Co-founder and CEO of LoveBug Probiotics, Ashley Harris shares her inspiration for the company, the latest technology behind her line of probiotics and tips for improving digestive health.
What inspired you to start LoveBug Probiotics?
Three years ago, after the birth of my son, I started to get sick. With what, I wasn’t quite sure. All I knew was that I was tired all the time, was getting migraines a lot, and my scalp, eyes, and ears started to itch on the daily. Then one day, out of the blue it seems, I got eczema all over my legs. Something definitely wasn’t right. I reached out to friends and friends of friends who were doctors, nutritionists, and even scientists. Luckily, I found an amazing team of doctors who tested me for what seemed like anything and everything. It turned out that all these weird symptoms were all related to problems originating in my gut. Turns out I had Celiac, Candida, and leaky gut all at once as well as a complete imbalance of good bacteria compared to bad living in my system. Absolutely stunned by this outcome, I made my husband get his own lab tests done as well. Turns out his good to bad bacteria ratio was just as bad as mine!
We immediately started taking probiotics and began to notice an amazing shift in our health. Curious about this bacterial imbalance, we began conducting research and found out that it wasn’t just us suffering from suffering from this. In fact, most people’s gut bacteria is severely off-balance due to the antibiotics we are prescribed and eat, pesticides and chemicals we’re exposed to, and the processed foods we Americans seem to eat on the daily. Inspired by the power probiotics had on our health, my husband and I decided to develop our own line of premium probiotics using only the best of the best strains, delivery technology, and working hand in hand with world class scientists who research the Human Microbiome Project.
Why probiotics- and more importantly- why Love Bug probiotics?
As I said before, we are surrounded by antibiotics. Sure, antibiotics are a great thing to have when you are sick, but they tend to wipe out all your bacteria in a scorched-earth style, including those precious good bacteria. Many people don’t know that they have to take antibiotics in conjunction with probiotics to replenish their immune system during the healing process. This is why many people relapse with their illnesses. Trends also show that doctors have a tendency to overprescribe antibiotics to patients, meaning an increase in weakened immune systems on a mass basis. A weakened immune system paired with additional antibiotics injected into the meats we eat, over processed foods, and chemicals and pesticides making our way into our bodies is not good news for our health. In fact, many studies have correlated a poor microbiome with things such as allergies and asthma, to more serious diseases such as ADD, autism, Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Basically, think of probiotics as an army of bugs who march into your body and kick out all the bad bugs that are making you sick and uncomfortable. Your gut is called your ‘second brain’ for a reason, so just as you make sure to wear a helmet when you ride a bike, you need to shield your gut from any harm to maintain a functional, healthy body.
LoveBug Probiotics is completely unique to other probiotics on the market. First of all, we use BioTract Technology, which ensures that our probiotics are released in your gut, where they are most needed, making our probiotics 15x more effective than other brands. Many probiotics that do not use this technology are basically ineffective because they tend to break apart in your stomach acid before they have the chance to even reach your gut. We’re also one of the only probiotics out there that are non-GMO, gluten free, sugar free, soy free, lactose free, nut free, and don’t use any artificial coloring or flavors. We also have three specialized formulas for different ailments, from your generic digestive issues, to not-so-fun things like UTIs and Yeast Infections. Also, did you see our bottles? Gorgeous!
We also just released a children’s line for infants and toddlers! Our son takes them and loves them. I can’t stress how important it is for children to get a head start in developing their microbiomes. A child’s microbiome begins during birth. Between the ages of six months and three years old the number of different microbial strains increases from just 100 to 1,000 and by three years old, a child’s microbiome resembles that of an adult. My little one just turned three and is about to start preschool. We know that before we send him off that he needs to be healthy and strong, and our formula pretty much has him prepped for pre-K, germs and all!
What are other ways that you maintain a healthy microbiome in your diet?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Know what’s in the food you are eating. I only buy organic produce, foods, and meats to make sure my good bacteria aren’t being hurt by additives and antibiotics. I also find yummy ways to get an extra dose of probiotics in my diet. A lot of my friends like eating kimchi and organic Greek yogurt. I personally love drinking Kombucha! I haven’t tried my hand at making my own yet, but I love the Health-Ade brand!