Dr Oz: How Much Can Probiotics Help Your Gut?
Probiotics are part of a $24 billion industry but just how effective are they? Can probiotic foods really improve your digestion in just two weeks? Dr Oz conducted an experiment where he asked volunteers to eat one cup of probiotic food like yogurt and four cups of prebiotic foods like leafy greens. Then, they sent in stool samples to a lab where they were tested and analyzed. The volunteers kept a food diary and a symptom diary to keep track of what they ate and how they felt.
Dr Oz welcomed two women who took part in the experiment to find out more about their experience. Before the experiment started, they were constipated and bloated all the time. Dr Roshini Rajapaksa then joined them to go over the results. First, did their mixture of “good” gut bacteria go up? Diversity in your gut is a good thing and the better health foods you eat, the more variety there is.
Dr Oz: Good Gut Bacteria
It turns out that the mixture of good gut bacteria went up by an average of 20% in just two weeks, and both women reported feeling much better overall. What a lot of people don’t realize, as Dr Roshini stated, is that your gut can have such a big effect on your entire body, including your mind. Improving your gut can mean lower cases of anxiety and depression, because you’ll be able to notice a significant difference in your mood.
To give you an idea of what the women ate, the two women who joined Dr Oz shared some of their own meals. They loved smoothies with Greek yogurt, bran cereal, spinach with black beans, or Brussels sprouts with pears for dinner.
The question is: what probiotic foods are truly worth your money? Dr Oz and Dr Roshini first looked at probiotic chocolate. Raw, dark chocolate specifically made with probiotics certainly passed the taste test, but what about probiotic cheese? It’s different than regular cheese because it’s cheese that has probiotics or bacteria added back to the cheese after the pasteurization process. It also passed the taste test, fortunately.
Finally, fermented Japanese plums or umeboshi didn’t exactly pass the taste test. Dr Roshini suggested throwing it on a salad, but it certainly may be an acquired taste.
Dr Oz: No More Peanut Allergies?
Speaking of food, how many people do you know with a peanut allergy? Could it be possible to end allergies to peanuts once and for all? Pediatricians and allergy experts once agreed that it was best to avoid peanuts entirely. At one point it was even advised that pregnant women avoid peanuts, thinking it might cause problems in the womb. Parents were also advised to not feed their children nuts, even once they’re exposed to solid foods.
Now, the National Institute of Health recommends parents introduce infants to peanuts to prevent allergies. Dr Oz introduced allergist and immunologist Dr Rachel Miller. Together, they discussed a big trial that found that kids who ate peanuts regularly until the age of 5 reduced the likelihood of an allergy by 86%. Dr Miller explained that children who are at high risk for developing peanut allergy are those with an egg allergy or those with severe eczema. Kids as young as 4-6 months can be identified as being high risk.
For those children, it’s recommended they see a specialist for further testing. Depending on those results, the parents will then be advised regarding peanut exposure. Otherwise, go ahead and introduce peanuts to your kids at 6 months, but in the form of peanut flour or a more edible form for their palate.