During my recent stay at Grayshott Spa, I went to a lecture on the gut’s function and was quite frankly astounded by how very huge a role ‘good’ bacteria played. Prior to my visit, I was aware (mostly thanks to my stay at the Mayr clinic) that the gut played a huge role in immunity and that it is, to paraphrase Hippocrates, the cradle of good health, but I didn’t know that good old bacteria is basically the font of bodily wellness.*
I know that plenty of anti-supplement folk will here think ‘but my body does all this itself, right? Surely I don’t need to buy a probiotic if my body has the capability to extract bacteria from food and maintain strains by itself?’ They’d have a point: if a diet is rich with fermented foods and healthy gut practises like eating mindfully and chewing slowly, a body could do all this alone. Only yours probably won’t, because you – like me – in all likelihood don’t always eat organic food and do sometimes guzzle chlorine-rich (and therefore bacteria-killing) tap water, and also sometimes like to indulge in wine and sugary foods. All those things deplete the stores of bacteria and tamper with balance. Enter supplements.
Personally, I don’t think taking probiotics needs to be a daily thing – neither do the nutritionists at Grayshott. They suggested a course whenever the going gets a bit tougher or immunity has been/probably will be compromised. I’m currently popping these OptiBac Probiotics once daily after a meal (that bit is crucial – eating will bring down the pH of stomach acid temporarily which means bacteria can survive and reach its destination) to boost my immunity because it’s been a hectic old month and I’m trying to ward off the colds that tend to grab me around this time of year. Once I’ve finished the pot, I’ll just take my next lot whenever I need to.
I approach b12 similarly. Best injected or taken sublingually (hence my devotion to BetterYou’s Vitamin B12 Oral Spray), B12 helps to maintain proper brain function, while also playing a key role in producing blood cells and safeguarding energy levels.
When I checked into the Mayr earlier in the year feeling frazzled, I was (unsurprisingly) diagnosed with a B12 deficiency and given injections of the stuff while out there. When I left, my doctor cautioned me against becoming laissez-faire about nutrition: ‘B12 is important for you to be able to write well!’ he said, probably realising that fear of not being able to string sentences together would motivate me to schedule in B12 months into my calendar. He was bang on the money: I now make a note in my calendar every three months to buy a bottle of this stuff and get squirting.
* And arguably a huge contributor to mental wellbeing – but that’s a whole other lecture and a whole other post – let me know if you want me to pen something on it.