Hi guys, this is Kiran Krishnan, research microbiologist and your friendly neighborhood nerdy science guy, here with more topics to discuss.
Making Your Own Probiotics
So one of the questions I get quite often is, people say they make their own probiotics. They're making their own ferments - like kombucha at home with sauerkraut - and then they wonder if they still need to take a probiotic, since they're under the impression that what they're doing at home could be enough.
First I would say that if you're doing that at home, that's absolutely fantastic, they're really good for you. Any kind of ferment, certainly kombuchas and sauerkrauts and nano, any of those things. If you're making that at home and consuming it, bravo to you. That's fantastic.
The Difference Between Fermented Foods and Probiotics
But there is a significant difference between a ferment and a probiotic...they're very different things.
First, ferments: The benefit of a ferment really comes from the fermentation process and the bacteria or yeast, whatever you're using to create the fermentation.
During that digestion process, the ferments produce things like organic acids, they produce peptides like dipicolinic acid, they produce things like 13 MTB. All of these really healthy, important compounds that feed your microbiome, that reduce inflammation in the body, that reduce inflammation of stress in the gut.
All of these things are extremely beneficial for your gut and for your system, but they are not delivering live, functioning active bacteria into your microbiome. So there's a difference.
So a fermented food is really a food product that feeds your microbiome and also provides compounds that are really good for the host. All of the bacteria that did the fermentation during the fermentation process, is going to die in your stomach.
So, you still need a probiotic that can go in and create a functional change in the rest of your microbiome.
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Ancestral Ties to Fermentation
Our ancestors got both fermented foods and probiotics. Our ancestors ate fermented foods by accident in the beginning because they allowed things to spoil. And then they started developing the ability to ferment things, to preserve them, for longer periods of time.
Then they got their fermented foods, but they also got their probiotics because they were also smart enough to eat dirt. They didn't sterilize their environment, they didn't sterilize where they prepared food, they didn't sterilize their hands and utensils and all that. So every time they ate food, they got a whole bunch of spore bacteria and other environmental organisms that ended up acting as probiotics as well. So our ancestors did both.
The Power Pair: Fermented Foods + Probiotics
If you're consuming both fermented foods and not a probiotic yet, then you're about halfway there to getting and achieving this ancestral lifestyle that'll be really great for your microbiome.
But you have to add the right probiotic. As you know, we work with spore-based probiotics like Just Thrive Probiotic, that's what we do all our research with. These spore-based probiotics can actually go in and increase the diversity of your microbiome, increase the growth of these really important, protective, keystone strains. Of course, the spores alleviate leaky gut, as we've published and are doing more studies on that as well. Those are the functions of a really effective probiotic.
The ferment will go in and almost act like a prebiotic as it starts to feed some of the good endogenous bacteria, as some of the fermented components get absorbed into your system to help your reduce inflammation, help detoxify the gut to some degree, help reduce inflammation to the lining in the gut, and intestinal lining as well.
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So, here's the plan...
Consuming both fermented foods and probiotics are beneficial, so if you're doing just one of them, you're only getting about 50% of the benefits. I always recommend people to do both. Bravo to you if you're doing a ferment at home, just add in your one cap a day of Just Thrive Probiotic, and you'll be really helping your system thrive!