Health Benefits Of Probiotics
There are numerous challenges in determining whether probiotics can help in a particular condition, and much of the uncertainty about whether over-the-counter products do anything lies in the difference between products tested in clinical trials and those on the market.
Firstly, there are many different species of probiotic, and within each species there may be a number of different strains. These different strains each typically patented by their developer may have different effects, regardless of species.
trials that are funded by the manufacturer of a product may be biased
What’s tested in clinical trials may be a single strain or a combination of two, three or more. Strains may enhance or negate the effects of each other. That means the findings in a given trial are pretty much restricted to that exact formulation, and can’t necessarily be generalised to similar strains or species, and certainly not ‘probiotics’ in general . Nor can you take a few different strains that each seem to do something and combine them for a mega-probiotic cure-all.
Running clinical trials is expensive and time-consuming, so those that are conducted tend to be small and short-term, most strains only have a single clinical trial, and trials that are funded by the manufacturer of a product may be biased.
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Probiotic Foods That Are Super Healthy
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Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed .
Probiotics, which are usually called beneficial bacteria, provide all sorts of powerful benefits for your body and brain. They may (
Consuming probiotics in supplement form is one popular way to get them, but you can also get them from fermented foods.
Here is a list of 11 probiotic foods that are super healthy.
Why Do You Want To Take A Probiotic
Understanding why you want to take a probiotic can help you pick which probiotic is best for you based on which strain of bacteria is in it. Probiotic names can be long and confusing. Think back to high school biology class. Each name refers to the genus, species, subspecies , and strain designation in that order. The most commonly studied probiotic genera are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Knowing the full name of the strain in probiotic, prebiotic or symbiotic can help you research and see if you are taking the right one to meet your goal.
For example, are you looking to increase your health in general, or do you want something to help with constipation or diarrhea?
Here is a list of some strains and how they may help you:
- Bifidobacterium breve is good for relieving stomach aches.
- Bifidobacterium longum BB536 can help relieve constipation, supports immune health and reduces allergy symptoms.
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Can Probiotics Make Ibs Worse
Probiotics are very well tolerated by the majority of people who take them. Those who have an extreme imbalance of good and bad bacteria in their gut, also known as dysbiosis, may find that initially taking a probiotic supplement that contains prebiotics causes an increase in gas and bloating. These side effects should subside within 48 hours in most people while the gut microbiome readjusts, but may last a little longer if the gut is severely imbalanced. If you can, it is worth persevering, either by lowering the dose or coming off for a few days before reintroducing them, once the gut has readjusted the pre and probiotics can start to exert their full benefits.
For those who are on a low FODMAP diet, prebiotic or synbiotic supplementation is generally avoided at this time.
Healthcare professionals may wish to read more about this over on our Probiotic Professionals site: Probiotics and Side Effects – an in-depth review
Are Probiotic Supplements Actually Effective
Experts claim that certain probiotics may be a safe and effective way to boost your health, but these benefits vary based on the strain, dosage, and the person taking them.
Although taking a quick gummy or pill each day may be convenient, commercially made dietary supplements are not necessarily a catch-all solution.
The United States Food and Drug Administration does not subject dietary supplements to the same testing and regulations as over-the-counter medicines.
Manufacturers are responsible for putting out a safe product, but the bacteria in a particular supplement may not necessarily be the strain thats going to improve your health.
Some evidence suggests that the probiotics in foods may be more beneficial than supplements for overall health.
ZOE scientists have identified 15 good bugs linked with good health and 15 bad bugs linked with poor health. Currently, there are no available supplements that contain these 15 good bugs.
The best way to promote them is by eating a healthy, varied diet, with plenty of plant foods. But if you want to know the exact foods that can help the good bugs in your gut thrive, start by taking our free quiz.
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Diversity Is Your Best Friend
Your gut is diverse, so your probiotic should be too. Look for a supplement that contains multiple strains. This is sometimes listed as a proprietary blend, although with blends, you lose the transparency of knowing how many CFU each strain contributes.
Inferior brands might contain only one probiotic species such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. Look for the beneficial strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and you may also see species like Streptococcus thermophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii, among others.
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Can Probiotics Hurt Me
For most healthy people, probiotics dont cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often given a try to see if they could help with various medical conditions. Theres a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldnt be taking them. Its always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.
