Have you ever heard of the "Brain-Gut" link? It's such a cool thing that some people are saying that the gut is the body's second brain. There is research showing that the gut is linked to mood disorders, skin conditions, a decreased immune system, hormonal imbalances, bone density, and a lot of other issues.
A lot of people, including some doctors, don't pay attention to the warning signals that our GI systems are telling us such as when we don't go to the bathroom regularly, if our stools are dark or hard, we are often constipated, or have gas. These feelings becomes "normal" for us and we ignore it.
Often, the symptoms of an imbalanced gut are:
- Not passing stools normally
- Bulky, greasy or fatty stools
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Low Energy
- Sinus problems (me, me, me!!)
- Bad Breath
- Itching in the nether regions
Our modern diet is high in so many things that can make our GI systems disfunction: too many acidic foods, lots of sugar and carbs, medications, antibiotic use in meat, fruits and vegetables treated with pesticides. All of these things can play a role in our balance of good vs bad bacteria in our gut.
It is not essential to lower your intake of carbs, but to get optimal results I recommend it. You can adopt an alkaline diet which can help rebalance your gut flora or at least cut down on sugar and carbs.
As for the probiotic, you can eat yogurt, drink kefir, and use another natural source, but this must be done on a daily basis and you may not see as many results depending on how little you consume as the results increase as the amount of prebiotics and probiotics you intake.
Antibiotics vs. Gut Flora
Antibiotics always win. They kill everything in your gut including the good bacteria so I always recommend to use a probiotic while you're taking an antibiotic to make sure you keep some bacterial balance
You can choose to take probiotics during or after a bout of antibiotics because antibiotics don't discriminate: they just kill all the bacteria-- good or bad. Taking a probiotic will help restore your healthy gut flora.
You can choose to stop taking the probiotics after a couple of months, or you can continue to take it. Many doctors recommend taking a probiotic like you'd take a multi-vitamin, but ultimately, it's up to you.
I recommend taking a good quality, organic probiotic. However, there are a few rules of getting a quality probiotic, even if you chose not to purchase organic:
- It MUST have over 10 BILLION active bacterial cells in a single serving.
- This should be at the time of expiration, not manufacturing.
- It needs to have a few different strands of bacteria-- just one or two may not work for you because we are all different and the each of the bacteria acts in different ways in our bodies.
- If possible it should have prebiotics and probiotics
- It should not have processed sugar, wheat, soy, dairy.... the list goes on. You want bacteria, not food.
- No carrageenan-- for some reason organic foods can have it and still gain the organic label, but it is proven to have cancer causing properties.
- Highly recommended that it should be organic or at least Non-GMO
It has prebiotics and probiotics-- 5 different strands and has no carrageenan. The only downfall is that it has 18 billion cells per serving at the time of manufacturing. I can't find what the count is at the time of expiration. I decided that I would accept this because it met all the other requirements and 18 billion was still over the required 10 billion cells... so if a few billion died it would still be okay.
I am a bit worried about chewing the tablets because the saliva in our mouths begin the digestion process, which is accelerated by mastication (chewing). I'm afraid I'll kill off some more of those precious probiotics. I decided that I would just swallow mine.. until I saw how big there were. Chewing is fine.
When they came in the mail, I was impressed by the packaging. The bottle is heavy and sun proof which I really appreciated and all packing is BPA free.
The pill itself is larger-- flat and round. They have a sweet flavor which almost reminds me of a Lucky Charms. It's definitely not bad.
I took a picture of the back of the bottle so that you can see the label.
The organic coconut sugar and the vanilla is probably why it tasted sweet, but I'm not complaining.
Check out this article stating why Sunbiotics is one of the best choices for a probiotic.
They also have probiotics made just for kids and also a vanilla powder option for adults if you don't like pills. You can find info here: Sunbiotics Powder with Vanilla Flavor and Kids Banana or Kids Apple.
If you don't like chewable pills, they have a powder form: Sunbiotics Potent Probiotics with Organic Prebiotics Powder Vanilla -- 4 oz
If you are thinking about purchasing this product, unfortunately I haven't been able to find it in local stores. I have had to order it online, but there are some options.
- The Vegan Store but you have to pay for shipping. But it is more reasonable when buying in bulk and it's free if you buy over $175. Granted that's a lot of probiotics, but if you are looking to buy other items too, then it's a good deal.
- RawGuru offers discounts on packs of 3, but you will need to pay for shipping. They also have sales from time to time so check their website and you sometimes can find coupons, too, if you look.
- Abe's Market is probably the best deal for buying if you plan to purchase over $49 because shipping will be free, but even if you only want one bottle ($24.99) then the flat rate is only $4.99 for shipping which isn't bad. They also often have coupons and promo deals in addition to the free shipping, plus you can earn points and use them to get discounts. Yay!
Have you tried any other organic probiotics? Or have you used Sunbiotics? If so, I'd love to hear how liked them! Also, where did you purchase them from?
My Journey with Probiotics:
Holy Jesus, I was gassy after I started taking Sunbiotics. It wasn't that bad until about three weeks of taking the probiotic and then all of a sudden there was gas that was accompanied by a stench which would make people to start looking for dead animals. I'm not exaggerating. It was BAD. However, that "dead stench" was actually dead bad bacteria. Ewwww...
Around this time, I felt my stomach "gurgle. It was crazy because it felt like that commercial with the sleeping pregnant lady with the angry satan baby moving around in her stomach. It was so strong that I could feel the intestines moving (this is actually a good thing!). It is not painful by any means. It is simply a contraction of muscle to show your GI system is working a little more-- it just feels a funny.
But then the evacuation began. That "gurgle" was, in fact, moving out the bad bacteria in a major way. And to clarify, when I say major I mean diarrhea. I didn't feel badly, but when I had to go... I had to go and people did NOT want to be around me. There is no amount of febreeze that can help you and running crazily through the halls at work doesn't exactly make friends. Thankfully, it only lasted two days.
Afterwards, I felt great and, in fact, I felt better than ever! My stomach felt less bloated, I wasn't gassy, and my tummy looked flat! FLAT! I didn't know my stomach could be that flat! Hello, new jeans! ;)
Those few bad days was basically my body purging the dead bad bacteria and toxins from my system. A few friends have tried this probiotic with similar outcomes. However, their experiences with "explosions" vary in length. One person said that she only had one large instance of diarrhea and then it was over, while others said that they was several times or it lasted over a couple of days.
Overall, it's a win! I'd definitely recommend these if you're looking for a probiotic.
I ran out of my 3 month supply that I ordered and I forgot to reorder! Yikes!! I was without the probiotics for 5 days! Did I feel a difference? Yes! I became bloated, gassy, and the IBS symptoms returned.
Did I feel different when I re-started the probiotics? Yes. Almost overnight my symptoms decreased and within 48 hours they were completely gone.
From now on, I will be re-ordering the probiotics when I open my last bottle!
Disclaimer: I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this review. This is my opinion of the product.