Tag Archive: probiotics

Mar 17 2017

LCKL 064 – Ask Naturopath Jen Series – Digestion – The Power of Probiotics

The next episode of the Digestion Series is that of the Power of Probiotics. Without Sufficient Good Bacteria in your gut, Dysbiosis may result. In this episode I will go through the most common probiotics you can use and how to choose the right one.


  • What are Probiotics?
  • What are Prebiotics?
  • All about Lactobacillus Bacteria;
  • All about Bifidobacterium Bacteria;
  • All about Bacillis Bacteria;
  • All about Streptococcus Bacteria;
  • Summary of Bugs;
  • Where to Get Bacteria.
What are Probiotics?What about Prebiotics? Are They NecessaryChoosing The Best Probiotic For YouLactobacillusBifidobacteriumBacillusStreptococcusSummary of BugsWhere to get Probiotics
  • Probiotics came about in the early 20th century by somebody known as Elie Metchnikoff who was labelled the father of probiotics.
  • Probiotics are live microorganisms that may be able to help prevent and/or treat a variety of different illnesses, such as digestive issues, immune issues, vaginal issues and even oral issues. They are commonly known as good bugs or good bacteria.
  • If you frequently take antibiotics then you need to also take some probiotics to offset the damaging effects of the antibiotics.
  • Maintaining the correct balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut is critical to overall health. An imbalance in this microbiome is known as dysbiosis and can lead to many conditions such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and crohns disease, to name a few.
  • Probiotics work predominantly by benefiting the digestive system and the immune system.
  • Yes, in order for probiotics to thrive you require its food source – prebiotics to be present as well.
  • A prebiotic is a non digestible carbohydrate which acts as a food for the probiotics and bacteria in your gut.
  • Prebiotics are known to stimulate the growth or activities of one or a number of microbial species in the gut that confers health to you.
  • They have been suggested to help with enteritis, constipation, ibs, cancer prevention, allergies and fatty liver disease.
  • They have also been shown to increase calcium absorption as well as bone calcium accretion and bone mineral density, especially in postmenopausal women.
  • The main prebiotic is oligosaccharides. These work because they are resistant the digestive enzymes that work on the other carbohydrates. They will pass through the upper GI without being digested, and then will get fermented in the lower colon where it can produce short chain fatty acids that nourish the beneficial bacteria there.
  • Some good sources of prebiotics include, but are not limited to:
    • Asparagus;
    • Artichoke;
    • Bamboo Shoots;
    • Leeks;
    • Garlic;
    • Onion;
    • Beets; and
    • Tomatoes.

Not all probiotics are right for you so it is important that you choose the right strain. Dr David Williams is a great resource for this and this website address is linked in the shownotes which is where I found a great deal of this specific information.

This is the most common and most predominant bacteria found within your gut, and is possibly the most important. There are about 50 different Lactobacillus species here but I will only list a few. The others will be covered in the course. This particular species is responsible for producing lactase and they ferment carbohydrates in the gut, therefore producing lactic acid. This lactic acid helps to create an acidic environment in the digestive tract, which will discourage the bad bacteria from entering the gut. It also increases absorption of minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium and iron.


  • The most important strain.
  • Colonizes mostly in the small intestine. Here it helps to maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, ensure proper nutrient absorption and support healthy digestive function. It may also help to ease digestive discomfort.
  • Many studies have been done on this particular strain and some meta analyses have actually shown that it helps to alleviate occasional diarrhea and offset some of the negative side effects of antibiotics, especially when taken with B bifidum.
  • Separate research has shown a possible link between this strain and boosting immune system and improving vaginal health in women.

L Fermentum

  • This is a probiotic strain that is found in probiotic foods like sourdough, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. It has been found to produce SOD (superoxide dismutase) and glutathione which are both powerful antioxidants that help to neutralise some of the toxic by products of digestion.

L Plantarum

  • Produces hydrogen peroxide which is used as a defence against bacteria from damaged foods.
  • It has also been shown to be beneficial in boosting immune function in adults.

L Rhamnosus

  • This is the most effective bacteria for improving vaginal and urinary health and decreasing vaginal irritation.
  • It is also found to be useful against travellers diarrhea.

