How Probiotics Can Help Digestion
Although researchers are still learning about how probiotics work and at what doses they are effective, probiotics appear to help keep the digestive system in balance and help the body get back on track after a bout with bad bacteria, according to the NCCIH. We know probiotics have a lot of benefits, says Strealy. These include improved digestion of lactose reduced digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea, and constipation and aiding in carbohydrate digestion and production of certain vitamins.
What Are The Best Probiotics For Bloating
Probiotics are friendly or good bacteria that occur naturally in the human body and some of the most popular products on the market are probiotics for bloating. There are many commercial products available in the market, which contain probiotics as a supplement.
Researchers point out to a number of advantages of including probiotics in your diet.
Reducing bloating is one of the key health benefits that certain types of probiotics have and it is a great answer if you are looking how to reduce bloating. This guide will help you understand how probiotics for bloating can restore your gut to full health and slim down in the process.
Let us first take a look at what exactly are probiotics and what are the causes of bloating.
How To Reduce Bloating By Including Probiotics Into Your Diet
Probiotics are generally safe to consume. However, if you suffer from any allergies or are currently ill, then it is recommended that you speak to your doctor before making any related dietary changes.
More is not always better and you should always ease your body into a change. In the first few days bloating might actually increase. However, this only signifies that your gut health is improving.
It is important that you consider all other factors that cause bloat and change your lifestyle accordingly. Many studies have proven the benefits of a low FODMAP diet. Your gut is most active in the morning. Hence, it is best to take a probiotic pill on an empty stomach in the morning or right after a meal.
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Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels
Some bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans .
Histamine is a molecule that is normally produced by your immune system when it detects a threat.
When histamine levels rise, blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels also become more permeable so that immune cells can easily get into the relevant tissue to combat any pathogens .
This process creates redness and swelling in the affected area, and can also trigger allergy symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose or trouble breathing.
Normally, histamine that is produced in your digestive tract is naturally degraded by an enzyme called diamine oxidase . This enzyme inhibits histamine levels from rising enough to cause symptoms .
However, some people with histamine intolerance have trouble properly breaking down the histamine in their bodies, seeing as they do not produce enough DAO .
The excess histamine is then absorbed through the lining of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to an allergic reaction (
Theoretically, they may want to select probiotic supplements that do not contain histamine-producing bacteria, but to date, there has been no research on this specific area.
Some histamine-producing probiotic strains include Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii and Streptococcus thermophilus .
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.
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Mistake #: Youre Not Taking The Right Dose
Like mentioned previously, the dose must be proven effective to make a claim on package in Canada. A dose is measured in colony-forming units . Look for a product with at least 10 billion CFU, because that appears to be a minimum dosage across the scientific literature, and take as directed, says Nielsen.
The best way to ensure youre getting the most out of your probiotics, experts say, is to follow a balanced high-fibre food plan, understand the type of probiotic youre taking, review its clinical research, take the appropriate dose and store them according to the package directions. And if you have any concerns talk to your health care provider. Then youll have no worries that your probiotics are failing you.
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How Effective Are Probiotics
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. Theres constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
Its also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with claims of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
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Using Prebiotics And Probiotics To Rebuild The Gut Bacteria After A Gastrointestinal Infection
Bifidus and lactic acid bacteria live as microorganisms in your intestine. They are particularly effective probiotics: They strengthen the intestinal mucosa, fend off pathogens and support the absorption of nutrients. They also create an acidic environment in the intestine, which inhibits the spread of harmful intestinal bacteria. With probiotic foods you can support the population of the health-promoting bacterial strains in your intestine. Natural yoghurt, kefir, pickles, apple vinegar and sauerkraut contain live lactic acid bacteria that are good for your intestines.Prebiotics in turn support the growth and activity of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Artichokes, chicory, flea seeds, linseed and black salsify contain the polysaccharides inulin and oligofructose. These indigestible food components are not broken down in the small intestine they reach the large intestine intact, where they nourish the intestinal flora.The interaction of prebiotic and probiotic foods can therefore help you to build up your intestinal flora after a stomach flu.
Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
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Whats The Deal With Probiotics
You may be hearing more and more about probiotics supplements that contain “healthy” bacteria that claim to have multiple benefits, including helping with gut health and digestive issues. Probiotics are being marketed for specific conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome or to demographic audiences, such as women or children. But do they really help?
What are probiotics?
Often referred to as “friendly” or “good” bacteria, probiotics help keep the normal healthy balance of bacteria in your gut specifically the lining of the gut which includes the microbiome. We are learning more and more about the body’s microbiome and how to maintain the balance of bacteria already growing there in addition to adding living bacteria into your system through probiotics. A healthy gut microbiome helps with digestion, boosts the immune system, contributes to blood sugar levels, and may even influence mood and mental health.
Where are probiotics found?
Probiotics can be found in multiple forms.
Bacteria-fermented foods are good sources of probiotics, including:
- Active-culture yogurts
Probiotics also come in pill form with a variety of different strains or types, including acidophilus, lactobacillus or formulations targeted for different health benefits, such as gastrointestinal health or women’s health.
Research on probiotics
Generally, there are a variety of areas of research for probiotics:
What’s the consensus? Are they beneficial?
