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Gut Health

Your Probiotic is Missing a Key Ingredient

Your Probiotic is Missing a Key Ingredient

 If​ ​you’re​ ​eating​ ​probiotic-boosted​ ​yogurt​ ​or​ ​taking​ ​a​ ​daily​ ​probiotic,​ ​but​ ​you’re​ ​still​ ​tired,​ ​bloated, and​ ​experiencing​ ​the​ ​spectrum​ ​of​ ​digestive​ ​issues,​ ​don’t​ ​be​ ​disheartened.​ ​It’s​ ​not​ ​you,​ ​it’s​ ​that your​ ​probiotic​ ​is​ ​missing​ ​a​ ​key​ ​ingredient:​ ​good​ ​fungi.​ ​Good​ ​bacteria​ ​—​ ​what​ ​a​ ​traditional probiotic​ ​contains​ ​—​ ​is​ ​essential,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​can’t​ ​right​ ​your​ ​digestive​ ​health​ ​on​ ​its​ ​own;​ ​it’s​ ​only​ ​half of​ ​the​ ​equation.

Mahmoud​ ​Ghannoum,​ ​Ph.D.,​ ​the​ ​scientist​ ​who​ ​coined​ ​the​ ​term​ ​mycobiome,​ ​has​ ​spent​ ​his​ ​40 year​ ​career​ ​researching​ ​how​ ​fungi​ ​affects​ ​the​ ​body​ ​—​ ​​ ​including​ ​the​ ​digestive​ ​system.​ ​“Up​ ​until now,​ ​good​ ​bacteria​ ​has​ ​been​ ​the​ ​focus,”​ ​he​ ​says.​ ​“The​ ​critical​ ​role​ ​fungi​ ​play​ ​in​ ​our​ ​health​ ​and wellness​ ​has​ ​largely​ ​been​ ​ignored.”​ Largely​ ​due​ ​to​ ​his​ ​research,​ ​that’s​ ​starting​ ​to​ ​change.​ ​“We have​ ​to​ ​study​ ​fungi,​ ​because​ ​when​ ​you​ ​disrupt​ ​this​ ​balance​ ​you​ ​are​ ​causing​ ​other​ ​problems,”​ ​he says.

In​ ​terms​ ​of​ ​digestive​ ​health,​ ​a​ ​deficit​ ​of​ ​good​ ​fungi​ ​can​ ​cause​ ​issues​ ​like​ ​bloating,​ ​cramping, gas,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​gastrointestinal​ ​issues.​ ​When​ ​fungi​ ​in​ ​the​ ​gut​ ​are​ ​off​ ​balance,​ ​says​ ​Dr. Ghannoum,​ ​“It​ ​can​ ​actually​ ​slow​ ​down​ ​the​ ​time​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​for​ ​food​ ​to​ ​move​ ​through​ ​your​ ​system, which​ ​disturbs​ ​your​ ​gut’s​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​absorb​ ​and​ ​process​ ​nutrients.”​ ​Meanwhile,​ ​the​ ​presence​ ​of good​ ​fungi​ ​improves​ ​nutrient​ ​absorption​ ​—​ ​which​ ​allows​ ​you​ ​to​ ​actually​ ​derive​ ​the​ ​full​ ​benefit you​ ​assume​ ​you’re​ ​getting​ ​from​ ​the​ ​foods​ ​you​ ​eat.

In​ ​the​ ​case​ ​of​ ​good​ ​fungi,​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​possible​ ​to​ ​have​ ​too​ ​much​ ​of​ ​a​ ​good​ ​thing.​ ​Your​ ​body​ ​is constantly,​ ​naturally​ ​recalibrating​ ​—​ ​and​ ​more​ ​good​ ​fungi​ ​can​ ​only​ ​help​ ​improve​ ​system function.​ ​In​ ​part,​ ​because​ ​there’s​ ​another​ ​factor​ ​here:​ ​digestive​ ​plaque.

The​ ​product​ ​of​ ​bad​ ​bacteria​ ​and​ ​bad​ ​fungi,​ ​digestive​ ​plaque​ ​lines​ ​your​ ​gut​ ​and​ ​functions​ ​as​ ​a protective​ ​barrier​ ​for​ ​those​ ​bad​ ​microbes.​ ​And​ ​it’s​ ​something​ ​that​ ​no​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​good​ ​bacteria can​ ​eliminate​ ​on​ ​its​ ​own,​ ​but​ ​rather​ ​requires​ ​good​ ​fungi​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​good​ ​bacteria,​ ​plus​ ​an enzyme​ ​capable​ ​of​ ​breaking​ ​down​ ​plaque.​ ​

Finding​ ​no​ ​probiotics​ ​on​ ​the​ ​market​ ​that​ ​could address​​ those​​ issues,​​ Dr.​​Ghannoum​​ created B​​IOHM​,​​ a ​​suite​​ of​​ probiotics​​ specifically engineered​ ​to​ ​address​ ​the​ ​gut’s​ ​total​ ​microbiome​ ​of​ ​bacteria​ ​and​ ​fungi.​ ​Based​ ​on​ ​a​ ​decade​ ​of his​​ research ​​studying​​ the​​ DNA ​​of ​​the ​​microbiome, ​​he ​​also​​ created​​ a suite of microbiome tests, including the​ B​​IOHM​​ Gut​​ Report​​ Kit​​​— the​ ​most​ ​comprehensive​ ​gut​ ​analysis​ ​that’s​ ​ever​ ​been​ ​available​ ​to​ ​consumers, and the BIOHM Candida Report, which allows people to get specific insights into the Candida species and levels present in their digestive systems. 

So what can you do to optimize your total microbiome?

In addition to supplements like BIOHM, it's critical to eat​ ​prebiotic​ ​and​ ​probiotic​ ​foods​ ​that​ ​facilitate​ ​the​ ​growth​ ​of​ ​good​ ​microbes​ ​(e.g.​ ​fermented foods,​ ​garlic,​ ​avocados,​ ​peas,​ ​whole​ ​grain​ ​breads​ ​and​ ​unpasteurized​ ​soft​ ​cheeses)​ ​and​ ​finding ways​ ​to​ ​manage​ ​stress​ ​can​ ​help​ ​balance​ ​the​ ​fungi​ ​in​ ​your​ ​gut,​ ​says​ ​Dr.​ ​Ghannoum.​ ​

So​ ​grab that​ ​green​ ​smoothie,​ ​opt​ ​for​ ​the​ ​grilled​ ​salmon,​ ​and​ ​feel​ ​even​ ​better​ ​about​ ​that​ ​avocado​ ​toast. But​ ​if​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​you’re​ ​actually​ ​absorbing​ ​the​ ​nutrients​ ​from​ ​healthy​ ​food​ ​choices, don’t​ ​forget​ ​about​ ​the​ ​fungi​ ​in​ ​your​ ​gut.

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