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Home/Blog/Fermentation Benefits & Top Fermented Supplements

Fermentation Benefits & Top Fermented Supplements

By Jill Levy

February 10, 2024

Fermentation benefits

Yes, fermentation is everywhere and by now you've probably heard all about the benefits of fermented foods. But what exactly is fermentation and why is everyone making such a big deal out of it?

Fermentation is a process used to produce many of the foods you know and love, like cheese, bread, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, wine and chocolate. It’s an easy process, done by anyone, anywhere and with the most basic tools. Cultures around the world have been fermenting longer than we’ve been cultivating soil or writing books — it’s been done for thousands of years.

Best of all, fermentation brings out some amazing health benefits in the foods, drinks and supplements we consume.

The process of fermentation can elevate superfoods, herbs and nutrients to a whole new level. When an ingredient is fermented, it creates new compounds that can have numerous benefits on the body. Also, fermentation is known to increase nutrient absorption and digestion.

Remember, you aren't what you eat; you are what you digest.

For that reason, we at Ancient Nutrition ferment many of our ingredients — some at our own farms — to make them more bioavailable, such the eggshell membrane collagen in our No. 1 product Multi Collagen Protein as well as the new Multi Collagen Advanced supplement line.

What Is Fermentation?

Fermentation is the process of using microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, to convert carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids under anaerobic conditions. There are two basic types of fermentation: alcoholic and lactic acid.

Alcoholic fermentation, or ethanol fermentation, is where pyruvate (from glucose metabolism) is broken down into carbon dioxide and ethanol by bacteria and yeast. Alcohol fermentation has been used to produce beer, bread and wine.

Pyruvate molecules from glucose glycolysis may be further fermented into lactic acid. Lactic acid fermentation converts lactose into lactic acid.

In the late 19th century, microbiologists realized that microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy individuals had some interesting characteristics. These beneficial microflora were named probiotics, literally meaning “for life.” Probiotics are microorganisms that exert health-promoting influences in humans and animals.

The reasons why fermented foods and drinks are beneficial are because of the natural probiotics they contain and fermentation serves to enhance the digestion of food. Your body needs adequate digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria to properly absorb, digest and utilize nutrients in food.

Fermented foods are filled with beneficial bacteria that work as reinforcement for the good bacteria in the digestive system. Since 70 percent to 80 percent of the immune system lies in the gut, having proper balance of gut flora is important.

What else is fermentation good for? It preserves food. How? During fermentation, organisms produce acetic acid, alcohol and lactic acid, which are all “bio-preservatives” that retain nutrients and help preserve food. Lactic acid acts as a natural preservative by reducing pH.

Benefits

What is fermentation good for? Well, for starters, it helps support digestion and boost bioavailability of nutrients, support gut health and promote overall wellness.

That’s exactly why we focus on adding fermented herbs into our supplement formulations. Here’s a breakdown of the many benefits of fermentation:

1. Supports Healthy Digestion

In general, fermentation breaks down nutrients into more easily digested forms. When bacteria in fermented foods proliferate, their vitamin levels increase and digestibility is enhanced.

Some fermented foods serve to boost gut health. While more studies need to be conducted, one notable study found healthy gut benefits in participants who consumed probiotic yogurt more than once a week compared to those who did not.

By supporting digestive health, fermented foods, drinks and supplements are able to support normal elimination and the proper absorption of nutrients.

2. Enhances Bioavailability of Nutrients

Fermentation helps create new nutrients, like B vitamins, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and biotin, and may improve the digestibility, availability and quantity of some dietary nutrients.

The bioavailability of fat and protein are enhanced by these beneficial bacteria byproducts, like lactic acid. Lactic acid bacteria increase the production of free amino acids and short-chain fatty acids that may help support a healthy microbiome.

3. Helps Support a Healthy Microbial Balance

Fermentation helps to support the balance of “good guy” and “bad guy” bacteria. Consuming probiotic foods or herbs helps to maintain a balanced, healthy internal environment, which is critical for overall health.