L Salivarius

  • This probiotic is found in the oral cavities, intestines and the vagina but grows best in the small intestine.
  • It has also been shown to improve immune activity.
  • Unlike many other probiotics it is able to thrive in less than ideal conditions including those that are high in salt or those with or without oxygen.

L Paracasei

  • This strain has been found to be especially beneficial for liver health, especially when taken with milk protein.

L Gasseri

  • Predominantly linked to bacteria in the vagina.

L Reuteri

  • Colonizes in the intestines and oral cavity.

This species of bacteria lines the walls of the large intestine and helps ward off invasive harmful bacteria and yeasts. There are about 30 different types of Bifidobacterium species but I will only include a couple here. The rest will be included in the course. This species also produces lactic acid. Bifidobacterium also produces B Complex Vitamins and Vitamin K. The issue is that as we age, the number of bacteria that line the large intestines naturally begins to decline.

Studies have shown that bifidobacteria can help with improving blood lipids and glucose tolerance, as well as effectively alleviate many digestive issues.

 B  Bifidum

  • This is the first strain to colonize in babies.
  • Helps to promote bacterial balance as well as prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria, molds and yeast.
  • Produces enzymes which helps with digestion.
  • Can also help alleviate occasional diarrhea.

B Longum

  • One of the most common strains.
  • Breaks down carbohydrates.
  • Neutralizes everyday toxins.
  • Great for detoxification as it involves the chelation of metal ions, especially copper and the scavenging of free radicals.
  • Supports immune health.

B Infantis

  • Largest population in babies.
  • This probiotic declines as we age but it still remains important throughout life.

This bacteria produces lactic acid and is highly resistant to heat, moisture and light and therefore is highly resistant to stomach acid. It resides in the body longer than other bacteria and is excreted slower than other bacterias.

B Coagulans

  • Produces enzymes that assist in the digestion of lactose.
  • Improves the body’s ability to use calcium, phosphorus and iron.
  • It stimulates gastric juices and gastric motility.
  • Supports vaginal health.

S Salivarius K12

  • Found in the oral cavity.
  • Produces bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance (BLIS) which inhibits the other dangerous bacteria growing.
  • Those carrying the most of this species have less sore throats and better ear health.
  • Improves immune health.
  • Reduces Dental Plaque.

S Salivarius M18

  • Found in oral mucosa.
  • Produces BLIS.
  • Active in specific areas of the gums and teeth.
  • Promotes healthy inflammatory response in the gums.

There are other species which I do not have the space to go through here but which will be included in the upcoming course.

  • Oral Health – L Salivarius, L Reuteri, S Salivarius K12, S Salivarius M18.
  • Immune Health – L Acidophilus, L Plantarum, L Salivarius, L Reuteri, B Longum, S Salivarius K12.
  • Digestive Health – L Acidophilus, L Fermentum, L Plantarum, L Reuteri, B Bifidum, B Longum, B Infantis, B Coagulans.
  • Urinary/Vaginal Health – L Acidophilus, L Rhamnosus, L Gasseri, B Coagulans.
  • You can either get these bacteria in supplementation form; OR
  • In various fermented products such as kefir (lactobacillus species, bifidobacteria species – lower haemoglobin A1C levels), kimchi (species and benefits in the course), yogurt (species and benefits in the course) or others.
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.


Dec 02 2016

LCKL 024 – 20 Ways You Can Reverse Insulin Resistance and Improve the functioning of your Insulin

Are you currently dealing with insulin resistance or diabetes? Are you confused as to why insulin is actually needed but with too much of it we can suffer. If so, then listen to this episode. Not only will you learn about insulin, but you will also discover 20 ways that you can reverse insulin resistance.

