Australia-based Norti Nutrition has released its specialty line of gut-healthy chocolate bars to the U.S. market. The bars include both pre- and probiotics to help create healthy gut bacteria.
Most types of edible probiotic supplements are fermentation-based; they have to be refrigerated to keep the bacteria cultures alive and active. Norti, which has U.S. offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, uses soil-based probiotics. Soil-based probiotics naturally occur in nutrient-dense earth, and unlike other probiotic strains, they are shelf stable and activate when they enter the gut. Soil-based probiotics are also more acid resistant, so they will make it all the way through to the intestines, delivering the greatest amount of nutrients to the rest of the body.
Prebiotics are food for probiotics, feeding helpful probiotic cultures. Prebiotics are found in a variety of healthy foods like bananas, oats, whole grains and now, chocolate. Norti’s chocolate bars contain both probiotics that activate in the gut, adding to the good bacteria, and prebiotics to feed the good bacteria already living in the microbiome.
According to Norti’s Greg Lane, the microbiome has a significant effect on people’s moods and mental wellness. Disruptions in the normal function in of gut bacteria can lower energy levels and be a major trigger for anxiety and depression. High anxiety causes higher levels of cortisol in the body, which tells the stomach to produce more acid. In the long term, high levels of stomach acid can deplete healthy gut bacteria, weakening the immune system.
Conversely, most of the serotonin in the brain is produced in the gut. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, it carries messages across the brain. Though serotonin’s function in the brain is complicated, and ranges from aiding in memory retention to muscle function, it is best known for helping people to feel “happiness.”