Are probiotics really that good for you? Is yogurt the best source of probiotics? I regularly hear these and many other questions about probiotics. Probiotics is a subject that is straightforward, but confusion persists regarding these beneficial microbes. The fact that there are so many different types of probiotic strains doesn’t help. Let’s start by discussing Lactobacillus gasseri, one of the beneficial microorganisms that assist with digestive health and against harmful organisms.
The Benefits of Probiotics
There are many benefits of probiotics. Your digestives system depends on these microorganisms to work properly.  Probiotic bacteria helps your body use nutrients, stimulates your immune system, and protects your intestines from harmful toxins and organisms.  The cardiovascular system, bones, blood sugar, and mental health are also connected to probiotic status.   These wide-reaching effects stem from your digestive tract’s role as a gateway to the rest of your body. The healthier your gut, the more it can withstand the assault from today’s most common germs and toxins.  These include pesticides, herbicides, and the artificial sweeteners found in many processed foods. Some research suggests it may play a role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and mood. 
Lactobacillus gasseri: A Strain You Want
Also known as L. gasseri, the Lactobacillus gasseri strain is one you don’t hear about often. It is, however, extremely powerful for weight maintenance and possibly protection against harmful organisms. So far, research suggests the strains of L. gasseri speed up metabolism and encourages weight loss. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reported obese adults who took L. gasseri SBT2055/LG2055 lost more than 8% over a 12-week period simply by adding this probiotic strain to their diet. 
A 2010 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found taking this same strain reduced abdominal body fat and waist size.  Other studies have reported effects such as lowering cholesterol, reducing allergic response, easing symptoms of asthma in children, and even lessening menstrual pain in women suffering from endometriosis.    Other research suggests this strain could enhance the effectiveness of modern approaches to H. pylori. 
Sources of Lactobacillus gasseri
You can get L. gasseri through your diet if you eat fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, lassi, natto, miso, and tempeh. When it comes to yogurt, make sure it’s organic, preferably grass fed, and contains “live active cultures” on the package. For a powerful probiotic boost, I recommend taking a supplement like Floratrex™ that contains L. gasseri and other 22 probiotic strains. This is a high quality supplement that also contains prebiotics, that nutrients that feed probiotics.
How do you obtain your probiotics? Do you supplement with Lactobacillus gasseri? What are your experiences? Please let us know in the comments!
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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