4. Supports Gut-Related Immune Health

Consuming fermented foods and supplements may support your body’s healthy inflammatory response. The fermentation process allows for the presence of healthy bacteria that can support a healthy response to inflammation.

Top Fermented Supplements

Unlike fermenting foods at home, Ancient Nutrition's fermentation process for supplements is held to a strict and high Quality Assurance standard per current Good Manufacturing Practices (or cGMP).

Why do we ferment so many ingredients in our products? In essence, it's to make these ingredients more bioavailable — aka absorbable by the body.

Studies show that fermentation can improve digestibility by reducing the levels of non-nutritive compounds that inhibit digestive enzymes. Studies on food products also demonstrate that fermentated foods are characterized by less phytic acid and tannins, which also may improve the bioavailability. In addition, eating fermented ingredients can boost the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut! Win, win, win.

Here are some Ancient Nutrition products that use fermented ingredients:

Multi Collagen Protein Powder

This most popular product provides support for your healthy hair, skin, nails, joints and gut. Ancient Nutrition implemented a groundbreaking concept of using a unique pair of microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) that results in easier-to-digest collagen peptides that aren’t altered by heat or chemical processing.

Multi Collagen Advanced

Multi Collagen Advanced is a premium line that helps one lose weight and fat, gain muscle and strength, and even rapidly hydrate and promote healthy detoxification — all from select clinically studied ingredients and history’s most powerful superfoods.

Ingredients include organic fermented ginger root, organic fermented black pepper fruit, organic fermented milk thistle seed, organic fermented burdock root, organic fermented dandelion root and the proprietary fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient. The latter offers many benefits, including reducing joint discomfort and improving skin elasticity.

Multi Collagen Capsules

This product can improve the appearance of crow's feet after 28 days and reduce knee stiffness in a week. It's the rare collagen capsule supplement that use the powder of fermentation instead of heat, acid, chemicals and industrial enzymes to create beneficial peptides. This allows for a greater impact, even when taking smaller amounts.

SBO Probiotics Ultimate Capsules

Supporting healthy digestive and immune system function and reducing occasional constipation and bloating, this soil-based probiotic supplement includes an organic fermented botanical blend. Full of superfoods and fermented for overall absorption support, this blend acts as a prebiotic and a postbiotic.

Fermented Turmeric

Made with organic turmeric root extract and fermented turmeric root, these tablets help reduce joint tenderness and improve joint mobility. They also support a healthy response to inflammation. 

Organic Ashwagandha

Harnessing one of the most-researched adaptogenic herbs out there, our proprietary ashwagandha supplement supports healthy energy and helps your body fight the effects of stress. It features fermented ashwagandha root so it's easier for your body to absorb.

Ancient Herbals Elderberry

Elderberry is an immune system–supporting superstar. It’s packed with antioxidant-filled flavonoids, anthocyanins and quercetin — all of which are traditionally used to support immune system health. This supplement uses high-quality elderberry fruit and combines it with fermented elderberry fruit and apple cider vinegar. Together, this is a powerful blend that’s easy for your body to absorb and use.

Organic Herbal Cider Vinegar

Our Herbal Cider Vinegar is packed with 10+ organic superfoods, most of which are grown and fermented on our own organic, regenerative farmland. It supports healthy microbial balance, healthy antioxidant levels, healthy body composition and cognitive health. It comes in capsules, a tincture and our popular herbal cider vinegar gummies

Top Fermented Foods

You can ferment a number of vegetables at home, but if you are looking for the top fermented foods to purchase at your local grocery store, try these:

  • Kefir

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha

  • Miso

  • Natto

  • Sauerkraut

  • Tempeh

  • Yogurt

Final Thoughts

  • Fermentation is the process of using microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, to convert carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids.

  • Fermented foods, herbs and drinks help to support a healthy microbiome, promote regularity and support nutrient absorption.

  • Consuming fermented foods and supplements amplifies their effects, allowing you to reap the benefits even when taking smaller amounts.

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