Okay, let’s say you’ve been initiated into team pro-probiotics. So, you just got used to the idea that people are obsessing over bacteria for all the right reasons.
We get it; it’s like a filter you never saw health through before. You’re suddenly becoming aware of the fact that bacteria have a say in all kinds of things. And that our input is precisely that: what we put into our bodies, ourselves. Hence, probiotics.
Unlike many other dietary supplements, probiotics require a bit more of a magnifying lens on the selection front. Why is this?
Can’t we choose one, feel like a garden of health, hope for the best, and be done with it? Ugh. Well, you can. You can hope for the best, or take one step closer into personalized probiotics. Seems extra and a bit unnecessary? Here’s why it isn’t.
Your Gut Has Preferences
Research explains that our guts are drastically different from one another. Women and men have different gastrointestinal orientation, as well as different hormones and overall genetic makeup (duh). This alone is a separation in addressing gut health and why we need more precise attention.
Each person has two aspects of the guts’ makeup that determine its idiosyncrasy: the microbiome and virome. Research alludes that there isn’t much of a prototype when it comes to having the “ideal” gut. A healthy gut for me is not necessarily a healthy gut for you and vice versa.
Think of the microbiome as base bacteria unique to you. Then, the virome as the material that interacts with it to determine how it’s going to affect your body, which is also unique to you.
Let’s say two people both have their palettes of paint with similar, but slightly different hues. They then receive entirely new palettes, different from one another, and begin to mix colors at random with their initial palettes. Depending on the amount applied, how it’s applied, and where the colors may have different effects. The possibilities are endless, and it isn’t likely that they will both end up with the exact same shades. Now, imagine that these colors can also change over time, depending on what is added to them.
The diversity of the factors that determine what each person’s gut contains makes them a challenge for research, which is to be expected. We may not know the fine details on why our guts are all different—but we know it’s a fact.
The prospect of personalized probiotics is backed by the understanding that to reach the fluid efficiency of the gut, one must first have their makeup assessed. Whether or not they’ll rule over your store-bought probiotics, we don’t know. In the meantime, as always, check-in with your healthcare provider to learn more about the types of probiotics you should include in your diet.