How Are Probiotics Regulated In The United States
Government regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex. Depending on a probiotic productâs intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.
Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which donât require FDA approval before they are marketed. Dietary supplement labels may make claims about how the product affects the structure or function of the body without FDA approval, but they arenât allowed to make health claims, such as saying the supplement lowers your risk of getting a disease, without the FDAâs consent.
If a probiotic is going to be marketed as a drug for treatment of a disease or disorder, it has to meet stricter requirements. It must be proven safe and effective for its intended use through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA before it can be sold.
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.
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.
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Physical And Emotional Stress
Stress also causes inflammation in the gut, leading to diarrhea. In stressful times, your body produces hormones that speed up the movement of your large intestine and you experience this as diarrhea.
Specific probiotic bacteria assist in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, which are used by the gut and brain to communicate with each other. In simple terms, this means that probiotics ensure that the gut and brain communicate in a healthy way.
Benefits For The Mind And Brain
Gut health is about more than just digestion. Scientific evidence shows that the gut and the brain stand in constant communication with each other. You may have noticed this connection when your stomach drops or you have a gut feeling. This gut-brain axis influences many mental health conditions.
More research shows the important role that gastrointestinal health plays in improving mood and supporting focus and memory.
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Probiotics Help Balance The Friendly Bacteria In Your Digestive System
Probiotics include good bacteria. These are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed .
These benefits are thought to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria .
An imbalance means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. It can happen due to illness, medication such as antibiotics, poor diet and more.
Consequences can include digestive issues, allergies, mental health problems, obesity and more .
Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods or taken as supplements. Whats more, they appear to be safe for most people.
Probiotics are live microorganisms. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. As a result, health benefits may follow.
Probiotics May Increase The Risk Of Infection For Some People
While they are safe for most people, probiotics can enter the bloodstream of susceptible people and lead to infections. The people who are most at risk for this are those with suppressed immune systems, people who have been hospitalized for a long period of time, people who have venous catheters, and people who have recently had surgery.
But the risk of developing an infection is very low, and studies have never reported a serious infection. An estimated one out of every one million people taking probiotics will develop an infection, which can typically be treated by an antibiotic or antifungal.
Keeping a food diary with notes of symptoms you experience can help you understand if any fermented foods lead to side effects for you. If you find that foods rich in probiotics trigger a symptom for you, taking a supplement may be a better option.
To reduce your chances of experiencing side effects, begin with a low dose of probiotics and increase to a full dosage at a slow pace over a few weeks, which will help your body adjust to them.
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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.
Probiotics Are Good Bacteria
Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.
Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.
These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:
Your kids likely get most of their probiotic intake from yogurt.
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What Are The Different Types Of Probiotics
Probiotic supplements, foods, and beverages contain bacteria and/or yeasts. Up until the 1960s, the only gut microflora that they were able to identify were clostridia, lactobacilli, enterococci, and E. coli. Since then, innovative techniques have discovered many more bacteria.
There are several different kinds of probiotics, and their health benefits are determined by the job that they do in the gut. They must be identified by their genus, species, and probiotic strain level. Here is a list of probiotics and their possible health benefits.
There are more than 50 species of lactobacilli. They are naturally found in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems. Foods that are fermented, like yogurt, and dietary supplements also contain these bacteria. Lactobacillus has been used for treating and preventing a wide variety of diseases and conditions.
Some of the lactobacilli found in foods and supplements are Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus plantarium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus johnsonii, and Lactobacillus gasseri.
Optimize Gut Function By Balancing The Bacteria In Your Digestive System
Keeping the gut microbiome balanced allows for normal gut function, while some changes to the gut bacteria can lead to problems. Probiotics can help maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut and help repopulate with healthy bacteria after conditions that disturbed the microbiome.
For example, taking antibiotics kills off many of your good gut bacteria. This leaves room for bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi to overgrow. Taking a probiotic during and after antibiotics is a must for sustained health.
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Promotes Healthy Yeast Balance To Prevent Yeast Infections
Probiotics are very helpful in curing yeast infections. The Lactobacillus bacteria species in particular have been shown to restore the yeast balance in the body in clinical settings. A recent Italian study showed that women who suffer from chronic yeast infections who insert a probiotic tablet into the vagina saw their frequency of yeast infections decrease by 87%.
Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
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Mechanisms Of Probiotic Activity
Probiotics have various mechanisms of action although the exact manner in which they exert their effects is still not fully elucidated. These range from bacteriocin and short chain fatty acid production, lowering of gut pH, and nutrient competition to stimulation of mucosal barrier function and immunomodulation. The latter in particular has been the subject of numerous studies and there is considerable evidence that probiotics influence several aspects of the acquired and innate immune response by inducing phagocytosis and IgA secretion, modifying T-cell responses, enhancing Th1 responses, and attenuating Th2 responses .
Probiotics Can Help With Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are commonly caused by an infection of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori . H. pylori is present in more than half of the worlds population and in most people it never causes any problems.
However, in some people this bacterium can lead to the formation of an ulcer, causing abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, frequent burping, bloating and unintentional weight loss. H. pylori can be treated with antibiotics .
