Episode 14: Shann Nix Jones

Can probiotic kefir improve IBS, depression & anxiety?

#HealthHackers Ep 14 with gut health author Shann Nix Jones

No time to watch the video? Below is the audio podcast on Soundcloud. Or subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get the audio on your iPhone here.

In this episode, you'll hear:

  • Shann's views on how microbiome damage (even from childhood antibiotics) can show up later in life as skin or digestive issues

  • the way in which 'good gut bugs', like those in kefir, could help combat those issues

  • how she predicts the way we take antibiotics will change in the next ten years

  • the way other countries are leading the way with probiotics in hospital

  • the difference between probiotic capsules & kefir according to Shann

  • why there’s a link between gut health & mental health (a.k.a. the gut-brain axis)

  • how Shann discovered her kefir was having a beneficial side effect on her customers' IBS and anxiety

  • why she opts for goat’s rather than cow’s milk

  • Plus, my own success story with probiotic kefir and a painful case of dermatitis

Restoring your '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 tend to destroy some of our good bugs too.


Shann is not against antibiotics - she praises them for saving lives, but her research into 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 also hear about Shann's unique backstory; her transition from US radio talk show host in San Francisco, to farmer's wife in Wales where she launched her company making probiotic goat’s milk kefir that quickly gained a reputation for improving common skin problems among the customers who drank it.

I've personally experimented with Shann's kefir. Read here to find out what happened. 


In her book 'The Kefir Solution', Shann argues the power of probiotics goes much further than improving skin.

She outlines 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!

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