What Is The Gut Microbiome
Our digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria as well as fungi and viruses these are known as the gut microbiome.
The makeup of this biome is largely genetically determined however, it is heavily influenced by several factors such as whether we are born naturally or by cesarean section, if we were breastfed, our use of antibiotics, and our exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins.
Scientists now know that this microbiome is critical to our overall well-being. Some call it our second brain. Small imbalances can cause significant changes to our mental health and in the appearance of our skin and has been linked to almost every known condition such as Alzheimers disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type 2 diabetes.
An imbalance may also cause constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, yeast infections, and a suppressed immune system. Your likelihood of putting on weight also comes down to your microbiome and the influence it has on your response to insulin and thyroid gland function.
Where Do Probiotics Enter The Picture
Probiotics can play an invaluable role in your recovery from chronic illness especially when theyre introduced at the right point during your healing journey. However, if the proper foundations for health arent in place, probiotics may not give you the complete relief youre looking for.
Thats not to say that probiotics will be completely ineffective when used on their own, as research supports that theyre highly beneficial in reducing a myriad of health symptoms. And, theres technically no wrong time to begin taking probiotics, especially if you suspect that an unhealthy gut may be at the root of your symptoms.
Rather, its important that you address the underlying problems that originally led to your symptoms. Its necessary to take the appropriate steps toward restoring the health of your whole body, including your gut, in order to maximize the benefits of probiotics.
The Benefits And Risks Of Probiotics
by Rachel Kay | Oct 16, 2022 | Insight Hub
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Most people think of them as helpful supplements, but they are also found in some foods like yogurt. Probiotics help keep your gut healthy by keeping the right balance of good and bad bacteria. They can also help with conditions like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Some research suggests that probiotics may also help with other conditions, such as eczema, allergies, and even tooth decay. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits. Probiotics are generally safe and well-tolerated, but they can cause side effects like gas and bloating in some people. If youre considering taking probiotics, its important to know that they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . This means that there is no guarantee of their safety or effectiveness. Probiotics are also not covered by most insurance plans. Before taking probiotics, talk to your doctor about whether they are right for you.
A study found that probiotic supplements can be used for a long time. A study discovered that long-term probiotic consumption resulted in beneficial changes in the gut microbiome. The duration of taking probiotics is determined by the strains and products used, as well as the dosage.
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How To Use Them Safely
The FDA regulates probiotics like foods, not like medications. Unlike drug companies, makers of probiotic supplements dont have to show their products are safe or that they work.
Ask your doctor if taking probiotics is a good idea for you. In general, probiotic foods and supplements are thought to be safe for most people, though some people with immune system problems or other serious health conditions shouldnt take them.
In some cases, mild side effects might include an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, and bloating for the first couple of days after you start taking them. They may also trigger allergic reactions. Stop taking them and talk to your doctor if you have problems.
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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.
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Probiotics Can Help Prevent And Treat Diarrhea
Probiotics are widely known for their ability to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of taking antibiotics. It occurs because antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut (
A review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 12 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and memory .
One study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety and stress .
Benefits were also seen in a study of 40 patients with depression.
Taking probiotic supplements for 8 weeks decreased depression levels and reduced levels of C-reactive protein and hormones such as insulin, compared to people who did not take a probiotic .
Research shows taking probiotics may help improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress and memory, among others.
People With An Allergy To Probiotics
Each brand of probiotic supplements contains slightly different ingredients. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to a specific brand of probiotic supplements, but not another. This can happen if one or more of the ingredients in the supplement cause your immune system to react to the perceived threat of the allergen. This leads to a chemical release of antibodies, histamines, and other chemicals in the body.
The allergic reaction that can be triggered by probiotics may cause mild stomach discomfort, especially when you first begin to take them. This may involve an upset stomach, excess gas, bloating, or diarrhea.
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Probiotics Can Help With Diarrhea
Different factors normally cause diarrhea. Probiotics can help with four of the factors causing diarrhea which include foreign pathogens, certain antibiotics or medication, inflammation of the bowels, and emotional and physical stress. Probiotics are essential in reversing the damage caused by each of these factors.
The Benefits Of Probiotics Bacteria
In a society of anti-bacterial warfare, who would have thought that anyone would tout the benefits of bacteria? Living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods may help improve your body’s bacterial environment inside and out. They’re called probiotics, a name that means “for life.”
More and more people are using probiotic products to treat or improve illnesses or to maintain overall well-being. In fact, a 2017 report estimated annual global sales of probiotic supplements at $3.7 billion in 2016, and that is expected to rise to $17.4 billion by 2027.
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Final Verdict: You Should Try Out Probiotics For Women
If you are having any form of digestive health issues or even overall health issues, adding probiotics to your daily routine may be the answer. Probiotics are extremely beneficial for anyone to take, but especially women due to the overwhelming amount that have gut-health problems.
These are safe to take, but make sure to check with to check with a trusted doctor or dietician before taking them.
You can get probiotics from a variety of foods or supplements.
If you want to buy a probiotic supplement, then there is an with thousands of customer reviews.
Live probiotic cultures are often found in fermented dairy products such as yogurts and milk drinks. Fermented foods like pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and soy products may also contain some lactic acid bacteria.
You can also take probiotics as tablets, capsules and powders that contain the bacteria in dried form.
However, be aware that some probiotics can be destroyed by stomach acid before they even reach the gut meaning that you get none of the intended benefits.
If you want to experience any of the health benefits discussed above, its important that you consume adequate amounts.
Most of the studies showing benefits used dosages of 1 billion to 100 billion live organisms or colony-forming units per day.
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Certain Probiotics Could Dial Down Ibs And Ibd Symptoms
While theres no cure for inflammatory bowel disease , probiotics may be a treatment option for IBD symptoms.
