What Probiotics Do Gastroenterologists Recommend
What is Align, the #1 Doctor and Gastroenterologist Recommended Probiotic Brand? Align Digestive Support Probiotic Supplement contains Bifidobacterium 35624, a strain of probiotic that has been shown to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
It also contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is known for its ability to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. Align is available in a variety of flavors, including Strawberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Lemon, Peach, Banana, Grapefruit, Orange, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Raspberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Watermelon, Apple, Pear, Kiwi, Blackberry and more.
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
Dosing Duration And Clinical Indications
A Cochrane review found that a dosage of 5 billion colony-forming units or greater per day was significantly more effective than a lower dosage.10 Physicians and patients are encouraged to use third-party analysis results when selecting an OTC product.8 Clinical effectiveness may be obtained from OTC products by increasing the number of capsules taken to obtain adequate dosages of colony-forming units. Probiotic effectiveness can be species-, dose-, and disease-specific.11 The duration of probiotic use depends on the clinical indication. A lack of clear guidelines on when to use probiotics and the most effective probiotic for different GI conditions is often confusing for family physicians and their patients. Table 1 lists GI conditions that may improve with probiotic use.810,1227Table 2 shows a grid of probiotic species studied according to GI condition, and Table 3 lists some probiotic products available in the United States.
Foods and drinks that contain probiotics include the following:
- Soy drinks.
- Kimchi .
- Unpasteurized sauerkraut.
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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.
How To Use Adult Probiotic
Follow all directions on the product package. Refer to the label directions for your specific product to see if the dose should be swallowed whole, chewed, sprinkled onto food or mixed with liquid. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Some probiotic products may contain live bacteria . Antibiotics may prevent these products from working well. Take any product containing live bacteria at least 2 to 3 hours before or after taking antibiotics. Follow the directions for your specific product.
If you are taking this product for diarrhea due to antibiotics, do not use it if you have a high fever or for more than 2 days, unless directed by your doctor. You may have a serious problem that requires medical treatment.
If your condition lasts or gets worse, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
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Difference Between Supplements And Drugs
The reason people take supplements is that they want to improve their quality of life. However, many who purchase supplements sometimes expect these potential life-enhancers to be cure-alls. Thats why for legal reasons, all supplements will brandish a disclaimer on their label.
Disclaimers found on supplement bottles typically state:
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
As a potential consumer, that statement might be off-putting. However, if the consumer changed their perceptions of supplements, they might not be so turned off by this disclaimer.
Supplements are made of food-grade materials that are mostly organic compounds. While formulas are made in laboratories, supplements arent engineered in the same vein as a prescription drug.
The intention of a supplement isnt to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent. Its to supplement all the other things you do to treat and prevent your own health. Thats why supplements dont need to be pre-approved by the FDA like pharmaceuticals must.
For instance, probiotic supplements are intended to help fight off the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
However, its on you to eat a balanced diet, follow up with doctor visits, exercise, and do all of the other essentials for living a long, healthy life.
But Do Probiotics Actually Work
Thereâs evidence to support taking probiotic supps in certain scenarios. During a course of antibiotics, they can support your gut defences, which will be dampened by the drugs, helping to prevent diarrhoea. And, if you suffer from IBS, they could help reduce symptoms, although itâs not certain which strains are effective. Also, some varieties could help keep tummy trouble at bay when youâre travelling abroad.
But itâs not a case of just popping any old probiotic. The problem? A family of probiotics â such as lactobacillus â contains hundreds of different strains, each of which can have a hundred different functions in the body.
These differences explain why if you are looking for a specific benefit from a probiotic, you should always use the strain that has demonstrated that particular benefit, kind of like medication â you wouldnât take a pain killer to improve your cholesterol. Just like regular meds, different probiotic have different indications.
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Why Do We Need To Consume Probiotics
Most bacteria in probiotics do have similar characteristics to the beneficial microorganisms in our system. Therefore, they bring a lot of positive impact on our general health. In some cases, probiotics might interact with any types of medications in the specific ways to provide your body the best effectiveness. Lets see some following noticeable effects of probiotics.
What Are The Limitations Of Probiotics
We still dont know a lot about probiotics. For every study showing a possible benefit, there is another showing mixed or harmful results. Many studies are not well-designed or may not apply to every patient.
There is no single probiotic prescription. We dont know which probiotic, what bacteria, how much, how often and for how long to treat or prevent any single disease. Probiotics are not approved by the FDA, so they are not regulated like usual prescription medications, and insurance companies often will not pay for them.
We also havent studied or reported extensively the safety of probiotics. For most healthy adults, probiotics are tolerated well with minimal side effects. However, for those with serious illnesses or weak immune systems, probiotics might cause dangerous infections.
Because of these reasons, and their lack of consistent clinical benefit, many guidelines do not recommend the use of probiotics for the prevention or treatment of diseases.
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The Importance Of Feline Gut Health
Gut health is vital for feline well-being. Keeping a cats digestive system healthy requires a proper balance of good bacteria. By supplementing with probiotics, you give your cat friendly microorganisms that can help protect them against various illnesses and diseases.
For cats, immunity is closely tied to gut health. A number of vets advocate the use of cat probiotics for this reason. Cats are notorious for their sensitive stomachs. This should come as no surprise to cat parents chances are you have cleaned up cat vomit more than once during your relationship with your cat.
Domestic cats eat differently from their ancestors. For example, dry food doesnt exist in the wild and is harder for cats to digest than wet food. Long-haired cats eat a lot of hair if they groom frequently, which means theyre more susceptible to hairballs. And as cats grow older, they may become more susceptible to digestive problems in general. A number of cats develop irritable bowel syndrome as seniors.
