A Quick Note About L’s And B’s
Because different strains of good bacteria provide different benefits, its good to look for a variety of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus strains in your probiotic supplement to help keep your complex system thriving. Lactobacillus strains are the most prevalent probiotic bacteria in the small intestine, and Bifidobacterium strains are most prevalent in the colon .
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.
What Are Some Things I Need To Know Or Do While I Take Probiotic Capsules
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine . This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you are on a lactose-free diet, talk with your doctor. Some products have lactose.
- If you have high blood sugar , check labels closely. Some products have sugar.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
Also Check: Prenatal Vitamins With Probiotics And Dha
Should You Take A Daily Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are good for your gut, but the source matters.
Theres a lot of buzz around probiotics. Theyre endorsed by celebrities and fill grocery stores aisles.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut. Scientists believe they could unlock a deeper understanding of our health. Probiotics are found in some foods and drinks, like yogurt or fermented tea.
Just like vitamins, probiotics are available as supplements. Manufacturers make steep claims about their benefits. They include digestive health, strengthened immune system, weight loss and reduced cancer risk. But can a supplement really do all that?
To learn more about probiotic supplements, we spoke with Carrie Daniel- MacDougall, Ph.D., M.P.H., a nutritional epidemiologist at MD Anderson who studies diet and the microbiome.
Heres what you should know about probiotic supplements.
Its always better to get nutrients from food. That includes probiotics.
More research needs to be done on probiotics in general and probiotic supplements, but its always better to get your nutrients from food rather than supplements, Daniel-MacDougall says. They just dont deliver the same benefits as food.
One reason is because supplements arent regulated as closely as medications. So the quality and ingredients can vary greatly from product to product.
Unless your doctor is prescribing probiotics for a specific purpose, stick to getting them from foods like yogurt that may have other nutrients, like calcium.
Choosing The Right Strain Is Crucial
Recent research has ID’d a few different magical microorganisms that may help, depending on your health issue, so make sure you have the right strain:
If you’re healthy and want to stay that way… Shoot for 50 to 100 billion CFUs of a combo of lactobcillus and bifidobacterium. Starting with a large amount of CFUs will either keep you riding high or trigger small but yucky reactions, like gas or nausea. If you notice those, scale back to 50 billion, then 20 bill, until you feel like your usual self. If you have annoying tummy troubles… Allow your predominant symptoms to guide you. Bloated and constipated? Look for lactobacillus acidophilus or lactobacillus casei, which help restore gut flora. Can’t stop going number two? Types with saccharomyces boulardii can ease antibiotic-associated diarrhea and even prevent extreme cases caused by infections.
If you get recurring yeast infections… The itch-meets-ouch infection is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria. To “recolonize” your vagina, you want the good bacteria that’s found there: lactobacillus acidophilus.Go the direct route. Use 2 to 5 billion CFUs in an OTC probiotic suppository, or wet an oral capsule to soften, then insert it. Pros suggest doing this every other day at the end of your period (three times total for prevention.
Don’t Miss: Probiotics That Cause Weight Gain
Probiotics Are Associated With Improved Oral Health
Probiotics benefit the digestive tract from the beginning to end. It all begins in your mouth, where harmful bacteria, also known as plaque, may be decreased by yes, you guessed it probiotics. In a randomized controlled trial published in January 2013 in the journal Dentistry & Medical Research, researchers divided 90 children ages 13 to 15 into three groups: one that received a mouth disinfectant, one that received a probiotic mouth rinse, and one that received a placebo. The probiotic consisted of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Saccharomyces boulardii. After two months, the group that received the probiotic had the greatest reductions in plaque volume and gingivitis risk.
Probiotics may also help prevent cavities, as a buildup of acid from bacteria like streptococci on the surface of the tooth causes them. Probiotics help protect the teeth by lowering their pH, according to a paper published in 2015 in the Finnish journal Annales Universitatis Turkuensis. A lower pH is protective, while a higher pH, meaning an acidic environment, is one in which cavities are more likely to form.
The Benefits Of Probiotics
In every healthy digestive system, there is a balance. Probiotics help to keep the digestive system in balance. There are many reasons a digestive system becomes unbalanced. These include illness, taking antibiotics, a poor diet, or an overgrowth of bad bacteria. Gastrointestinal problems can result from such an imbalance.
More research on probiotics is needed. However, there is evidence that:
Recommended Reading: Pre And Probiotics For Gut Health
Improve Mood And Reduce Stress
The bacteria in the gut produce neurotransmitters that are your bodys messengers. Neurotransmitters help with sleep, mood, as well as controlling your bladder and heart function. Stress is known to disturb the gut bacteria, which may affect the quantity and function of neurotransmitters.
Probiotic supplements can help repopulate the gut bacteria during and after periods of stress and have been shown to improve mood, sleep, and cognitive function.
What Are Probiotic Foods
Foods and drinks that naturally contain probiotics or live cultures are those that have been fermented. Foods that are fermented go through the process called lacto-fermentation in which the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch creating lactic acid. This process was originally used for food preservation as it stops the food from spoiling, and creates beneficial bacteria, B-vitamins, and enzymes. Foods or drinks that contain these beneficial live cultures are:
- Some cheeses
Although fermented probiotic foods or probiotic drinks make a great addition to any diet, it is hard to know what exact probiotic strains are in these natural foods. If you are looking to support a certain symptoms or health condition with probiotics, then it is best to choose a strain researched for the condition you are looking to support. Read more about this here: Fermented Foods vs. Probiotics
Dont know where to start with fermented foods? Read our Top 5 Fermented Foods
Also Check: Garden Of Life Paleo Defense Probiotics
Reduce The Frequency Of Diarrhea
While there are many causes for diarrhea, a change in the guts bacteria can lead to loose stools. Antibiotics often disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome, leading to antibiotic-associated diarrhea and causing loss of good bacteria.
