical about probiotics. However, I personally believe as I have been reducing some foods in my diet due to limiting my dairy intake (eg. yoghurt) it is worth trying to restore balance and aid my poor tummy in any way I can. Along with increasing my consumption of fermented foods such as kefir (I have been trying a coconut milk based one sold in Whole Foods) and Kombucha (fermented tea) I have also started taking ProVen Probiotics.
ProVen Adult Acidophilus and Bifidus 25 Billion* contains Lab4, the most comprehensively studied group of friendly bacteria of any product in the U.K. These studies conducted in Cambridge, Sheffield, Swansea, Southampton and Cardiff suggest that ProVen Adult Acidophilus and Bifidus 25 Billion provides real benefits in supporting digestive and immune health. As well as 12.5 billion viable cells per capsule they also contain Vitamin D3, C, Calcium, Zinc and Selenium.
So far they have been really easy to take (some vitamins make me feel a bit queasy). I have been taking one or two capsules after my breakfast each morning and even if it is just a placebo effect feel like my tummy is happier already! Either way I am very happy to undertake this experiment on myself and see if I feel a difference!
Have you ever tried taking Probiotics? What are your thoughts on them?

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