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by Health By Principle

Unveiling the Pitfalls of 'Gut Wellness'


By: Anthony Duran


When the focus on digestive health reaches extremes 


Should You Take Probiotics? A Different Perspective 

Maintaining gut health is always a positive idea, but expecting a probiotic product to overhaul gut health is not realistic. The food and supplement industry has capitalized on the recent hike in gut health interest and created new, processed, probiotic snacks. Also, the process of probiotics getting past the stomach into the colon is not well understood.  

Probiotics are widely marketed as a magic bullet for gut health. However, the Stanton Migraine Protocol® takes a different approach, believing that taking probiotics for extended periods is not necessary and might even be a sign of underlying issues. 


Focus on the Root Cause, Not Just Symptoms: 

The protocol emphasizes finding and fixing the root cause of gut imbalances, rather than simply treating symptoms like diarrhea with probiotics. This approach aims for long-term health and avoids masking potential problems. 

There are situations where probiotics may be helpful, such as after an illness or persistent diarrhea. In these instances, the type and method of intake become crucial. Some doctors would rather use food to replenish the gut flora.  


Choosing the Right Probiotic: 

Many commercially available probiotics are formulated for individuals consuming a Standard American Diet (SAD) – high in processed foods and lacking the variety necessary for diverse gut flora. These products often contain only a few bacterial strains, which may not be beneficial for those already struggling with gut health. Also, processed products will not be beneficial to your overall health by just adding probiotics. In fact, it could make your symptoms worse than before.  


Look for These Characteristics: 

  • Multiple Strains: opt for probiotics with at least 10, ideally 20 or more, different bacterial strains to promote a wider variety of gut flora. 
  • Live, Not Spores: While some dried spore probiotics can be effective, keeping live bacteria refrigerated for optimal viability is recommended. 


Taking Probiotics the Right Way: 

Since stomach acid can kill most bacteria, timing and method of ingestion are crucial. 

  • Take it with your largest meal: The higher stomach pH (above 3) after a meal offers the best chance for survival. Consume the probiotic with your last bite of food. 
  • Limited Duration: Only take probiotics for 2-3 days, often even just 1 day, to allow the necessary bacteria to establish itself temporarily. 


Important Note: 

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including probiotics. 


Final Thoughts 

Probiotics can be a valuable tool for gut health in specific situations. However, it is crucial to remember that addressing the root cause of any gut imbalances should be the primary focus. If considering probiotics, consult a healthcare professional to ensure you choose the right type and take them appropriately. Remember, a healthy gut starts with a healthy diet and lifestyle, and while probiotics can play a supporting role, they should not be a substitute for a comprehensive approach to gut health. 


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