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Author, "Fix Your Gut: The Definitive Guide to Digestive Disorders"
Kitsa Yanniotis, "Kitsa's Kitchen"
Certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Practitioner and Body Ecologist
Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, Functional Nutrition Alliance
Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner
Nutrition Practitioner specializing in women's health and neurobiology, Renewing all Things
B. infantis is a folate-producing beneficial bacteria, primarily found in the gastrointestinal tracts of healthy infants (and human mouths). It seems to play a critical role in establishing a healthy intestinal lining and a robust and well-regulated immune system.* Research has also linked B. infantis to helping mitigate inflammation in the digestive system and throughout the body, stating that it may reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines.* Research suggests B. infantis regulates the production of tryptophan, which is the precursor for serotonin (the neurotransmitter associated with a sense of satisfaction and happiness).* A note on folate: it's one of the B vitamins responsible for tissue growth and cell function.
L. plantarum is a plant-based, beneficial probiotic strain naturally found in fermented foods like sauerkraut. Several clinical trials have shown that L. plantarum helps support comfortable digestion, helping to minimize gas and bloating.* One of the most common probiotics, L. plantarum seems to support immune system health.* Not only does L. plantarum stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines like IL-10, it also seems to stimulate the production of regulatory T-cells.* And, preliminary studies indicate that L. plantarum may help strengthen memory, concentration and mood.*
Bifidobacteria are a group of bacteria that typically live in the human intestines and stomach, that help to perform essential functions like digestion and the maintenance of beneficial bacteria. One study suggests that B. bifidum may support immunity by staving off colds and touches of the flu in the winter months. Another clinical study indicates B. bifidum may help with abdominal discomfort caused by gas and bloating.* And yet another study states that B. bifidum can help with occasional diarrhea.* Clinical research suggests that B. bifidum can help maintain comfortable joint movement by helping manage inflammation.* There's also a correlation to improved mental health (boosting mood and easing anxiety), as bifidobacterium is classified as a "psychobiotic", which affects central nervous system-related functions and behaviors mediated by the gut-brain-axis.
One of the first bacteria to colonize our bodies at birth, B. longum has been associated with helping to digest milk and other challenging foods, as it produces lactic acid from the fermentation of sugar in the gut.* Research suggests that B. longum may support immunity and growth in children.* It's also linked to helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range.* And it's been studied to help alleviate stress.
L. gasseri is naturally found in the human digestive and urinary tracts. It's been shown in clinical trials to help people lose weight.* Preliminary research indicates that L. gasseri may inhibit inflammation signaling at the genetic level.* L. gasseri may also support healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range.*
L. salivarius is one of the most prevalent probiotic species in human saliva. It produces organic acids, such as lactic acid and acetic acid from carbohydrates. L. salivarius seems to help keep the microbial population in the mouth healthy.* Also, several clinical trials indicate that L. salivarius seems to help support the immune system and, as a result, support healthy skin.* Importantly, researchers state that it may keep the vagina healthy and comfortable by promoting a healthy pH balance.*
B. breve is one of the most helpful probiotic bacteria in the human body due to its unique ability to compete with harmful bacteria by digesting a large variety of molecules. It's also prevalent in the colons of breastfed babies. B. breve is linked to helping with occasional constipation in children.* And when combined with a gluten-free (real food) diet, B. breve promotes microbial balance in the digestive tracts of children.* B. breve seems to play a role in helping to establish a healthy microbiome, based on trials involving preterm babies. And, clinical research suggests it may be useful in recolonizing the guts of children who have undergone chemotherapy.*
A transient probiotic bacteria that inhabit the human intestines and the colon, B. lactis breaks down body waste and aids in the absorption of various vitamins and minerals. One study showed that B. lactis helped preterm babies gain weight after taking antibiotics, and helped develop their immune systems.* Beyond the babies, extensive research has shown that B. lactis is useful when it comes to abdominal comfort and proper digestion, helping to get the colon in shape and making constipation a thing of the past.* Notably, preliminary lab research indicates B. lactis shows exciting potential in neutralizing certain toxins from wheat.*