Meet Seed, The Probiotic That’s Here To Upgrade Gut Health!
By Iona Brannon
The gut, or gastrointestinal tract, is made up of many organs that aid in the digestion process, breaking down and absorbing everything we consume. Not only is this where all the nutritional absorption happens, but it’s also where most of our microbiome live. They play a role in everything from our chances of obesity to our digestion, immunity, energy levels, and even our skin. As research around our gut health and microbiome increase, links are beginning to emerge between modern diseases we suffer from and our microbiome. So how do we take care of our microbiome?
That’s why we decided to sit down with Ara Katz, founder of Seed. Seed started with Katz’s vision to reinvent baby formula as a plant-based formula that would support the development of babies. As they developed the product, which will be launching in 2019, they also began to develop a synbiotic capsule for gut health.
“Every biome of the body is impacted by bacteria, and we realized there’s this huge opportunity — because the term ‘probiotic’ is not regulated — to create the scientific standard of consumer health in probiotics,” Katz said.
Although she started her career in the storytelling field, Katz always had a fascination with the human body and physiology. “I always knew I wanted to be in health. My mom died when I was 17. I was printing out PubMed articles and clinical trials in my computer lab in high school,” said Katz.
Always a question-asker, Katz became the go-to person for friends.
“People would text and say ‘should I take this,’ because I am literally obsessed with research and understanding and I just don’t buy bullshit,” Katz said. “ I’m just a question-asker. I question Western doctors, I question Eastern advice.”
With a team of highly-trained scientists, including some of the NIH’s Human Microbiome Project’s primary investigators, Seed developed a synbiotic formula designed to pass through the gut, delivering fortifying elements to the microbiome.
The capsule is engineered with probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are essentially bacteria that are good for you, she explains. Prebiotics are food for the bacteria. Their uniquely-created prebiotics set Seed apart from other companies because their products come in clinically-verified dosages. Not only that, but Seed’s synbiotic uses only bacteria strains that have co-evolved in the body, unlike the soil and animal-based organisms found in most probiotic supplements. This means that not only are the organisms already proven to be adaptable in the human body, but they’re also the perfect choice for plant-based eaters!
… our daily lives are more impacted by our gut health than we realize.
Katz recommends starting with one capsule a day to allow for an acclimation period.
“Probiotics do their work on the road,” Katz says. “They don’t go in and stick around, so when they’re going through, they’re signaling and talking to other microbes and other human cells. If you’re introducing a big load all at once, you will possibly feel something.”
She says that consistent probiotic consumers have noted how different they feel, and some even claim to have the “Seed glow.” It’s because our daily lives are more impacted by our gut health than we realize.
“When your digestion improves so much, you’re going to feel better,” says Katz.
Probiotics are one step in the process of having healthy bacteria and a strong gut. What we consume on a day-to-day basis plays the most significant role. Unlike our genome, our microbiome can be altered, largely by what we eat. Studies show that having a consistent fiber intake is key to nurturing your gut bacteria. Eating fiber-rich foods such as broccoli, leeks, onions, garlic and green veggies can increase the level of indolepropionic acid, an anti-inflammatory chemical that’s actually produced by the healthy bacteria. You can also help feed your gut bacteria through healthy fermented foods like fermented cabbage, sauerkraut and kimchi.
At the end of the day, even Katz says the most important aspect of ensuring a healthy gut is through nutrition.
“We’re very clear that there’s no substitute for the right diet and nutrition,” says Katz. “Our probiotic is not some band-aid that brings it back to center. That’s not how it works. Eat a healthy, plant-based diet.”
Iona Brannon is the editorial assistant and side-brain at MAED. With a background in journalism, she enjoys sitting in L.A. traffic and occasionally yelling at other drivers.