Gut health – Why has it become such BIG NEWS?

Over the last few years, probiotics, gut biome testing, fermented foods have all become mainstream news. You will see advert after advert on TV, Facebook, magazines etc. about our gut health and how this or that product will change everything for us.

Why, and are all these products really that good?

In our intestines we carry around a huge mixture of microbes that when in balance are helping us in so many ways. Some symptoms of dysbiosis – unbalanced gut flora – are obvious, from bloating, to constipation and diarrhoea and all the digestive symptoms in that area.

Some probiotic facts

We have 100 trillion bacteria in our guts – including between 500 -2,000 different types – most of those are beneficial.

70-90% of your immune system is in your GI tract!

The Human brain weighs approximately 3lbs and the bacteria living in your = 3.5lb
(if you are healthy that is)

More than 40 diseases have been linked to bacterial imbalance including depression, arthritis, IBS and cancer. Gut bacteria create 95% of the bodies serotonin

The other symptoms might not be quite so obvious. Like weakened immune system, skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, Allergies, mental fog, depression, weight gain, food cravings, low energy, auto immune dis-eases, diabetes. The list goes on and on.

So you can see why the gut is being taken so seriously. However not all of the products on the market are effective. In fact some of the probiotic strains are showing up to be causing problems that they were designed to help.

So to take the confusion out of what to take and what not to take. I like to make things very simple and this is the reason why.

After working as a practitioner for over 30 years I have seen the rise and rise of the “Natural health foods” industry. So much so that it is now big business. With that comes companies that are simply in this for the money. Unfortunately, as a consumer you get so bombarded with information, I know you just don’t know who to believe! Plus why should you believe me?? Well, I promise you, I am not a big business/corporation. Nor am I being paid by any company to promote. I am just wanting to help as many people as I can live more comfortably in their own skin as possible.

I first came into natural health because I was looking for answers to my health issues that I had at the time. As I found solutions I decided to study that modality. Simple really. I know how much it costs to get healthy if you are wanting real health, not just have symptoms masked by drugs. Over the years my health has been a huge investment for myself and my family.

So my mission is to save you the time and money – making optimum health simple again.

This simple solution applies to gut health just as it applies to everything else.

I have seen the rise of probiotics since I first prescribed them in the early 90’s, I have read the research on nearly every product, tried many if they appealed. But I always come back to one!


Why Reuteri and what is it?

Reuteri it the most researched of probiotics and that is for a very good reason. It has been discovered that Reuteri is the first probiotic we receive as a new born baby as it is present in colostrum (first milk). It is there as the seeds to help build a healthy biome. It helps proliferate good bacteria and helps destroy the negative bacteria. Helping to establish a healthy digestive tract right from the start of life.

If we aren’t breast fed, we do miss that vital part of the puzzle to great health. However even if our gut has a good start in life there are many things that even Reuteri cannot combat daily. Like excess sugar consumption, alcohol, stressed body, nutritional deficiencies. Plus, it has been found that levels of Reuteri in breast milk have slowly been declining due to unhealthy dietary habits of the mother, grandmother.

Then we come to why it is my preferred probiotic. Simple really, it works!

I have been prescribing Reuteri for the last 14 years to clients and it has given us great results- along with dietary, nutritional additions, and sometimes remedies to help the journey. I believe this probiotic is one of the reasons that everything else I recommend works so well.

The research shows that it can help with gut health – which is obvious really. But can significantly help those with IBS, crohn’s disease , infection protection, boost immunity, metabolic disorders, reduces inflammation, lactose intolerance, helicobacter pylori infection, eczema, hives, psoriasis, is also being researched to be used with cancer treatment.

Reuteri is available in capsule, chewable and powder – the powder is great for young children and the chewable tablets and the capsules are great for everyone else.

Take at night before bed – oh and by the way reuteri is antibiotic resistant and so can and should be taken if you have to take antibiotics.

Just a quick note on fermented foods. Not all fermented foods will be ideal for you. They all contain different bacteria’s and some may suit you and some may not. Just like any food really.

I have found that things like olives and capers are great for me but kombucha and sauerkraut are not things I can have regularly.

Here is some information that I wrote about 4 years ago that might be of interest

Fermented foods vs probiotics

Fermented food has made a comeback in recent years, partially thanks to the popularization of Weston A. Price teachings. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi aren’t considered to be the most appealing types of food; however, research exploring these and other fermented products on gut, brain, and body health has revitalized public interest.

The fermentation process encourages essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium to flourish.

Fermented food has made a comeback in recent years, partially thanks to the popularization of Weston A. Price teachings. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi aren’t considered to be the most appealing types of food; however, research exploring these and other fermented products on gut, brain, and body health has revitalized public interest.

