Probiotically Prepared: A Challenge to Guard our Guts

Illness = Exhaustion and Expense

Doodlebug as sa baby zonked out in an office chair

Doodlebug as sa baby zonked out in an office chair

Several months ago I was at the Beeyoutiful Store-front when a customer came in seeking supplements and advice. Her entire family had Hand Foot and Mouth disease. A highly contagious virus like that in a large family is a nightmare. We discussed supplements and protocols to help the sick ones recover faster and how to keep the ones who had already gotten it from getting it again and how to keep the well ones well.

One of the elements that came into play very quickly was how difficult it can be to supplementally treat a large family with an illness like that. The very best supplements often come with a high price tag. In her case, Berrywell (famed for it’s anti viral super powers) was reserved for the Dad since his income supported the entire family and they literally couldn’t risk him succumbing. The rest of the supplements were divided out amongst the remaining children by priorities of weakest immune systems and specific vulnerabilities. One of her children was very prone to digestive problems so the best probiotics went to him and so on and so forth.

In addition to all the supplement challenges she was doing multiple loads of laundry per day, enforcing a no touch, no contact rule in a large affectionate family of children and making sure NOTHING was used after another by way of towels and other regular household items. All the while attempting to cook nourishing, time consuming meals to help the sick ones heal faster. Every few hours she was also dosing everybody with supplements, and doing various homemade remedies with the sick ones. I felt exhausted on her behalf just thinking about it all.

It made me realize yet again that prevention is by far the easier path than dealing with an illness in all it’s full blown glory. Most of us are not inclined to spend money on things we don’t need. It’s easy to warrant running out on an emergency basis and buying whatever supplements or medications we can possibly afford when we have a sick child on the line. Sometimes we have to buy items we can’t afford but we find a way to make it happen anyway even if it means debt in order to best care for our families when a sickness is sucking the life out of a child, or risking severe complications.

The old saying “An Ounce of prevention is worth a Pound of cure” holds very true in the realm of health management. In fiscal terms prevention it also makes sense. It costs less money, less time, less heart-ache, less worry less, misery and stress. The idea of health prevention is something almost universally accepted.  The concept of *how* exactly to implement health preparedness can be rather elusive on specifics though. What is especially challenging is finding things to do that will yield long term benefits vs. only the immediate protection.

Guts on Guard

In the years of reading and learning I have done in the realm of supplements and holistic health it has become increasingly clear to me just how crucial digestive health is. It’s no new-news to anybody that we live in a nation of compromised guts. With anti-acid over the counter medications now a part of many Americans daily meal routines and even more over the counter medications to counter constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea etc. it’s taken for granted that our guts need help.

When “guts” are referred to in so flippantly exactly are we talking about? In an average adult the gut is about 30 feet, including the small and large intestines. I’ve read that the normal bacterial population in the human gut is equal to the total number of cells in our entire body. This complex hoard of bacteria is made up of more than twenty trillion cells, weighing approximately 2.2 pounds. Isn’t that incredible?

We all know probiotics are good. They’ve become so well known we hardly ever get the question anymore of “Pro-bi-what??” We know we need good bacteria. We buy those yogurts that say “live cultures” on the label. Some of us culture all kinds of foods at home in an attempt to help our guts out by diet. A lot of us have learned to take digestive enzymes to help the digestive load not be so difficult for our bodies. Supplementing with digestive enzymes and probiotics get a lot of individuals amazing relief from all sorts of digestive system ailments.

What isn’t so commonly recognized is that our guts are a huge part of our immune system. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our digestive system and all those yards and yards of intestines are there purely to help us breakdown the foods we eat and then eliminate the waste. The truth is the whole system does so very much much more than that. Good bacteria aka probiotics are a crucial part of our guts immune boosting element.

Now, please don’t miss this next part. This is absolutely crucial to understand if we are to effectively prevent illnesses before they start.

70 to 80% of our Immune System is regulated and found in the Gut

This is the vast majority of our immune system. Right there in those squishy intestines. Regulated by our American life-style traumatized guts. Is it any wonder many of us are perpetually vulnerable to contagious illnesses? We absolutely must give our guts the immune system credit it deserves and even more than credit, actual help to do it’s immune regulating job well. We tend to be far more familiar with the concept of boosting the blood based immune system part of our bodies via well documented supplements like Elderberry, Vit. C. Vit. D. and more. But in all reality that is the smaller part of our immune system!

This is something that I deeply regret not understanding better a long time ago. When Doodlebug was a baby she had a pretty weak immune system. Little wonder since her immune system was being regulated by MY Immune system! As a person who has been on countless rounds of antibiotics in my lifetime while eating a pretty typical SAD diet it is little wonder our sweet girl got a poor health start on life.