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Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions
There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.
However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.
Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body include:
- Upper respiratory infections .
Treating H Pylori With Probiotics Alone
If you have tested positive for H. pylori but dont have common H. pylori symptoms, you may simply benefit from using probiotics to balance your microbiota.
A systematic review did find that a small percentage of H. pylori infections can be eradicated with probiotics alone . So, if you have tested positive for H. pylori and you DO have common H. pylori symptoms, such as gastritis, ulcers, stomach pain, or bloating, you may also choose to try a trial of probiotics alone before treating with more intensive therapy.
If your symptoms or H. pylori test dont resolve with probiotics alone, then you can consider escalating your treatment to include probiotics plus antimicrobial therapy. Be sure to discuss your treatment plans with your doctor.
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Which Foods Are Highest In Probiotics
Generally speaking, it is always best to get your daily nutrients for food. Even though probiotic supplements are unlikely to cause you any harm, you should consider trying the following if you’ve been advised to increase your probiotic intake:
- Kefir: 27.7 billion CFU per 1-cup serving
- Kimchi: 2.6 billion CFU per 1/2-cup serving
- Yogurt: 3.6 billion CFU per 1-cup serving
- Miso: 54.1 thousand CFU per tablespoon
- Sauerkraut: 195.2 million CFU per 1/2-cup serving
- Kombucha: 23.1 million CFU per 1-cup serving
Pickles And Pickled Vegetables
Just as the fermentation process to make sauerkraut essentially makes the product pickled cabbage, pickling or fermenting any vegetable can create probiotics in the food. Whether enjoying classic pickled cucumbers, or pickled beets, pickled asparagus, pickled green beans, pickled carrots, pickled cauliflower, or anything in between, pickled vegetables can be a good source of probiotics. The key is to be sure the pickled product is unpasteurized, as pasteurization kills the beneficial bacteria.
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The Role Of Gut Bacteria
Many types of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract are pathogenic, but the human gut also houses certain bacteria that are beneficial to digestion because they help to break down complex carbs and synthesize vitamins, such as vitamin B12. “Good” bacteria aid the immune system by processing toxic contaminants in the GI tract, which helps prevent food- and waterborne illnesses.
When disease-causing bacteria take up residence in the mucosal layers of the stomach, small intestine and colon, a healthy community of beneficial microorganisms can keep the pathogen population in check. Maintaining a healthy microbiome encourages the “good” bacteria to compete for resources with pathogens, which prevents further colonization of the “bad” bacteria.
According to an analysis published in October 2017 in âApplied Microbiology and Biotechnologyâ, approximately 50 percent of people are infected with âH. pyloriâ, and the rate of infection is estimated to be much higher in developing countries. This bacterium spreads easily via saliva and contaminated water, but not everyone who is infected develops gastritis. Diet may be a key factor in promoting the colonization of “good bacteria” and hindering the spread of pathogenic bacteria.
Stomach Problems That Probiotics Can Help
Researchers of a 2021 International Journal of Agricultural Environment and Food Sciences study indicated that there are probiotics that improve the microbial balance of the gastrointestinal tract, inhibit pathogenic microorganisms, and strengthen the immune system. To that end, there are several stomach-related issues that probiotics may alleviate.
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Probiotics For Food Poisoning
People often ask whether probiotics help with food poisoning and, in short, the answer is yes. Specific strains of good bacteria have shown to help alleviate the symptoms of many gastric illnesses including diarrhoea and reduce symptom duration by up to 24 hours.
One particular strain, clinically trialled1 to reduce the effects of stomach upsets, is Saccharomyces boulardii. It is unique from other bacterial strains, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, because it is actually a probiotic yeast. Originally found in lychee fruit, this probiotic strain is known for its transient qualities, meaning that it doesn’t colonise in the intestines. Interestingly, it is thought to have a sticky outer membrane which it uses to adhere itself to harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. This process is thought to help remove any pathogens from the gut. Saccharomyces boulardii is the only probiotic that functions in this way, making it a valuable therapeutic tool to tackle most stomach upsets. It has even been found helpful in limiting Clostridium difficile2 infection in the gut. C. difficile is a notoriously difficult pathogen to eradicate, as it is becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics.
Managing Symptoms With Diet
Without your gallbladder participating in the process of digestion, you may need to change your eating habits. If your gallbladder was only removed very recently, you may want to eat a bland diet until your diarrhea symptoms start to ease.
The gallbladderâs job is to help you digest fatty food, so having it removed can make these foods problematic for you. Once youâre back on a âregularâ diet after surgery, you may want to limit or avoid:
- Fried foods: French fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks
- High-fat foods: Fatty meats, cheese, ice cream, butter, gravy, chicken skin, pizza, oils
- Foods that cause gas: Beans, broccoli, milk
- Spicy foods: Curry, hot sauce, hot peppers
Gradually re-introducing potentially problematic foods into your diet can help you learn what bothers you without creating too much discomfort.
Although there isnât necessarily hard science behind these recommendations, you might find the following tips to be helpful:
- Eat small meals frequently throughout your day
- Try a digestive enzyme
Remember, although coping with symptoms is no fun, there are a few factors that are in your control.
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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.
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.
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