CAT | Probiotic Supplements
The human body is home to literally trillions of bacteria cells—most of which reside in the gut, where they play a vital role in healthy digestive and immune function. But just where do they come from? We often hear that babies get their first dose of bacteria in the birth canal during delivery, but results of a new study offer a surprising revelation: that a newborn’s first exposure may happen even earlier.
Published last month in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the study suggests babies come into contact with a “small but diverse amount of bacteria” in the placenta—an organ that begins to develop shortly after fertilization and nourishes the developing fetus throughout pregnancy. This is interesting mainly because the mother’s womb was typically believed to be a sterile environment, but now there is evidence of a pre-existing bacterial community within the placenta—and that’s not all.
In looking at more than 300 samples from a combination of vaginal, cesarean, full-term and pre-term births, scientists noticed that the bacteria found in the placentas—roughly a few hundred different types—didn’t look like the bacteria found in the stomachs of the newborn babies. Rather, they resembled the bacterial community in the mouth of the mother. This led scientists to conclude that the mother’s oral bacteria could reach the developing baby via the bloodstream, and to stress the importance of oral health during pregnancy and even before.
So how does this study change things? Essentially, instead of acquiring their first dose of healthy microbes during the birthing process, which was widely thought to be the case, this new information suggests babies may come into contact with those microbes much earlier (i.e. in the placenta)—and that those bacteria may actually play a role in healthy fetal development.
Regardless of when newborns receive their first microbes, supplying additional beneficial bacteria throughout the early years may help promote digestive and immune health—since up to 80 percent of the immune system can be found in the gut. Keep in mind that children encounter constant challenges to their immune and digestive systems while at school and play, and good bacteria can also be depleted by an unhealthy diet and certain medications.‡ A daily probiotic supplement may help promote a healthy balance of intestinal flora to support digestion, and they are considered a safe and gentle way to help support the immune system.‡
Summer is almost here! The weather is warm, the kids will soon be out of school, and vacation is calling. But camping trips to cruises, all summer travels have one thing in common: they can do a number on your insides—from occasional constipation to an unexpected bout of heartburn or indigestion. Before you hit the road, here are three must-have supplements that can help safeguard your digestive system and ease your journey.‡
- Don’t forget the Probiotics
Changes in your daily routine (including travel) can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in your digestive tract, which may lead to tummy troubles and occasional constipation. A daily, shelf-stable probiotic is perfect for travel and can help maintain a healthy internal balance to support good digestion and regular elimination.‡ In addition, because up to 80% of your immune system is found in the gut, probiotics supplements help make sure there are plenty of good bacteria to support healthy immune function away from home.‡
- Natural Heartburn Relief On the Go
Something about being on vacation makes us feel a little braver than usual, and that includes trying new foods! If your adventurous side experiences occasional heartburn or indigestion, make sure your carry-on includes a daily digestive enzyme supplement to ensure more complete digestion and help relieve occasional gas, bloating and indigestion.‡ And for fast-acting, soothing relief from occasional heartburn, try a natural oral spray with soothing botanicals and herbal extracts.‡
- Daily Detox
No matter where you travel—even if your vacation is a “staycation”—your body is exposed to an overwhelming number of toxins every day. They are in the air you breathe, in your food and water, and even in many of your personal care products such as sunscreen. A natural total-body daily detox formula made with gentle whole herbs and nutraceuticals helps support your natural cleansing channels—including the lungs, liver, lymphatic system, kidneys, skin, blood and bowel (or colon) to promote healthy digestion, detoxification and elimination.‡
And one more tip: when we’re on the go, we sometimes forget to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of purified water (at least half your body weight in ounces daily) is important for regular bowel elimination, but it also nourishes your body’s cells and tissues and even helps with appetite control. Happy (and healthy) travels!