  • What Insulin Is;
  • What Insulin Resistance Is;
  • The Dangers of Insulin Resistance;
  • Next Stage of Insulin Dysregulation – Type II Diabetes;
  • Symptoms and Risk Factors of Type II Diabetes;
  • What the functions of insulin are (some of them will surprise you);
  • 9 Nutritional Strategies to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Reverse Insulin Resistance;
  • 3 Lifestyle Strategies to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Reverse Insulin Resistance; and
  • 9 Supplements you can use to Lower Blood Sugar and Reverse Insulin Resistance;
Introduction to InsulinWhat is Insulin Resistance?Dangers of Insulin ResistanceNext Stage of Insulin Dysregulation - Type II DiabetesSymptoms of Type II DiabetesRisk Factors of Type II DiabetesFunctions of InsulinNutritional Strategies to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Reverse Insulin ResistanceLifestyle Strategies to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Reverse Insulin ResistanceSupplements to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Reverse Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin is a hormonen secreted by the pancreas which lowers blood sugars when the sugar gets too high in the blood (from eating too many carbohydrates).
  • When sugars are circulating in the bloodstream and the blood sugar gets too high, the beta cells in the pancreas will secrete insulin, signalling the cells in the body to open their doors and let the sugar in for energy (therefore removing it from the bloodstream).
  • In most cases, this will bring the blood sugars back to normal, unless insulin resistance results.

Insulin resistance is a condition that results when blood sugars are not controlled and insulin is having to knock at the cell walls too frequently. If the cells hear this knock too regularly it will stop listening, just as a child stops listening to us if we continue to harp on over something for an extended period of time.

  • If Insulin Resistance is not controlled and reversed then it will increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • However, aside from those two deadly conditions, there are a number of other conditions that have been associated with it.
  • Fatty Liver – This is strongly associated with insulin resistance and it may be mild or severe. If not dealt with, fatty liver can lead to cirrhosis of the liver or even cancer.
  • Acanthosis Nigricans – This is a cosmetic condition that is strongly associated with insulin resistance. It causes dark patches of skin all over the body with a thick, velvety texture.
  • Skin Tags – This is very common and occurs much more frequently in people with insulin resistance.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – This is a common hormonal condition that affects menstruating women and is associated with irregular periods, lack of periods, obesity and facial hair. This causes the ovaries to produce an abnormal amount of testosterone in the female and it appears that insulin resistance causes abnormal ovarian hormone production.
  • If Insulin Resistance is not brought into control, Type II Diabetes can result.
  • This is the most common of the two forms of diabetes and affects between 85% and 90% of all people with diabetes.
  • Now, unlike Insulin Resistance, although Type II Diabetics are still producing insulin, they are not producing it in sufficient quantities for the body’s increased needs.
  • Because insulin is not doing its job properly the glucose channels don’t open and therefore glucose will build up in the blood instead of being used for energy.
  • Excessive Thirst;
  • More Frequent Urination;
  • Excessive Tiredness and Lethargy;
  • Slow Healing Wounds;
  • Itching and Skin Infections;
  • Blurred Vision; and
  • Excessive Mood Swings.
  • People with pre-diabetes;
  • Aboriginals over the age of 35;
  • Torres Strait Islanders over the age of 35;
  • Pacific Islanders, Maori, Asian, Middle Eastern, North African and Southern European, especially if over 35 years of age;
  • Obesity – especially if over 45;
  • Being Overweight – especially if over 45;
  • Family history of Type II Diabetes;
  • Hypertension;
  • Cardiovascular Disease;
  • Women with PCOS;
  • Women with Gestational Diabetes;
  • People over the age of 55;
  • People taking antipsychotic medications/corticosteroids;
  • Sedentary lifestyle;
  • Unhealthy eating – especially a high refined carbohydrate diet;
  • Cigarette smoking.

Within my Hormone Book I will also go into Type I Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes.

