You are what you eat. Or more accurately, you are what you feed the trillions of little critters that live in your gut. In many ways, your gut bacteria are as vast and mysterious as the Milky Way.
The lining of your gut (ie: gastrointestinal [GI] tract), like every surface of your body, is covered in trillions of microscopic creatures (ie: microorganisms) — bacteria (both good and bad), viruses, fungi and other life forms. Collectively these microorganisms create a micro-ecosystem called the microbiome. And though we don't really notice it's there, it plays an oversized role in your health and can even affect your mood and behavior.
The billions of cells of beneficial bacteria (“good bacteria”) help us digest and absorb our food, maintain a healthy intestinal pH (acid content), protect us from pathogenic bacteria, and provide an environment conducive to the continued health of the intestinal tract.† Probiotics are specific types of beneficial bacteria (“good bacteria”) residing within the gut. They help to support overall health by aiding in the digestion and absorption of food, promoting a healthy immune response and discouraging the growth of bad bacteria. In addition to serving as a delivery system for the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste material, the intestinal tract also plays important roles in maintaining healthy immunity and providing resistance against pathogens.
Everyone's gut microbiota is unique, but there are certain combinations and collections of bacteria that are found in healthy individuals.
The main factors that affect your personal microbial mix are age, diet, environment, genes, and medications (particularly exposure to antibiotics, which can deplete gut bacteria). Your gut microbiota plays many roles: it metabolizes nutrients from food and certain medications, serves as a protective barrier against intestinal infections, and produces vitamin K, which helps make blood-clotting proteins. 
Not surprisingly, what you feed your microbiome may have the biggest impact on its health. And the healthier it is, the healthier you are. The key to a healthy microbiome is nourishing a balance among the nearly 1,000 different species of bacteria in your gut. There are two ways to maintain this balance — helping the microbes already there to grow by giving them the foods they like (prebiotic) and adding living microbes directly to your system (probiotic). 
- Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers. They act like fertilizers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in many fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates, such as fiber and resistant starch. These carbs aren't digestible by your body, so they pass through the digestive system to become food for the bacteria and other microbes. 
- Probiotics are different in that they contain live organisms, usually specific strains of bacteria that directly add to the population of healthy microbes in your gut. Basically, Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts found in fermented foods that, when consumed, take up residence in the gut and improve health. Like prebiotics, you can take probiotics through both food and supplements. Probably the most common probiotic food is yogurt. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with different bacteria, which are left in the final product. Other bacteria-fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and water kefir are also good sources of probiotics. 
Simple steps to increase good bacteria in our gut :
- Fill Up on Fiber.
High-fiber foods feed the healthy bacteria that improve immune function, reduce inflammation and chronic disease, and even help regulate mood.
- Pick Prebiotic-Rich Foods.
Prebiotics feed healthy bacteria. Good sources of prebiotics include Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, raw dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, whole wheat, spinach, beans, bananas, oats, and soybeans.
- Try Probiotic Foods.
Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts found in fermented foods that, when consumed, take up residence in the gut and improve health. Healthy sources include sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, and water kefir.
- Avoid Animal Products.
Red meat, high-fat dairy products, and fried foods all reduce the growth of healthy bacteria and enhance the growth of “bad” bacteria linked to chronic disease.
- Limit Fats.
Avoid fried foods, saute with cooking spray or broth instead of oil, and use low-fat salad dressings, especially if you have diabetes or prediabetes. Most plant foods are naturally low in fat.
- Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics.
Overuse of antibiotics can kill off healthy bacteria. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that 80 percent of antibiotics are actually used in animal agriculture.
- Practice a Healthy Lifestyle.
Exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress can all have a positive impact on your gut microbes.
Probiotics are connected to numerous health benefits. If they remain correctly balanced within the body, they may be beneficial for a number of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS – a common digestive disorder), reducing gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms. Studies have consistently demonstrated that probiotics can help support bowel functions and nourish the microflora in the gut. A healthy bowel is the key to preventing many common disorders such as colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and irregularity. Additionally, an increasing number of scientific studies have established a link between gut health, mood and depression. Nourishing a gut flora that can also be a cornerstone to competitively excluding bacteria that can lead to ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori infections.†
There are many other benefits of probiotics, as well. In addition to aiding in digestive health and helping to boost the metabolism, some of the other most sought-after benefits include the following (but not limited to): †
- Inflammation: Probiotics may help to reduce systemic inflammation, a leading driver of many diseases.
- Depression and anxiety:The probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been shown to benefit people suffering from anxiety and depression.†
- Blood cholesterol: Several probiotics have been shown to to support normal, healthy cholesterol levels.†
- Blood pressure: Probiotics have been shown to exhibit a positive effect on blood pressure.