Some probiotic strains have helped soothe symptoms in folks with mild ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even necrotizing enterocolitis, a deadly bowel condition in some premature newborns.
It might seem obvious that good gut bacteria could help with gastrointestinal issues. But we need more research to fully understand the *exact* strains of probiotics that could help, how often to take them, and which IBD or IBS symptoms they could prevent.
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Whats The Deal With Probiotics
Topics in this Post
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?
Probiotics For Women Should Be Taken Alongside Antibiotics
Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they became widely available after World War II. Since they were introduced, life expectancy in the US has increased from 47 years to nearly 79 years . If antibiotics have a downside, its that they can also destroy beneficial bacteria in your gut. Taking probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut environment during and after taking antibiotics.
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Future Emerging Areas Of Research
Psoriasis And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In 2013, found evidence that Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 could benefit people with conditions such as psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
This specific type of bacteria is often included in supplements to fortify the digestive system.
Probiotics are available as supplements, though there is not yet enough evidence to prove that a specific brand or type will help with a particular condition.
The Food and Drug Administration for medical purposes. However, they do not consider probiotic supplements to be medication and so do not monitor claims about probiotic contents. A person cannot be sure exactly what a product contains. Also, it is not always clear how long a probiotic stays active in the body. As a result, a person cannot be sure how effective any product is likely to be or which condition it may help with.
Probiotics are likely to be safe for most people, but there are some points to consider before using them or increasing the intake.
The note that while probiotics are likely safe for those in good health, these bacteria may pose a risk to people with weakened immune systems or other health issues.
These people may face a risk of:
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Types Of Probiotic Supplements
Next time you visit your favorite natural health retailer, you may find a LOT of options for probiotic supplements. Some are even in powder form that can be spooned into smoothies or yogurt. In general, though, there are two main forms for supplementary probiotics: capsules and gummies.
Probiotic capsules are often a two-piece type that fits together and holds the formula inside. Some probiotic supplements are in softgels, which is another common pill form.
Gummy supplements can be an excellent way to support your healthy lifestyle without needing to swallow pills. New Chapter probiotic gummies are made with fiber instead of unnecessary extra sugar, so you can be sure that every daily dose is packed with good stuff.
Boost The Immune System
One of the most common reasons for taking probiotics is to support the immune system. Theres a wealth of information regarding the benefits of probiotic bacteria in improving the diversity and overall efficacy of immune cells, particularly following supplementation with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.
As mentioned earlier, around 70 percent of our immune system cells live in the lymphatic tissue of the gut. Its for this very reason that a probiotic-rich diet can help to keep these important cells in optimal condition.
Research has shown that using both probiotics and prebiotics together is even more effective. One study in particular showed that lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria may be an additional or supplementary therapy to boosting the immune system.
Together, probiotics and prebiotics can exhibit a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and help to prevent a wide range of immunity-related diseases. This is partly due to the way in which prebiotics provide food that probiotic bacteria use to grow and develop properly.
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Prebiotics And Probiotics: Creating A Healthier You
Youve probably heard of prebiotics and probiotics, but do you know what they are? Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when you consume them in the right amounts.
Although probiotics are available as dietary supplements, some may be found through fermented foods, too.
Research continues in this area of nutrition investigating which strains of probiotics are present in specific foods and which ones provide health benefits. While this is still an area of study, there are a few key points that are worth keeping in mind.
What Are Prebiotics and What Do They Do?
Prebiotics are naturally occurring, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Simply said, theyre good bacteria promoters. Prebiotics may improve gastrointestinal health as well as potentially enhance calcium absorption.
Prebiotics in Your Diet
Prebiotics include fructooligosaccharides, such as inulin and galactooligosaccharides. But rather than focusing on these lengthy words, include more prebiotics in your day by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, beans and whole-grain foods.
What Are Probiotics and What Do They Do?
Probiotics in Your Diet
What Makes Prebiotics and Probiotics the Dynamic Duo?
The Truth About Probiotics
If you are not pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a compromised immune system, you do not need to take probiotics in the morning. You should not take probiotics if you have any of these conditions or if you are taking any other medications. According to general health advice, probiotics taken at other times of day are generally safe and beneficial.
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They’re Good For Your Gut*
Probiotics might be best known for their impact on gut health.* “Think of probiotics as your little helpers that restore order and help maintain harmony in your gut ecosystem,”* says gut health expert Vincent Pedre, M.D. “They outnumber and antagonize unwelcome bugs, including unfavorable bacteria, yeast, and parasites.”*
Research has shown that probiotics are beneficial for improving gut issues like irregularity due to gut imbalance.* A common culprit of gut microbial imbalance are antibiotics.
Probiotics are a targeted strategy to elevate the gut microbiome.*
Science demonstrates their ability to support numerous functions of the upper and lower GI tract, including abdominal comfort by helping reduce gas and bloating.*
Are There Benefits To Probiotics
Some clinical studies suggest that certain probiotics can help in certain contexts. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, the probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 can help treat irritable bowel syndrome , while Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG can each reduce the risk of diarrhea in adults taking antibiotics.
Specific probiotics have also been shown to help treat pouchitis, ulcerative colitis, colic and infectious diarrhea, and to reduce the risk of developing Clostridium difficile infections after taking antibiotics.
To understand the various contexts in which probiotics could be useful, check out this guide recommended by Gregor Reid, a microbiologist and immunologist at Western University in Ontario, Canada, and the former president of the industry-fundedInternational Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics , although some products on the list are backed by more research than others.
And no matter what the science says, probiotics sold as dietary supplements are not disease-treating drugs. If companies want to market their probiotics as medical treatments, they have to pursue a form of Food and Drug Administration approval to market them as live biotherapeutic products. Thus far, no probiotics have been given this designation.
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