There are some things you just can’t blame on the weather. If there’s one thing that stops us from enjoying our day, our sport, our special occasion, our family event, or our day at work, it’s how we feel in our stomachs.
Life is a balance between work and play and so it is with our tummies. Too much of a good thing gets the bad things angry and we get digestive upsets, nausea vomiting and diarhorrea. Too much of a bad thing gets the good things feeling left out and we feel drained, lacking in energy and prone to just about every bug and virus that will be around this winter.
And those bugs love us. Ripe for the picking we are with our busy, stressful lifestyles, our fondness for refined fast foods, our irregular eating times and our sometimes couch-potato existence watching TV or playing video games.
One man who knows more than most about alimentary balance — the good bugs, the bad bugs and the ugly bugs — is Brian Kirker who with wife Sharon manufacture and distribute Kirker Health Yoghurt Capsules, crammed full of probiotics, or good bugs as they are known. The capsules essentially contain good bacteria for a healthier digestive system, which is the motor to our bodies.
And for those who like big words, here’s why Kirker Health Yoghurt Capsules are so in demand. They contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which extract goodness from the food we eat; Lactobacillus Bifidus, which extract waste and toxins from the body and pass them in a bowel motion; and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Steptococcus Thermophilus, which help break down food in the upper and lower part of the stomach.
For those who like small words, just call them good bugs or probiotics.
Brian puts it in perspective.
“Mention the word bacteria and we immediately think ‘bad’.
“However in reality there are only a small number of strains that are bad. Most microbes are harmless and contribute to our well being,” he says.
“The bacteria, good and bad, that live in our digestive system are there naturally. In balance, they help our digestive system work efficiently by extracting all the goodness from what we eat and circulating the goodness by passing it into the bloodstream circulating around our bodies. The waste moves through our intestinal tract in the usual manner,” Brian said.
And exploding a popular myth, Brian says that contrary to popular belief we are not what we eat.
“We are what we can digest and absorb. Nothing is more important than our digestive systems which
must function properly for our good health and this is where our health probiotic capsules are so beneficial.
“Over the course of our lifetime no less than 100 tonnes of food will pass through our digestive system, an organ about 10 metres long with a surface area about the size of a small football field.
“Amazingly, most of the billions of cells that make up this barrier between our bodies and the outside world are replaced every four days,” Brian said.
“Good bugs help them do their job for the time they are with us.”
The Invercargill business couple are celebrating 17 years of marketing these good bugs this year with a growing number of satisfied and repeat customers and a warm feeling knowing their product has contributed so much to the quality of life of so many customers. Those people include sportspeople, those in high-stress jobs, farmers, those recovering from illness and surgery, and people who “just want to feel good each day”.
And if you think this article is just another marketing blurb for a ho-hum product with few measurable benefits, think again — emails, letters and testimonials from users show Brian and Sharon’s 17 years in the business have certainly not been wasted.
Unlike most product manufacturers who constantly refine, develop, repackage and re-brand, Brian’s got a simplistic approach bringing wide success — “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.
“In 17 years our probiotic capsule recipe has remained fundamentally the same,” he said this week.
Brian knew his probiotic recipe was effective when his chronically ill mother who suffered constant bowel blockages found almost instant relief after insisting on trying the blend 17 years ago.
“Her condition was alleviated immediately and I knew that if probiotics helped her digestive balance with all her conditions such as growths causing bowel blockages then it was certainly going to be effective for the vast majority of healthy people.”
With the recipe decided and the market established Brian and Sharon engaged Christchurch manufacturer Biolab to produce the capsules. They were an instant hit on a very active online market.
Capsules have clear advantages, Brian said.
The good bugs are in a suspended state after being freeze processed. All they need is warmth and moisture to reactivate, conditions found in the stomach. They are convenient to have in the house, on an aircraft, in travel bags and anywhere where a long shelf life is required.
It makes them ideal for mail-order.
“Because we are 100 per cent mail order we can reduce costs by not having to employ sales and marketing staff and operate retail outlets,” Brian said.
But that is not to say there was little demand for over-the-counter sales.
“An Invercargill pharmacist wanted as many of capsules as we could provide after finding success among his customers.”
Brian and Sharon also offer a personal telephone service to their online customers.
“We have a call centre, but if anyone would like to talk to us directly they can phone 0800 99 88 88.
“We welcome the opportunity to explain in detail why so many people have directly benefitted from our product,” Brian said.