She was sick so many times her first year. And had frequent ear infections. Thankfully we were able to quickly deal with every ear infection with garlic oil and garlic poultices so what good bacteria she had wasn’t wiped out by the necessity of antibiotics. We began supplementing her with Tummy Tune Up at 3 months old. Whenever she got a bottle we would put some Colostrum or Tummy Tune Up in it. And now, at 5 years old now her immune system is finally what I would call stable and even good. It’s taken years of good bacteria boosting and other supplementation but we can see such a big difference.

In the subsequent years between her birth and the birth of our son this past year I also had been supplementing with a lot of probiotics. Have also been eating muuuch healthier and incorporating traditional foods which include fermented foods rich in natural bacterias into our diets. Our little man is all of 8.5 months old now and has not been sick yet. He’s been healthy as a horse all the way around. A pretty stark contrast to the many health issues we had already been dealing with at this point with his sister. We are very grateful for his health and attribute it in no small part to my improved health and gut bacteria.

Prevention Challenge!

In my quest to do the most effective and practical prevention for my families health I am going to put us all on a 2 month long course of intense probiotic supplementation.  Doodlebug is getting 1 whole capsule of the Gut Guardian 25 billion. Steve and I will be taking Gut Guardian Supreme 50 billion. I believe this is the best form of prevention we can possibly take to prepare our bodies immunity for the coming months of winter illnesses. Because these bacteria will colonize and establish a healthy flora it is supplementation that will make a difference for months and months.

Gut Guardians Probiotic Blend

Gut Guardians Probiotic Blend

The Gut Guardian probiotics are one of the most potent blends available anywhere on the market today and at very reasonable cost compared to others of similar quality and potency. Beeyoutiful keeps the Gut Guardians in a freezer to help preserve the maximum potency when it arrives at their customers door. The amount of bacteria counts on the label are the guaranteed potency at the time of expiration. If they are well treated and stored at cool temps (I keep our bottles in the door of the refrigerator) and used before the expiration date they will be even more potent than indicated on the label. Please note: Because these are so very potent and immediately begin their work in the gut some individuals may experience die-off symptoms. Should this happen to you please don’t be discouraged. Drink extra water, cut back on the amount if you have to but stick with it. It is all the more indication that your body really NEEDS it.

I want my families guts and subsequently our immune systems to be  as prepared as they possibly can be for the onslaught of illnesses this Fall and Winter. We plan on starting on August 1st and going through till the end of Sept. The cost to do this will have to come out of my already tight budget. But when I weigh it against what we could save as a family over the course of long winter months with super-viruses lurking around every corner it is easy to justify. There couldn’t be a better time to do this because Steve has just put the Gut Guardians on sale for the next few months! It’s going to be a little easier for me to squeeze these into our family budgets.

The Gut Guardians come 50 per each bottle. We are planning on taking this challenge for 61 days. Since we probably won’t remember (Ok ok who am I kidding??) Since we WILL be forgetting for at least a few days of the challenge I figure the 50 capsule bottle will be sufficient. 1 for each member of our family during this challenge.

Would you consider joining us? It is my personal belief that this is one of the most effective prevention protocols possible for the health of you and your family. I’d love to do this with some fellow prevention minded friends. Let me know if you are going to join us! 😀

If you can’t afford to have your entire family do this challenge with us will you at least consider having the “gut challenged” in your family do it? You know the ones. Either weaker than average immune systems or those who constantly have digestive problems? They need it more than anybody and this could really help them to have better health for the coming year.

I’m excited. Will be even more excited if some other people do this with me. I do supplements better with encouragement and accountability. Will be starting a thread on the Beeyoutiful forums. EDIT: Got the thread started! 🙂 Click Here to post! If you decide to join us check out the thread and jump right in! 🙂 Would be thrilled to see you there.

19 thoughts on “Probiotically Prepared: A Challenge to Guard our Guts

  1. Great idea! To build up immune systems before the anslaught of viral season.

    Question… Are you purchasing one bottle per each family member for the 61 day challenge?

    We already take some of Beeyoutifuls supplements currently including some of their probiotics.

    • Yes, I plan on one bottle per person. There are 50 capsules per bottle so I figure that will get each person through most of the two months (especially if we miss a few days in there which is likely) If we run out too early and anybody seems to still need it I’ll pick up an extra bottle to get us all through. =) I’m doing the 25 billion for our daughter (who is 5) and 50 billion for Steve and myself.

      • Thanks for answering my question. I definitely think we will plan to take on this challenge. My husband Kyle had to have his entire sigmoid colon removed in the spring of 2008 after a lengthy battle with UC. We only wish we had known then what we know now… We knew nothing of holisitc treatment, healing diets (GAPS) or the effectiveness of supplements. He currently ingests a prescribed probiotic that contains 900 billion bacteria (VSL #3 DS) therefore I’m certain he won’t need to take an additional dosage. Our youngest daughter has suffered with some of the same symptoms that Kyle began experiencing early on so we have been giving her Ultimate Defense daily. Is the Gut Guardian stronger?

