They May Help With Weight Loss
If youre struggling to lose weight, your stomach could be the reason in more ways than one.
Previous research has found thin people have different gut bacteria to those who are obese.
This may be because a high-fat-low-fibre diet encourages the growth of bad bacteria in the digestive system.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found taking probiotics could help women lose weight and keep it off!
The researchers concluded that rebalancing gut bacteria may strengthen the intestinal wall, making it harder to absorb large fat molecules.
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What Are Prebiotics And Probiotics
Prebiotics are a kind of fiber that the body is unable to digest. Even though you cannot break them down, they serve their own purpose to nourish the probiotic bacteria in your gut.
Think of prebiotics as a source of food for the probiotics in your gut.
Probiotics are essentially the beneficial bacteria found in certain foods and health supplements. These bacteria thrive in the digestive tract and offer an enormous amount of health benefits.
It is common to associate bacteria with illness. However, not all bacteria is bad.
There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. The good or beneficial bacteria naturally live in your digestive tract and carry out important biological functions that are crucial for our everyday lives.
This is why fermented food and dairy, like probiotic yogurt or probiotics in kefir, are a favorite of anyone trying to increase their gut health.
Think of it this way. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and promote good health and prebiotics are the fibers that feed this beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics offer so many health benefits and it is impossible for us to live without them.
Choose The Right Kinds Of Probiotic Strains
Probiotic bacteria come in different varieties. For example, the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to work well for people with IBS, while Lactobacillus delbrueki works better for people with lactose intolerance. When you speak to your medical specialist, be sure to ask whether one particular strain or combination of strains would be better for the condition you want to treat or the benefits you hope to gain.
In general, a good tip is to look for a product with bacterial diversity, meaning it contains multiple strains of well-known and well-studied bacteria. Probiotic supplements often contain mixtures of well-tested bacteria and yeasts and both probiotics and prebiotics. This mixture can result in a synergy between the different strains, which provides a broader range of beneficial effects than using a product containing only one or two strains.
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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.
Look At The Safety Of The Products Youre Considering
One of the things your doctor can help you with is identifying the probiotic strains that have been studied to make sure they are safe and free from side effects. The most commonand safestmicrobes used in probiotic supplements are strains of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria.
Reports from the National Institutes of Health indicate that most probiotics are low risk because they already exist in our intestines. But its always good to check before taking them, especially if you have a history of allergies or food sensitivities.
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Prebiotics Vs Probiotics Vs Postbiotics: What Are The Differences
by Gundry MD Team | Jul 30, 2021 | Comments
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Prebiotics vs probiotics vs postbiotics: whats the deal? All three ps are commonly discussed health topics these days. But though they may sound similar, they all play different roles in your body. In short: probiotics are beneficial bacteria prebiotics are fuel and postbiotics are the end result.
Read more to learn all you need to know about the difference between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics.
How Are Gut Bacteria Beneficial
Gut bacteria are essential to human health in several vitally important ways. They are integral to helping your digestive system form properly in the womb. Scientists that studied germ-free animals showed they developed malformed intestines, and bacterial byproducts were shown to direct lymphoid organ development.
Gut Bacteria then aid in proper gut function by maintaining barriers on the gut walls. They also play a key role throughout your life in the bodys immune response against harmful pathogens, viruses and fungi.
Incredibly, beneficial bacteria in the gut interact with the immune system and even direct its function.
Bifidobacterium infantis and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii can induce regulatory cells to produce interleukin, an anti-inflammatory cytokine .
Other beneficial bacteria may promote the development of T-helper cells, which results in a low-grade inflammatory response that readies the immune system to deal with pathogens. They can also upregulate the expression of cytoprotective genes, which create proteins that eat or kill environmental toxins.
One common fungi our good bacteria help protect us from is Candida albicans. Candida can be life-threatening when overgrown. A healthy microbiome prevents this from occurring by assisting the immune system, of course, and by limiting the ability for fungi to adhere to the walls of the gut, which suppresses their growth and colonization.
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Why Should Someone Consider Taking Prebiotic And Probiotic Supplements
Adults should be eating in the neighborhood of 30 grams of fiber a day, but the average grownup only eats about a third of that. Our busy lifestyles contribute to the problem when were on the go, were less likely to eat the high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are more typically found at home. So, many of us are lacking when it comes to good sources of prebiotics. And, unless you are a regular consumer of fermented vegetables or dairy products, you might not be getting good sources of probiotics on a daily basis. Fiber supplements that contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, along with probiotic supplements, can help to fill in gaps.
