Talk to Your Patients About Probiotics

Karin Krisher

Talking to your patients about probiotics might be just the kick start they need on their path to everyday health. Going with your gut means more than just following your heart. With the ever-emerging understanding of digestive health as it relates to food consumption, we’ve been able to embrace the idea that the gut can have a huge effect on total health—including a significant one on neurological wellness.

Probiotics are a hot news topic, and we couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon for this discussion. Here, we tell you about the talking points you and your patients should cover.

  1. Explain why probiotics exist in the first place.

The gut is the most biologically active area in the body—more plentiful microorganisms that are more active than other microorganisms reside here. Further, bacteria in the body outnumber cells 10 to one. Zoom outward with your patients—ask them to view the gut as it’s own living system, an organism that needs specified care. Probiotics, either in food cultures or in supplement form, can provide that support.*

     2. Talk about antibiotics.

The New York Times summarized a large scale study and report on probiotic use in comparison to antibiotic use. The researchers and reporters concluded  that probiotics support microbial balance, even that which is otherwise affected by antibiotics. Intuitively, that makes sense: pro plus anti equals balance. But your patients might need some of the facts to back up the potential benefits.

      3. Talk about natural sources.

Now, new information tells us what isn’t not be so obvious: even red wine may act as a probiotic delivery system. Fermented foods (like yogurt) have long been touted for their probiotic content, but wine’s relatively novel, and while the Times is quick to caution us that no doctor would recommend alcohol solely for its potential digestion supportive properties, we’ll leave that up to you. At least you can let your patients know that this is an option. Which brings us to our next talking point.

      4. Talk about the options.

While we’re yogurt fans, many people are not—and that’s OK. For those who are interested in supplementing their diets with probiotics, there are a million options. Our favorites, of course, come from the DaVinci line. Mega Probiotic ND, Mega Probiotic ND with Digestive Enzymes Chewable and NonDairy Probiotic 50+ all offer something slightly different from one another.

Choosing one is tough, we admit, but your patients should have all of the information about each before they pick. Our chewable probiotic includes digestive enzymes for support of nutrient absorption and utilization.* It also tastes delicious, which is always beneficial to compliance. Our Mega Probiotic ND is a nondairy formula with 5 billion CFU per capsule, alongside fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic. Finally, DaVinci’s new probiotic, NonDairy 50+, features over 50 billion CFU of beneficial bacteria per serving, FOS, and multiple bacteria strains, making it the most concentrated and diverse option.

       5. Talk about the connection.

Which connection? The connection. Let your patients know that whatever is going on in their minds is so affected by microbial balance that the thread is often referred to as “the gut/brain connection.” So instead of asking them to plunge headfirst into the mysteries of their current mental states, ask them to think about what they ate last night.

As Scrooge so famously professed to the ghost of his dead business partner, “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

And he was probably right.