  • Regulation of Glucose;
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Fat Storage – Insulin is responsible for inhibiting breakdown of fatty acids in the adipose tissue and therefore preventing the triglycerides from synthesizing into fatty acids. If you are wanting to lose body fat, then it is crucial the hormone is under control.
  • Anabolic Potential:
    • Decreases muscle breakdown, therefore enhancing muscle growth;
    • Allows greater blood flow to the muscles. This increase in blood flow can get the nutrients like glucose and amino acids into the muscles;
  • It Instigates biochemical reactions in the muscles which increase protein synthesis.
  • Uptake of Potassium Into Cells;
  • Improves Memory – Within minutes of consuming a meal, insulin will be sent to the brain to help the neurons absorb and use glucose. However, if you are keto don’t fear. The brain does not require very much glucose to be able to function. It is perfectly capable of using ketones for brain fuel too.
  • Follow a Low Carb, Ketogenic Diet.
  • Cinnamon
    • Effective in reducing blood sugar and reducing the risk of T2D.
    • Studies have shown that whole cinnamon and cinnamon extracts lower fasting blood glucose.
    • It reduces fasting blood glucose.
    • It reduces total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
    • It raises HDL cholesterol.
  • Fenugreek
    • Lowers blood sugar levels in people with T1 and T2 diabetes, as well as in those with insulin resistance.
    • It slows down digestion of carbohydrates.
  • Garlic
    • Been used for years to lower cholesterol levels.
    • Shows promise for lowering blood glucose levels.
    • Garlic extracts increased the amount of insulin available in people with diabetes.
  • Blueberries
    • Studies have shown that after a couple of blueberry smoothies per day for six weeks, insulin sensitivity improved.
    • Anthrocyanins inhibit certain digestive enzymes, which slows down digestion and prevents spikes in blood sugar after higher carb meals.
  • Cherries
    • Also contain Anthrocyanins. Studies have shown women who ate higher levels of Anthrocyanins had less insulin resistance and lower levels of inflammation.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • If taken before eating, it has been shown to help increase sensitivity to insulin and reduce a spike in blood sugar after eating carb rich foods, both in those with insulin resistance and those with T2 Diabetes.
  • Turmeric
    • Studies have found that curcumin (found in turmeric) is 500 – 100000 times more effective than metformin at activating glucose uptake.
    • Another study also found that curcumin is incredibly protective against Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Ginger
    • Studies have shown ginger increases insulin sensitivity and reduces fasting blood sugar by 10.5%.
    • Another study also found that 1600mg of ginger per day improves eight markers of diabetes including insulin resistance.
  • Lose Weight
  • Exercise – there are a couple of ways that exercise helps with insulin resistance:
    • Increases insulin sensitivity so your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after an activity.
    • When your muscles contract during activity, it stimulates a mechanism which allows your cells to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
    • Physical activity can lower your blood glucose up to 24 hours or more after you work out by making your body more sensitive to insulin.
    • If you have diabetes, you need to beware of hypoglycemia. If this occurs during or after exercise, have 15-20g of fast acting carbohydrates to bring your levels back up again. If it still doesn’t work after 20 minutes or so then increase the dose.
    • Resistance exercise is incredibly important. The more muscle you have, the more sensitive it will be to insulin.
  • Sleep more.
    • Just 4 nights of bad sleep is enough to reduce insulin sensitivity by 30%.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • This helps to convert glucose into energy in your cells and can increase insulin sensitivity after 4 weeks of supplementation.
  • Chromium
    • This is needed for proper metabolism, but studies show that the trace mineral is also a master blood sugar regulator when it is taken consistently.
  • Ginseng
    • This is a root that is often used in herbal medicine and has been shown to balance after eating blood sugar levels when taken before or with a meal.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre
    • The leaves of this plant normalises blood sugar by increasing insulin levels, reducing glucose absorption and improves sugar uptake.
  • Magnesium
    • Supplementation with magnesium can increase insulin sensitivity and support healthy glucose levels.
    • Magnesium Deficiency causes insulin resistance.
    • To learn more about magnesium, please check out my book Magnificent Magnesium.
  • Probiotics
    • By interacting and communicating with our cells, the beneficial bacteria is responsible for countless functions and for helping to keep our blood sugar stable.
  • Vitamin D
    • Studies have shown that those with blood sugar issues have low Vitamin D levels.
    • Vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity, which means you’ll need less insulin to properly balance blood sugar levels.
  • Olive Leaf Extract
    • University of Auckland researchers have found that OLE decreases insulin resistance.
    • In one study, 46 men were divided into two groups. One group received olive leaf extract while the other group received a placebo. After 12 weeks, olive leaf extract lowered insulin resistance by 15%. It also increases the productivity of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas by 28%.
    • Olive Leaf Extract gave results comparable to common diabetic therapeutics such as metformin.
  • Astaxanthin
    • I have written a book on Healing with Astaxanthin because I find it to be an incredible supplement. You are able to get this from my site in PDF format or as Kindle/Print via amazon.
    • Astaxanthin has been found to be great for reducing insulin resistance and helping with Type II Diabetes. To learn more about this, please check out episode #25 where I will be discussing Astaxanthin in much greater detail.
DisclaimerTranscript PDFResources

Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.