What Do They Do
Among other things, probiotics help send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control gut movement. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Infectious diarrhea
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics
There is also some research that shows they’re useful for problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:
- Skin conditions, like eczema
- Oral health
Inessa Advanced Daily Biotic
Coming in a rather suave looking bottle, these vegan capsules contain a whopping 10 billion CFU of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus – the probiotic strain thats potentially beneficial at preventing eczema.
This has also been studied the most extensively and has shown evidence to colonise in the intestine – the area where bacteria is the most effective at fighting off imposters. Manufactured in the UK, these capsules have been designed with a delayed release, ensuring they can pass through the stomach without being harmed. Youll get 60 capsules in a bottle, meaning they should last you for two months.
Should You Take Probiotics
The “good bacteria” may help healthy people but aren’t formally recommended.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria touted to help maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. You can take them in a dietary supplement or get them from food sources, such as yogurt. But should you? They can be helpful in some cases, but we still need more studies to tell us if and when they are safe and effective for older adults.
Read Also: Can Prebiotics And Probiotics Help You Lose Weight
Probiotics: Top Benefits Foods And Supplements
Whether youre looking to help your immune function, decrease disease risk or simply improve your overall health, probiotics can make a worthy addition to your daily routine.
Not only that, but some people including billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates even believe that probiotics could hold the key to ending malnutrition across the globe someday.
What are probiotics? Probiotics are a type of organism that can help boost the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Nestled inside your gut are trillions of these live microorganisms that make up the microbiome.
They are also found in supplements, fermented foods and probiotic drinks, such as kombucha.
Different microbes living in your gastrointestinal tract play a role in either promoting health or disease. For example, many of these bacterial cells are considered good bacteria and help support immune function, enhance nutrient absorption, and aid in the synthesis of key neurotransmitters and other compounds.
When To Consider Probiotics
While more research is needed for the EFSA to approve any health claims linked to probiotics, there is some evidence that probiotics can help with IBS symptoms and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, but its important to match the bacteria strain to your specific symptoms.
Some strains that have been studied in human clinical trials include:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has some evidence to help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
- Bifidobacterium lactis has been linked in some studies to constipation relief.
- There is some evidence for probiotics helping IBS, but it may not work for everyone. Some products that have published studies in relation to IBS include Alflorex, BioKult Advanced, Symprove and VSL3.
Experts suggest taking probiotics on an empty stomach and as a liquid formulation instead of solid, where possible, as the bacteria in liquid probiotics dont have to rehydrate in the gut, so may be more effective.
Don’t Miss: Can Probiotics Help With Weight Loss
Which Probiotic Is Best For You
Probiotics may help:
Relieve constipation. Probiotics can help soften stools so theyâre easier to move.
Diarrhea. Good bacteria in probiotics combats the bad and may help make your bouts shorter.
Improve IBS.Certain strains of probiotics work better than others for this condition. Ask your doctor which is right for you.
Support brain health.Your gut is often called your âsecond brainâ because it makes some of the same neurotransmitters that regulate moods. When your gut is happy, you feel happy. When your gut is sluggish, your brain doesnât work as well.
Improve heart health.Gut bacteria produces chemicals that affect your blood pressure.
Boost immunity.Probiotics warn your immune system when bad bacteria may become a disease.
Your General Health.Good gut bacteria affects the way you feel mentally and physically. It can prevent and even treat some diseases.
Many types of bacteria are probiotics. Each has its own benefits. Talk to your doctor about which one might help you the most.
Lactobacillus youâll find this in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who canât digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Bifidobacterium is in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some other conditions.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast found in probiotics. It seems to help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems.
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 .
Also Check: Best Probiotic For Ibs And Gerd
How Much Do The Best Probiotics Cost
Like virtually all supplements, pricing varies enormously from one brand to the next.
And also like most supplements, price isnt necessarily reflective of quality or effectiveness.
That said, were not usually huge fans of super-cheap probiotics.
They tend to be missing some of the things we like to see and arent always made of the best ingredients.
On the other hand, weve seen some very expensive probiotics that didnt work any better than their less expensive counterparts.
While we do go into this in our individual reviews of each product, we have noticed that many of the best probiotics fall within that $20-$30 range.
Thats definitely not cheap for a months supply, but its not exorbitant either.
There are some good products that go for less then this, and some that go for more. But in general, that price range seems to contain many of the better products weve tried.
Probiotics 60 Billion Cfu
Probiotics 60 billion CFU contains 60 CFUs per serving, unlike other probiotic supplements that might exaggerate their serving CFU. These CFUs work to give the body maximum energy and stamina. The supplement is made of 10 probiotic strains and premium grade non-GMO ingredients. Probiotics and organic prebiotic components are clinically approved as effective and safe for consumption for improved digestive functionality. Benefits of Probiotics 60CFU are improved intestinal health, gas, and bloating relief after eating, reduced constipation without needing fiber foods, repairs a leaky intestinal tract, improved digestion, enhanced immune function against infections and promotes weight loss.
The once-daily Probiotic for women has 50 CFUs per serving that help with digestion, improve the immune system and general feminine health. It is made of prebiotics and six organic strains with D-Mannose and a cranberry extract called Procan, rich in antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Women’s prebiotic and probiotics with patented cranberry extract help fight Urinary Tract Infections and Vaginosis.
