By Ross Pelton

Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

It takes gutsDr. Ohhira’s Probiotics provide your entire family with a proactive and preventative pro-health strategy. These little pills pack a powerful punch that positively affects every aspect of your health…and it all begins in the GUT!

The benefits of supplementing with a high-quality probiotic are abundant, and this is the place to learn exactly how these beneficial bacteria do their job. Discover how probiotics can help keep your kids healthy and in school, increase bone density, soften skin, alleviate allergies, give peace of mind and even save your vacation.

What Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Can Do for You!

Core Strength

Living well starts with cultivating a strong core. Both your immune response and your daily energy levels are closely tied to the health of your gut's probiotic population. When you take the time to cultivate your inner micro-ecology, those friendly bacteria, in turn, take care of you.

Did you know there are actually more bacterial cells in and on your body than human cells? It’s true. Human cells are much larger than the millions of guest cells that we host, and the 25-foot adult intestinal tract is home to billions of microorganisms—both friendly and not-so-friendly. You aren’t just an individual, you’re an ecosystem!

When that micro-ecology is thrown off kilter, the consequences are broad. Overgrowth of bacterial bad guys and yeasts can cause sickness and poor digestion.Poor digestion can cascade into other health issues. Every single human cell depends on the digestive tract and its friendly bacteria to properly digest, absorb, and send needed nutrition into the body.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® extract is designed to supply a probiotic boost along with prebiotic nourishment. That translates into a probiotic blend that is guaranteed to take root in the digestive tract. Regular supplementation brings about solid restoration of probiotic balance. Taken daily you will to see substantial health-changing effects.

It Takes Guts... to strengthen your core!

Healthy Kids

Today's lifestyle keeps the entire family active from youngsters to their hard-working parents. A strong immune system helps us fight off seasonal illness and maintain healthy energy levels. Like your mother's advice, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," the best way to deal with the common cold is to avoid it entirely!

It is not just germs that cause kids (and grown ups!) to get sick. A big factor is the strength of their immune response that, believe it or not, starts in the digestive tract where over 70-80 percent of immune system cells reside. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the function of these crucial immune cells.

An important aspect of health is how successfully your immune system recognizes and destroys bad bacteria and other pathogens. According to Ross Pelton, pharmacist, author and holistic health expert, one study indicated that people who ingested probiotics for three weeks were shown to have immune cells that were twice as effective as those who did not.

The friendly bacteria help support the function of immune system cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests like bad bacteria. Probiotics also enhance digestion, which means the body better absorbs all the nutrients it needs from food and supplements. That alone equips the body to stay healthy and more efficiently fight off any bad bugs that come along.

"Unfortunately, due to overuse of antibiotics, stress, and other modern environmental and dietary issues, most people of all ages have a compromised probiotic population," Dr. Fred Pescatore, author of the best seller Feed Your Kids Well, said. To maintain good health, the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria needs to stay at 85 to 15. This ratio is almost impossible to maintain without supplementing with a high-quality probiotic. Dr. Pescatore encourages his patients to look for a supplement that encapsulates both the probiotic and its nutritious culture medium.

"A probiotic alone will not necessarily be successful. The friendly bacteria need what is called prebiotic support," explained Dr. Pescatore who noted that a certain Japanese probiotic, available in the U.S. as Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics® , fits the bill. The probiotic formula is encapsulated with its culture medium. The culture medium provides nutritious vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and pH-balancing organic acids. "This prebiotic support ensures that the probiotics take root and thrive in the digestive tract," said Dr. Pescatore.

With both prebiotic and probiotic supplementation in place, the body’s immune system can see some real benefit, which translates into fewer sick days. That’s great news for the whole family.

When relying on probiotics to help support immune response, it is vital to pick the right supplement. There are products that claim to contain "billions and billions" of bacteria. That’s not always a good thing though. Providing too much of a single bacteria strain, can actually trigger an immune response; the body treats the supplemented bacteria as a threat. Consumers should also look out for other probiotic strains or products that may have undergone manufacturing processes or shipping conditions that render them useless. Avoid some of these pitfalls by finding a brand that has had studies conducted on its own finished product.

