Probiotics Became Popular As Antibiotics Became Unpopular
Its no coincidence that probiotics are so popular right now, Rabia De Latour, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, tells Health. The current concerns about antibiotic resistance are partially responsible for the obsession with probiotics. Heres why: Doctors have, until relatively recently, aggressively prescribed antibiotics. In the past, they were thought to be miracle drugs. From an efficiency standpoint, they are miracle drugs. But they dont come without problems.
The more we take antibiotics, the more we become resistant to them. This means that if we continue to take antibiotics for anything and everything even when theyre unnecessary, theyll stop working to cure us sooner rather than later. In fact, the World Health Organization says that antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
Theres another problem with antibiotics: They mess with your microbiome. A 2016 report sums it up this way: In addition to the development of resistance, the use of antibiotics heavily disrupts the ecology of the human microbiome. When antibiotics disturb your gut, some of your bodys crucial processes go haywire, including your bodys ability to produce vitamins.
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Probiotics & Nutrient Status
Some foods may be very rich in nutrients, but if we cant absorb them from the gut, we cant use them in our bodies. What role might beneficial gut bacteria play in this process? And what important nutrients are directly produced by said gut bacteria? In this post, well explore the effect of probiotics on nutrient absorption.
Remember that probiotic supplements may not be for everyone. Talk to your doctor before starting any new probiotics.
Calcium May Enhance Probiotic Survival In The Gut Cut Cholesterol Levels
Related tags:, Probiotic
Calcium in the form of pentacalcium hydroxy-triphosphate, combined with Lactobacillus paracasei was associated with significant reductions in total and LD cholesterol following four weeks of supplementation, and the results were greater than those observed for L. paracasei alone, according to findings published in Clinical Nutrition.
To the best of our knowledge, there are no published studies examining the influence of a combinatory supplement consisting of probiotics and calcium phosphate on the faecal microbiota and on cholesterol metabolism in humans, wrote researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.
The results of the present human study imply that calcium phosphate positively affects the colonization of LPC37 in the human gut under conditions of combinatory supplementation of calcium phosphate and LPC37.
This combined supplementation is also capable of beneficially modulating blood lipids in healthy, hypercholesterolemic men and women.
The study adds to the ever growing body of science supporting the potential benefits of probiotics.
On Tuesday, an elegant study by Dr Jeff Gordon and his team at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis revealed that probiotic bacteria consumed in a yogurt may not change the hosts gut populations, but they do influence carbohydrate metabolism by the resident microbes.
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Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Not all probiotics are the same. Different strains of the bacteria have different effects. For example, one strain may fight against cavity-causing organisms in our mouths and don’t need to survive a trip through our guts.
Research has been promising for these friendly critters. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of
- H. pylori
- vaginal infections
- infection of the digestive tract caused by
- eczema in children.
Combination Of Probiotic And Calcium In Healthy Adults
|The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
|First Posted : December 16, 2009Last Update Posted : November 7, 2012
- Study Details
|Dietary Supplement: calcium and probioticDietary Supplement: probioticOther: placebo
Animal studies suggest that calcium beneficially influence the microbiota in the gut. This effect of calcium is due to the formation of amorphous calcium phosphate, which has the ability to bind bile acids and other cytotoxic substances in the gut. The precipitation of the cytotoxic substances leads to a less aggressive environment in the gut and might be stimulate the adhesion of the microbiota.
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Do Dental Probiotics Really Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Like your stomach, your mouth is filled with bacteria. Some of them good, some of them bad. Taking a dental probiotic may benefit your oral health just like digtestive probiotics benefit your gut health.
Youve heard how probiotics can help your gut health, but did you know they may also improve the health of your teeth and gums? Dental probiotics, just like the kind of probiotics used to boost digestive health, help balance the amount of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. In fact, oral probiotics may help with bad breath, gum disease and other dental health problems.
Do Dental Probiotics Work?
