It’s that time of year again: The R word, but who are we kidding? How many of our clients will stick to their resolutions? This year, instead of the long list that gets abandoned, make it a short list your clients will stick to. As short as can be. A list of one: probiotics.

Until very recent years, gut health was practically ignored. Sure, there were some pioneers, but nothing remotely close to the focus we’re seeing now. We’re also starting to understand the importance of probiotics in critically ill patients(1)(2), so imagine how well it can do for those who aren’t in as critical a condition.

Studies(3)(4) are also showing that probiotics help with functional dyspepsia (medical jargon for stomach upset / indigestion, common with IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and other gut-related issues).

Unhappy gut often results in unhappy brain, creating depression, focus problems, and more. The problem isn’t just indigestion, it’s all the spin-off problems, many of which are mood related.


1) Combine supplements and food(kombucha, sauerkraut). Don’t just rely on one source because scientifically, we’ve barely scratched the surface in understanding the gut microbiome. That means we’re not advanced enough to know everything it’s made up of and everything it needs. Fortunately, there’s someone we can rely on who is all-knowing: Mother Nature. Eat and drink naturally probiotic-rich foods, use supplements as… well…what the name says: supplement.

2) With food,“enriched with” in a food doesn’t make it naturally probiotic-rich… that’s still human engineering with limited knowledge. Be wary of yogurt, the most well-marketed food for probiotics. If your client has gluten issues or is living with Celiac Disease, there’s a 50% chance dairy is very bad for them, casein from cow’s milk especially(5). Suggest kombucha, and if they make it at home, besides how much fun they can have with flavors, it’s also very cost-effective. Look for organic kits.

3) With supplements,suggest a super power brand they can use as what I call a “pivot point,” then vary every other bottle. …Meaning: use brand #1 for every other month, 6 months a year. Each time they finish a bottle, suggest another brand with different strains, finish that bottle, then pivot back to the main one. The more variety and strains, the better. Look for “acid resistant” so their natural stomach acids don’t kill the probiotics as they make their way into the gut, which completely defeats the purpose. Also bring to their attention whether the product needs to be refrigerated or not.

Wishing you and your clients a very healthy, happy, delicious New Year

p.s. Once your client has made a ritual of the list of “one,” introduce number two.


(1) Wischmeyer PE1, McDonald D, Knight R. Role of the microbiome, probiotics, and dysbiosis therapy' in critical illness. Curr Opin Crit Care. 2016 Aug;22(4):347-53. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000321.

(2) McDonald D, Ackermann G, et al. Extreme Dysbiosis of the Microbiome in Critical Illness. mSphere. 2016 Aug 31;1(4). pii: e00199-16. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00199-16. eCollection 2016 Jul-Aug.

(3) Igarashi M, Nakae H, et al. Alteration in the gastric microbiota and its restoration by probiotics in patients with functional dyspepsia. BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2017 May 1;4(1):e000144. doi: 10.1136/bmjgast-2017-000144. eCollection 2017.

(4) Ohtsu T, Takagi A, et al. The Ameliorating Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2716 on Functional Dyspepsia in Helicobacter pylori-Uninfected Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Study. Digestion. 2017;96(2):92-102. doi: 10.1159/000479000. Epub 2017 Jul 29.

(5) Clin Exp Imm: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2007

 Jaqui Karr, CGP, CSN, CVD, is a best-selling author, speaker, and corporate consultantJaqui Karr who specializes in educating about gluten, celiac disease, specialty diets, and health through nutrition. Her popular “NakedFood” brand has helped thousands include more power raw and healing greens in their diet. Ms. Karr is a certified gluten practitioner, certified sports nutritionist, and certified vegan/vegetarian educator to dietitians.

Note: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before altering your daily dietary regimen. The opinions presented here are those of the writer, not necessarily those of the publisher.