Probiotics and You
What are Probiotics?
They are beneficial or “good” bacteria. They are naturally found in your intestinal tract and are key to promoting a healthy immune system and proper balance for your digestive system functions.
I know that probiotics are available as a “supplement.” If they are in my body, why to I need to supplement my diet with them?
Our digestive system is under attack from stress, indulgent foods and unhealthy lifestyles. Therefore we need to replenish our good bacteria with new bacteria to help maintain balance in our gut. Our chocolate is not a supplement as it is a functional food. As such, it is a great source of beneficial bacteria and in a better delivery system than common supplements that come in pills or milk-based products.
How many do I need every day to replace the bacteria that dies?
It is important that the good bacteria is replaced daily. You need about 1 billion new bacteria every day. That number has to survive the trip through the stomach and then populate the small and large intestines to insure good balance in your digestive system. The cocoa butter in our dark chocolate is a superb “delivery vehicle” for the bacteria protecting them from stomach acid.
How many bacteria do I need? Is more better?
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has considered this question. They note “higher [bacteria] counts do not necessarily improve the product’s health effects...[and] because probiotics must be consumed alive to have health benefits and they can die during their shelf life...” users should focus on how many bacteria actually survive*. This is why SmartLife Chocolate has chosen to use microencapsulated bacteria and delivers them in dark chocolate. These two techniques both lengthen the shelf life and protect the bacteria in the stomach on its way to the intestines where it can do its job.
I noticed that you include two probiotic strains in the chocolate. Why those two? Why not more?
Our formulation contains two strains that scientific study after scientific study have been shown to be truly of benefit: Lactobacillus Helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium Longum R0175. While the intestines contain various bacteria our product focuses on increasing the count of those proven to be beneficial. We will not include other strains unless sufficiently robust scientific studies show them to be both of benefit and without negative impact.
Do the probiotics make the chocolate taste bad?
Probiotics have no influence on taste, texture or mouth feel of the chocolate.
Do I have to refrigerate the chocolate to preserve the shelf life of the probiotics?
Unlike with probiotics in capsules or a milk matrix like yogurt, probiotics in chocolate do not have to be refrigerated. The encapsulated good bacteria in the chocolate is in a suspended state of animation, thereby mitigating the shelf life issue that is present with capsules or a milk matrix.
Chocolate itself is best when stored between 55 and 70 degrees temperature. Most home environments are just fine. The SmartLife Chocolate product should last a minimum of one year from purchase.
I am counting calories in my daily diet. How many calories are in the chocolate piece?
Our chocolate is one half ounce of premium dark chocolate and has only 70 calories.
I am trying to lead a healthier lifestyle with better diet and some exercise. How will probiotics help me? What are the benefits to my general health?
Daily intake of one piece of our chocolate with the probiotics will add about one billion good bacteria to your intestinal area. This will greatly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by the de-conjugation of bile and lowering blood cholesterol levels. In addition, probiotics will also help combat cancer by detoxifying free radicals and replacing bad bacteria with good bacteria.
Can I eat too many pieces and if so, what would happen?
No. This is real food and your body will process it like all other food you eat. If you overeat the chocolate you just might feel full from eating too much like eating too much of any other food.