What’s the right time to take a probiotic with more strains?

Smidge® Optimal Probiotic capsules

Our Optimal Probiotic (formerly Probiotic capsules/Primal Gut™) is here! Learn about the right time to make the switch, health benefits — and what kind of foods maximize this clean, 13-strain blend

We have a new probiotic in the Smidge® shop, Optimal Probiotic (formerly called Probiotic capsules/Primal Gut™).  

We created this comprehensive, 13-strain blend to give your overall digestive health lots of TLC. These strains work in synergy to help ease mild stomach issues, generate and maintain a healthy microbiome. 

We also carefully calibrated each strain to maximize the benefits while avoiding side effects associated with other commercial brands. This means regularity and easy-breezy digestion, among other health benefits (more below). Our Optimal Probiotic is also free of common allergens, excipients and other added ingredients. And it's made in small batches.  

A quick guide on when to consider the switch to Optimal Probiotic

Parents, practitioners and people struggling with delicate digestive systems have raved about our formulations for particularly sensitive guts: Sensitive Probiotic and Infant Probiotic. These products are geared toward people: 

  • Just starting their journeys to better health, 
  • First trying probiotics, 
  • And those with extremely sensitive systems. 

    Here’s a quick guide to our probiotics, too. 

    Smidge® Optimal Probiotic is appropriate for various ages and stages, whether you’ve taken probiotics in the past or are new to this integral part of your wellness regimen: 

    • Men and women: Teens through the golden years 
    • Mamas: Pregnant and nursing 
    • Healthy kiddos: Ages 6 to 12 

      With our Optimal Probiotic capsules, we included L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. paracasei, L. casei and B. breve, in addition to the eight strains in our Sensitive Probiotic formula. In doing so, we shared the same concern we have for people with sensitive digestive systems by creating a comprehensive, balanced formula. It contains the highest number of strains of all probiotic formulas we carry. 

      Here are more Optimal Probiotic features: 

      • Contains 13 clinically proven probiotic strains; 12 of which are human strains and one plant strain (L. rhamnosus, L. casei, L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, L. brevis, L. gasseri, L. salivarius, B. bifidum, B. breve, B. infantis, B. longum, B. lactis and the plant strain, L. plantarum). 
      • Is formulated to minimize the production of histamine and d-lactate. 
      • Does not contain streptococcus thermophilus or other strains linked to irritation. 
      • Does not contain any spore-forming strains of probiotics. 
      • Is free of inulin and other prebiotics. 
      • Is free of excipients and other added ingredients, i.e. magnesium stearate, silica, titanium dioxide. 
      • Is free of common allergens. All strains are grown on a dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegetarian culture. Does not contain milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat/gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, yeast or soy. 

          Health benefits of Smidge® Probiotic capsules, especially for women 

          Each of the strains in Smidge® Probiotic capsules has unique health benefits. Check out the ingredients section in our product description to learn more.

          At the same time, please remember that no single strain is the magic bullet for specific ailments and conditions. We believe the magic happens when the right strains are blended to work together as they do in a healthy digestive system, and therefore, nourish and support the gut <3.

          That’s why a healthy community of balanced probiotic bacteria supports the following:

          • A well-regulated immune system: Studies show probiotics support a vigilant immune system and help regulate immune response.*
          • Comfortable and thorough digestion: Probiotics support a healthy digestive system and also play critical roles in breaking down and absorbing nutrients. They even produce critical vitamins when your body is in need, like vitamin K2 and several B vitamins.*
          • A strong gut lining: Probiotics can strengthen the gut lining and may protect the body from the effects of synthetic chemicals and pathogens.*
          • A healthy urinary and reproductive tract: Healthy microbes in the urogenital tract can occupy space and produce chemicals that keep troublesome microbes in check.* 
          • A sharp memory, concentration and a positive mood: Research reveals these friendly organisms help produce neurotransmitters that shape brain growth and functionality.*
          • A healthy heart, glowing skin and more…*

          Many of our customers who opt for Smidge® Probiotic capsules are women who want support for their urinary tract and bladder health, pH balance and candida issues, brain health and mood, and minor skin issues.* 

          Why real food is crucial to the success of Smidge® Probiotic capsules  

          External factors, Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Internal factors

          As always, our probiotics work best in conjunction with a wholesome, real food diet. Think healthy fats, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meat, organic vegetables, and the elimination of GMOs, additives, preservatives, chemicals and processed sugar and flour. 

