Probiotics are synonymous to good gut health because of what they can do to your body. It consists of good bacteria and yeast, which are live microorganisms that live inside your digestive system. These good bacteria live alongside harmful bacteria, and both are at constant war with each other. It is easier for you to maintain optimum health if there is an ample amount of good bacteria in your gut.
Also known as live biotherapeutic products, probiotics as supplements and food do not require approval from the USFDA. However, should probiotics cross borders, such as when used as a treatment for human disease, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research steps in and regulates them. A permission must also be secured from the agency when using probiotics to perform clinical studies that require human test subjects.
How Probiotics Work
As Omnibiotic explains, probiotics also help normalize bowel movements. The billions of good bacteria in your gut help break down food and medicines. This makes it easier for the body to absorb nutrients, as well as allows for medications to take effect faster. Probiotics also support the digestive system to prevent harmful bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
Probiotics keep the body in neutral mode. They fight off the bad bacteria that enter the body and help restore balance. Probiotics are some of the natural defenses that the body has, but when you take antibiotics to deal with more potent strains of bacteria, it can eliminate the good bacteria from your system.
Probiotics can be found in fermented food and drinks. Consuming the following will help replenish the amount of good bacteria that you lose when you take antibiotics.
- Soy drinks
- Aged cheeses
Different Types Of Probiotics
The following are some of the most researched strains of good bacteria and yeast:
- Lactobacillus is a well-known probiotic that naturally occurs in fermented food, cultured milk, and yogurt. Those who are lactose intolerant can benefit from this probiotic. Other strains of Lactobacillus may also help prevent illnesses.
- Bifidobacterium lives in the stomach and the intestines. In a 2011 study, it showed promise in lessening the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It may also be beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, constipation, lung infection, and more.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast that is safe for the human body and is a proven treatment for various gastrointestinal illnesses. A clinical study in 2012 has proved that there are no adverse effects concerning the use of this specific type of probiotic.
The Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Probiotics can influence various systems and affect their conditions. Here are some critical advantages of consuming probiotics:
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Fights infection
- Keeps blood pressure down
- Improves brain function
- Helps manage psoriasis and eczema
- Boosts the immune system
- Aids in weight loss
A number of clinical studies and research have yielded proof that certain types of probiotics can become treatment or preventative options against the following:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal infection
- Bladder cancer
How To Choose The Right Probiotic For You
You need to be cautious about choosing a probiotic for your specific condition. Not all products, such as food and supplements, contain the right one for your needs. Here are some ways you can make sure that you are getting the right probiotic.
- Must-Have Live Microorganisms
Probiotics are tiny microscopic bacteria. You need products that do have live bacteria in them to replenish the ones you lost. Some manufacturers choose to add something else to their products. If you want to be extra sure, you simply have to read the label of the product you’re eyeing to purchase. If it states the number of live microorganisms it contains, it should be the one you would want to consume.
- Number Of Microorganisms
The CFU or colony-forming units must amount to at least two billion up to 100 billion. Otherwise, you will not have enough good bacteria to suit your needs. The quality must also be good as you would not want to be ingesting additionals, like weak cells and toxins. Make sure to only opt for reputable brands and manufacturers. These usually have their own websites, where you can see all their offerings, as well as the fine details of each. Try to stay away from brands that provide little to no info about their products when you search them up online.
- Pick Food Over Supplements
While supplements may contain the same amount of good bacteria as food, the likes of yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and miso can create the best breeding environment in the gut. In the process, these specific food items release short-chain fatty acids that may affect the immunity and cholesterol. You may choose supplements as well if you require a type of bacteria that the said options do not have.
- Proper Bacteria Names
The names of bacteria include the genus, species, and strain. For instance, with Bifidobacterium longum W11, bifidobacterium is the genus, longum is the species, and W11is the strain. Scientists name bacteria this way to identify the types that are more helpful to certain conditions. That is why it is essential to read the ingredients or follow the advice of your doctor if you need a specific type of bacteria or yeast that can help treat your illness.
- Free From Allergens
Supplements must not include other products and GMOs that may alter their efficacy. These may include nuts, dairy fish, soy, corn, eggs, and sulfites, among others. You need pure probiotics so you can benefit from them more. Read labels and follow your doctor’s advice on how to avoid such supplements.
Probiotics are proven by science to assist in keeping the body’s gut health at an optimum level. These serve as the mediator in the digestive system that helps in breaking down food and medicines. Probiotics are also supplemental treatment options for specific diseases that can affect the different systems in the body. Be sure to do your diligence and research more about probiotics to understand the types that you need to manage your condition. Follow your doctor’s advice as well.