The Microflora
The human microbiome or microflora is an evolving collection of trillions of microorganisms that reside on and within our body. Humans are colonized by an estimated 100 billion bacteria which have developed a synergistic relationship with our bodies over millions of years. When it comes to our health and wellbeing, the microbiome has quite an extensive set of responsibilities, protecting us from pathogens, helping with digestion and absorption of foods, producing vitamins and balancing our immune systems.

As a result of our modern ways of living, our microbiomes are no longer flourishing and this is negatively impacting our health. Through the introduction of chemicals such as pesticides, GMOs, medications and pollutants, together with our modern diets and stressful lifestyles, we have depleted and modified our microflora. An imbalanced and unhealthy microbiome has been linked to an increase in chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disorders, neurodegenerative illnesses, autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, among several others.

What are probiotics?
Probiotics, also known as “good bacteria”, are live microbes, which confer various health benefits. They can be found in foods or taken in supplemental form for a variety of conditions as well as to support a healthy microbiome. However, as in all things, not all probiotic formulations are of equal value and will offer the same health benefits.

Introducing Dr. Formulated Probiotics
Garden of Life, the leader in whole food, science-based, Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified nutrition introduced the Dr. Formulated line of Probiotics, Enzymes and Fibers in collaboration with renowned neurologist and #1 best-selling author Dr. David Perlmutter MD. The line features clinically validated, researched strains of bacteria, tested for acid, bile and antibiotic resistance to ensure proper delivery and adherence.

One of the distinguishing aspects of the Dr. Formulated line is that it uses organic acacia and organic potato starch for the prebiotic – the food source for the bacteria. These specific prebiotics, considered superfoods, have the ability to culture beneficial bacteria and nourish our digestive tracts. Acacia and potato starch do not cause gas, bloating and diarrhea which are side effects of other commonly found prebiotic forms such as inulin, also known as fructooligosaccharide (FOS).

Choosing the right formula
Although the entire line of probiotics confers digestive and immune benefits, the Once Daily and Once Daily Ultra formulas have been specifically formulated for supporting the digestive tract and immune system. The Once Daily provides 30 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) probiotics with 14 different strains to support optimal digestion and immune health. For those looking for a more potent formula, the Once Daily Ultra provides 90 billion CFUs with 15 different strains. It features 60 billion bifidobacteria, for colonic health, immune balancing and anti-inflammatory effects. It also contains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, which has been shown to decrease the incidence of diarrhea, facilitates lactose digestion and decreases small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) (1).

In his latest book, Brain Maker, Dr. Perlmutter presents riveting and novel research revealing a strong connection between our mood and the bacteria living in our digestive tracts. The exact mechanisms through which bacteria modulate our mood have yet to be fully understood, however, studies have shown that our microflora affects certain neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate and influence our state of mind. The Dr. Formulated Mood+ was specifically formulated with 50 billion CFUs and 16 different strains of bacteria. It contains clinically studied Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum in the same amount shown to significantly decrease cortisol levels and thus supporting a balanced mood, relaxation and emotional wellbeing. (2) The formula has additional organic Ashwagandha extract, an adaptogenic herb shown to further support stress management and organic Alaskan blueberries for antioxidant support.

The benefits of probiotics extend beyond digestion and immune health. For this reason, the Dr. Formulated line offers probiotics specifically formulated to support the urinary tracts and reproductive systems for both women and men. The Urinary Tract+ is a 50 billion CFUs probiotic formula with 16 different strains, including Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, which have been clinically shown to adhere and populate the urinary mucosa. It also features 500 mg of organic PacranÒ cranberry, the clinically studied amount in Gold Standard human trials shown to prevent urinary system infections. For men, the Prostate+ formula features 50 billion probiotics with 15 different strains and added B. animalis subsp. lactis for decreasing inflammation. It also contains 500 mg of organic FlowensÒ whole cranberry, the same clinical amount shown to support normal urine flow in human trials. Both formulas have 1000 IU whole food vitamin D and are of course gluten, dairy and soy free.

The Dr. Formulated Probiotic line also includes shelf-stable Women’s and Men’s probiotics formulated with specific strains to meet the needs of women and men, respectively. Last but not least, the Organic Kids+ is a 3-for-1 immune system and digestive support with 5 billion CFUs, 30 mg vitamin C from organic amla and 400 IU of food-based vitamin D. It features L. gasseri, a probiotic strain shown to improve pulmonary function in children suffering from allergic airway disease such as asthma. This chewable has cranberry extract to prevent dental cavities formation with no sugar and no synthetic or artificial ingredients.

Garden of Life does not believe in one-size fits all type of supplements. The Dr. Formulated Probiotic line focuses on each individual’s needs and requirements by offering a wide selection of age, gender and condition specific probiotic formulas. Individuals with food allergies and sensitivities need not worry, as the Dr. Formulated line of probiotics is unique in offering hypoallergenic, vegetarian-friendly, gluten, dairy and soy free formulas. With the introduction of innovative and patented packaging, Dr. Formulated Probiotics are also available in shelf-stable alternatives for traveling or additional convenience.

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References:
J Dairy Sci. 2001 Feb;84(2):319-31.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):755-64.
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jul 1;32(5):1093-105.
Current Bioact Compounds. 2011 Mar;7(1):39-46(8).
World J Urol. 2016 Mar; 34(3):419-24.
Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010 Nov; 45(11):1111-20.