Yes, it’s not just germs that make people sick. Poor digestive tract balance can lead to a compromised immune response, making the body especially vulnerable to daily germ exposure. A high-quality probiotic supplement can be a big step toward sound health for the whole family throughout the year.

As healthy micro-ecology is restored, digestion improves and all the body's organs and cells are able to receive nutrition more efficiently. That can have an incredible effect on whole health, body weight, and energy helping the entire family to manage a demanding lifestyle.

Increased Energy

You and your family are on the move with work obligations, extracurricular activities, self-care and family duties. But the fun comes to a halt when you’re sick or just plain tired. Whether you have to forfeit play time or lose precious time out of an athletic training schedule, sick days and energy slumps are a big pain. As the saying goes, "the best defense is a good offense."

When it comes to athletic performance and energy, probiotic supplementation may be a preventative approach you have never considered. The friendly bacteria help budding athletes and pros alike with a whole-health double-punch: enhancing digestion and supporting immune response.

Did you know probiotics help you efficiently digest and absorb not only food, but also any other supplements you’re taking? When you enhance digestion, you help all the cells in your body get the nutrient building-blocks they need to function at peak performance. That has a beneficial effect on energy levels and mental focus both on the playing field and in daily life.

Ongoing probiotic supplementation also strengthens immune response by crowding out not-so-friendly guests. Roughly 70-80 percent of your immune system cells are in your digestive tract.

Your entire team hates to be knocked out for the count due to a bad cold, flu or just plain poor energy. Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics® should be at the center of your plan for boosting your family’s energy, so you can get on with the fun and succeed on the field and in life.

It Takes Guts... to keep up!

Smooth Travel

You’ve planned, you’ve packed, and you’ve paid! Now it’s time for your much anticipated vacation. But don’t forget that trying new foods, being in new places at off-schedule times, and bouncing around in planes, trains and automobiles can cause havoc in your stomach and lead to digestive distress.

Dr. Natalie Engelbart, medical director of Alternative Health Solutions, says that, “Around 10 million people a year experience digestive distress while on vacation that can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, bloating and fever. According to the CDC, it is the most common illness travelers suffer and can ruin a well-earned vacation!”

Dr. Engelbart recommends packing a high-quality probiotics as part of your vacation preparation. “We spend so much time coordinating the details of our vacations that we often overlook planning for the prevention of any illness. And you can do this by taking a high quality probiotic like Dr. Ohhira’s a week before you leave and continuing to take them throughout your trip. Research has shown that probiotics can help boost your immunity, prevent traveler’s diarrhea caused by food-borne bacteria and lessen the symptoms of other digestive issues.

“Travelers do not realize that 80 percent of gastrointestinal illnesses are caused by a bacterial infection and can often be avoided with proper supplements.

Environmental stress and traveler’s bugs can lower the number of friendly bacteria, disrupting the balance and causing digestive distress.

Probiotics provide a myriad of benefits to the body while replenishing the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. Important to the traveler, they enhance immune function, improve digestion, reduce instances of traveler’s diarrhea and improves digestion of disagreeable foods. And what makes Ohhira's Probiotics® perfect for traveling is that they are in blister packs and never need to be refrigerated so you can throw them in your suitcase, purse or even a shirt pocket and go.

"I recommend taking 4 to 6 a day a week before the trip then 2 to 3 a day during vacation and pack extra in case you do have any stomach issues."
Everyone can benefit by taking probiotics on a daily basis but especially when traveling. Still, it doesn't mean you can eat or drink whatever you want and not get sick. Taking the usual precautions while travelling continues to be the best preventive measure.

It Takes Guts...
to take time off!

Improved Immunity

Preventive health is quickly becoming the top priority for most people. Looking for ways to sustain good health, an increasing number of natural product consumers are discovering the health benefits of probiotic supplements. More than just a boost for digestive tract health, probiotics are a large piece of the immune response puzzle.