Probiotics are sold as dietary supplements and dont require approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they are marketed. This means that the FDA has not reviewed or approved any health claims for probiotics. However, research suggests that probiotics can help your oral health. Here are some of the possible benefits of oral probiotics:
Which Probiotic Strains Are Best for Oral Health?
Although more research on probiotics for teeth and gum health is needed, a few strains show promise for preventing dental health issues and improving mouth health. They include:
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Steptococcus salivarius
Are Probiotics Safe?
Which Foods Have Probiotics?
Impact Of Modulating Growth Factors
Because polyamines are known to act as luminal mucosal growth factors , and because some bacteria were shown to produce polyamines , Scholz-Ahrens and Schrezenmeir tested whether the increase of BMC in oligofructose-fed rats might be mediated via the stimulation of polyamine-producing bacteria that benefited from oligofructose in the diet. An experiment in 6-mo-old ovariectomized rats was performed. After 16 wk no stimulatory effect of a supplemented mixture of spermine, spermidine, and putrescine on BMC, cecum weight, or pH in cecal contents was observed .
Reduce Gas And Bloating
Intestinal gas is often a result of too many species of bad bacteria in the gut, which cause food to ferment badly.
Gas is actually a normal byproduct of digestion, and contains a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and often methane. The average human produces between 1-4 pints of intestinal gas each day!
Our intestines contain large amounts of bacteria which are required for breaking down foods we eat. These bacteria also help to consume excess gas.
Its the friendly bacteria in our gut that swallow up gas. The more colonies of friendly bacteria we have, the less gas! However, the opposite is also true: when we have large amounts of bad bacteria, we end up with more gas and flatulence.
Fortunately, its been found that certain strains of probiotics can help to relieve gas and bloating. Although scientists arent quite sure how this works, it appears that Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis can reduce gas production in the gut.
They also help to crowd out unhealthy microbial populations and deter more gas from being created. This can make a huge difference in the amount of bloating and flatulence someone experiences in a normal day.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Probiotics
I dont like fermented foods. Whats another way to get probiotics?
A diet high in fiber, which is a prebiotic, may promote probiotic growth in the gut. You can also take a probiotic supplement with clearance from your healthcare team.
Is it just as good to take probiotic supplements as it is to eat foods with probiotics?
In general, the body benefits most from consuming probiotics via food, which often also contains beneficial nutrients. But if youre using probiotics to treat a disease or illness, a supplement that contains a higher number of strains may be more effective, noted a paper published in September 2017 the journal Biochemistry & Pharmacology.
If I take a probiotic supplement, is it best to take it before, during, or after a meal?
Youll reap the most benefits from probiotics if you take them 30 minutes before a meal or while eating. Also important: taking them with a food or drink that contains some amount of fat, because probiotics are fat soluble, meaning fat helps the body properly absorb them.
Can a person take in too many probiotics?
What is the best probiotic for your health?
Simply put, researchers havent identified one yet. Most of the studies surround bacterial strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and the yeast strain Saccharomyces boulardii. Its also likely that various strains are best for different conditions.
Is it better to choose probiotic supplements that are refrigerated?
Should I always take probiotics when on an antibiotic?
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The Future Of Probiotics
Although probiotics research has exploded recently, some facts about their effectiveness remain unclear. For example, within the two main groups of probioticsBifidobacterium and Lactobacillusdoctors are still trying to pinpoint which strains are the most helpful and whats the optimal amount to take.
If youre a healthy adult, probiotic- and prebiotic-rich foods are safe to eat but if you want to try a supplement, talk to your doctor first about brand, strain and dose, especially if you have a compromised immune system.
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Improve Mood And Reduce Stress
The bacteria in the gut produce neurotransmitters that are your bodys messengers. Neurotransmitters help with sleep, mood, as well as controlling your bladder and heart function. Stress is known to disturb the gut bacteria, which may affect the quantity and function of neurotransmitters.
Probiotic supplements can help repopulate the gut bacteria during and after periods of stress and have been shown to improve mood, sleep, and cognitive function.
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Do Probiotics Have Any Side
Probiotics are generally thought to be safe and healthy for the human body, but there may be some side effects.