Other probiotic-related improvements a cat owner may notice include a shinier coat, more energetic temperament, and better skin. In short, there are a multitude of reasons why a cat would benefit from probiotics.
Probiotics And Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes refer to a group of proteins secreted by the glands in the body to support digestion processes. They are used to enhance the digestion of food over a specified period. However, for both adults and children, they are only allowed to use these enzymes when prescribed by your doctor in case there is evidence to prove the deficiency of digestive enzymes.
Do probiotics interact with digestive enzymes when we supplement them together? Both of them have an impact on the gut system with different mechanisms but the same benefit which is to promote gut functions, so, consuming them at the same time does not bring any adverse results. In fact, in some cases at present, to treat the gastrointestinal disorders, doctors often prescribe both of them for children who are insufficient, sometimes even combine with other medications.
However, it does not mean that taking probiotics and digestive enzymes will always be beneficial for people. Although it is undoubted about probiotics benefits, it should be utilized following the instruction of the doctor. Consuming too many probiotics without the indication could lead to the appearance of some adverse effects such as diarrhea, bloating, stomach upset or even more severe like the allergy reaction.
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Are Probiotic Supplements Beneficial
Much of the information you will find on probiotics is biased, as it is put out by probiotic supplement manufacturers who want you to buy their products. To provide healthcare providers with objective information for their patients, the American Gastroenterological Association published a set of guidelines to help clarify the role of probiotics in the management of gastrointestinal disorders. These guidelines form the basis of our recommendations in this article.
“Probiotics” is a general term for many different microorganism species, including different types of bacteria and yeasts. Different strains have different effects in the body, so we can’t make blanket statements about probiotics being helpful or not. It depends on the strain or strains and the health status of the person taking them. It should be noted that there is still a great deal of research to be done on the microbiome and the role of probiotic supplementation. This information may change as new strains are discovered, and new combinations of strains are found to impact our health.
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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Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
The small and large intestines usually contain different types of bacteria. SIBO occurs when bacteria from the large intestine start growing in the small intestine.
The large intestine predominantly contains anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen and live by fermenting indigestible carbohydrates from plant-based foods as they pass through the gut.
Symptoms of SIBO are similar to those of IBS, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. SIBO can also cause brain fogginess and short-term memory problems.
Not everyone with IBS has SIBO, but the overgrowth is more common in people with IBS. SIBO also frequently develops in older females.
Experts do not fully understand what causes the overgrowth, but it may result from reduced gut motility, which slows the passage of food through the gut. This can cause fermentable carbohydrates to remain in the small intestine for longer.
Results of a indicate a possible link between SIBO and probiotic supplementation in people with brain fogginess. The researchers found that symptoms improved when participants stopped taking probiotics and started taking antibiotics.
Anyone with SIBO symptoms should consult a doctor.
Best Over The Counter Probiotic For Dogs
When probiotics are mentioned, most individuals focus on good effects the good bacteria offer to human beings. Indeed there are just as many probiotics for pets as they are for humans. For pets, particularly dogs, probiotics are regularly recommended for chronic intestinal infections, diarrhea, allergies, skin disorders etc.
So which are the best OTC probiotics for dogs?
According to WebMD Veterenarian, research on the most effective probiotics for pets is still on-going.
Craig Datz, DVM, associate teaching professor at the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, while reporting to WebMD, notes that commercially sold probiotics are not regulated. Craig adds that in a test review, out of 13 probiotic supplements, only 2 had the number of probiotic organism advertised.
However, there are some canine probiotics that have been mentioned as the best for dogs.
Barbara Fitzgerald, AKC Breeder of Merit and a contributing editor to The Modern Bark, an online magazine that focuses on promoting the health and well-being of dogs suggests the following top OTC probiotics for canines with allergies and diarrhea.
Purina Fortiflora Recommended for canines digestive disorders, diarrhea and loose stools. It is highly palatable.
Vetri-Science Probiotic-This is recommended for dogs that need a daily dosage of probiotic supplement as part of general health course of therapy or routine.
Probiotic Miracle Meant to work for yeast overgrowth, loose stool and diarrhea.
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Are There Any Fda Approved Probiotics
Probiotics are defined by the NIHs National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health as live microorganisms that are intended to offer health advantages when consumed or administered to the body. Therefore, no particular health claims for probiotics have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States.
Path To Improved Wellness
The use of probiotics relates to digestive health. Although some probiotics have shown promise in research studies, strong scientific evidence to support specific uses of probiotics for health conditions is lacking. There is evidence that probiotics may be helpful in reducing or preventing diarrhea caused by infections and antibiotics. They also may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. As far as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned, depending on a probiotic products intended use, it might be regulated as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug. Probiotic products are not currently approved to treat a disease or health condition.
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What Are Some Side Effects That I Need To Call My Doctor About Right Away
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash hives itching red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever wheezing tightness in the chest or throat trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Change in how much urine is passed.
- Muscle pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Choose Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic For Antibiotic
Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN is a non-diet Registered Dietitian specializing in GI nutrition and disordered eating based in Connecticut. She has been working in the field of nutrition for over 25 years. Beth helps clients find relief from digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Disease and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth , Gastroparesis, Colitis, and GERD, as well as shares her knowledge with other health professionals via webinars, seminars, and peer mentoring.
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Probiotics are live microorganisms or microbes that may provide health benefits. They may help regulate the community of microorganisms living in our lower digestive tract, known as our microbiome. However, the research on the benefits of probiotics is still emerging, and there are only certain health conditions where probiotic supplements have proven benefits.
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