How Long Should You Take A Probiotic
If your doctor has prescribed a probiotic for you, be sure to take it just as you are told to. If not, the helpful effects of probiotics could last only a short time and might go away within a few weeks. Probiotics are generally thought to be safe if you have a normal immune system, though there is not much known about using them for a long time.
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Is It Safe To Take Probiotics And Prebiotics
The use of commercial prebiotics and probiotics are said to be perfectly safe for most healthy adults. The risk of experiencing any side effects is low for most people but as with any lifestyle changes, you should keep in mind that you may need time to let your body adjust when you first start making use of probiotics and prebiotics.
When you first start a regimen of prebiotics and probiotics, there can be some common side effects as your body gets used to the good bacteria. These symptoms are not dangerous and are just your body adjusting. You may experience gas, constipation, loose stools, and a loss of appetite at the beginning of the regimen. Some people also experience bloating and acid reflux too. Once your body adjusts, these symptoms should ease off, leaving you feeling much better and healthier.
Probiotics are sometimes recommended for children who are taking antibiotics. Before you give probiotics to a child, you should speak to their doctor, especially if they are under the age of 12. Probiotics and prebiotics are generally considered to be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but make sure you get the go-ahead from your doctor before starting to take any new supplement while you are pregnant or postpartum.
Regardless of your health, its wise to speak to your doctor about any planned changes to your diet or lifestyle, even though these supplements are safe to take.
Why The Gut Microbiome Is Important
A robust microbiome contains trillions of bacteria, yeast and other living microbes residing in the lower gastrointestinal system. Scientists think that most humans host around 1,000 different species of bacteria. Growing evidence shows that many of them benefit humans by improving the immune system, gut health, mental health, diabetes control and cardiac health.
The microbiome begins to form from the moment of birth and diversifies based on environmental exposure and foods eaten. The microbiome can be weakened by harmful substances such as cigarette smoke and alcohol or with overuse of antibiotics. People have little control over their early childhood experiences or other ways the microbiome is affected. However, we do have control over the foods we eat as we get older to support the microbiome, including probiotic and prebiotic foods.
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Think You Have A Gut Health Issue Heres When To See A Doctor
Your gut microbiome is kept healthy through the presence of a diverse and stable colony of bacteria. Occasionally, this microbiome is compromised due to one or more of these factors:
If your gut health is out of whack, bad bacteria may overtake the good. If you experience the following gut-related symptoms, check in with your doctor.
When Not To Use Probiotics
Probiotics do not appear to be beneficial for children in North America who have acute gastroenteritis they should not be given routinely to children who present to the emergency room due to diarrhea.
There was insufficient evidence for AGA to make recommendations regarding the use of probiotics to treat the following conditions. For these conditions, AGA suggests that patients consider stopping probiotics.
- C. difficileinfection
- Ulcerative colitis
Talk to your gastroenterologist to determine if there is clear benefit to the use of probiotics. The effects of probiotics are not species-specific, but strain- and combination-specific.
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Can Probiotic Supplements Be Harmful
Though many companies and influencers encourage everyone to use probiotics, they are, in fact, not beneficial for everyone, and different strains have different effects on different people.
More research is needed, but preliminary research has shown that probiotics may be harmful to people with certain underlying conditions or diagnoses, such as those with critical illness, AIDS, organ transplantation, necrotizing enterocolitis, cancer, and allergies. In such cases, probiotic supplementation may lead to life-threatening illnesses, including pneumonia, endocarditis , and sepsis.
Should Healthy People Take Probiotics
You may have heard that all people should take a probiotic supplement. However, research suggests that generally healthy people do not attain a benefit from probiotic supplements. A few specific supplements are clinically recommended for a few specific medical conditions, but you can otherwise obtain the most benefits from nourishing the microbes already in your gut, says Finkel.
She uses the analogy of a garden. Imagine you have a beautiful garden with a wide variety of plants that are not getting enough water and sunlight. Rather than uprooting and replacing every plant in your garden, why not take better care of the garden you have? Finkel recommends “nourishing the garden” of your microbiome by eating fiber-rich foods that will feed your microbiome, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
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Which Foods Are Probiotic
A high quality, plain yogurt with live cultures can be a fantastic addition to your diet if you want to add beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods are another great option, as they contain beneficial bacteria that thrive on the naturally occurring sugar or fiber in the food.