- Immune function: Several probiotic strains have been shown clinically to support immune function; thereby building resistance to infection.†
- Skin health: There is some evidence that probiotics can benefit people with acne, rosacea, and eczema, as well as other skin disorders.
When people take antibiotics, especially for long periods of time, those antibiotics kill off many of the natural, good bacteria that live within the gut. This can negatively disrupt the optimal balance of bacteria, allowing too many of the harmful bacteria to thrive and causing unpleasant gastrointestinal issues.
Malnutrition, an unbalanced diet, and too many processed foods can also contribute to disrupting the natural balance within the gut. So can some very common but undesirable lifestyle factors such as stress, lack of sleep and surgical procedures.
When the balance of these microorganisms is disrupted, and harmful bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, probiotics can help to replenish the good bacteria and restore a healthy balance to the gut. Without the addition of these probiotics, harmful bacteria can thrive and negatively affect health.
Several diseases are now thought to be influenced by processes in the gut microbiome. Those include cancer, autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and autism spectrum disorder. The gut microbiome also strongly interacts with certain drugs, including some mental-health therapeutics, and influences their effects. 
THE ADVANTAGES OF PROBIOTICS IN DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS †
Recent advancements in dietary supplement probiotic manufacturing have resulted in a multitude of new products. These many options provide a broad range in potency, convenience, stability, and health benefits for the consumer. Probiotic dietary supplement products can now target almost every demographic and audience available.†
Some advantages to getting your probiotics through supplements include †:
- Targeted Health Benefits
- Supplements can also provide more probiotic diversity.
- Convenience (eg: Shelf-Stable)
- Controlled Dosage (ie: CFU COUNT AND POTENCY)
Dr. Kenawy’s 20 Billion Probiotic formula offers a very high potency of powerful probiotics that can effectively intervene in acute gastrointestinal and immune conditions and or help support long-term intestinal health.† The 9 strains used in this formula have been studied for their ability to support gastrointestinal and immune health Our probiotic strains are stabilized using a patented poly matrix system (patent # 6, 653, 062) that provides 20 billion (CFU) microorganisms through expiration date when stored at room temperature. Each Bio-Enhanced, Acid Resistant Strain (BEARS) has been specifically designed to survive stomach secretions during digestion eliminating the need for enteric coating.† Our formula also contains prebiotics using FiberAid® (patented) and FOS.
- 9 probiotic strains
- Very high potency at 20 billion viable cells per capsule
- BIOENHANCED ACID RESISTANT STRAINS (BEARS) ensures survivability in both low (acidic) and high (alkaline) pH environments.
- The BEARS strains in this formula are designed to withstand the acid conditions present in the stomach during digestion without the need for an enteric coating.
- Danisco strains used in this formula have been cultivated under harsh conditions so they are able to adapt to extreme changes in the environment (“survival of the fittest”), such as stomach acid (pH) or temperature.
- Probiotic strains are manufactured using a patented poly matrix preservation system, to preserve and ensure stability without the need for refrigeration.
- FiberAid® is a unique soluble fiber that offers superior benefits for gastrointestinal health combined with excellent digestive tolerance. It's processed without chemicals and additives, so it's 100% natural. FiberAid has prebiotic properties, which means it nourishes the healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are also used as prebiotics.
- Larch arabinogalactan is a fiber that ferments in the intestine that’s beneficial to digestive tract health.
- The 9 strains used in this formula have been studied for their ability to support gastrointestinal and immune health.†
- High potency formula helps to quickly reestablish healthy levels of probiotics in the GI tract.†
- Once established, a normal, healthy intestinal microflora helps to create an environment that is unfavorable for the growth of pathogenic bacteria.†
- Helps stimulate the growth of probiotics which have been diminished by the use of antibiotics.†
- Research shows taking probiotics may be helpful in managing symptoms associated with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, and memory, among others.
†These statements have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your General Practitioner. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
 Prebiotics, probiotics and your health. (2019, May 21). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/prebiotics-probiotics-and-your-health/art-20390058#:%7E:text=Probiotics%20are%20different%20in%20that,common%20probiotic%20food%20is%20yogurt.
 Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.-b). Can gut bacteria improve your health? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/can-gut-bacteria-improve-your-health
 Nature Editorial. (2020, January 29). The gut microbiome. Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00194-2?error=cookies_not_supported&code=f14c076c-18e8-4a5f-95c2-1db0a358e987
 Gut Bacteria. (n.d.). Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/gut-bacteria