More Regular Bowel Movements
An imbalance in the composition of good bacteria in your intestine can contribute to irregular bowel movements. For example, frequent diarrhea can be a sign of pathogenic bacteria present in your intestines. A high-quality probiotic will help bring more good bacteria into your gut so that they crowd out the bad bacteria.
Constipation, on the other hand, can be due to low mucus production or low motility of your intestinal muscles. Certain probiotic bacterial strains are known to increase mucus production, which can regulate constipation.
Lower Anxiety And Better Response To Stress
The gut and the brain stand in constant communication with one another. Oftentimes, an imbalance in gut bacteria goes along with increased anxiety. In fact, several psychological disorders including Alzheimers disease and depression have been linked to an altered gut microbiome.
In addition, leaky gut is often associated with inflammation in the brain, which can also impact mood and how you respond to stressful situations. OMNi-BiOTiC STRESS Release has demonstrated in clinical studies to improve positive mood and focus by strengthening the gut barrier function and by acting on the gut-brain axis.
How Align Probiotics Work
Your gut has trillions of bacteria in it. Some are good, and some are not so good. Simply put, probiotics are strains of good bacteria that you add to your gut for a specific health benefit.
Since each probiotic strain is different and may provide a different health benefit, the easiest way to make sure you know what benefit to expect is to take a dietary supplement with a clearly listed strain on the package, like Align. Match the strain to your desired health benefit so you have peace of mind that you found the right probiotic to try.
Many fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and yogurt also have live cultures in them While many of these live cultures in foods do not actually provide strains with research-backed health benefits, some do.
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Should You Take Probiotics If You Have Ibs
Despite some promising research, it is too early to make general recommendations about the use of probiotics for IBS.
While some strains have been shown to have benefits for one or two symptoms, the majority of probiotics are unlikely to cause improvements.
However, probiotics are safe, and a relatively cheap potential treatment option for IBS. Also, they have worked for some people, particularly for those with specific symptoms.
If you are interested in trying a probiotic, there is an .
Here are some key tips when making your selection:
- Choose an evidence-based probiotic: Select a probiotic that has research supporting it
- Select a probiotic according to your symptoms: Choose strains that work for your issues
- Take the right dose: Use the dosage recommended by the manufacturer
- Stick with one type: Try one variety for at least four weeks and monitor your symptoms
Keep in mind that some probiotic supplements contain ingredients that could make your symptoms worse. These include oats, inulin, lactose, fructose, sorbitol and xylitol. If your symptoms are triggered by any of these, look for a probiotic that does not contain them.
Even if you dont experience significant improvements, probiotics still offer other great health benefits and can be a valuable component of a healthy lifestyle.
Get It Right In One Go
A lot of people try probiotic supplements without really knowing which probiotic strains to buy or how long to take supplements. They may go on and off probiotic products, trying different brands or different strains of probiotics, hoping for better results. They also may not be informed about selecting a high-quality probiotic supplement.
I call this the probioticsmerry-go-round and it can be a waste of time, energy and money.
Here is some simple advice for implementing an effective probiotic trial. It takes less than a month and will keep you off the probiotics merry-go-round.
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How To Tell When Probiotics Are Working
Good health starts in the gut, and its best to address any presenting digestive symptoms regardless of which health condition youre trying to support. If people are generally well or have good digestion, they may not initially notice a drastic change when they take a probiotic supplement. But so many different things can affect the gut microbiome, such as medications, stress, and poor diet, that its always good to keep the gut microbiome well supported by taking probiotics and eating fermented foods. Also, over a longer period of time they may notice positive changes, such as less frequent colds or skin breakouts. For others, when they are taking a probiotic supplement for a specific condition, they may notice a specific improvement in that area. However, having a healthy microbiome is just one consideration when supporting any health condition for a fully holistic protocol a doctor should be consulted, and a health professional such as a nutritional therapist, who can also advise on diet and lifestyle.
Can I Get Probiotics From Food
You can absolutely increase beneficial microbes in your body from the foods you eat. Certain foods have probiotics in them and can benefit the health of your microbiome.
These foods can be introduced into your diet at any point of the day. You may even be regularly eating them now and not realize that they contain probiotics. You will want to check the food label for live and active cultures. A few suggestions for just some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet and some times to try them include:
For breakfast, try:
Probiotic supplements may be combined with a prebiotic. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that feed the microorganisms in your gut. Basically, prebiotics are the food source for the good bacteria. They help feed the good bacteria and keep it healthy. Prebiotics include inulin, pectin and resistant starches.