Currently, science has established that approximately 70 percent of immune system cells reside in the digestive tract, and probiotics – the beneficial bacteria that naturally live in the gut – support those immune cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests. The gut is the first line of immune defense, and to stay healthy the ratio of good to bad gut bacteria needs to be at least 85 to 15. Achieving and maintaining that ratio is rare given typical modern diets, stressful lifestyles, and the overuse of antibiotics—factors that stress the probiotic population.

Clearly, probiotic supplementation is vital to good gut health. It’s important to note that not all probiotic supplements are the same though. Some that boast billions and billions of bacteria may supply too many of one strain, causing the immune system to actually consider the supplement a threat. Others may have undergone manufacturing processes or shipping conditions that render the supplement fairly useless. Another mistake many consumers make is to supplement only with probiotics, while failing to take any prebiotics to nourish and feed their own inherent bacteria and to set up the environment in the gut to help the probiotics take root.
Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics® is fermented using 12 strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) including the proprietary TH10 strain whose proteolytic strength is six times stronger than any other known LAB strain. It is encapsulated with its culture medium, which provides nutritious and pH-balancing vital organic acids and vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Basically, it comes with its own prebiotic support making Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics® a product that can guarantee the probiotics will cohere or take root and thrive in the digestive system tract. Being able to take one capsule that covers both probiotics and prebiotics provides some peace of mind that the supplement will truly supply some noticeable immune system support.

Along with bolstering the immune response, supplementing with a product like Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® also improves overall digestion, which helps the body absorb needed nutrients.

Science is proving over and over again that it’s not just germs that make people sick. It’s an unhealthy lifestyle and poor digestive tract balance that set the stage for a compromised immune response. This is when the body becomes especially vulnerable to germs. A strong probiotic supplement like Dr. Ohhira’s can be a big step in the right direction.

It Takes Guts... to stay healthy!

Improve Bone Density

It has been a mystery in the United States for years. With our high consumption of dairy products, why is it that we still have an incredibly high incidence of osteoporosis? Researchers in Asia, where both osteoporosis and dairy consumption have historically been quite low, may have found a major clue.

It turns out the calcium we consume through milk and supplements is not always absorbed or used to build bone. In fact, without a healthy probiotic population in the gut and the presence of other bone-building co-factors like vitamins D and K2, magnesium, zinc, and essential fatty acids, calcium can pass right through undigested. Or, even worse, excess calcium turns into unhealthy deposits in soft tissue and arteries.

The good news? There are simple dietary supplements, and adjustments that can alter the body’s internal chemistry in favor of building strong bones. Recent research done exclusively on Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® found that when women ages 48 and older took a Japanese probiotic supplement for at least eight weeks, their bone density was 36 percent higher when compared to those who didn’t take the supplement.

"Scientists suspect that probiotics help the body properly digest calcium," said Mindy Barrows, director of product education at Dallas-based Essential Formulas Incorporated, the U.S. distributor of the Japanese probiotic supplement used in the study. "The friendly bacteria also manufacture some of the vitamin cofactors needed for bone-building including B6, B12, K, and folic acid."

It’s a surprising side benefit of probiotics, which are frequently touted for supporting digestive health and immune response. Derived from a fermented vegetable blend, it is actually a whole food that contains probiotics, prebiotics (substances that feed probiotics), and organic acids. Scientists have noted that it is important to have fermented foods that to provide both probiotic and prebiotic components for the GI tract to enhance calcium uptake. Such dramatic results might not occur when using common freeze-dried probiotic supplements.
In addition to probiotic and prebiotic supplementation, Dr. Natalie Engelbart, founder of Your Top Life and Alternative Health Solutions in Flower Mound, Texas, encourages women to consider increasing magnesium intake for better bone health. "Magnesium regulates calcium absorption into our bones, and ensures that calcium deposits don't wind up in the soft tissue. The proper balance for our body is a ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium. But if you have been deficient in magnesium due to high stress, or from taking calcium rich supplements or foods, you may want to increase your magnesium intake even more."

These dietary tips are encouraging to the 8 million American women who are diagnosed with osteoporosis and the approximately 24 million others who have a high risk of developing it. Once again, prevention is key. Not only should mature adults make sure they keep up on prebiotic and vitamin supplementation for bone health, they need to pass those habits along to the next generation.

