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Dr. Travis Stork Discussing The Benefits Of Prebiotics On GMA

In his appearance on “Today,” Dr. Travis Stork explains the recent focus on gut bacteria, probiotics, and prebiotics as it relates to the general public’s health. We at Aleavia Plant-Based Skincare chose to highlight this piece not because Dr. Stork addresses our organic skin care brand or prebiotic skin care to any degree, but because it helps folks who are learning about the idea of “good gut bacteria” understand what is being discussed. When a professional physician like Dr. Stork takes a step back and explains what has happened regarding this topic over the last several decades, we think it’s a good idea to pay attention.

If you are interested in learning more about gut bacteria and how our diet impacts areas of our life like weight, inflammation, and beyond, keep reading! This post is for you. We’ll provide plenty of Dr. Stork’s direct quotes in addition to explaining how Aleavia’s vegan skin care line fits into the bigger picture of prebiotics and feeding good bacteria.

Gut Bacteria And Dr. Travis Stork

Prompted by the television show’s host, the doctor and television personality gave some context about what’s happened over the past few decades regarding our society’s understanding of gut bacteria and the best way to interact with the “microbiome” that is living in our body.

Says Dr. Stork: “To some extent, we doctors are at fault. We’ve taught everyone, “bacteria: BAD.’ and unfortunately, that’s not the case. Most bacteria are really good for us and so it’s really important that we nurture them, so I’m flipping the script on this. In the past it was ‘kill bacteria, kill bacteria” and that may be part of the reason why we are in the trouble we are with obesity being the highest rate we’ve ever known...and so teaching people how to eat in a way to increase your gut bacteria but also help you lose weight and be healthier.”

Indeed, the Baby Boomer generation, and even Generation X, to a certain extent, were taught that bacteria must be eliminated to improve our chances of being healthy. That’s why doctors had the habit of prescribing antibiotics without much a second thought for many years.

Over the past few years, however, our understanding of how our immune system and general health interacts with our gut bacteria has dramatically changed.

“It’s so new we did not know about this when I went to medical school. Our gut bacteria weigh up to six lbs in our gut. One hundred trillion cells are there, but they don’t just hang out. They are very important. Interestingly, lean people have 70 percent more gut bacteria and diverse gut bacteria.”

Clearly, there is something to this, as it’s not only Dr. Stork and us at Aleavia Plant-Based Prebiotic Skin Care that understands the complex yet significant relationship between gut health and general well-being. Dr. Stork goes on to discuss how gut bacteria can affect the fight against obesity, autoimmune illnesses, and inflammation in the body.

“I wrote this book to highlight the way we eat so we could the makeup of our gut bacteria. Everything from inflammation in the body — people with more gut bacteria may have lower rates of autoimmune illness.”

The host of the show then asks about the relationship between gut bacteria and inflammation more specifically, and Dr. Stork responds with this helpful insight:

“Think about it this way; if you’re not exposed to a lot of these good gut bacteria, what happens is your immune system can be like a bored teenager, constantly attacking things it shouldn’t and increasing information in the body. We don’t fully understand how it all works yet, and that’s what’s interesting. Every single day a new article comes out about this, and I spent all summer reading about it. The one thing we do know is that if we nurture these bacteria they seem to tamp down inflammation...what matters to laypeople is that starting with our next meal, we can change the makeup of our microbiome and also increase our chances of being at a healthier weight and reduce inflammation.”

It’s true. The science is there, although much more research needs to be done on the matter. As our conceptual understanding grows, we are still able to glean practical information from what we currently know about feeding good bacteria for our health.

Five Gut Guidelines From Dr. Stork

Dr. Stork speaks of five easy ways our gut health can be impacted by simple diet changes.

  • Probiotics - “Eat probiotics every day. I’m not talking about supplements: yogurt kimchi, fermented sauerkraut. Many fermented products. Those probiotics add good gut bacteria into your microbiome.”
  • Prebiotics - “These are foods that feed the good bacteria that the probiotic-laden fermented food added to your microbiome. Put simply, probiotics add bacteria while prebiotics feed bacteria. Dr. Stork recommends finding fiber-heavy food, like raspberries, which have eight grams of fiber per cup (as opposed to strawberries, for instance, which have 3 grams per cup). Up your intake of high-fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grains — all those things matter.”
  • Protein Variety - “In America, we tend to think of protein as only coming from meat. But in the book I talk about protein coming from plant proteins, nuts, and seeds. If you add those in your salads and meals, those proteins have great fibers and nutrients.”
  • Great grains - “Don’t give up on grains. There are so many grains that people don’t know about — barley, bulgur —  it’s not just about whole wheat when we talk about great grains. The great thing about grains is that they are loaded with fiber — again, a great thing for our gut.”
  • Embrace Friendly Fats - “Another thing we did as doctors is about two or three decades ago is we scared people off. We told people, look, don’t eat fat. But the truth is fat doesn’t make you fat, healthy fats can be really good for your health. So by adding all these foods together, you can truly create wonderful-tasting meals, and in the book I have a lot of great recipes that combine all these nutrients...Have fun with grains, have fun with salads, and go with these nice deep greens. Stay away from things like curtains, go with nuts and seeds!”

Prebiotic Skincare By Aleavia

While the “Today” show’s feature of Dr. Stork was framed in the context of losing belly fat (a desire which will never go out of style, we are afraid), the actual content of the interview was much more rich than simply providing a few tips to slim down a waist size or two.

The distinction between probiotics (adding good bacteria to your gut) and prebiotics (feeding the existing good bacteria) is hugely important, as are the Dr.’s recommendations regarding diet changes that include diversifying our protein sources and embracing friendly fats.

So how do we at Aleavia Plant-Based Skin Care fit into this topic? We provide prebiotic skin care products with seven plant-based ingredients that change the life of your skin. Although Dr. Stork didn’t mention skin health specifically, the same concepts are applied to feed the good bacteria living on your skin. Prebiotics feed the skin’s healthy microbes, whereby they rebalance skin pH and accelerate the recovery of problematic skin. Issues like wounds, scars, blemishes, and even eczema and acne can be dramatically improved by Aleavia.

When we strip away our skin’s natural ability to protect itself using traditional methods of skin care, the result of using chemically-derived beauty products pollute your skin. This can cause irritation, rosacea, dry skin, premature aging, acne, and beyond. Aleavia and our organic, prebiotic skin care line work at the cellular level to feed what the body already does well. The end result is glowing, radiant, healthy skin.

If you are ready to learn more about our all-natural acne treatment, natural eczema cream, and vegan skin care products, shop Aleavia today!

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