The fermentation process encourages essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium to flourish.

Lactobacillus acidophilus – some info

When L. acidophilus is co-cultivated with other organisms, L. acidophilus has repeatedly been shown to inhibit the growth of competing microbes. It is thought that L. acidophilus produces a variety of antimicrobial compounds including organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, diacetyl and bacteriocins. The activity of these compounds is evident in the laboratory, but the in vivo role of these compounds is less clear. This is an area of active research. For instance, human fecal samples show a correlation between a reduction in pH and an increase in short chain fatty acids with higher faecal counts of Lactobacilli and bifidobacterial (which is another species that exhibits a probiotic effect). In the laboratory strain NCFM demonstrated antagonistic activity against common foodborne disease agents such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and enteropathogenic Escherichia col – more on these a bit later

Bifidobacterium bifidum

Bifidobacterium bifidum, known as B. bifidum, is a strain of bacteria commonly used as a probiotic. Probiotics are living microorganisms that simulate the beneficial bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. B. bifidum is one of many bacterial strains that occur naturally in the gut flora, living in the colon. The inclusion of B. bifidum in a dietary regimen provides the host with a variety of benefits.

Vitamin Synthesis

B. bifidum aids in the synthesis of B-complex vitamins and vitamin K in the intestines. This synthesis protects the body from deficiencies of these vitally important nutrients. The primary function of vitamin K is to regulate the blood clotting process. Vitamin K is also necessary to improve bone health, prevent bone fractures and reduce the risk of bleeding associated with long-term antibiotic use. B-complex vitamins are also essential to good health as they aid in energy production, promote normal growth and development, metabolize protein and carbohydrates, maintain nervous system function and aid in the creation of red blood cells.

Some of the best fermented foods and what bacterium they contain – Yoghurt.

Yoghurt - lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Not all yoghurts contain bacteria that are beneficial Many of the yoghurts are not live and so they are not a source of good gut bacteria so do check out the source of your products. Better still make your own out of raw unpasteurized milk


Kefir is a bit like yogurt, except that it’s more of a drinkable consistency. Researchers report kefir may reduce irritation in the intestines, preventing toxins and other pathogens from getting into the blood. If you’re choosing to drink dairy kefir, make sure it’s organic and isn’t loaded with refined sugar. There are options for making your own dairy-free water kefir, and many health food companies online sell kefir grains specifically for this purpose. You can also use coconut milk – as long as you can handle coconut that is!!


Made from tea, clean water, sugar, yeast, and bacteria, Kombucha has become popular recently for its probiotic qualities. Its fizzy bite is also popular among those used to drinking soda. Research finds this fermented tea fights off E. coli and Staph bacteria in the digestive tract, possibly protecting against illness and aiding digestion

This is an amazing pro and prebiotic as it has unique bacteria profile.

Probiotics in Kombucha: Bacteria & Yeast

The specific bacteria and yeast strains in the kombucha are what make it act the way it does, and what produce the fizz and flavour of kombucha. Not all kombucha cultures will contain the exact same strains, but these are some that have been recorded in studies:

Acetobacter: is an aerobic (requiring oxygen) bacteria strain that produces acetic acid and gluconic acid. It is always found in kombucha. Acetobacter strains also build the scoby mushroom. Acetobacter xylinoides and acetobacter ketogenum are two strains that you might find in kombucha.

Saccharomyces: includes a number of yeast strains that produce alcohol and are the most common types of yeast found in kombucha. They can be aerobic or anaerobic (requires an oxygen-free environment). They include Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Saccharomycodes apiculatus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Zygosaccharomyes, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Brettanomyces: is another type of yeast strain, either aerobic or anaerobic, that are commonly found in kombucha and produce alcohol or acetic acid

Lactobacillus: A type of aerobic bacteria that is sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha. It produces lactic acid and slime.

Pediococcus: These anaerobic bacteria produce lactic acid and slime. They are sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha.

Gluconacetobacter kombuchae: is an anaerobic bacteria that is unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen that is found in tea and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid, as well as building the scoby.

Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis: is a yeast strain that is unique to kombucha. It produces alcohol and carbonation as well as contributing to the mushroom body.


Historically, four species of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been identified as organisms that are present in sauerkraut fermentations:
Leuconostoc mesenteroides,
Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Lactobacillus plantarum


This spicy Asian fermented cabbage, similar to sauerkraut, provides you with loads of probiotics. Extensive research indicates it contributes to colon health, lower cholesterol, better thinking, a stronger immune system, healthy skin, and weight loss. Additional research also shows it has anti-oxidative, anti-aging, and immune-supporting properties.

Don’t forget pickles

Much like sauerkraut the Bacteria are highly beneficial – pickles are not only onions and gherkins they are olives and capers as well!