  2. We take Tummy Tuneups every day at our home. Do you think it would be beneficial to do the Gut Guardian for a few months? Or would we be fine staying on Tummy Tuneup? I guess what I am asking is what are the benefits to doing the challenge as you suggest versus our daily regimen of Tummy Tuneup?

    • We are also frequent fliers with Tummy Tune Up in our house too! =) The benefit of doing the Gut Guardians is that they are more concentrated, have more strains and are, for lack of a better word more “intense” than Tummy Tune Up is. Because of the sheer force of the bacteria count and the specific strains of bacteria used in the Gut Guardians they are specifically very beneficial for re colonization to start setting up lots of settlements of gut bacteria in our guts. If some “colonies” have already been started by use of Tummy Tune Up or other sources of good bacterias the Gut Guardians will be the equivalent of blasting them with lots of new settlement members and reinforcements for their efforts at multiplying and restoring and healing the gut. The reason for using the Gut Guardians for a short but intense period of time is that I want to make sure my body has got as many “colonies” as possible well stocked and established before the holidays and the long winter days and illnesses after that.

  3. I think I will be joining as well! Since I seem to get sick very easily! Also I’m thinking I will get my 3 year old niece to join me as well! She seems to have a very weak immune system! I have 2 bottles of the 50 billion, do you think it would work to give my niece half a pill a day?

    • I am sure that your niece could definitely benefit from a couple of months of intensive probiotics! =) However, if her gut is in really bad shape the Gut Guardians might be too strong for her system, in other words, it might put her into detox. Has she ever taken a milder probiotic blend like Tummy Tune Up? I would personally be more comfortable putting a 3 year old on Tummy Tune Up first and then transitioning them over to 1/2 a Gut Guardian after a few weeks. So glad to have you join us Susana! 🙂

      • She has just taken tummy tune on occasion, like of there is a cold or flu going around. I will start her off with tummy tune up and go from there! Thanks!

  4. I think that my little family and I are going to join your challenge too. 🙂 I’m planning on getting the Supreme for my husband and I, but am unsure about what to do with our littles. We have a 2 1/2 year old and a 15-month-old…both of whom are still nursing some. Would they get the extra probiotic benefits through my breastmilk or would get a pill for them be good as well? Thanks so much for any information!

    • We would love to have you join the challenge! The more the better! =) I am personally going to be giving our baby-boy (9 months old) Tummy Tune Up. I might introduce 1/3 of a capsule of the 25 billion near the end of the challenge. I feel like the Tummy Tune Up will be more than sufficient combined with the benefits he’ll be getting through breastmilk with me taking the Gut Guardian Supreme. There will be some benefits coming through your milk to them but especially if the eldest isn’t getting a whole lot, I don’t think it would hurt to add Tummy Tune Up to their routine.

      • That’s good to know…thank you! I thought that even the 25 billion seemed like a lot for little ones. So are you going to give your nine-month-old a whole capsule of Tummy Tune-Up?

        And another question if you don’t mind…I was talking about this challenge with my mom who was expressing a bit of concern over how STRONG the Gut Guardian probiotics are. I know that’s part of the reason why it’s a good idea to take them to build up your gut now, but if someone doesn’t regularly consume probiotics, will it be too much for them and cause major die-off? Other than the occasional small serving of yogurt, my husband doesn’t really consume that many probiotics (the kids and I eat more yogurt and drink water kefir every day) and so I’m wondering if the Gut Guardian Supreme will be too much for him. With his job, he can’t really afford to deal with a lot of die-off symptoms. Do you have any thoughts on this? (I totally understand you’re not a doctor, etc…but I don’t really know many other people who know very much about probiotics! :))

        Thanks so much for your help!

  5. I have a bottle of ultimate defense already that we take as needed. Would this work for the challenge, or is gut guardian stronger? Thanks!

    • I’m all for people using whatever they have and want to use! 🙂 I’m personally wanting to use the Gut Guardians because I know my system really needs some help and it’s the most powerful of all the probiotics beeyoutiful carries (and is one of the most powerful on the market that I’ve seen anywhere) What you might consider doing is to start the challenge with the Ultimate Defense and then get a bottle of the Gut Guardian to finish the challenge off with after you use up what you have? I think there are some unique benefits to get from the Gut Guardians that the Ultimate Defense doesn’t have. Hope you can join us! We start today! I’m super excited. 😀

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  8. I am a little late in the game but our family is going to take on the challenge :). We could use a boost to our immunity especially with the cold and flu season before us. We have some traveling in the upcoming months and it is so hard to eat well while on the road so this would be a great way to get ready. We may have to take Tummy Tune-Up on the road for portability. Thank you for such a thorough post 🙂

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