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Natures Bounty Ultra Probiotic 10
The ubiquitous and trusted Natures Bounty brand delivers when it comes to probiotics. Their Probiotic 10 supplement contains 20 billion colony forming units and, as the name suggests, ten different strains of bacteria.
The capsules are vegetarian, and there arent any extraneous ingredients included either, so this ones a very solid choice.
Phillips Colon Health Daily Probiotic
Image Courtesy ofWalmart
Finding the perfect probiotic shouldnt have to be a monumental challenge. Hundreds of companies offer probiotic supplements in stores and online throughout the country. The only problem is finding the right probiotic for you and your health needs. Bayer, one of the oldest medication producers in the world, has a proven track record of producing quality health supplements and medicines.
One of the larger brands, Phillips, has been trusted with providing quality health supplements for decades. As such, we were pleased to have the opportunity to test out this particular health supplement for a two-week period.
During that time several members of our team took home some bottles and integrated them into our daily routines. The small capsules were easy to take as-is, though one of our reviewers made a point of sprinkling it on her morning cup of yogurt.
We were all quite pleased with the end result. The probiotic helped us decrease instances of bloating and gas while making our trips to the restroom more regular.
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Our Best Overall Pick Is Garden Of Lifes Dr Formulated Probiotics For Women
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Antibiotics, poor diet, or traveling can compromise the innate bacteria living inside us. But supplemental probiotics, consumed naturally or in supplement form, can help restore a healthy gut microbiome.
Overall, the Garden of Lifes Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women is our top choice in probiotics for women. Each pill is formulated with 16 diverse probiotic strains to help boost immune, digestive, and vaginal health. For a more affordable pick, consider Culturelles Daily Probiotic, which contains a potent, evidence-backed strain of good bacteria to improve gut health.
A 2018 study published by the National Institutes of Health indicates probiotics support immune function, digestion, and nutrition absorption. Another 2018 NIH study notes that probiotics can decrease the risk or duration of common infections, including those of the respiratory tract and gut.
Ahead, find the best probiotics for women to add to your daily routine.
How Safe Are Probiotics
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system .
- A critical illness.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
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Do Probiotics Help Ibs
Were often asked questions about probiotics and IBS, such as Can you treat IBS with probiotics?”, “Should IBS sufferers take probiotics?”, and simply “Are probiotics good for IBS?”! The answer is that probiotics have been shown in many clinical trials to support the symptoms of IBS, and most people find them helpful. Probiotics are fine to take alongside most prescription and over the counter medications for IBS, and are a safe, natural option to try. However, if you think you have IBS, you should always have your symptoms diagnosed by a doctor first.
Different probiotic strains can be beneficial for different symptoms of IBS. Clinical studies show the best probiotic supplements for IBS contain strains such as:
Best Prebiotic + Probiotic: Happy V Prebiotic + Probiotic
Fights bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, and yeast infections
Restores gut health and decreases bloating
No refrigeration necessary
Happy Vs Prebiotic + Probiotic Vaginal Health Supplements can effectively fight against bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, and yeast infections thanks to its lineup of powerhouse ingredients. The formula’s probiotics optimize your vaginas pH for wellness, prevent pathogenic activity, and improve your lactic acid production. You can also rely on the supplement’s probiotics to help restore your gut health, increase gut comfort, and even decrease bloating. The capsules are made with a patented prebiotic that destroys bad bacteria, improves the probiotics’ efficacy, and maintains urinary tract and vaginal health. To round things out, the ingredient list also boasts lactobacillus, which is the most common beneficial bacteria found in the vaginal flora.
Happy Vs Prebiotic + Probiotic Vaginal Health Supplements are also physician-formulated, clinically proven, 100% natural, drug-free, and allergen-free. So, you know you can trust them.
Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 20 billion | Dosage: 2 daily | Certified: Vegetarian, allergen-friendly
Price at time of publish: $35
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What Do Probiotics Do For Women
Women can enjoy all the general and targeted benefits of probiotics, including gut support, bloat ease, and digestion aid. Women tend to be affected by digestive issues more than men. Additionally, probiotics can have a beneficial impact on the urogenital tract due to the presence of the vaginal microbiome.*
Swansons Probiotics For Daily Wellness
Image Courtesy ofSwanson Vitamins
Having trouble finding the right brand of probiotic for you and your family? Swanson Vitamins has decades of experience crafting amazing health supplements perfect for every need.