It's easy to forget that olives are a fermented food, but that also means they're rich in Lactobacillus, gut-friendly bacteria.

Think tapenade, and other delicious treats along with some homemade biscuits!! Great for the gut and therefore your health!!

Enough about fermented foods – now onto supplements

The information about the following probiotics is very interesting as I know that Reuteri helps these strains proliferate! First a reminder of what Reuteri is all about

L. reuteri. Regular doses have been shown to have a wide range of beneficial effects. Some well-researched benefits include preventing workplace sickness, relieving constipation therefore promoting regular bowel movements, preventing and and treating female urinary tract infections (UTI) and reducing the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a harmful bacteria that has been linked to peptic ulcers and gastric cancer.

L. reuteri has been shown to assist in repairing leaky gut. Leaky gut is a syndrome that can lead to a range of symptoms, including bloating, gas, cramps, aches and pains, and food sensitivities. It has also been shown to support dental health because it is the only probiotic found in the mouth with the ability to kill off certain kinds of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Healthy levels of L. reuteri are able to keep these bacteria in check and keep your teeth intact.

Reuteri functions as a naturally occurring antibiotic

L. reuteri helps with general gut health through the production of a natural antibiotic substance called Reuterin. Reuterin helps to keep the intestinal microbiota healthy by inhibiting growth of several kinds of harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungi.

Now if you are doing research on probiotics, you might be wondering why a probiotic is producing an antibiotic substance. Aren’t antibiotics responsible for killing off healthy bacteria in the gut? Absolutely! However, the reuterin produced by L. reuteri is an exception because it is produced in very specific amounts. L. reuteri would need to produce 4-5 times the amount of reuterin that is necessary to kill bad bacteria in order to kill the good bacteria in the gut.

This is why it is called a thinking bacterium as it helps to proliferate good bacteria and help to kill off the ones that are negative for us!

It’s a Gram-positive probiotic strain that naturally occupies the gut of birds and mammals. It’s also found in breast milk. Once present in the human body,
L. Reuteri provides many benefits including battling off harmful infections and facilitating the immune system.

• prevents gingivitis

• decreases pro-inflammatory cytokines

• helps maintain vaginal pH

• stimulates growth and feeding among preterm infants

• suppresses H. pylori

• combats dyspepsia

• reduces nausea, flatulence and diarrhea

• stimulates immune system

• prevents tooth decay, cavities and plaque

• decrease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

• reduces eczema in infants and infant colic

• diminishes colds and influenza

• helps stabilize intestinal permeability

• protects against pathogens

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

It’s the proven probiotic that, according to scientists, is vital to human health. It’s often been used to treat and prevent a broad range of diseases and conditions, as well as minimizes antibiotic therapy side effects. One of the top probiotic supplements has a uniquely formulated blend of Lactobacillus Acidophilus and other essential probiotics.

• treats diarrhoea

• aids in digestion

• treats and prevents irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

• fights allergies

• repairs leaky gut

• reduces lactose intolerance

• increases absorption of vitamins and nutrients

• helps improve appetite

• improves blood pressure and cholesterol

• fights chronic conditions like anaemia and lowers risk of kidney stones

• prevents and fights viral, bacterial and fungal infections (such as coli infection and pink-eye)

• increases weight gain among preterm infants

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG

• increases glucose control

• reduces allergies and inflammation

• infant and baby benefits include fighting diarrhea (from rotavirus), stimulating infant growth, and decreasing colic

• prevents and fights cancer (reduces the risk of colon cancer, stimulates tumor killing activities)

• boost general immunity

• repairs leaky gut

• decreases constipation

• lowers bad cholesterol

Lactobacillus Helveticus

It’s also a lactic-acid producing bacterial strain that studies have shown can reduce blood pressure. It’s mainly used for milk fermentation and one of the choice bacterial cultures for Swiss cheese.

• reduces blood pressure

• improves quality and duration of sleep

• enhances one’s health perception

• boosts serum calcium levels in the blood

• reduces Parathyroid Hormone (PTH – linked to bone loss)

• helps stabilize microflora balance

• alleviates antibiotic-induced side effects

Bifidobacterium Infantis

As the name suggests, Bifidobacterium Infantis is a strain of probiotic that benefits the health of babies. After birth, Bifido Infantis is one of the first essential bacteria that mothers pass to their offspring, via Reuteri . Therefore, physicians and scientists prescribe this probiotic to pregnant women. Bifido infantis helps to improve our digestion and to safeguard our systems against illnesses and infections. It’s also been scientifically proven to combat allergies and aid in preventing kidney stones.

