What Are Prebiotics And What Do They Do
On the other hand, Prebiotics are various foods in your diet that can stimulate the growth and balance of healthy bacteria in the colon. For example, the beneficial bacteria: bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Prebiotic fibers are non-digestible and are fermented in the colon into short-chain fatty acids, which provide energy for the cells lining the wall of the gut. This is potentially protective against colon cancer and other diseases. Other potential health benefits of prebiotics include:
- Increased absorption of minerals such as calcium
- Reduction of potentially pathogenic bacteria
- Weight loss/maintenance due to increased fullness
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Results Vary From Person To Person
While researchers have studied different conditions, it ultimately depends on what’s going on with you personally.
Even if you’re not seeing changes in symptoms right away, the probiotics may be doing their job behind the scenes, so don’t give up too quickly. Some factors that can increase the amount of time it takes for probiotics to start working include:
- A very unhealthy gut
- Taking the wrong probiotic strain
- Incorrect dosage
The Dosage The Method And Potential Side Effects
According to Consumer Lab, a probiotic should provide at least 1 billion CFUs , with doses typically ranging between 1 billion and 10 billion CFUs daily for adults . Natural Wellnesss Super Probiotics contains 10 billion viable cells in each serving.
If youre looking for a stronger probiotic, Natural Wellness also offers Ultra Probiotic Formula, which has 35 billion living cells per capsule. Both probioitc supplements are developed to withstand the acids in your stomach so they reach their intended destinations.
But what are the side effects of taking too much probiotics, you ask? While most people experience no side effects, some people unfortunately do, and among them the most commonly reported is digestion discomfort. Bloating or diarrhea may also result, so pull the reins if you feel the onset of an upset stomach.
In terms of the time it takes for a high-quality probiotic to start working, granted it survives your stomach acid, is roughly 30-60 minutes. That means you should be patient and wait for probiotics to do their thing before taking any more.
And, according to the Mayo Clinic, probiotics should not be combined with any of the following:
- Any prescription drug that affects your immune system
- Any sort of fungal infection treatment
- Having pancreatitis
Take extra precaution if you get infections often or have a weakened immune system as well, and always consult your physician or dietitian before introducing probiotics into your diet .
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Should Healthy People Take Probiotics
Probiotics are becoming a heavily debated topic. After several years of promotion and research, there are found to be a couple contradictory things about probiotics.
2. In a study, probiotics did not have any effect on the internal gut bacteria of the participants. Alternatively, the microorganisms in the supplement were excreted via stool.
Scientists strongly believe that probiotics work most effectively for people who lack healthy strains of gut bacteria. This is because, if you have healthy strains of bacteria, this will just resist the new strains of bacteria that come from your probiotics supplement.
Furthermore, probiotics can also trigger adverse immune responses in your intestine. These activities can cause harm to your own internal microbiome.
Probiotics Can Cause Allergic Reactions
Another possible side effect of taking probiotics is an allergic reaction. Humans can be allergic to just about anything, including milk which is often used in the probiotic production process.
The purification process used in the production of some probiotics such as Nexabiotic® Advanced should remove most of these allergens.
If you are lactose intolerant you should be able to tolerate the small amounts of milk in probiotics. Furthermore, probiotics themselves break down lactose. This is the reason why probiotic-loaded kefir yogurt is advertised as being lactose-free.
However, if you have developed an allergic reaction to milk ingredients that results in problems breathing then you should avoid probiotics.
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Do Probiotics Make You Poop More
Probiotics may, in fact, help you expel feces that you would have otherwise avoided. However, you must take the supplement in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise routine.
How do probiotic supplements affect the rest of your gastrointestinal system? When you use the product, they enter the intestines. They do not stay in one place.
They are broken down and eventually expelled from the body through the bowels. The process of doing this breaks down the bacteria population.
As the population of harmful bacteria decreases, so does the amount of beneficial bacteria that are in your digestive system.
Can you lose weight while taking a probiotic supplement? Yes, you can definitely lose weight. This comes from how the product can help to increase the number of bowel movements you have each day.
If you are not regular on your bowel movements, this can increase the amount of gas you expel. This can lead to constipation. You do want to use this product though if you are having trouble with constipation.
