In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new gut-health must-have on the block: fungi. And until recently, the scientific world was in the dark about its role in keeping you digestion-happy.
“Up until now, good bacteria has really been the focus,” says Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD. “At the same time, the critical role fungi plays in our health and wellness has largely been ignored. It’s really only in the last 10 years that we, as a scientific community, have turned to studying the positive role fungi plays in our body.”
“It’s really only in the last 10 years that we, as a scientific community, have turned to studying the positive role fungi plays in our body.”
Dr. Ghannoum, the scientist who coined the term “mycobiome” (that’s the fungal community currently taking up residence in your body), wants to change all that—which is why he founded BIOHM Probiotics, the first supplement to balance the gut’s total microbiome of bacteria and fungi.
But before you get creeped out, there’s plenty of evidence for why this (admittedly weird) ingredient could be the key to better gut health—and might just end your bloat struggle for good.
Scroll down for 3 reasons to take a probiotic that includes fungi—and why you should get to know your “digestive plaque” (really).
1. Bacteria alone may not solve your gut-health issues
“When I looked around the probiotic landscape, I was really surprised to see that no one had developed a probiotic that addressed both the bacteria and fungi in the gut,” says Dr. Ghannoum. And he should know: He’s written over 400 peer-reviewed articles himself.
Fungi deficiency can lead to all of the classic problems you loathe during bathing suit season: bloating, gas, cramps, and even acid reflux.
And while maintaining good bacteria has long been held as the gold standard of gut health, Dr. Ghannoum says fungi deficiency can lead to all of the classic problems you loathe during bathing suit season, too: namely bloating, gas, cramps, and even acid reflux. So if you’re still experiencing those even with a traditional probiotic, BIOHM could be a life-saver.
2. Fungi helps you absorb nutrients
A fungal community that’s out of whack could affect your overall health. “It can actually even slow down the time it takes for food to move through your system, which disturbs your gut’s ability to absorb and process nutrients,” Dr. Ghannoum notes. (Think about this the next time you’re downing that veggie-packed smoothie.)
On the flip side, taking a probiotic with fungi like BIOHM does the opposite, he says: “Fungi actually helps break down food and improves nutrient absorption in the digestive tract.”
Think about this the next time you’re downing that veggie-packed smoothie.
But is it possible to get too much of a good thing? “Not at all,” says Dr. Ghannoum. “Our digestive tract is constantly recalibrating to maintain balance, as it is constantly being adjusted by food we’re eating, medicine we’re taking, and even stress. As a result, adding additional good fungi can help fortify and maintain optimal balance in the gut.”
3. You need to deal with digestive plaque
If you thought plaque was only something dentists talk about, think again. “Everyone knows that it’s important to remove the plaque on your teeth, because then you can stop germs from causing gum and dental issues,” says Dr. Ghannoum. “Digestive plaque works in much the same way.”
“If you hope to maintain optimal digestive balance, it’s critical to break down digestive plaque.”
Here’s how: Buildup sticks to your digestive tissues, creating a protective layer over bacteria and fungi that allows them to operate unchecked. “If you hope to maintain optimal digestive balance, it’s critical to break down digestive plaque, so you can actually balance out the bacteria and fungi that’s hidden beneath,” he explains.
Dr. Ghannoum has raised more than $25 million in research funding to study fungi, digestive plaque, and gut health. And as a result, BIOHM is the only probiotic proven to break down the sneaky culprit, he says. Who knows? Soon, supplementing with fungi could be as second nature to you as flossing, as “plaque patrol” vigilance takes a holistic turn (AKA it’s not just about your teeth and gums).
Top photo: Stocksy/Carolyn Lagatutta