How Should People Take Probiotics
The requirements for a microbe to be considered a probiotic are that the microbe must be alive when administered, it must be documented to have a health benefit, and it must be administered at levels to confer a health benefit. A rule of thumb often cited is to take at least a billion colony forming units daily.
These are live microorganisms that will not provide the promised benefits if they don’t remain alive. The manufacturer and consumer must pay close attention to the conditions of storage at which the particular microorganism will survive and the end of their shelf life. The potency will indicate the number of viable bacteria per dose, and the purity has to do with presence of contaminating or ineffective bacteria.
The other thing to remember is that these microorganisms are not all created equally. In fact, the genus, strain, and species all need to be the same for the results that found in the study to be the results that one hopes to achieve when taking it. For example, with the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, the genus is Lactobacillus, the species is rhamnosus, and the strain is GG. If any one of those is different in your supplement, you may not attain the same results.
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.
Issues To Be Aware Of
If you’re considering trying probiotics, there are a few issues you need to be aware of.
Probiotics are generally classed as food rather than medicine, which means they don’t go through the rigorous testing medicines do.
Because of the way probiotics are regulated, we can’t always be sure that:
- the product actually contains the bacteria stated on the food label
- the product contains enough bacteria to have an effect
- the bacteria are able to survive long enough to reach your gut
There are many different types of probiotics that may have different effects on the body, and little is known about which types are best.
You may find a particular type of probiotic helps with one problem. But this doesn’t mean it’ll help other problems, or that other types of probiotic will work just as well.
And there’s likely to be a huge difference between the pharmaceutical-grade probiotics that show promise in clinical trials and the yoghurts and supplements sold in shops.
Page last reviewed: 27 November 2018 Next review due: 27 November 2021
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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.
How Popular Are Probiotics
The 2012 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 4 million U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. The use of probiotics by adults quadrupled between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 NHIS also showed that 300,000 children age 4 to 17 had used probiotics or prebiotics in the 30 days before the survey.
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Should I Give Probiotics To My Kids
Probiotics can be beneficial for both adults and kids. If your child has an illness that requires an antibiotic medication for treatment, taking a probiotic can help shorten symptoms. Probiotics can also be used to help relieve constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas and eczema in children.
Introducing probiotics into your childs diet through food is typically a safe way to give them probiotics. Foods like yogurt and cottage cheese are often part of a balanced diet and can add in good bacteria without much risk.
There are commercially available probiotic supplements specifically designed for infants and children. However, it is important to talk to your childs pediatrician before giving them any probiotic supplement or changing the childs diet to include probiotic-rich foods.
Prebiotics And Probiotics: Creating A Healthier You
You’ve probably heard of prebiotics and probiotics, but do you know what they are? Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when you consume them in the right amounts.
Although probiotics are available as dietary supplements, some may be found through fermented foods, too.
Research continues in this area of nutrition investigating which strains of probiotics are present in specific foods and which ones provide health benefits. While this is still an area of study, there are a few key points that are worth keeping in mind.
What Are Prebiotics and What Do They Do?
Prebiotics are naturally occurring, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Simply said, they’re “good” bacteria promoters. Prebiotics may improve gastrointestinal health as well as potentially enhance calcium absorption.
Prebiotics in Your Diet
Prebiotics include fructooligosaccharides, such as inulin and galactooligosaccharides. But rather than focusing on these lengthy words, include more prebiotics in your day by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, beans and whole-grain foods.
What Are Probiotics and What Do They Do?
Probiotics in Your Diet
What Makes Prebiotics and Probiotics the “Dynamic Duo?”
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What Are Prebiotics And Synbiotics
The prebiotic comes before and helps the probiotic, and then the two can combine to have a synergistic effect, known as synbiotics. A prebiotic is actually a nondigestible carbohydrate that acts as food for the probiotics and bacteria in your gut. The definition of the effect of prebiotics is the selective stimulation of growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of microbial genus/species in the gut microbiota that confer health benefits to the host. The health benefits have been suggested to include acting as a remedy for gastrointestinal complications such as enteritis, constipation, and irritable bowel disease prevention and treatment of various cancers decreasing allergic inflammation treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , and fighting immune deficiency diseases. There has also been research showing that the dietary intake of particular food products with a prebiotic effect has been shown, especially in adolescents, but also tentatively in postmenopausal women, to increase calcium absorption as well as bone calcium accretion and bone mineral density. The benefits for obesity and type 2 diabetes are growing as recent data, both from experimental models and from human studies, have shown particular food products with prebiotics have influences on energy homeostasis, satiety regulation, and body weight gain.
What Are Probiotic Foods
Itâs important to understand what a probiotic is first. Probiotics are good, live bacteria that you add to your gut via food with a live culture in it or via dietary supplements, and which have a proven health benefit.
Probiotic foods contain live bacteria or yeast cultures that offer proven health benefits. Yes, they are bacteria and they are alive those are both good things.
However, the good bacteria canât do this if they arenât alive. Probiotics need to be living to help support your gut. the cultures arenât alive, they wonât deliver the intended health benefit.
