Ask A Naturopath – Should I be taking probiotics?

In this series of blog posts, Qi’s Dr Erica Kubanek responds to some of the most common questions she receives from patients.

Hi Erica, if I’m eating no yogurt, other than taking supplements, how can I ingest probiotics through normal food? Is it only in fermented foods like sauerkraut? During the elimination detox I didn’t eat any fermented foods. Does that mean we can be healthy from a diet without probiotics?

Good question!
In my opinion we can be healthy without taking probiotics. The microflora (bugs found in probiotics!) that are good for our body are found in many types of food, but the best sources are fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, home made yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, etc. The little bugs live in our bellies, on our skin, in our noses and everywhere else. They are quite capable of keeping balanced and healthy in a robust body system. However, when our systems are out of balance or we are exposing ourselves to things that affect the health of our microflora (chlorine from our drinking water, air pollution, toxic metals in our bodies, nutrient poor foods and on and on) then they get killed off and other less friendly bugs can take their place which can create symptoms or disease. So: I see taking probiotics or having a healthy diet that includes fermented foods similar to taking a high quality multi vitamin and fish oil. These are remedies that insure that very important body systems stay in balance. Given all of the internal and external stressors that we are exposed to its like an insurance policy!
Dr e