One of their most well-reviewed products happens to be their probiotic. And the reason is quite clear all you need to do is take two very small capsules when you wake up in the morning and start enjoying a day filled with the simple joy of not having to worry about your digestive health.
Swanson Vitamins is proud to offer one of the best probiotics on the market. And at an affordable price as well, offering a 30-day supply for only $3.91. We strongly recommend this brand for anyone looking to get started on their health supplement journey. The reason is simple: it is the best value proposition among any of the supplements we have reviewed.
Our team was skeptical of this product at first. After all, with such a low price there just had to be something wrong with it. We took several bottles home and tried them out for a fortnight. During that two-week period, we noticed many of the same benefits that come with more expensive options, including better trips to the bathroom and fewer incidents of bloating/gas.
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What Side Effects Can Probiotic Supplements Give You
Most of the probiotic supplements are safe to use. You can have a few side effects if you are taking some medications or have some chronic conditions such as Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, etc.
You should consult with your doctor before taking a probiotic supplement if you have any types of chronic illness or are on medications. If you are taking antibiotics then wait for a few hours before taking probiotic supplements to avoid the side effects.
Some common symptoms of those who have negative reactions to probiotics supplements are as follows:
If you are not tolerating any particular supplement, stop taking it immediately. Start with small doses after consulting your doctor and slowly increase to the recommended dosage.
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Are Probiotics For Children Safe
The Food and Drug Administration classifies probiotic supplements as food not a drug, so they dont have to approve them like they do nutritional supplements.
While probiotic foods like yogurt are part of a healthy diet, there arent many long term studies on the risks of taking probiotic supplements.
But using probiotic supplements for a short time to help your child with tummy troubles should be safe for healthy children.
Children using probiotics may experience some minor side effects, such as rash, nausea, gas, gas, bloating, and constipation.
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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.
How To Compare Probiotic Supplements
Most probiotic supplements contain a blend of different bacterial strains, often in vastly different concentrations. When youre comparing probiotic supplements, look for:
Specific strains of bacteria that match your needs. To verify that a supplement is a good choice for your health needs, check its label to ensure it contains viable bacteria that offer real digestive health benefits.
Shelf life and storage requirements. Probiotic supplements have varying shelf lives, and some products have specific storage requirements .
Colony forming units . This refers to the amount of alive, viable bacteria that can be found in a supplement. Research suggests that supplements should contain at least one million CFUs of probiotic bacteria per gram to have significant effects.
A good reputation and customer reviews. Many supplement brands offer probiotics and digestive health supplements. If possible, try to check customer reviews and other feedback before choosing a specific brand or probiotic product.
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May Improve Symptoms Of Certain Gastrointestinal Diseases
Some of the most well-studied uses of probiotic supplements relate to the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases like IBS and IBD.
In one review of 11 studies, 7 of the studies reported significant improvements in symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain in people with IBS who took probiotic supplements, compared with a placebo. The remaining four studies didnt find significant improvements.
The review also found that multi-strain probiotics used for at least 8 weeks were the most effective for improving IBS symptoms (
If youre interested in taking a probiotic supplement, its important to first determine whether a probiotic supplement is necessary for your specific health needs.
If youre instructed to take a probiotic, please consider the following:
- Probiotic strains: Probiotics are not one-size-fits-all remedies, and certain probiotic strains are much more effective for certain medical conditions and symptoms than others. Look for supplements with specific strains based on your needs.
- Intended use: The effectiveness of probiotic supplements is not only strain-specific but also disease-specific, meaning the correct strain and dose must be appropriate for the condition or symptom intended to be treated (
While some people, including those with IBS and certain types of IBD, may benefit from specific strains of probiotics, in general, most healthy people who follow a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle do not need to take probiotic supplements.
The Recommended Dosage For Probiotics
There is no specific recommended dosage for taking probiotics as they have varying strains and CFUs, which influence their body effectiveness.
In general, Probiotic contain between 1 to 100 billion Colony Forming Units in a single serving with 2 to 15 strains of bacteria in these servings. The probiotics come with their own recommended dose, which you can follow to get your purchase results.
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