In short, probiotic foods must have living cultures that provide a health benefit.
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Reach For Sour Pickles
Naturally fermented pickles, the type in which vinegar is not used in the pickling process, are rich sources of good bacteria. Sea salt and water are used in a fermentation process that results in the growth of good bacteria. Make sure vinegar was not used in the pickling process as pickles made in this way will not be rich in bacteria that boosts healthy gut flora. Beneficial organisms in fermented foods like pickles boost gut health and encourage a diverse microbiome. Eating foods that are rich in probiotic bacteria such as pickles retards the growth of harmful bacteria and boosts the body’s defenses against infection.
How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
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Youve probably heard about the digestive health benefits of probiotics which became popular about a decade ago. But you may not fully understand what they are.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that help maintain the growth of bacteria in your body. Although you may equate bacteria with something harmful, Quratulain Aziz, MD, explains that many bacteria are useful, too, like the ones that live in your gut and help with food digestion. Probiotics also help destroy the source of harmful bacteria in your digestive tract, and in some instances they produce vitamins, she adds.
Its a balancing act that happens naturally in your body. When infection upsets your healthy community of bacteria, probiotics push the shift back to normal again.
Theres some evidence that probiotics may be helpful in preventing digestive disorders such as diarrhea caused by infections, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Remarkably, some studies also show that probiotics may help with allergic disorders such as eczema and hay fever tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health problems colic in infants and liver disease. Common side effects include gas and bloating.
Probiotics may be helpful in preventing digestive disorders such as diarrhea caused by infections, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
You’ll Have An Easier Time Maintaining A Healthy Weight
If you’re trying to slim down, taking probiotics isn’t a bad idea. While experts agree these supplements are certainly not a “magic bullet” for weight loss, they can aid in your efforts.
“Certain probiotic strains help boost muscle mass and strength, while also supporting healthy weight management and exercise recovery through several different mechanisms,” explains Dr. Axe. “Probiotics seem to support a healthy body weight and body composition in several ways, including by improving insulin sensitivity, decreasing autoimmune response found in people with diabetes, helping to regulate one’s appetite, supporting absorption of nutrients that help fuel muscles and organs, and supporting liver and kidney health which are needed for detoxification, and regulating fat storage.”
According to Dr. Axe, certain probiotics can actually inhibit the absorption of dietary fat and increase the amount of fat excreted in bowel movements.
There’s an ever-increasing amount of research to support this. For example, a 2013 study found that when women who were dieting took a probiotic supplement, they shed more pounds than women who took a placebo pilland continued to lose more weight after they finished their diet. Another 2013 study found that when people drank fermented milk products with Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria, they lost 8.2 8.5% of their belly fat over the course of 12 weeks.
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Pick Your Probiotics Carefully
One problem with probiotics is a lack of consistency. Consumers can’t always be sure of what they’re getting. Probiotics are considered food supplements, not drugs, by the FDA. Therefore, we don’t have a lot of regulation over how they’re made or whether they even contain what they say they contain.
In the United States, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the probiotic strains most commonly used to treat GI issues, but there are many probiotic products on the market that contain different types of bacteria and in different amounts. A lack of regulation means that one batch might be different from another.
What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of Probiotics
Supplements play an important role when the diet is not adequate to supply our needs. In the case of probiotics, one’s diet is the ideal source for probiotics. These are live bacteria and need to be carefully monitored, stored, and combined for the health benefits that one would be taking them for. At this time, probiotic supplements are not monitored in the U.S. the way that food or medication is. They fall under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 . This requires that the dietary supplement or dietary ingredient manufacturer be responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement or ingredient is safe before it is marketed. The only time that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may get involved is if action is needed to be taken against a manufacturer after the supplement is marketed and then found to be unsafe. This means that as much as we may know about probiotics, we can’t be certain of the safety or content of the supplements available to us.
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Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
How Long Does It Take Probiotics To Work
The short answer is: It depends on the specific outcome youre hoping to achieve, the current condition of your gut and overall health, and the quality of the probiotic you are taking.
If you are taking a high quality, multispecies and multistrain supplement, you can expect to notice initial improvements and health benefits of probiotics in your digestion as early as the first 1-2 weeks after starting your probiotic.
Depending on how sensitive you are, many people feel a difference after a few days. More fundamental effects of the probiotics such as improvements to mood, weight loss or a reduction in inflammation of your gut barrier might set in after 4-8 weeks.
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Probiotics For Upset Stomach And Food Poisoning
Trillions of bacteria live inside us in fact, the bacteria residing in our gut are essential to good health. However, there are different types of bacteria and other micro-organisms living in our gut: some are friendly and work with body systems to keep their host healthy, these are known as probiotics. But other micro-organisms are less desirable these are known as pathogens, and can cause upset stomachs, either in the form of gastro-enteritis, or on an ongoing basis such as in IBS-type symptoms.
Lets look at the different factors which can upset the delicate balance in our gut and cause an upset stomach, and how probiotics might be able to help.