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.
Can Probiotics Be Harmful
- Probiotics have an extensive history of apparently safe use, particularly in healthy people. However, few studies have looked at the safety of probiotics in detail, so thereâs a lack of solid information on the frequency and severity of side effects.
- The risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater in people with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems. When probiotics are being considered for high-risk individuals, such as premature infants or seriously ill hospital patients, the potential risks of probiotics should be carefully weighed against their benefits.
- Possible harmful effects of probiotics include infections, production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms, and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from probiotic microorganisms to other microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Some probiotic products have been reported to contain microorganisms other than those listed on the label. In some instances, these contaminants may pose serious health risks.
Help With Weight Loss
The gut microbiota plays an important role in how the body extracts energy from food, so the gut may be an essential factor for weight loss. Some research shows that probiotic supplementation can result in weight loss.
There are likely a handful of factors at play, including the specific strain of probiotics, how long supplementation is done, plus age, gender, and baseline weight. More research is needed to understand what role probiotics play in weight loss.
You May Like: Renew Life Probiotics After Antibiotics
Your Heart Health Might Improve
There’s evidence that probiotics may give your heart the cleanup it’s been throbbing for.
For people with high cholesterol, certain strains of probiotics, like Lactobacilli, may help prevent the production of cholesterol and break down the excess that already exists. Lactobacillus probiotics significantly reduced total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol levels in a June 2017 study review in PLOS One.
Probiotics may also have a positive effect on blood pressure. People who drank a beverage containing the probiotic L. plantarum every day for six weeks saw a significant reduction in blood pressure levels, while the control groups’ levels remained unchanged, per a small December 2002 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
There’s a lot more to learn about the effect of probiotics on the heart. “Although more research is needed to understand the exact impact of the gut microbiome when it comes to heart health, we now know our gut affects more than digestion,”Brittany Modell, RD, founder of Brittany Modell Nutrition and Wellness, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
“We know probiotics can help with gut health, which can ultimately help with heart health.”
Probiotics Could Help Prevent Food Allergies
Probiotics may also help prevent food allergies, though more research is needed. For example, a review published in October 2015 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggested probiotics may help prevent eczema, which is a risk factor for food allergies, in children when administered to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Important to note, though, is infant eczema doesnt always signal a food allergy, and could simply be caused by dry skin or a seasonal allergy.
You May Like: What To Look For When Buying A Probiotic
What Do Probiotics Do For Your Gut
Probiotics help balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut to keep everything healthy and balanced. Probiotics are good bacteria that you add to your gut, via diet or by taking a probiotic supplement, to help support your health. How? They add the good bacteria your gut wants and help to keep the microbiome in your gut balanced and working harmoniously with your body.
The benefits that you should expect from a probiotic are dependent on its strain. By adding the right probiotic to your gut, you can help manage the occasional symptoms that can be caused by an imbalance in your microbiome. Bifidobacterium 35624, Alignâs flagship strain in 24/7 Digestive Support,Â§* can help calm occasional abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating.*
Determine what benefit youâre looking for out of a probiotic, then from there you can choose the best probiotic for you.
May Improve Ulcerative Colitis
In mild to moderate cases of ulcerative colitis, probiotics can be an effective tool in both inducing and maintaining remission, as well as preventing pouchitis, inflammation that often occurs in the lining of the pouch created during surgical treatment of ulcerative colitis, according to researchMüllner K, Miheller P, Herszényi L, Tulassay Z. Probiotics in the management of Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Curr Pharm Des. 2014 20:4556-60. .
You May Like: Best Probiotic At Whole Foods
They Support Healthy Digestion*
The friendly bacteria in your gut are key players in the breakdown and digestion of fiber-rich carbohydrates .* During the breakdown process, gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids , like butyrate, which serves as fuel for the cells that line and strengthen the barrier of the intestine.
As gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, explains, “SCFAs are a real game-changer with the potential to legitimately transform the health of those who pursue it.” And a healthy butyrate level, a type of SCFA, is thought to promote health and a healthy weightperhaps by helping to support the body’s inflammatory response.*
How Probiotics Help The Immune System
Do probiotics help the immune system? Scientific studies say they do. But how do they do it?
The main purpose of probiotics is to maintain a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut. But if you are ill, the harmful bacteria thats entered your body can quickly multiply, and, before you know it, your entire system is out of balance.
However, if you put more good bacteria into your body, it will effectively fight off the harmful microorganisms and restore balance. Not only will you feel better it may boost your immune system.
In fact, good bacteria are necessary for proper immune system function, and help in other ways.
More specifically, good bacteria:
- Counteracts the harmful bacteria that could cause you to become sick
- Produces essential vitamins for the body
- Breaks down medications and aids in the absorption process
- Supports cells lining the gut to prevent bad bacteria from entering the bloodstream because of food or drinks youve consumed
Whats interesting is that this precise balancing act occurs at all times within your body, even if you arent aware of it. In fact, some people dont require probiotic supplements for these functions to work correctly, especially if theyre eating a healthy diet thats rich in fiber.
However, there are times when its appropriate to take probiotics for immune function. For example, taking probiotics to help rebuild the immune system after lots of antibiotics is an appropriate time.
Also Check: How To Choose A Probiotic Supplement
What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
They Can Help Support A Healthy Weight*
These good bugs might play a positive role in weight maintenance too.* Gut bacteria play an important role in metabolism, involved in everything from digestion to energy production and storage and even appetite regulation.
Several studies have shown that the gut microbiomes of individuals with obesity are different from the microbiomes of lean individuals. And the reason for that interesting difference might have to do with how microbes help us break down food.
“Certain bacteria are better at extracting energy from food than others,” says Rountree. “It’s that simple.” So, if you happen to have more of these desirable bacterial strains in your gut, then you could eat the same food as a friend and you end up turning it into energy, while your friend turns it into fat.* One of life’s most frustrating conundrums, explained.
You May Like: Green Tea With Ginger And Probiotics
Probiotic Foods Or Probiotic Supplements: Which Is The Best Way To Get Probiotics
Probiotics can be consumed through fermented food, such as yogurt kefir aged cheeses, like Parmesan or aged cheddar kimchi sauerkraut miso tempeh, and non-dairy yogurts that indicate they are cultured.
While there is no recommended daily amount for probiotics, if these arent foods you typically eat, it may be a good idea to consider a dietary supplement. Omni-Biotic offers a range of probiotic supplements for different conditions, and you can take our Probiotic Fit Quiz to find the best product for you.
Probiotic supplements contain different strains of live organisms which are often used for different conditions, so its important to research what combination of strains may be best for your needs and maybe talk to your doctor or dietitian first.
They Can Affect Emotional Health Too*
Probiotics seem to reduce the body’s stress response and positively affect cognitive function, several studies have found.* How? The mechanisms are complex, but good bacteria in the gut are capable of producing mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine.* And because these bugs have a direct link to the central nervous system, via a pathway called the vagus nerve, they play a key role in regulating mood.*
And that can have real effects: In one study, when women were shown pictures of angry faces, those who ate probiotic yogurt twice a day for four weeks before seeing the pictures felt calmer compared to those women who didn’t eat the yogurt.
Also Check: Garden Of Life Prebiotics And Probiotics
Youre Always Getting Sick
Lack of healthy gut bacteria can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to viruses, infections, and illnesses like the flu, the common cold, and urinary infections. If it seems like youre always coming down with something or running out of sick days at work, its possible you may need probiotics to restore your immune system.