          When we talk about whole foods, we mean minimally processed food — a product of nature in its natural form. It also means eating all the food’s edible parts: the fat naturally-occurring fat in raw milk, kale stems. And all the skins! Apple, potato, and even chicken and fish skin.  

          Consuming clean, home-cooked food is essential because gut bacteria is always contingent on and aligned with what we put in our bodies. Real food helps beneficial bacteria colonize and thrive, while poor quality, processed foods feed pathogens and make it more difficult to jump-start the new healthy strains in the gut.  

          In addition, the added beneficial bacteria of your diverse Probiotic blend require diversity in nutrients from foods that act like prebiotics (which are food for your probiotics). So, to get the most out of your Probiotic capsules, we recommend getting good soluble fibers (also known as resistant starches) from real, prebiotic-rich foods like: 

          • Gently cooked carrots, 
          • Winter squash and summer squash (especially peeled), 
          • Starchy tubers like potato and yams, 
          • Turnips, 
          • Rutabagas, 
          • Parsnips, 
          • Beets, 
          • Taro, 
          • And yuca. 

            Bananas and plantains (which you can dehydrate to make chips) are also good whole-food starch sources. 

            In addition, raw cheeses  are rich in beneficial bacteria and hoards of other nutrients that increase enzymes, which can help support digestion and  the survival of other beneficial bacteria. 

            These foods will help provide nutrients for healthy bacteria to feed on while supporting the increased diversity of beneficial bacteria and healthy microbes. 

            The idea is to have a diverse diet that includes at one quality starch (mentioned in the list above) per meal with a blend of different fats (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and easy-to-digest proteins. 

            Here’s a sample meal with all of those nutritional components, keeping in mind that everyone has unique dietary needs:  

            • Mashed sweet potato (starch) with grass-fed butter (saturated fat), sea salt 
            • Organic green beans and cherry tomatoes (micronutrients) sautéed in duck fat (more saturated fat), with pine nuts (polyunsaturated fat), lemon and dried herbs, drizzled with olive oil (monounsaturated fat)  
            • Grass-fed chicken thigh with skin, gently slow-roasted in chicken stock and butter (easily digestible protein with more monounsaturated fat in the skin) and crumbled feta cheese 

              The foods on this plate are a balanced intake of the “macronutrients” (fats, carbs and proteins) and micronutrients (the vitamins and minerals required in small amounts that are essential for healthy development and growth). 

              In all, even if you are at an advanced level of gut health, just increasing probiotic strains isn't enough; as the strains won’t survive without a diet rich in whole foods. And the whole foods must include unrefined, complex carbohydrates that act like prebiotics to feed the additional diverse, balanced strains you’re adding to your health regimen.  

              All living organisms require food for survival and energy production. This is true of the bacteria that reside in the colon/intestinal tract. So nourish your body and feed your probiotics to keep your digestive health soaring! 

              • Please note that those with more severe digestive issues might have a harder time with some of the complex carbs and starchy foods mentioned above, and may need to stick to monosaccharides (simple sugars like raw honey, apples, kiwi, pineapple and dried dates and mangoes) and/or cooked vegetables and soups — and take Smidge® Sensitive Probiotic.


               - This blog post was reviewed by Karen Myers, a co-owner of Smidge®. Karen has 20 years in the holistic health field and is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Learn more about Karen here!

               - Microbiome graphic courtesy of Tom Fabian, Ph.D., CNTP; Mastery of the Microbiome (MM) CED course: Module 1, Part 2, Microbial Metabolism & Carbohydrates (2018), https://microbiomemastery.com