3 Ways Your Gut Health Affects Overall Health
- March 4, 2019
- Last Updated: January 23, 2020
- 18 Comments
This post has been sponsored by Renew Life. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Over the last few years, I’ve developed a strong interest in gut health, prebiotics and probiotics. Our gut health is linked to so many parts of our overall health and wellness, which I’ll discuss throughout this post. This topic is just so fascinating!
Probiotics are often one of the topics I discuss with each client I see, just because they have so much use and application in our daily lives. While they are a bit of a trendy health topic, there’s good reason for it!
I started taking a new probiotic over the past month, the Renew Life® Ultimate Flora™ Women’s Care Probiotic 25 Billion.
I love this probiotic because it targets so many areas of women’s health specifically, including digestive, immune and vaginal health.
It’s no wonder they are the #1 women’s probiotic (based on sales units). If you’re interested in trying Renew Life Women’s Care Probiotics, you can instantly save $6 on them at Sam’s Club here:
Another great thing about Renew Life Women’s Care is that you can buy them in a 90-count bottle.
No more needing to pick up or order a new bottle every month which, let’s be honest, I can forget to do with a little one. The 90-count bottle is exclusively sold at Sam’s Club, which makes it quite convenient for my bulk shopping.
I picked some up, along with some other favorite staples, and didn’t have to make a separate trip to the pharmacy.
While the space of probiotics is actually quite large, research has shown that different strains can do different things (more on that below). I like how Renew Life Women’s Care is specifically targeting aspects of women’s health, so there is a more personalized nature to them.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics have been a health trend in recent years, and I only think they are going to continue to expand in popularity and attention. Firstly, let’s talk about what probiotics even are.
Probiotics refer to the live bacteria we house in our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), collectively known as our microbiome.
We also refer to the balance of good and bad bacteria as our “gut health.” We have over 100 trillion bacteria in and around our bodies, possibly even up to 1-2 pounds of bacteria in our gut alone!
When we talk about probiotics, we often talk in terms of cultures and strains.
Cultures refers to the actual amount of live bacteria in a serving or capsule.
Strains refers to the actual species of probiotics. Renew Life Women’s Care has 25 billion live cultures in each supplement and 10 specially selected probiotic strains.
Different strains target different things in the body, so they can affect health and conditions differently. These supplements are specially targeted towards women’s health.
How Is Gut Health Linked to Overall Health?
Let me nerd out for a minute here because this is some fascinating area of research.
Dysbiosis, or an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, has been linked to chronic health conditions, so it’s important to have awareness about probiotics and how they can impact your health.
1. Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
Probiotics are helpful little guys that can actually help us extract nutrients from food and can synthesize Vitamin K and some B-Vitamins.
They actually do much more than just help us absorb nutrients, though. Interestingly enough, probiotics may even determine how much energy we store and expend and may even help absorb protein (1).
About 70-80% of our immune system lies within our digestive tract.
And since the gastrointestinal tract functions as a barrier against antigens from food and microorganisms, a healthy GI tract can greatly improve our health and immunity.
Many probiotic effects are mediated through balancing pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules (2).
Getting probiotics through food can also be beneficial for health and immunity.
I typically have yogurt or kefir every day and add other forms of prebiotic fibers, like fruit and oats, to it for more gut health benefits.
3. Mental Health
Have you ever heard of the gut-brain axis? Essentially, it’s like a highway that travels between the brain and the GI tract.
You’ve probably experienced it in real life before. Maybe you’ve gotten butterflies when thinking about something you’re nervous or excited about?
That’s your gut responding to a thought or feeling that you had in your head.
Similarly, if we don’t have sufficient beneficial bacteria in our GI tract, we can experience other symptoms, like anxiety and depression.
Probiotics have a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression (3, 4).
These are just a few (of many) ways that show how our gut bacteria can impact our mood and overall health.
While I’m a fan of including many probiotic foods in my diet, I also like to take Renew Life Women’s Care as “insurance,” since probiotics naturally present in foods are much lower potency and would not replace the amount you get from a supplement.
I rely on it more when I’m sick, we’re traveling, or I’m not sleeping enough (thanks, teething and sleep regressions).
Believe me, moms, you want to have some insurance when life throws you curveballs.
Since I’m still nursing, I’m adamant about getting enough probiotics in my diet because I want to populate Camryn’s gut with healthy bacteria.
When I remember, I try to take them with breakfast. More often than not, I toss them in my purse with my other daily essentials (fruit and snacks, headphones for podcasts and running, chapstick, and sunglasses).
That way, I can remember to take it when I’m digging through for a snack.
It is important to be selective about supplement products (since they aren’t regulated by the FDA). Renew Life Women’s Care is one that I trust and recommend.
The purity, quality and potency of the probiotic capsules are guaranteed through expiration. I especially like the delayed-release capsule, which helps with targeted delivery.
If you’re a Sam’s Club member, you can find these in the front of the store in the aisles with the vitamins and nutritional supplements.
They make it so easy to pick them up when you get some of your other necessities in bulk!
Do you take a daily probiotic? How has it impacted you?
How do you remember to take it?
Is it safe to take them during pregnancy
Hi Jelissa, I took them during my pregnancy but it may be good to check with your PCP or OB-GYN to get answers for your specific situation
Gut health is so important! If you’re not getting enough probiotic-rich food naturally, a quality supplement is a great option!
My physical therapist suggested I try a probiotic to decrease abdominal bloating as I work on closing my diastasis. I have tried different capsules (which are super convenient) but I’ve had the best luck with Mary Ruth’s. This was an interesting and informative post. I love your nutrition posts the most!
Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!
I love my probiotics as well! Lots of great information in this article, Great job!
Great post Sarah! You reminded me I need to start taking mine again!
Easy to forget! I keep mine near my toothbrush 🙂
I’m all about a good healthy gut so I’m all about probiotics. Great article!
I admit I have not really thought much about probiotics and have not tried them. I do eat lots of Greek yogurt though. Thanks for sharing this info
Let me know if you have any questions, Deborah!
These are great tips on choosing the right probiotics! Thanks for sharing
Glad you found them helpful, Abbey!
My husband swears by his daily probiotic!
I do too!
I had no idea that majority of our immune system lies in the digestive tract. Crazy!
Yes, it’s so fascinating! The gut-brain highway connection is so interesting.