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How Do Probiotics Work?

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: You have trillions of bacteria living in your gut, and they are not just passive riders.
Air Date: 5/11/16
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Desiree Nielsen, BSc, RD
Desiree-NielsonDesiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She runs a nutrition consulting practice with a focus on inflammation, digestion and plant-centered diets. Desiree is the author of a book on anti-inflammatory nutrition called Un-Junk Your Diet: How to Shop, Cook and Eat to Fight Inflammation and Feel Better, Forever (Skyhorse 2014) and Banish the Bloat, a digestive health program.

A vocal advocate for holistic and integrative approaches to nutrition, Desiree is the co-chair of the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Network for Dietitians of Canada. With education at the core of her work, Desiree consults, writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics; from genetically modified foods and food quality to eating for a healthier body and mind. She travels throughout North America motivating others to make healthier choices every day with her practical, light-hearted approach. She has delivered keynote presentations, conference sessions and acted as moderator for the natural health industry, health professionals and corporations. Past appearances include the Dietitians of Canada National Conference, Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan, Canadian Health Food Association Expos, Pacific Blue Cross, Canadian Health and Wellness Innovations Conference, David Suzuki Foundation, Gluten Free Expo and Hootsuite.

Desiree began her work as nutrition manager for a chain of natural food stores and continues her relationship with the natural health industry as a spokesperson and content creator for select companies such as Bio-K+ Probiotics, Nature’s Path Organics, myWholeLife Holistic Nutrition Inc. Desiree has been an early adopter of social media and technology in dietetics practice; she speaks on the implications of social media use in dietetics and is beginning work on an innovative new digestive health app in 2016.

Desiree is a go-to expert for local and national media; she is a featured nutrition expert on Global BC Weekend News, the Natural Health Show on CKNW and Zoomer Radio and AM1150 (Kelowna). She has appeared on CBC News (Vancouver) and CBC News Now, CTV National News, Canada AM, Breakfast Television (Vancouver), Fairchild Television, CBC Radio outlets across Canada, CJAD Montreal and Sirius XM. Desiree has lent her expertise or contributed articles to Chatelaine, Redbook, FLARE, Closer, Best Health magazine, Brides.com, Healthline.com, Huffington Post, One Green Planet, Mind Body Green, The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, The Province and Toronto Star. She is the nutrition expert for Vista Magazine, a forward thinking Canadian natural health publication.

Desiree’s website, www.desireerd.com, has been recognized as one of the top 100 nutrition blogs by the Institute of Health Psychology.
  • Book Title: Un-Junk Your Diet: How to Shop, Cook and Eat to Fight Inflammation and Feel Better, Forever
  • Guest Twitter Account: @desireerd
How Do Probiotics Work?
You have trillions of bacteria living in your gut and they are not just passive riders.

While many people understand that probiotics are beneficial bacteria, they may not quite understand why they are beneficial.

The gut has a strong role to play in immunity: as a barrier and as the site of a large volume of immune tissues/activity. Gut bacteria actively participate in this immune activity... helping to send "messages" that down regulate inflammation in the gut, improving barrier function and fostering a gut environment that antagonizes potentially harmful bacteria.

Probiotic bacteria also influence the nervous system in the gut and produce molecules such as short-chain fatty acids that have systemic effects.

Research is making new discoveries every day, and while we are a long ways off of definitive answers, we are now more aware than ever that bacteria help influence overall health.

Listen in as Desiree Nielsen, BSc, RD, joins host Lisa Davis to explain why probiotics are so essential for optimal health, as well as the best types of probiotic strains to incorporate into your everyday regimen.