• curtails IBS symptoms and eliminates acute diarrhoea

• protects the vaginal canal from infection

• prevents death among very low birth weight infants

• increases immunity among very low birth weight infants

• improves immune system

• reduces and fights allergies and inflammation

• reduce the risk of kidney stones

• improves bowel dysfunction

Bifidobacterium Lactis

It is a powerful probiotic bacteria that improves immunity, combats tumor growth, and aids in digestion as evidenced by years of scientific research. This probiotic strain populates intestines and the colon, where it breaks down body waste and helps in the absorption of vitamins and other vital nutrients. Bifido Lactis can be found in raw milk, and similar to Lactobacillus Helveticus, it’s chosen as a bacterial culture for Swiss cheese and buttermilk.

• improves general digestive comfort

• reduces cavity-causing mouth bacteria

• fights colon cancer

• increases blood glucose control

• reinforces overall immunity

• fights allergies and inflammation

• improves cholesterol

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus

Bulgaricus is actually one of the first strains of probiotics that have been studied. Russian Nobel Prize winner, Ilya Mechnikov, first discovered this probiotic in fermented sour milk.

• increases general immunity

• fights viruses

• reduces leaky gut symptoms

• minimizes diarrhea and nausea

• improves dairy digestion

• fights allergies and inflammation

• decreases cholesterol

• prevents tooth decay

• manages HIV symptoms

• combats dyspepsia

Lactobacillus Silivarius

If you want to improve your mouth and teeth conditions, L. Silivarius is the probiotic you can count on. A robust probiotic strain, it populates our mouth and helps defend our gums and teeth. It also inhabits the vagina, small intestines and colon.

• reduces mouth cavities

• helps prevent strep throat

• reduces irritable bowel syndrome

• decreases mastitis

• inhibits candida

• prevents ulcerative colitis

• inhibits pathogenic bacteria: E. coli and Salmonella spp.

• reduces gingivitis

Lactobacillus Plantarum

Strain that helps in the reduction of topical burn infections and healing stimulation to strengthen the health of your immune system. Aerotolerant means that this strain doesn’t need oxygen for growth.

• significant amount of antioxidants

• restores healthy liver enzymes

• maintains intestinal permeability

• reduces respiratory diseases

• reduces inflammatory responses

• aids in healing of multiple traumas among injured patients

• alleviates fungal infections

• reduces irritable bowel syndrome

• reduces pancreatic sepsis infections

• decreases systolic blood pressure

• minimizes postoperative infections

• lessens risk of pneumonia

• reduces kidney stone risk

• decreases flatulence

• stimulates immunity in HIV children

Bifidobacterum Bifidum

By far, it’s the most common probiotic bacteria found in the human body. This probiotic strain inhabits the colon, lower small intestine, healthy vaginas and breast milk. Studies show that B. Bifidum generates natural antibiotic substances that destroy harmful bacteria, and fights off candida and yeast infections. However, B. Bifidum is vulnerable to being killed off by antibiotics.

• fights off candida

• establishes initial microflora among infants

• improves general immunity

• fights yeast infections and overgrowths

• prevents inflammation

• fights E. coli infections

• treats acute diarrhea

• reduces allergies

• reduce ulcers

Lactobacillus Casei

Present in the human mouth and intestine, Lactobacillus Casei, and regarded to complement the growth of Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This probiotic strain inhibits harmful bacterial growth and may also be found in raw or fermented dairy and plant products such as cheese, yogurt and fermented green olives.

• promotes digestion

• rights off pathogenic bacterial infections

• reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

• impedes severe systemic inflammatory responses

• fights pneumonia

• inhibits respiratory tract infections

• prevents bronchitis

• prevents H. pylori and ulcers

• fights allergies

• inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa

• reduces milk intolerance

• supports liver function

• lowers cholesterol

• reduces bladder and colon cancer risk

• stimulates immune system

• inhibits candida and vaginosis

Saccharomyces Boulardii

It’s a strain of yeast, sometimes used as a probiotic, which helps introduce and populate beneficial live cultures into the large and small intestine. Saccharomyces boulardii is used for the treatment and prevention of diarrhoea and other conditions caused by antibiotic use.

• aids in general digestion

• prevents irritable bowel syndrome

• fights allergies and inflammation

• fights Crohn’s disease

• combats Lyme disease

• prevents bacterial overgrowth and infections

• boosts lactose tolerance

• prevents and treats vaginal infections

• treats leaky gut

So what to choose?

Probiotics are an amazing way to help you achieve and keep better health and wellbeing. Even after writing this information I still only stock Reuteri – as I have said before, being very results driven I will only recommend things that have been proven to me to work and Reuteri comes out on top every time. The more I research the more I find out to keep on doing just that!

Fermented foods are a great way of helping the cause, so find ones you enjoy and maybe rotate them so that you are getting exposure to a variety of beneficial bacteria.

Cheers to great gut health xxx