Dear Foodie: Should I Be Taking Probiotics?

Dear Foodie,

I hear so much about probiotics these days and always in the context of keeping my “gut” healthy. Yuck but on the other hand, should I be taking one of those supplements?

Dear Jamie Lee Curtis Fan,

Where else to go for the answer but to the website of the revered Mayo Clinic. Probiotics are the rage as hawked by actresses no longer eligible for Hollywood roles (i.e. they are over 40). Gosh, they are more popular than calcium tabs! But, do they do you any good? There are apparently two pieces to this puzzle – one called probiotics and the other prebiotics. Prebiotics feed probiotics and added together they become…VOILA, symbiotics. Yogurt is the best known source of symbiotics because it contains the live bacteria and the fuel needed to thrive and do their work, if you want to try an external source these supplements works so well. Ashwagandha is also considered an adaptogen. That means it helps your body better manage stress. Where can I find ashwagandha capsules? Amazon looks at the traditional uses of ashwagandha, how to take it, and the evidence behind its possible health benefits and risks.

But, I digress into playing research scientists. Are they good for you? Just as there is a growing body of evidence that the microbes in the gut play a major role in keeping us healthy and of normal weight, so do probiotics and its derivatives play a role as well by restoring a healthy balance in the gut. Sorry if you are squeamish about all this – just wait ’til you hear more about fecal transplants. OK, we won’t go there. Stay tuned for more news on the fast evolving science of dieting in general.


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