There is a growing amount of research that shows that probiotics can help manage an H. pylori infection, by increasing the eradication rate, improving symptoms and lowering treatment associated side effects.
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Health Benefits Of Probiotics
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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.
Do I Need To Take Probiotics After I Take Antibiotics
Antibiotic medications are often needed to fight an infection. However, while antibiotics are killing the bad bacteria, they are also knocking out the good bacteria in your body. Some people develop conditions like diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. In other people, this may allow for really bad bacteria to take over and populate the gut, such as with C. diff. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relief from diarrhea. This hasnt been proven yet and doesnt work for everyone.
The thought behind adding probiotics back into your body after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that was destroyed by the antibiotics and re-boot your system. The extra good bacteria helps repopulate your gut and fight off any remaining bad bacteria. Many people feel that adding in probiotics wont hurt, might help you feel better a little faster and prevent diarrhea.
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Improve Mental Health And Reduce Stress
One of the most important revelations about the benefits of probiotics is the role they play in the gut-brain connection. This is the direct line of communication between the brain and enteric nervous system. Its been found that this communication is what links the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain to your peripheral intestinal function.
Researchers have shown that many mental disorders or behavioral problems can be linked to poor gut bacteria. Digestive discomfort caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria or poor digestion can contribute to poor mental health.
In the same way, sensitivity to gastrointestinal irritation can cause signals to the central nervous system that influence mood. Its been found that people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome tend to have higher rates of sympathetic nervous system function and lower rates of parasympathetic function. This could explain the reason that IBS sufferers are more prone to stress.
The good news is that probiotics appear to alleviate symptoms of mental distress and anxiety by reducing the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This, in turn, helps to downregulate the hormones that activate sympathetic nervous system function .
Probiotics And Gastrointestinal Health
Probiotics have been shown to have a positive impact on a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. They are used routinely in the health care setting to reduce diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics in both adults and children. Certain probiotics may help manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and may also inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that colonize the stomach and can cause ulcers and stomach cancer.
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Whether The Addition Of Prebiotic Is Very Different
Probiotics are food sources that provide good probiotic bacteria to the intestine. They are food ingredients that cannot be digested and absorbed by the body, but they can promote the growth or activation of intestinal probiotic bacteria and promote gastrointestinal health.
Among them, the quality of wood oligosaccharide is the best! Other high-quality probiotics e.g. galactose oligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, lactulose oligosaccharides, soybean oligosaccharides, inulin, dietary fiber etc.
Probiotics And Lactose Intolerance
People with lactose intolerance can often consume yogurt with few symptoms because of the probiotics it contains. These probiotics help digest the lactose in the small intestine before it reaches the colon. In addition, the yogurt starter cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus help break down the lactose. Yogurt is a good way for people with lactose intolerance to consume the recommended servings of dairy without experiencing uncomfortable symptoms.
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Probiotics Can Raise Testosterone Levels
Testosterone levels in men decrease with age, leading to reduced spermatogenesis, libido and sexual function, increased body fat, decreased muscle and bone mass, low energy levels, fatigue, poor physical performance, depressed mood, and impaired cognitive dysfunction.
A study with aging mice that were given the probiotic Lactobacillusreuteri in their drinking water resulted in larger testicles, increased serum testosterone levels and spermatogenesis, compared to their regular diet counterparts.
Even more notably, a recent clinical study found a significant improvement in testosterone levels and sperm count in infertile men undergoing a probiotic/prebiotic therapy. Nonetheless, additional research, and especially clinical studies in humans is required in this area.
Thats just one benefit of taking probiotics taking probiotics as you age. Theres an increasing body of evidence that probiotics are helpful as you get older.
Speed Recovery From Illness
As well as reducing the risk of developing infections or disease, probiotics help the body to recover from current or previous illnesses.
One study involving mice showed that probiotic supplementation helped to protect mice from a viral pathogen. In this case, it was found that probiotic bacteria improved survival rates from the pneumonia virus.
The well-known strain Lactobacillus acidophilus encourages a natural resistance against certain illnesses. This was shown in a 2008 study on pigs infected with a viral pathogen. Some of the animals had been treated with an oral rotavirus vaccine, and some with L. acidophilus. When given the L. acidophilus, the pigs showed an enhanced immune response and were protected against the viral pathogen.
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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.
Should I Take A Probiotic Every Day
The short answer: Yes, you should aim to take a probiotic every single day if possible. “It’s best to take probiotics at least once daily with water or milk,” Dr. Asike says. There are many different forms of probiotics you can purchase in the wellness aisle from powders to capsules, tablets to liquid suspensions, but a regular dose on an even basis should be a goal regardless of which strain of probiotic you take.
If you’re wondering what may be the best option for a daily probiotic, Dr. Asike recommends looking for multi-species or multi-strain products before single-strain supplements, as they may provide more benefits overall. Saccharomyces boulardii, as well as Lactobaccilus rhamnosus,are popular options that may provide more relief to those experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, he adds. “There isn’t one over-the-counter brand that’s better than another when it comes to strains I advise looking for multi-species or multi-strain , and to grab a store brand if that’s what’s available.”
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