It Takes Guts... to be strong!

Beauty Inside & Out

Real beauty radiates from within. We’ve all heard some variation of the saying, but it turns out it may be true in a very literal sense. Natural health and beauty author, Kat James, has shared an intriguing surprise ingredient for creating lasting radiant beauty: probiotic supplements.

It turns out that probiotics—the helpful bacteria that naturally live in the digestive tract—not only help us properly digest our food, but also affect major natural beauty issues. From weight management to skin clarity, friendly probiotics are responsible for keeping us feeling and looking healthy.

“I learned the hard way that outer beauty suffers as inner ecology deteriorates,” said James. “Even as a professional New York makeup artist with a bag full of beauty tricks, there was no more hiding my own ravaged skin, spirit, and health, or my expanding waistline.” She explained that when probiotic balance (or inner ecology) is harmed, it affects the whole body. The digestive system may not absorb nutrients efficiently, which leaves the rest of the body feeling starved, even if an individual is eating well. This can lead to excessive cravings, increased appetite, and weight gain.

Because probiotics also help the body detoxify itself, poor probiotic balance can even result in dermal blemishes, rashes, and breakouts. Over time, compromised inner ecology can cause or aggravate issues that leave you feeling less than beautiful: fatigue, mood swings, and bloating. Poor energy and fatigue often show on the face, especially in the skin under the eyes.

James was struggling with all those signs of reduced probiotic population. Her health and her energy levels at an all-time low, she realized something had to give. She began a quest to discover where her balance had been thrown. Researching nutrition and natural approaches to beauty enhancement, she learned about studies that have looked at lesser-known effects of probiotics. "We’re only beginning to discover all the clinically verifiable benefits of probiotics," she said. "If you’ve taken antibiotics or birth control, or spent a good part of your life as a sugar addict like I did, your probiotics are likely depleted."

Motivated and ready to change, James developed her own personal dietary program focusing on specific beauty-enhancing nutrients. "I included probiotics to help me absorb those nutrients. It literally transformed me beyond recognition, first restoring digestion and then clearing my skin and renewing my relationship with food," James said. "I have permanently dropped ten dress sizes!"

While James’ experience is quite dramatic, it is fairly common for people to see some beauty-enhancing ‘side benefits’ when taking a probiotic supplement. "Probiotics are responsible for helping us digest food properly. So, it’s a domino effect after that. To feel and look your best, all of your body’s cells need to receive adequate nutrition from your food. Without that nourishment, yes, you’ll see external consequences," explained Mindy Barrows, C.N., Director of Education, of Essential Formulas Incorporated distributor of Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics®. "If probiotic imbalance is at the core of someone’s overeating or the root cause of their skin irritations, they could see incredible improvement after a few months of taking a high-quality probiotic product and eating well."

There are a few serious considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a probiotic supplement. "I would never compromise by taking freeze-dried brands that might not be viable," said James. "I prefer Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics® . It contains the strongest strains of living friendly bacteria along with prebiotics, which are specific nutrients that nourish the probiotics."

Having a diverse list of probiotic strains in the supplement may be more important than having billions of one kind. "This is definitely a case where quality is more important than quantity," said Barrows. "In fact, products advertising billions of a certain bacteria strain can actually overwhelm the body and trigger an immune response. The body might think the sudden onslaught is a threat." A high-quality product will contain multiple strains along with prebiotic nutrition.

Apparently, the Dr. Ohhira’s product that James prefers is part of a larger product line including topical beauty products. Scientists have discovered that probiotics also do your body good when applied to the surface of the skin. Applied through a moisturizer or cleansing bar, probiotics help nourish and moisturize the skin without any need for harsh chemicals or irritants. That’s another refreshing alternative for anyone with very sensitive or breakout-prone skin.

Whether looking for healthy approaches to weight management and metabolism or hoping to improve dermal health, probiotics may be an overlooked but vital key to any beauty transformation program. "Feeling better and looking better, you begin to radiate a whole new energy," said James. "Beauty really does start on the inside, at a gut level!"

Though your gut is the first lines of immune defense, the skin is your second line of defense. Often overlooked, probiotics support immune system cells from within and Dr. Ohhira's Kampuku Beauty Bar with probiotics helps to balance, moisturize and protect the skin. It's perfect for sensitive skin and lathers into a wonderful shaving cream.
It Takes Guts...
to be beautiful!

Weight Management

Suprising Side Benefits: Probiotics Found to Provide Support for Weight Management and Metabolic Goals

Natural health practitioners and whole health aficionados have long touted the digestive benefits of friendly bacteria. Now, with a wide range of consumers taking probiotics as part of a daily supplement regimen, science is discovering a strange list of “side benefits” associated with probiotics. That includes a connection between beneficial bacteria and both weight loss, and weight management.

In a recent study, people who exercised, ate well, and consumed a probiotic-infused drink daily for twelve weeks, saw greater support for healthy weight management than a group that relied on exercise and diet alone.1 How could these hard-working friendly microbes affect a person’s metabolism to lose weight?

The answer, scientists say, is likely found in three major probiotic functions: their key role in digestion of needed nutrients, their support for the body’s ability to detoxify itself, and their intriguing positive effects on mood and energy levels.
Dig a little deeper, and that threefold synergy becomes quite clear.

Probiotics are completely responsible for digesting important nutrients and even manufacturing some of our needed vitamins. When the internal flora balance is compromised, those bacterial good guys can’t do their job efficiently, explained Dr. Natalie Engelbart, the founder of Alternative Health Solutions and, in Flower Mound, Texas. “That means the body may be missing out on certain nutrient building blocks, even if the person is eating a very healthy diet.”

What happens then? The body kicks in with cravings—strong ones. Even if an individual is diligently eating well, on a cellular level, the body feels short-changed! Ironically, those cravings are usually focused on desperate quick-energy foods—the very sugary, starchy foods that further compromise probiotic health and contribute to weight gain.

Dr. Engelbart, whose practice and research is focused on the connections between nutrition and functional neurology, said that maintaining probiotic balance can help ensure that all the nutrients in a person’s daily diet are actually getting absorbed into the body. “It even appears that a healthier flora balance is connected to appropriate appetite signaling," she said. This net effect is likely due to probiotics’ influence on overall nutrient uptake and healthy internal pH.

As living organisms, probiotics set up shop in the gut, crowding out less friendly elements and producing pH-altering chemicals that make the internal environment more hospitable for themselves and their host. That leads to the probiotics’ role in supporting internal detoxification, a topic now getting a little more attention in weight management circles.

The theory is that the body deals with common day-to-day toxin exposure by encapsulating nasty particles in fat. So supporting the body’s ability to detoxify itself is a key to promoting healthy fat storage and metabolism. “Probiotics help the body detoxify itself both by preventing new toxins from even entering the blood stream, and by supporting the body’s process for flushing out toxins already in the system,” said Dr. Engelbart.

In addition to maintaining overall nutrient uptake and internal detoxification, a healthy flora balance also has complicated benefits for mood and energy levels. “Apparently, most of the mood-affecting neurochemicals produced in the brain, are also produced in the gut—by probiotic organisms,” said Dr. Engelbart. Believe it or not, the notion of having “a gut feeling” may have a very literal basis!

One of the major side benefits reported by people taking probiotic supplements is a sense of stable mood and energy. In fact, according to research being conducted at Columbia University, there are strong connections between digestive health and mental wellness. It’s not solely that the body feels more balanced from healthy nutrient uptake. That’s definitely helpful, but probiotics actually produce some of the feel-good neurochemicals. Even more, the gut itself has its own nervous system (the enteric nervous system) that lets it function independently of the brain and also makes it possible for the gut to communicate to the brain. That nervous system messaging is the most positive and mood-balancing when gut flora and pH are in balance.

This mood and energy boost is often the difference between sticking with a healthy lifestyle change… or letting a New Year’s resolution slide.
The surprising synergetic support for healthy metabolism is just another reason to add a high-quality multi-strain probiotic to any whole health lifestyle!

It Takes Guts... to keep up!


By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

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