Probiotic Support for flu Season

7 March 2020  |  NHP

Probiotic Support for flu Season
By Eva Hill Hamilton MSc, DipNT, mNTOI Clinical Nutritionist

With wild winter storms passing the batton and our health threatened by both local and   now foreign viruses, the best you can do is to look after your immune system.  There are innumerous nutrients and herbs available in your health store that might come in handy, but neither would be any good unless your gut is healthy. It might surprise some that we need to start the immune support from the belly. This long tube, called the digestive tract is our first line of defense against microbial invaders and houses up to 80% of our immune cells.

Your microbiome – the microscopic creatures living in and on your body outnumber your own human cells by over 10 to 1 because we are evolved to live with them in synergy and they are so important for your overall health. Probiotics – the good bacteria, like microscopic soldiers help to fight off pathogenic (bad) microbes, and at the same time, balance components of the immune system, help to absorb immune supporting nutrients and boost your ability to make virus fighting immune cells. Nature gave you great diversity of probiotics, but as always, man made chemicals interfere with the fine ecology you are supposed to have inside.

As Hippocrates said, every disease starts in the gut, therefore it is a good idea to top up the most important Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and beneficial Bacillus species every day – but at least for a couple of months at each changing of seasons and especially when you cannot avoid taking antibiotics. Home made yoghurt, kefir and raw sauerkraut are just some examples where you could top-up your gut flora, although their taste might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Fear not, there is good diversity available in your health store in capsule form! Just look for the greatest variety of strains, as each have their own roles and they work together in synergy for best results.

Bio-Kult Candéa contains 7 live bacteria strains that were selected for their ability to fight invading microbes and these are combined with powerful extracts of garlic and grapefruit seed. These antimicrobial herbs help to attack overgrown bad bacteria, yeasts and viruses - without harming the beneficial probiotics. Garlic especially has been known for centuries to strengthen the immune system with compounds that boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, therefore a promising weapon to have in the prevention of flu. Garlic is also one of the best prebiotic foods – selectively feeding the beneficial bacteria.

If you take any medication that states you cannot drink grapefruit juice with, you cannot take this supplement. A great alternative is Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-strain, which contains 14 highly researched strains, so it is the most diverse probiotic available on the market to best support the gut, the immune system and the gut-brain axis, which may improve your mood in this cold, wintery weather. You should take it alongside antibiotics a couple of hours after your doses to keep the opportunistic bad guys at bay and help you fight infections better.