Probiotics may reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults aged 18-64. Omni-Biotic AB 10 contains ten carefully selected bacterial strains that restore the gut microbiome and reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
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: Are More Strains In Probiotics Better
How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You
Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.
They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.
If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.
Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.
Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.
Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.
Health Benefits Of Probiotics
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements .
More and more studies show that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease.
Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
These include benefits for weight loss, digestive health, immune function and more (
This is an overview of the key health benefits linked to probiotics.
Don’t Miss: Best Probiotic Foods For Ibs
What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of Probiotics
Supplements play an important role when the diet is not adequate to supply our needs. In the case of probiotics, one’s diet is the ideal source for probiotics. These are live bacteria and need to be carefully monitored, stored, and combined for the health benefits that one would be taking them for. At this time, probiotic supplements are not monitored in the U.S. the way that food or medication is. They fall under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 . This requires that the dietary supplement or dietary ingredient manufacturer be responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement or ingredient is safe before it is marketed. The only time that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may get involved is if action is needed to be taken against a manufacturer after the supplement is marketed and then found to be unsafe. This means that as much as we may know about probiotics, we can’t be certain of the safety or content of the supplements available to us.
Is It Okay To Take A Probiotic Every Day
Since probiotics are typically sold as supplements and not drugs, the FDA does not have to regulate the health claims. However, research shows that daily use of probiotics is safe.
While there are usually not many side effects associated with using a probiotic, people may feel occasional bloating/gas or differences in bowel movements when they first start taking a probiotic, Del Borrello says. It usually goes away with time.
It is also important to get the correct dosage of probiotics for full effectiveness. Probiotic dosages are given in colony-forming units or CFUs. Children are recommended to take 5-10 billion CFUs a day and adults are recommended to take 10-20 billion CFUs per day.
When starting probiotics, it is possible that you will develop loose stool for the first few days. Because probiotics are live bacteria, it is important to check the sell by date on the supplement.
Recommended Reading: Probiotic Slim For Weight Loss
Questions & Answers Specific To The Guidance Document
Q7. How will the guidance document be applied?
Following publication of the guidance document, industry will be advised of a window in which products have to come into compliance with applicable sections of the Food and Drugs Act and related regulations before enforcement actions begin.
Food manufacturers are encouraged to consult the Food Directorate of Health Canada regarding the acceptability of claims prior to their use. For a claim that is subject to Subsection 5 of the Food and Drugs Act, a company that has received advice from the Food Directorate of Health Canada supporting the acceptability of the claim will be considered by CFIA to be in compliance. As evidence is submitted, reviewed and found to support a probiotic claim, a list of acceptable strain-specific probiotic claims will be published on Health Canada’s website along with guidance for their use. The list will also be linked to the CFIA Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising. In the absence of such advice or the use of a listed claim, a product may or may not be in compliance. Companies that are not in compliance will be subject to enforcement actions in proportion to the severity of the violation.
Q8. What is the expected impact of the guidance document on the food industry?
In the longer term, the guidance is expected to promote a level playing field for the industry so that only food products with substantiated claims about probiotics would prevail in the marketplace.
Probiotics And Chronic Disease Risk
A growing body of evidence shows that the gut microbiota may play an important role in the development of obesity, obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with changes in gut microbiota. Whether or not these changes impact weight or disease risk is the subject of scientific research, but the potential for using probiotics in weight management and disease prevention is positive.
Also Check: Probiotic Gummies For Yeast Infection
Probiotic Supplements: What Is An Adequate Dosage
May 25, 2021 by Clare Fleishman MS RDN
In the past decade, probiotic supplement dosages have rocketed from millions to billions of CFUs, with some boasting as many as 200 billion. While more may be better when it comes to love and money, this is not necessarily but can be the case with probiotics.
CFUs or colony forming units: a unit of measure to estimate the number of bacteria in a sample capable of dividing and forming colonies.
So what is the best number? As is usual in the world of microbiology, the answer is complicated.
First, the globally accepted definition of a probiotic is sweeping in scope, and as we shall see, for good reason.
Live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
In the definition of probiotics, the phrase when administered in adequate amounts can be ambiguous and sometimes drive consumers and healthcare practitioners to choose a supplement with many billions of CFUs. In this context, adequate is variable: a lower dose may work as well or even better than a higher dose, depending on the condition or disorder for which it is being used.
Most importantly, the dose should match the CFU level shown in an efficacy study to endow a benefit. Therefore, an individuals purpose for taking probiotics will determine the dose.
Increased Risk Of Infection
review from 2017 suggest that children and adults with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems should avoid using probiotics. Some people with these conditions have experienced bacterial or fungal infections as a result of probiotic use.
If a person has a condition that affects their immune system, they should speak with their doctor before taking probiotics.
Also, anyone using antifungal medication should wait until the infection has cleared up before taking probiotics.
You May Like: Probiotics With Prebiotics & Cranberry Para Que Sirve
The Best Way To Benefit From Probiotics
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.
More about probiotics: