Digestive Health and Your Microbiome

Gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, loose stools, and constipation can be an uncomfortable topic of discussion for many. Yet these issues are more prevalent than you might think.

Recent data from the National GI Survey found 61% of adults in the United States report having one or more gastrointestinal symptoms over the week (1). The most frequently reported symptoms included heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Clearly, these are common issues.

Another commonality among us is the presence of microbes throughout our bodies. This invisible community literally resides in us, forming a complex array of microorganisms varying in density along the gastrointestinal tract.

The role of the gut microbiota

Composed of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other single-celled organisms, the gut microbiota collectively outnumbers the cells in our bodies and has more genes than our entire genome (2). In turn, numerous internal and external factors can affect the gut microbiota, which results in a complex gut ecosystem that is as individual as our fingerprints (3). The gut microbiota is central to our gut health, playing a significant role in nutrient uptake, vitamin synthesis, energy harvest, intestinal barrier function, and immune response (2). One of the hallmarks of a health-associated flora is increased diversity, meaning increased variety of gut microbes (4).

Unsurprisingly, over the last several decades, the role of the gut microbiota in determining health status has been gaining research and public interest (4). Altered gut microbiota composition and function are linked to a growing number of conditions from metabolic disorders to potential brain issues (5, 6). Important factors such as age, birth delivery route, antibiotic use, and diet can shape the gut microbiota (7-10). Obviously, some factors influencing this environment and our gut health are out of our control. However, a well-balanced diet, frequent exercise, and adequate sleep can go a long way.

Probiotics and their effect on gut health Another area of increased research focus is supplementation with probiotics, defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (11). Regular support via daily probiotic supplementation may keep the digestive tract in balance and promote microbiome diversity for better overall health (12). Moreover, probiotics have shown utility in addressing a number of gastrointestinal symptoms reported in the National GI Survey (13-15). Accordingly, Isagenix created IsaBiome™ Probiotics, an evidence-based, expertly formulated dietary supplement composed of a novel blend of live probiotics that work collectively to help restore a healthy, diverse gut microbiome. In addition, IsaBiome Probiotics provides a three-stage viability guarantee:

  1. Microencapsulation to protect the probiotics.

  2. Digestion-resistant capsules to ensure the live microbes effectively reach the gut.

  3. An advanced bottling technology to minimize moisture and humidity that could otherwise kill the healthy bacteria.

General recommendations are to take one capsule of IsaBiome Probiotics each morning for a guaranteed 25 billion colony-forming units (CFU). The guaranteed-potency IsaBiome Probiotics supplies a diverse amount of probiotic strains daily and may encourage a more diverse and resilient gut microbiota.

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