When you decide to buy a probiotic supplement, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get your moneys worth.
Shop around for the best products. Try different brands out. Do some research online about each product so that you can determine how well it will work for you.
Can You Overdose On Probiotics
Probiotic-rich foods and supplements are generally considered safe. Your body is already filled with trillions of diverse bacteria, so overdosing is rare assuming that your immune system is healthy and functioning as normal.8
That said, you can always have too much of a good thing. Taking too many probiotics can create an unstable intestinal environment, which may result in many of the gastrointestinal side effects mentioned above, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and nausea.12
If you accidentally overdose on probiotics you should not be concerned as your gut microbiome will quickly reach a new equilibrium after you stop taking probiotics. An effective probiotic dose is 10 billion CFUs. Stick to a daily dose around 10 billion CFUs and only increase if needed such as when youre taking a course of antibiotics or have an underlying digestive issue.
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You May Experience Less Constipation
According to Morgyn Clair, RD, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Sprint Kitchen, one of the top benefits of taking probiotics is that they help your body break down and metabolize nutrients in the intestines more efficiently. As a result, they may promote regular bowel movements and reduce unpleasant GI problems like constipation and diarrhea. Specifically, Dr. Axe says the species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium tend to be most helpful in this regard.
2017 research suggested that probiotic supplements can help cure antibiotic-associated diarrhea, while another study revealed that probiotics containing Bifidobacterium slowed “gut transit time,” thus increasing participants’ number of weekly bowel movements while softening stools, making them easier to pass.
Have You Ever Felt Bloated After Eating
Did you wonder why your stool is still being made when you know you dont need to?
You probably also experienced constipation. It is not uncommon to experience both problems.
It is caused by too much food built up in your intestines that makes it difficult for your body to get rid of it through your normal bowel movements.
Probiotic bacteria are great at breaking this fecal matter down. They also help to keep your digestive tract on a regular basis. If you have sensitive digestion, they will also help to regulate it.
This means you wont feel as bloated after a meal or have your bowel movements stop for no apparent reason at all.
They may even help to increase the amount of energy you have.
Your intestines will be even more relaxed when you have a good colon cleanse.
You will be less likely to have constipation because they wont be full of foreign matter to get rid of. You will also have less gas, which is also uncomfortable. You may even experience less nausea after you cleanse your bowels.
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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 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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The Benefits Of Probiotics
Theyre especially helpful for diarrhea or constipation both of which are common for kids, especially during potty training. Probiotics may help ease some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease as well.
Children already taking antibiotics can benefit from probiotics, too. Antibiotics can cause stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, and probiotics can ease these side effects. But not all probiotics are effective while taking antibiotics, so talk to your childs pediatrician or pharmacist about which probiotic is best for your child.
Signs Your Probiotics Are Actually Working According To Doctors
Probiotics nicknamed “good” or “helpful” bacteria by health professionals are live bacteria and yeasts that help keep your gut healthy and improve digestion. However, when you start upping your probiotic intake , it can be hard to tell if probiotics are actually making a difference. Even experts agree that it isn’t always so simple.
“There are no magic telltale signs that probiotics are working, but you may see an improvement in abdominal pain, bloating, inflammation, and weight,” Kumkum Sarkar Patel, MD, MPH, a board-certified gastroenterologist in California, tells POPSUGAR. If taken as intended, probiotics can restore and improve your gut environment, or “flora,” and overall health in several ways. If you feel the following improvements after taking probiotics, it’s likely that they’re working properly.
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How Common Is Constipation With Probiotics
Constipation with probiotics is very unlikely but it does happen.
Its ironic, given that probiotics are mainly used to health with constipation, but in some cases it may actually cause it.
Constipation from probiotics is not typical. If you are experiencing constipation while taking probiotics, chances are there is not enough water of fiber in your diet.
One solution may be to increase your levels of fiber when you are consuming your probiotic. Another is to add on or switch to taking prebiotic fibers. This can both help to promote your overall levelsl of bacteria in your gut and improve your overall levels of fiber which can help your digestive health.