When you have a supplement that combines a probiotic and prebiotic, its called a synbiotic.
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Some Probiotics May Prevent Weight Gain
Losing weight is not the only way to fight obesity. Preventing unwanted weight gain in the first place may be even more valuable in avoiding obesity.
In one 4-week study, taking a probiotic formulation called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat gain in people following a diet that provided 1,000 extra calories than they needed per day .
Those in the probiotic group gained less fat, although they didnt experience any significant changes in insulin sensitivity or metabolism.
This indicates that some probiotic strains might prevent weight gain in the context of a high calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied further.
Certain probiotic strains may be able to reduce weight gain in people following a high calorie diet.
Not all studies have found that probiotics aid weight loss.
Some studies have found that certain probiotic strains might lead to weight gain not weight loss.
One recent review found that probiotics effects on body weight depend on which species and strains are used. For instance, while one strain of Lactobacillus gasseri reduced weight gain compared with a control, another strain promoted weight gain .
Not all probiotics aid weight loss, and some may even cause weight gain. The effects depend on the probiotic strain and may vary by individual.
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When Do You Need Probiotics
The signs warn you that you should take probiotic supplements are you are taking antibiotic drugs, suffering from food poisoning, undergoing digestive disorders, having some skin problems, decreasing immune system, getting yeasts infected, and so on.
Antibiotics help our bodies to kill bacteria which causes disease, but it also kills the beneficial bacteria. That why antibiotics affect the normal immune system and break the body microorganism balancing. People who are taking antibiotics should consider taking probiotics continuously until they stop consuming drugs.
When you have food poisoning that means your digestive system is flooded by harmful bacteria. Taking probiotics on time will help you rebalance the microorganisms and enhance some beneficial bacteria. You then will have a chance to recover faster.
Digestive disorder. Like food poisoning, when you have digestive disorders, your gut is full of pathogens, and probiotics can help you get rid of it.
Skin problems like eczema, acne, rashes, psoriasis will cause imbalance microorganism and weak body immune. Just by taking probiotics for a long time on a regular basis, you can improve your health status.
People who have poor immune systems will get sick easily and quickly get communicable diseases. Consume probiotics daily will decrease the risk of illness and support their health.
Can Probiotics Survive Stomach Acid And The Gi Tract
Before any probiotic, whether a food or a supplement can have a benefit to your gut microbiome, it must be able to survive the acidity of your stomach, the temperature and the lack of oxygen in the GI tract, and lastly the availability and competition for chemicals and nutrients required for it to exist and colonise.
Immediately after swallowing, any bacteria will encounter the enzymes in your saliva before being swallowed and reaching the stomach. Once in the stomach the bacteria is then exposed to a strong acid bath with a pH less than 3 as well as destructive digestive enzymes, such as pepsin, which break down proteins into smaller amino acids. Most bacteria we consume is not able to survive this.
However the bacteria that do survive then move to the small intestine where the acidity decreases, but they are exposed to more digestive enzymes such as amylase, lipase and protease as well as bile. Bacteria must be able to survive this process of digestion and recover in order to colonise and grow either in the small intestine or the colon.
According to Bethlehem University, probiotics contained or consumed in milk and other dairy products have a greater chance of survival as the dairy can reduce the effect of the stomach acid, and increase the chances that the probiotic bacteria will reach the small intestines unharmed.
In all cases the probiotic bacteria are more likely to survive when consumed in sufficient quantities.
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Selecting The Right Probiotic Strains
There are a lot of different probiotic strains, but all you really need to know are the three main probiotic categories. Nearly every probiotic product can be classified into one of these categories .
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This is great news. This means you dont need to tryevery probioticstrain on the market, simply pick one high-quality probiotic product fromeach category.
You also dont need to match specific probioticstrains to specific medical conditions. All strains of probiotics workin a similar way by addressing the health of your digestive system. Onecategory of probiotics may be more effective for you than another, simplybecause of the unique profile of gut flora in your intestinal tract.
You can also add healthy, probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, tempeh and Lacto-fermented sauerkraut to your diet. Just dont expect these to take the place of supplements as the amount of probiotics they contain are much lower.
For a detailed comparison of probiotic-rich foods and supplements, see my recent article: The Best Time to Take Probiotics.
Understanding The Digestive System
The digestive system has several organs, including the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Within the network, the average person has about 300-500 different species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The bacteria totals in the billions, with hundreds more species recently discovered by researchers. This is known as the gut microbiome. Some are helpful probiotics, and some are harmful to a personís overall health. Creating a balance between the two types of bacteria is vital for digestive health.