The most common symptom is gas, which can cause bloating or discomfort in the lower stomach area.
Its important to know that not everyone will experience these symptoms and theyre usually mild and short-lived.
However, if youre experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis or they seem severe, it may be time to stop taking probiotics for a while.
More serious cases could include blood in stools or fever with chills .
If you continue to experience persistent GI issues after stopping probiotic supplements, contact your healthcare provider!
How Is Kefir Made
The method used to make kefir is one of the main differences between kefir and yogurt. Traditional milk kefir uses kefir grains and whole cows milk although now you can find it made from goats milk, sheeps milk and coconut milk as well as from rice and soy milk alternatives. Kefir grains are not actually grains at all they are small gelatinous beads that look like grains and contain a variety of bacteria and yeasts. The grains are placed in a glass jar or bowl, soaked in milk, covered and left at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours. This enables the bacteria and yeast to ferment the lactose into lactic acid, activating the bacteria to proliferate and grow.
After around 24 hours at room temperature, the grains are strained from the kefir and transferred to a fresh batch of milk and used again to enable them to keep reproducing this cycle can be carried on indefinitely. The strained kefir is now ready to drink.
The grains will multiply as long as they are kept in fresh milk at the right temperature . When the product is put in the fridge, the cool temperature inhibits the fermentation process.
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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 persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Factors Inhibiting Calcium Absorption
A diet containing phytate and oxalate forms insoluble salts with calcium and resists the calcium absorption. For the optimal calcium absorption the ideal ratio of calcium and phosphate is 1:2 and 2:1 but higher content of dietary phosphate results in the formation of insoluble calcium phosphate and prevent the calcium uptake. Impaired fat absorption leads to reaction between free fatty acids and calcium and form an insoluble calcium soap which alters the calcium absorption. Higher pH is unfavorable for the calcium absorption. Higher content of dietary fibers interferes with the calcium absorption ].
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Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body
You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.
Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These arent drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration . Its important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.
Probiotics Can Help Reduce Symptoms Of Certain Digestive Disorders
Over one million people in the US suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease .
Certain types of probiotics from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis .
Surprisingly, one study found that supplementing with the probiotic E. coli Nissle was just as effective as drugs in maintaining remission in people with ulcerative colitis .
Nevertheless, probiotics may have benefits for other bowel disorders. Early research suggests they may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .
They have also been shown to reduce the risk of severe necrotizing enterocolitis by 50%. This is a fatal bowel condition that occurs in premature infants .
Probiotics may help reduce the symptoms of bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, IBS and necrotizing enterocolitis.
What About Water Kefir
Water kefir is made in a similar way to milk kefir. The kefir grains are placed in sugared water and the same fermentation process occurs . The fermentation produces beneficial bacteria while reducing the sugar content of the drink. It’s important to note that the grains are different water kefir is made with specific grains that rely on water, and will not work in the same way if put in milk or milk substitutes. Cane sugar or fruit juice can be used to sweeten the water. Water kefir is a great alternative source of probiotic bacteria for those who are following a dairy-free diet but does not contain the same protein and calcium content that’s provided by milk.
Whats The Difference Prebiotic Vs Probiotic
When taken together prebiotics and probiotic can be a powerful duo. Having the right combination can effectively correct an imbalance in your gut microbiota.
As weve previously discussed, your gut microbiota has a direct or indirect effect on just about every aspect of your normal bodily functions.
If youre like many people, youve probably heard the terms prebiotic and probiotic in relation to nutritional health. Many folks confuse the two as being the same thing which is inaccurate.
Instead, probiotics and prebiotics work as partners through their individual mechanisms to ensure your optimal health.
Lets take a closer look at the differences between the two.
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The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are safe for those who are healthy. If side effects occur, they are usually mild digestive issues, like gas. Just like before starting any new drug or supplement, you should talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic. This advice is especially important for those with suppressed immune systems. Serious complications, like infections, have been reported in some people.
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.
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