Restoring 'good bugs' after taking antibiotics
Ten years from now, we'll all be given a probiotic drink to take alongside antibiotics in order to replenish our good bacteria, according to gut health author Shann Nix Jones.
"It's already happening all around the world in France, in Germany, in Poland.
"If you take antibiotics or you have an operation, when you wake up there is bottle of kefir on your bedside table," the Chuckling Goat founder told me.
Kefir is a sour-tasting fermented drink that looks a bit like yogurt and is said to be packed with live beneficial bacteria.
When we take antibiotics, the drugs do a great job of killing off bad bacteria and clearing up infections, but they also tend to destroy some of our good bugs too.
Shann is not against antibiotics - she praises them for saving lives, but her research on the human microbiome; the trillions of bacteria inside us, has convinced her how vital it is for us to put some of those good bugs back into our bodies using products like kefir.
In her view, unrestored damage to our microbiome can show up later in life as skin issues or other health problems.
Given that she runs a company selling kefir, I asked how she responds to those who might suggest she promotes the drink to benefit her business.
"Make your own. The world needs more kefir," she told me.
In #HealthHackers episode 14 you'll hear about Shann's unique backstory; her transition from US radio talk show host in San Francisco, to farmer's wife in Wales as she launched her own company making probiotic goat’s milk kefir that was tested by a university and quickly gained a reputation for improving common skin problems among the customers who drank it.
I've personally experimented with Shann's kefir. Find out what happened here.
In her book 'The Kefir Solution', Shann argues the power of probiotics goes much further than improving skin.
She explains the gut-brain axis; why the state of our gut health has been linked to depression, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome, plus what she believes we can do about it.
Have a listen to the podcast and let me know your own gut health stories - have you seen benefits from consuming fermented and probiotic foods? Get in touch!