Recommended Reading: Probiotics Made Me Lose Weight
Probiotics Can Cause Constipation By Revealing Underlying Digestive Issues
Probiotics typically reduce constipation. According to several studies, probiotics were found to increase the average number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and generally supported softer stools that were easier to pass. These studies found Bifidobacterium to be the most effective probiotic for supporting regular digestive health.5
Because constipation is not typical when taking probiotics, experiencing constipation with probiotics may be a sign that you do not have enough fiber or water in your diet. In these instances we recommend increasing consumption of fiber with your probiotics. You can also start taking prebiotic fiber with your probiotics. Be sure to select one that is organic and diverse so your probiotics can have good food to thrive.
Whats The Difference Between Ibs And Ibd
Dont confuse IBS with a more serious digestive-tract disease called inflammatory bowel disease . IBD is an autoimmune disease categorized by chronic inflammation.
Crohns disease , ulcerative colitis , and indeterminate colitis are three types of IBD. Clinical trials suggest probiotics may be a promising therapy for UC. Unfortunately, CD and IC do not show the same therapeutic effect.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Benefit Of Taking A Probiotic
Probiotics And Gut Health
The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children . Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.
More common than diarrhea is the opposite problem constipation. In a search for studies on the benefits of probiotics in treating constipation, researchers found that probiotics slowed “gut transit time” by 12.4 hours, increases the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and helped to soften stools, making them easier to pass. But the jury is still out on specific recommendations when it comes to the benefits of
Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis . Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.
How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
Read Also: Best Probiotic For Excessive Gas
Side Effects Related To Probiotics
Most people who use probiotics do not experience side effects, and even if they do, the effects are usually not diverse.
The harmful effects of probiotics can also emerge due to people suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, neonates, asthmatic patients, stomach ulcers. These special groups of people should consult with their doctors before using the supplements to know whether they can reduce their dosages to accommodate their conditions.
Supplements could also cause harm if they are consumed after expiry, poor storage conditions that could tamper with the quality of the bacterial strain, such as storing in poorly ventilated areas, storing above or below recommended temperature or in damp areas.
Poorly coated probiotic supplements may also cause more harm than good as viable counts of bacteria, when exposed to a poor environment, tend to die faster than multiply.
According to a CDC review paper, some of these effects may include:
The stomach is temporarily bloating with gas after ingesting the probiotic supplement.
How the bowel constipates, and users get excessive thirst from ingesting yeast-based probiotics.
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.
Also Check: Best Probiotic For Women On Antibiotics
You Have To Keep This In Mind
Its simply thiseveryone reacts differently to probiotics.
I know, big shocker.
But youd be surprised how many people try out one supplement, dont get the results they want, get angry and give up!
The fact of the matter is, every person on Earth has a unique digestive tract composition.
Even the organisms within each persons body can be vastly different.
All that means is a particular probiotic may work great for me, but not do anything for you.
And what works well for you, might give me uncomfortable side effects.
Its just the way things work.
So if you try a particular brand we recommend, and it doesnt work for you, dont freak out! It could be a crappy product, or it may just not work for your unique situation and body.
Either way, just pick out another one from our list until you find one that works.
Keep in mind youll also want to confer with your doctor or medical provider about all this as well.
Ok so now that we got that out of the way, lets move on to what exactly makes a good probiotic supplement.
Align Probiotics Digestive Probiotic
Last but not least, Align is designed to support digestive health. Its main feature is its inclusion of Bifidobacterium longum 35624, which the manufacturers claim will deliver 24/7 support to the gut.
This particular strain isnt often seen in other products. If youre suffering from IBS, this could be a good choice.
Check out Align Probiotics Digestive Probiotic here.
Recommended Reading: Naturewise Probiotics Women’s Care
What Are Microbes And Their Role In Our Health
Microbes are tiny organisms — so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle — that are so powerful that an imbalance in the body is related to numerous diseases. These microorganisms can be found in almost every part of the human body, living on the skin, in the nose, and in the gut. There are trillions of these microorganisms in our bodies. They outnumber human cells by 10 to one, but due to their small size, they only make up 1%-3% of a body’s total mass.
The National Institute of Health is sponsoring the Human Microbiome Project , which is developing research resources to enable the study of the microbial communities that live in and on our bodies and the roles they play in human health and disease. The NIH has funded many more medical studies using HMP data and techniques, including the role of the gut microbiome in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and esophageal cancer skin microbiome in psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and immunodeficiency urogenital microbiome in reproductive and sexual history and circumcision and a number of childhood disorders, including pediatric abdominal pain, intestinal inflammation, and necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe condition in premature infants in which the intestine tissue dies due to lack of oxygen.
Take Probiotics Before Bedtime
Taking probiotics immediately before bedtime on an empty stomach may help to reduce gas and bloating. Your gut is relatively inactive at night, but probiotics can produce gas when combined with certain foods. Taking food on an empty stomach ensures that the probiotics dont have any obstacles in the way, which also allows more of the live bacteria to reach your large intestines.14
Recommended Reading: Probiotic Acidophilus With Pectin Weight Loss
So What Exactly Makes A Good Probiotic Supplement
Over the last few years, me and my team have personally tested out over 200 probiotic brands. And by tested, I mean we actually bought and took the probiotics! Most review sites out there dont ever actually buy and take what theyre reviewing.
Anyway, after trying that many brands, I think we have a pretty good sense of what makes a good product, and what doesnt.
You see, most of the really good probiotic supplements out there tend to have some things in common. Of course they have their differences too, but we started to see some commonality in the good products the more and more brands we tested.
Ill go into more detail in a minute about what you should look for, but before I do, theres one thing I want you to keep in mind.
Its something that a lot of consumers make a mistake about and end up very frustrated