Regina Health Food Adviser – Kate Rhéaume-Bleue

Going south this winter? What’s on your travel checklist?

Most people think about sunscreen and travel insurance when booking a vacation, but it’s important to add probiotics to your list of must-haves prior to travelling as well. Boosting the good bacteria in your intestines can help protect you from troublesome bacteria that cause the single most common travel-related illness: traveller’s diarrhea.

‘Microbiome’ is the name for the trillions of bacteria that live in our intestines. Gas, bloating, and indigestion can all be signs of an imbalance in our intestinal bacteria. A major action of gut bacteria is to keep our immune system in top shape. When beneficial bacteria are lacking this can increase our susceptibility to colds and the flu. A healthy microbiome is also thought to play a role in weight management – those who are overweight tend to have a different bacterial profile than those who don’t struggle with weight gain.

Throughout life our delicately balanced microbiome can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons. A course of antibiotics, antibiotic residues in food, a bout of stomach flu, stress, or even aging can throw our gut bacteria out of kilter. Foreign travel, especially to tropical climates, is an all-too-common scenario for putting your gut bacteria out of balance. Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than several days lost to traveller’s diarrhea. Fortunately, you can help re-establish bacterial balance with a probiotic supplement.

Probiotic supplements are a convenient way to keep your good bacteria levels stable. TravelBiotic BB536 is a high-potency probiotic, with 10 billion cfu (colony forming units) of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 per capsule. BB536 is among the most researched and effective probiotics in the world. As TravelBiotic BB536 does not require refrigeration, it’s ideal for supporting digestive health while travelling, taking antibiotics, or to replenish healthy gut flora daily.