How Do Probiotics Work In The Body
You might be wondering what happens in your body when you use a probiotic, and how they actually generate a health benefit. Probiotics can improve health through any of several specific mechanisms:
- Interact with other microorganisms in our microbiome
- Stimulate growth of beneficial bacteria in our microbiome
- Inhibit growth of harmful bacteria in our microbiome
- Interact directly with our bodys organs, such as the intestine
- Produce compounds that reduce inflammation or alleviate leaky gut
- Modulate our immune system
One way some probiotics work is through modulating our microbiome. Probiotics can affect the growth and activity of bacteria in our microbiome to change what they make and do. Studies have shown that these changes are possible even when the probiotic does not colonize for long periods of time. The consequences of probiotic-induced alterations to the human microbiome may be to then change how the microbiome affects organ function. For example, some probiotic strains of Bifiobacterium and Lactobacilus make antimicrobial compounds and organic acids that inhibit, endotoxin containing, potentially harmful bacteria in the intestine. Reductions in the numbers of those harmful bacteria results in reduced inflammation and disruptions to barrier integrity. This mechanism is indirect because probiotic efficacy is dependent on the resident microbiome at that particular body site.
You May Like: Best Probiotic Strains For Vaginal Health
Probiotics Benefits: How Do Scientists Think These Microorganisms Help The Body
This living for life nutrient is the foundation of our health. A healthy microbiome may help in preventing and treating diseases in the areas of digestive health, certain types of cancer, oral disease, food allergies, and eczema.
But first, know that probiotic supplements may affect everyone differently, and for older people in particular, their touted benefits are unproven. In fact, the research on how beneficial probiotics are varies depending on the disease in question.
How Do Food Allergies Affect Digestion
Fermented dairy products are high in probiotics, but also one of the major food allergens, meaning some of the very foods that may help prevent this food allergy are off limits for those who already have the condition. The good news is if you have a food allergy, you can choose probiotic sources that are dairy-free or even nondairy fermented foods. Examples of nondairy probiotics include kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir , and tempeh.
Also Check: Nutrisystem Nutricrush Protein And Probiotics
How Do Probiotic Strains Work Together
Probiotics require fructooligosaccharides , a type of soluble fiber that is found in a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables, to thrive. This type of fiber is commonly known as prebiotics. In simplest terms, prebiotics are food for probiotics, helping nourish them to keep them alive and active in the gut.
The combination of probiotics and prebiotic strains creates a synergistic effect that allows the body to thrive. By encouraging the growth of the good bacterial strains and crowding out the bad ones, you enjoy the benefits of good digestion, including more energy, better weight control, and making feeling good the new normal.
People Who Are Pregnant Or Nursing
Because there are a wide variety of probiotics and we only have limited research, it is best to avoid them while pregnant or breastfeeding. Until more is known about the possible effects of probiotics on an infant, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking probiotics if you are pregnant or nursing.
Don’t Miss: Do I Need A Probiotic Every Day
Probiotics Support Skin Health
When people suffer from issues with their skin, it is often thought that it is because they have a delay in how developed their immune system is. Adding a probiotic to your diet could also be the answer for some who have issues with psoriasis, acne and more. If you want to get clearer, softer and healthier skin, a probiotic could be the answer.
Talk to Your Doctor at West Gastro about Probiotics
Ready to give probiotics a try so that you can begin living your healthiest life? If you want to know about what sort of probiotics you should be taking, its important that you talk to your gastroenterologist. This will give you a better idea of how adding a probiotic to your diet could help your gut and therefore, your immune system and health in general. Contact West Gastro in Los Angeles to make an appointment today!
8110 Airport Boulevard, 2nd FloorLos Angeles,CA90045
25495 Medical Center Drive, Suite 302Murrieta,CA92562
311 Haigh Road, Suite 200Newbury Park,CA91320
482 South Main Street Corona,CA92882
How Much Is Needed
The amount needed for health effects varies widely, depending on the species and strain of probiotic and the desired health benefit. Different probiotics are effective at different levels some products are effective at a level of 50 million live cells per day and others at over one trillion. Yogurt commonly contains between 100 million and 10 billion live probiotics per serving. Follow manufacturers recommendations for the levels needed from specific products. Because probiotics do not permanently stay in the intestinal tract, daily consumption of probiotics is generally recommended.
Read Also: Nature’s Blend Acidophilus Probiotic
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?
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Probiotic To Buy Over The Counter