Examples of fermented foods include:
- other pickled vegetables
If youre going to eat fermented foods for their probiotic benefits, make sure theyre not pasteurized, as this process kills the bacteria.
Some of those foods can also be considered synbiotic, because they contain both beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic source of fiber for the bacteria to feed on.
Some examples of synbiotic foods are cheese, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Probiotic foods naturally contain helpful bacteria. Many of these foods can be made at home or purchased at a grocery store.
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What Foods Is L Acidophilus In
Lactobacillus is the name of a large family of lactic acid producing bacteria and acidophilus is one of the most important members of that family. See Whats the difference between Acidophilus And Lactobacillus if you get these two muddled up.
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Probiotics And Health Concerns
When it comes to research on probiotics the bulk of the gold-standard clinical trials suggest that probiotics can help to support gut health. Excitingly, there are also emerging fields of research on a huge variety of health concerns, such as skin health, intimate health, immune health, and mental health. Research into probiotics is growing at an exponential rate watch this space!
The Probiotics Database provides more detailed information on some of the most researched strains in the world, and explores the clinical research behind different strains, for different circumstances. Health professionals can read about probiotic strains on the Probiotics Database
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Prebiotic Vs Probiotic: Key Differences Benefits And Foods
Probiotics are bacteria that live in the human gut and benefit the entire body. They are found in fermented foods and in supplements.
Prebiotics are specialized types of fiber that probiotics need to survive and thrive in the intestines. Prebiotics can be found in foods like beans, leafy vegetables, grains, and oats.
Somewhere along the way, the lovely little bacteria we call probiotics discovered that they could live off the excess fiber in our intestines. But they didnt just come for a free ride.
Probiotics provide us with so many health benefits that we cannot live without themat least not in a healthy way. Both probiotics and prebiotics are essential to a healthy body and mind. We need the right balance of each one in order to ensure the gut can function optimally.
Whats The Difference Between A Probiotic And A Prebiotic
More often than not, the world of wellness feels like its filled with buzz wordstwo we hear so often are probiotics and prebiotics. If youve ever found yourself wondering what they are, whether or not theyre the same thing, and if you really need to be taking both, youre not alone. The terms are so similarand are often discussed togetherwhich makes distinguishing them tricky. Essentially, our bodies have bacteria, fungi, and even mites that live on the surface of our skin and in our digestive tract known as the microbiome. Our microbiome helps us maintain a healthy gut and skin pH levels. The microbiome in our gut and skin is a microscopic forest where various residents work together to maintain balance, explains board-certified dermatologist Jessica Krant, M.D.
Dr. Krant explains that when our microbiome is healthy and balanced, we are healthy. If something throws that microbiome balance off, it can have negative effects on our digestion, skin, brains, and more. The key to a healthy microbiome, be it in your gut or on your skin, is keeping it balanced: making sure you have enough good to prevent the bad from taking over and wreaking havoc, she says. Prebiotics and probiotics are essential in achieving and maintaining this balance.
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Synbiotics Blend Both Pre
Dr. Cresci is actively studying synbiotics, which combine aprebiotic and a probiotic.
A probiotic in a capsule may not survive while sitting onthe grocery store shelf or passing through the intestinal tract, she says.But when you combine it with its food source, the prebiotic, it has a muchbetter shot at staying viable until it reaches the part of the gut where itwill ultimately live.
Dr. Cresci recommends people get their probiotics andprebiotics from a healthy diet, but if you need to take a supplement, sherecommends choosing a:
- Product that has a seal of approval from testingagencies such as Consumer Reports or Consumer Labs.
- Probiotic capsule packaged with inulin or otherprebiotics.
- Probiotic in spore form, which can survive onthe shelf or in the digestive tract.
The Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics
Science Based Amy Myers, MD
Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.
Probiotics are an essential supplement I recommend that everyone take to support optimal digestive health. Yet, you may not know that a prebiotic is just as vital to your gut health. So, whats the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Imagine that your gut microbiome is a rainforest. In a rainforest, many plants live together in a symbiotic ecosystem. Still, if the balance gets disrupted, the good or beneficial plants begin to die, and the bad ones start to take over. Think of probiotics as soldiers fighting for your gut health by supplying good plants to your gut microbiome to keep the delicate balance. Prebiotics provide those good plants with food to stimulate their growth, making a stronger army.
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