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What Do Prebiotics Do
Prebiotics are a little different from probiotics, as prebiotics are used to feed your good bacteria that is already in your body.
The benefits of prebiotics are a strengthened digestive system and intestinal lining, decreased inflammation, and more efficient removal of toxins from the digestive tract.
Just like probiotics, prebiotics are used to balance your gut bacteria, and improve the microbiome.
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When To See Your Doctor
Most cases of constipation can be treated with home remedies and probiotic supplements. But if your symptoms include severe abdominal pain, sudden weight loss, and blood in your stool, its usually a sign of more severe health issues. When this happens, dont hesitate to call or visit your doctor.
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The Effects Of Probiotics On Your Bowel Movement
Probiotics can help you fix digestive issues and increase bowel movements so that you can poop more frequently if you are constipated. However, this is not their primary function.
Probiotics or probiotic bacteria are good bacteria that combine with trillions of other bacteria, fungi, and other microbes within the gastrointestinal tract.
Collectively these microorganisms form the gut microbiome that supports good gut health by helping you maintain a robust digestive tract.
The microorganisms in your gut play a huge role in digesting food.
Without them, you cant digest fiber. Likewise, we also need our microbiome to absorb nutrients from food and then pass the waste as poop.
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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.
Probiotics Can Cause Diarrhea
Studies have shown how helpful probiotics can be for infectious diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and C diff diarrhea. However, they can cause diarrhea in some people.
This negative side effect should pass as your body gets fully adjusted to the new probiotics. In the long run, probiotics should not cause diarrhea. If you have diarrhea that lasts greater than 2 weeks while taking a probiotic then stop taking probiotics.
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Other Treatments For Ibs
Probiotics are far from the only treatment thats effective for IBS symptoms. Other helpful methods for addressing IBS exist, such as:
- Regular exercise
- Quality sleep
When treating IBS, you first need to know the underlying cause. Talk with an integrative specialist about diagnosing the root cause of your IBS, which could be parasites, low vagal tone, hormone imbalance, or even food poisoning.
Standard Probiotics May Not Be Risk Free
by Beth Mole – Sep 8, 2018 7:10 pm UTC
Theres a pungent cloud of hype and hope around probioticsand researchers have long tried to clear the air about what the bowel-blasting products can do. Now, a new set of studies offers a gut-check on funky claims, ripping current probiotics as likely ineffective at boosting health and potentially even causing harm.
In the two studies, both published this week in the journal Cell, Israeli researchers report that bacteria taken in supplements, aka probiotics, often have little impact on healthy peoples innards and, at worst, can elbow out native populations of microbes.
In the first study, the researchers found that healthy microbial populations in peoples plumbing tends to flush out the newcomers. Thus, the microbial interlopers from supplements have little impact on resident microbiomesand, by extension, consumers healthand are largely just pooped out.
So far, such findings havent deterred consumers from plopping down money for probiotics in the hopes of better bowel health. Probiotics are an ever-growing market, with 3.9 million adults in the US using either probiotics or prebiotics. Theyre among the most commonly used dietary supplements.
Some good news is that the new set of studies has some helpful hints for moving forward.
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How Probiotics Are Good For You
They might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They can also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria.
Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There’s more research for some illnesses than others. They might help people with:
- Diarrhea, especially when it’s linked to specific antibiotics. Probiotics also might help with infectious diarrhea, especially in children.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Some probiotics might keep ulcerative colitis in remission and prevent Crohn’s disease from relapsing and getting worse.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can sometimes help ease symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Probiotics also are being studied for many other conditions. There isnât as much research yet, but some people say that probiotics have helped them with:
- Decreasing inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis
When Should I Take Probiotics
If you are constipated, probiotics could very well be the answer. By softening stool and helping break down food in the intestines, researchers have found that probiotics may improve whole gut transit time, stool frequency, and stool consistency.
Another good time for probiotics would be following a round of antibiotics. Not only do antibiotics kill bad bacteria, they also kill good bacteria, so eating probiotic rich foods following an antibiotic will help you replenish good bacteria.
However, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, probiotics may be off the table, as probiotics have been found much more likely to cause discomfort in that population.
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