There comes a time in a blogger's posting life when he says to himself, "How much do visitors to my blog want to know about my digestive system?"
This is a question that separates the self-absorbed blogger who believes that the world is interested in the most intimate and mundane details of his body, mind, and soul (namely, the true blogger) from the faux variety.
I've made my choice: to lead the reader deeper into the bowels of me.
Though my digestive story isn't all that interesting. I've simply noted that my late-50s body doesn't handle food with quite the same alacrity that it did when I was younger.
Which isn't a big surprise. My body doesn't do many things as well as it did years or decades ago. But eating is pretty central to my life, as is getting rid of what's been eaten.
In the good old digestive days I never thought about what entered my mouth and left the other end. Whatever I felt like eating, I ate. End of story. When I got into my late '50s, I began to notice that food's effects became less predictable.
Being a vegetarian, my fiber-heavy diet has always made it easy for me to put in regular reading time in the bathroom. But there can be too much of anything, and occasionally I'd find myself making more visits than I wanted to.
Enter Align, a slickly marketed Procter & Gamble probiotic product. I've been taking a capsule daily for a bit over a month, and it seems to have smoothed out most of the wrinkles in my intestinal life.
I already was a daily yogurt consumer. I also was taking another supplement of beneficial bacteria, Kyo-Dophilus. However, when I read about how the active ingredient in Align, Bifidobacterium infantis, had been proven to be effective in a controlled study, I decided to give it a try.
And have been happy with it.
It seems overpriced ($29.99 for a month's supply) but, hey, it's made by a giant capitalist corporation that packages 28 small capsules in foil blister packs stamped with the days of the week and puts them in a fancy box with a breathlessly positive brochure.
Procter & Gamble supplies a "Personal 4-Week Progress Chart" where the user of Align can record his or her digestive trajectory: Great!, Good, Occasionally bothered, Often bothered.
I wasn't sure what to make of the brochure's description about what to expect in Week 3.
You should be experiencing a noticeable improvement in your digestive health – in fact, some people may be noticing you are doing something new.
God, I hope not! The last thing I want is to be broadcasting the state of my digestive health to the world. Except…oops, I'm doing just that right now.
(This isn't anything new, though, having already shared the depths of my intestinal soul in another post about my virtual colonoscopy.)