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Probiotics And Vaginal Health
Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.
Probiotics are generally considered safe they’re already present in a normal digestive system although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.
The Issue Of Colonization
The highly effective probiotic L. GG is said to colonize the human intestinal tract . However, a review of the literature indicates that this notion is based on the ability of this probiotic to adhere to Caco-2 and other enteric cells in vitro . When L. GG in fermented milk was fed to volunteers, it appeared in their feces, but after its administration was stopped, it disappeared from the feces of 67% of the subjects within 7 d . The same was true in premature infants fed milk formulas containing L. GG . Thus, despite L. GG being of human origin, there is little if any evidence that it can permanently establish itself in the intestines of the general population.
Should it become desirable to permanently colonize the human intestinal tract with an exogenous probiotic, it is reasonable to suggest that a human-specific probiotic with potent intestinal mucosal cell adhesion properties be chosen. Selection of such strains on the basis of this criterion may be insufficient. It may be necessary to culture surgical or biopsy specimens to select suitable probiotic strains. Until this is accomplished, we have to be content with recognizing that certain ingested probiotics do survive their passage through the gastrointestinal tract and that they are excreted from the colon to the feces without overall multiplication or death . Nevertheless, during such passage, these probiotics continue to be metabolically active, thus providing health benefits to their hosts.
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Exception #: Probiotics May Improve Foodintolerances Gradually
Preliminary research shows that probiotics can be helpful for reducing dairy intolerance. However it takes between 6 months and 3 years.
This study corresponds with what I have seen in my clinical practice. As patients improve their gut health, bloating, fatigue, mood, and many other symptoms can start to abate fairly quickly. However, food intolerances do persist much longer. The good news, as I have seen many times, is that as gut health improves, food intolerances often do diminish over time.
In addition to taking probiotics, it can be very helpful to identify and eliminate foods that trigger symptoms. There are a few diets, like the Paleo diet and the low FODMAPs diet, that are designed to help you identify food intolerances and are excellent tools for improving your gut health.
And while its important toavoid foods that trigger reactions, I encourage you to gradually reintroducefoods and broaden your diet as much as possible over time. It can take sometrial and error and it isnt always a linear process. You may test a food itemseveral times and continue to react and then suddenly you find you are able totolerate it in moderate quantities.
Based on the research so far,long-term probioticsupplementation is likely to support this process.
For more information about diets that can help eliminate food triggers, see Finding the Right Diet for Your Gut.
The Right Probiotics For Your Stomach Problems And More
You’ve probably heard that probioticsthe active cultures in some yogurts, for exampleare good for your health. But not all probiotics are created equal. Here’s what you need to know to boost immunity, soothe itchy skin, quell an upset stomach, and more.
Michelle Klawiter was nine days into a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection when the gut pain hit. Bloody diarrhea quickly followed. The 42-year-old secretary and mother of three in Chandler, Ariz., had developed a nasty intestinal infection, the kind that sometimes occurs when antibiotics kill your bodys good bacteria along with the bad and lower your defenses to other invaders.
Doctors prescribed a series of increasingly potent antibiotics to try to knock out the new bad bug, Clostridium difficile , but nothing worked. Her tummy troubles turned into antibiotic-associated colon inflammation.
And even after three months, sometimes the pain and cramping was so bad I thought I would pass out, Klawiter says. Having lost 20 pounds and feeling unable to cope at her job in a small office with two bathrooms, she quit. RELATED: The Best Foods for an Upset Stomach
The nightmare ended only after Klawiter tried a probiotic that her gastroenterologist had read was effective against C. diff. Klawiter found the over-the-counter product, called Florastor, at her drugstore. Within a week, she recalls, I was eating normally again.
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Do I Need To Take Probiotics After I Take Antibiotics
Antibiotic medications are often needed to fight an infection. However, while antibiotics are killing the bad bacteria, they are also knocking out the good bacteria in your body. Some people develop conditions like diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. In other people, this may allow for really bad bacteria to take over and populate the gut, such as with C. diff. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relief from diarrhea. This hasnt been proven yet and doesnt work for everyone.
The thought behind adding probiotics back into your body after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that was destroyed by the antibiotics and re-boot your system. The extra good bacteria helps repopulate your gut and fight off any remaining bad bacteria. Many people feel that adding in probiotics wont hurt, might help you feel better a little faster and prevent diarrhea.