Why I Haven’t Been Sick in 6 Years
There are countless supplements out there that can help boost your immune system, but did you know that 80% of your immune system is actually found in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract? This means that your gut is actually a major focal point when it comes to maintaining optimal health and strong immunity. Understanding this simple fact revolutionized my health! In fact, this is the sixth year and counting that I’ve managed to avoid catching a cold or getting the flu. It wasn’t always this way though…
I used to be that guy who seemed to catch every bug that came my way, and it was miserable! From the days stuck at home in bed to lost productivity at work — not to mention the embarrassment of being a self-proclaimed “health nut” who was always coming down with something — I knew there must be something missing from my immune health strategy. And I was right…
You see, our GI tracts are colonized with bacteria beginning from the day we’re born, and as a result, our intestines are brimming with many different strains of bacteria, some beneficial — some not. The “bad” microbes promote disease, while the “good” microbes work to crowd out the bad microbes and keep their numbers in check. One of the jobs of the good microbes is to stimulate the immune system. For instance, certain bacteria in the gut help with correcting deficiencies in our immunity and increasing the numbers of certain infection-fighting T cells. Just how intestinal bacteria interact with the immune system isn’t fully understood, but more and more compelling evidence supports the notion that intestinal bacteria are absolutely crucial to immune function.
As a result, when we eliminate the good microbes from our body or reduce their numbers, we weaken our immune system, and this has been shown to contribute to increased incidence of allergies and asthma, along with digestive problems.
So, what upsets the balance of microbes in the GI tract?
- Antibacterial soaps and cleaners
- Poor eating habits
- Stress and fatigue
- Chlorinated drinking water
- Exposure to toxins
All of these things can kill off good bacteria. Antibiotics are one of the worst culprits, since so many doctors prescribe then unnecessarily, and they are literally designed to kill bacteria (both good and bad) in the body. When the bad bacteria start to outnumber the good, your immune system struggles to do its job, and digestive problems such as excess gas, bloating, constipation and poor absorption of nutrients can pop up.
The role of good bacteria doesn’t end there!
Healthy populations of gut bacteria help us absorb certain undigested starches, fiber and sugars and convert these carbohydrates into sources of energy and nutrients. They manufacture vitamins, helping in the production of both vitamin K and B vitamins, and promoting mineral absorption. They also aid in metabolism and the breakdown of toxins, and the latest research is suggesting they may even be a key to understanding who will suffer from obesity.
It’s crucial to your digestive, immune and overall health to make sure that you’ve got PLENTY of good bacteria in your body. And while this may seem like news from the cutting-edge of health science — humans throughout the world have actually known this for centuries! People have used fermented foods like yogurt, cheese, miso and cultured vegetables throughout history to support their intestinal health — long before the invention of supplements.
So how can you boost your levels of good bacteria?
Cultured vegetables, such as sauerkraut or kimchi, are particularly wonderful for keeping the good bacteria populated, and they taste great! I strongly encourage you to add cultured vegetables to your diet if you haven’t already — just make sure that they’re raw and unpasteurized. Most store bought pickles and sauerkrauts are made with vinegar and/or pasteurized, so they’re lacking beneficial bacteria. But many health food stores now offer unpasteurized cultured vegetables in their refrigerated section, and you can even make them at home with culture starters.
Probiotic supplements are another great way to get the good bacteria your body needs on a daily basis. You should take care to select a probiotic supplement with a high number of colony forming units (CFU). I recommend a formula that contains at least 10 billion CFU and multiple bacterial strains. (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus are among the most beneficial.) Also, be sure to select a product that contains prebiotics, which are fibers that the good bacteria feed off of. This not only populates the gut with good bacteria, but also gives them the fuel they need to thrive.
When I added cultured vegetables to my diet and began taking a probiotic daily, I noticed drastic improvements in my digestive, immune and overall health. I also make sure my young children take a probiotic daily, and despite frequently being surrounded by sick kids at school, they have not had a single sick day this year — and they also don’t get the flu vaccine!
However, I have to caution you about most probiotic supplements. The problem is that the live cultures in many supplements are literally dead by the time they make it to you, rendering the formula absolutely worthless. That’s because most probiotic supplements require refrigeration to keep the bacteria alive. Even if the bottle is refrigerated in the store when you buy it, can you be sure it was refrigerated in the truck, in the warehouse, on the loading dock, etc.? Just a few hours of exposure to warm temperature is all it takes to kill off the friendly bacteria. There are some advanced formulas that don’t require refrigeration, but they are absurdly expensive.
That’s why I set out to formulate a top-notch probiotic supplement. As you may know, in addition to being Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now, I’m also CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been making premium grade dietary supplements since 1995. I teamed up with my Scientific Advisory Board and Product Development Team to develop an advanced, shelf-stable probiotic that DOES NOT require refrigeration, yet is priced so that everyone can take advantage of its amazing benefits.
My formula is called PurBiotic™ and it contains the five bacterial strains shown in the research to offer the most benefits as well as two types of prebiotics. The capsules are manufactured using special technology to ensure that the bacteria stays active from the time they are produced until the time they are inside your body — with no refrigeration required. Each capsule is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 12 billion CFU of active bacteria. Just one capsule a day is all you need to ensure optimal digestive health and a strong immune system!
There is a special going on right now that will allow Live in the Now readers to get PurBiotic for as low as $12.95 per bottle with free shipping, which is an amazing deal for a probiotic of this caliber. However, don’t just take my word for it. As always, I encourage you to shop around and make sure that you are purchasing the best probiotic supplement you can get. Regardless of what product you decide on, my sincere hope is that you take a probiotic supplement daily, eat plenty of cultured foods and stay healthy all year round!
Article updated on: February 23rd, 2013