Boost Your Mood! Health Benefits of Paleo Probiotics
Have you been religiously downing those little milk bottles from the refrigerated section of the pharmacy in an attempt to ensure you’re getting enough probiotics? Or feeling hesitant about giving up the low-calorie fruit yogurts for the same reason?
Before we get too far into which probiotics to take, let’s consider why we should take them in the first place.
“Taken regularly, probiotics can help keep the digestive system in balance and functioning optimally, restore normal flora, and support immune system function, especially when you’re taking antibiotics, which can wipe out intestinal bacteria indiscriminately,” according to Dr. Andrew Weil, MD.1 “I also frequently suggest probiotics as an effective treatment for diarrhea, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, eczema, children with autism and anyone taking on antibiotics,” he adds.
Clearly, it can make our bodies better but how about our minds? Can taking probiotics actually put us in a better mood?
Actually, yes. Research from neurobiologists at Oxford University offers some preliminary evidence of a connection between gut bacteria and mental health in humans.2 Researchers found that supplements designed to boost healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (prebiotics) may have an anti-anxiety effect by altering the way that people process emotional information.
“Prebiotics are dietary fibers (short chains of sugar molecules) that good bacteria break down, and use to multiply,” the study’s lead author, Oxford neurobiologist Dr. Philip Burnet, reported. “Prebiotics feed good bacteria already present in the gut, increasing the numbers of all species of good bacteria in the gut.”
Clearly, this is one supplement not to miss, as the list of benefits go on and on.
But is it possible to over do it? Do we all need to take probiotics all the time?
So long as your source is Paleo friendly, it shouldn’t be an issue. Probiotics have few side effects other than some intestinal gas and bloating, which is likely to get better over time. If your probiotics are causing these side effects, try decreasing the dose or using it every other day.3
But how do we get these good guys into our guts if we’re following a True Paleo diet regime and not eating dairy?
As strongly as I suggest getting what we need from our food, this is one instance in which taking a pill may be our best bet. To date, I’ve found only one brand which is soy- and dairy- free as well as free of all the other common fillers we see all too often in vitamins and supplements. Ultimate Flora has an array of different formulations, many of which are Paleoista Approved and can be taken as part of your daily regime. Just be sure to first check with your functional medicine doctor or naturopath to make sure you know much and how often to take them for your specific health concerns.
 “Q & A Library.” Probiotics: How Much Is Too Much? N.p., n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
 Gregoire, Carolyn. “The Surprising Link Between Gut Bacteria And Anxiety.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
 “Probiotics: Supplements for Digestive Health.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.