What Are Prebiotics Good For
Both prebiotics and probiotics are very good for your gut, but they help the body in different ways.
Prebiotics are a source of food for your guts healthy bacteria. They are carbs that you cant digest, so they go to your lower digestive tract where they act as food for the growth of healthy bacteria.
Probiotics are live yeasts and good bacteria that live in your body and are good for your digestive system. You can take a probiotic as a supplement or get them through your diet.
As well as feeding your good gut bacteria, prebiotics can:
- May help you absorb calcium.
- Ferment food faster, so it spends less time in the digestive system, which helps with digestion.
- Keep the cells that line your gut on the heathier side.
Certain Probiotics Have Specific Benefits
So, now that you’ve decided that refrigerated probiotics are right for you, it’s time to zero in on what particular benefits you want the supplement to have. That’s because certain bacteria strains are particularly good for specific health issues. The probiotics in this roundup were selected because they contain the bacteria strains supported by medical studies and recommended by Schapiro, a certified dietitian/nutritionist.
With all that in mind, it’s time to find the right probiotic for you. The options below are all highly rated on Amazon, with hundreds of positive reviews.
How Often You Should Take Probiotics Is Not Clear
Gilmore says theres no daily recommended dose of probiotics largely because not all probiotics are the same and there isnt yet consensus on how much or how often probiotics should be consumed from diet or supplements.
Similarly, in its guidelines on probiotics and prebiotics, the World Gastroenterology Organisation states: The dose needed for probiotics varies greatly depending on the strain and product. Although many over-the-counter products deliver in the range of 1-10 billion CFU/dose, some products have been shown to be efficacious at lower levels, while some require substantially more.
You May Like: Does Store Bought Buttermilk Have Probiotics
What’s The Best Way To Store Probiotics
While you don’t have to refrigerate shelf-stable probiotics, there are some things you can do to make them last longer:
- Keep your probiotics in their original package or bottle. Some materials, like glass or certain plastics, are better at blocking out humidity and other environmental factors that can kill the bacteria and reduce the effectiveness of your probiotic. You might not think anything of it, but manufacturers carefully choose their packaging to optimize shelf-life, so don’t transfer probiotics to pill containers or plastic baggies.
- Store them in a cool, dry place.
- Make sure they’re tightly sealed.
- Avoid storing them in a medicine cabinet in a bathroom where you shower. The heat and humidity from the hot water can kill the probiotics.
These tips helps maintain a safe temperature and protects the probiotics from their two major enemies: heat and moisture.
Should You Take Probiotic Supplements
Do you need to take supplements to get all the probiotics your need?
Food Revolution expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman says: If you are in good health and are consuming a healthful plant-based diet you dont necessarily need to take probiotics.
So, if youre eating prebiotic and probiotic foods every day that are good for gut health you may not need a supplement.
Also Check: Gerd And Lightheadedness
Read Also: Bacillus Subtilis Probiotic Side Effects
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.
Probiotics Can Help Restore The Bodys Bacteria After Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics can wreak havoc on the body, as they destroy bacteria that protects the vagina, as well as other systems. After using antibiotics to treat an illness , lots of women also develop a vaginal yeast infectionwhich is frustrating, itchy, and inconvenient. If this is the case for you, probiotics can help by restoring the good bacteria your body needs.
Don’t Miss: Best Probiotic For Gut Health And Weight Loss
But Are Refrigerated Probiotics Better Than The Ones On The Shelf
So, to shop the refrigerated section or the shelf? One isn’t necessarily better than the other, though there may be a more limited number of strains that are available at room temperature, suggests Sanders.
The bottom line is to follow the supplement’s instructions. If you’re not sure, refrigeration is a safe bet, says Bannan. “The most important thing is that the probiotics remain viable in the gut,” she adds. And as long as you’re storing them the way they’re meant to be, you’re halfway there.
The 4 Best Refrigerated Probiotics
Probiotics have become so popular in recent years, you’d be hard-pressed to find any wellness guru not taking them in some form or another. But finding just the right one for you can be hard, especially since there are both shelf-stable probiotics and ones that have to be refrigerated. While both can be effective if they’re stored properly, the best refrigerated probiotics will reliably deliver the goods â no matter what climate you live in â so that you can reap all of their health benefits.
Recommended Reading: Prenatal Vitamins With Probiotics And Dha
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.
Do These Supplements Have Benefits Apart From Gut Health
Gut health is the best-known benefit of taking probiotics and prebiotics. However, more research is ongoing into how the health of your gut can affect the rest of your body and your overall health. We have 100 trillion bacteria living in our stomachs and intestines, but poor diet, drinking too much alcohol, antibiotics, hormones, and stress can all upset the natural balance of bacteria in our gut. Here are some other possible benefits of taking probiotics and prebiotics.
Recommended Reading: Probiotics For 6 Year Old
Which Are The Best Probiotic Supplements You Can Take Daily
Whats most important here is that youre choosing probiotic strains that are clinically validated you can choose a probiotic with infinite CFUs, and if the strains are generic, theyre not proven to work. And that is what we call a big waste of money. We would also advise looking for probiotics that contain Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces boulardii, or Bifidobacterium, as these are three of the most researched 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.
Don’t Miss: Does So Delicious Yogurt Have Probiotics
Buying Guide For Best Women’s Probiotics
Probiotics are bacteria that are good for your body, especially your digestive system. Ingesting probiotics through food or daily supplements can help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and ward off infection and disease. For the average woman, getting an adequate level of healthy bacteria through foods can be difficult thats why probiotic supplements are so effective. Taking probiotic supplements specifically intended for women can help with weight loss, healthy hair and nails, and other related areas that women deal with in particular.
When shopping for womens probiotics, youll want to consider a few things beforehand. Be mindful of a products CFU levels and how many active cultures it contains.
Check what form your supplement comes in: capsule, powder, or chewable. Its important to have an idea of how large a dose you can safely take daily to get the results youre looking for. Finally, ladies will want to consider any other active ingredients that specifically target womens health.
How We Select Supplements
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology.
We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science, as well as clinically tested and approved for use in humans. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. These attributes include non-GMO, Organic, and allergy-friendly products that are free of most artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. When possible, we recommend products that are third-party tested and certified.
It’s important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.
Here, the best probiotics:
Helps with diarrhea, gas, and bloating
For adults and kids
Recommended Reading: Is There A Prescription Strength Probiotic
Alternatives To Probiotics For Aad
If you experience mild to moderate diarrhea while on antibiotics, try changing your eating habits until the symptoms pass. Experts recommend avoiding any fatty or fried foods, which can further loosen your stool. Increase your intake of clear fluids, preferably drinking eight to 10 glasses of water daily, to combat dehydration. As a short-term solution, doctors often suggest the BRAT diet, which stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Eating more soluble fiber or taking a fiber supplement, such as Metamucil, may be recommended to help bulk up your stool. Be careful to add the fiber slowly or you may also experience gas and bloating from adding too much, too soon.
The obvious alternative to probiotic supplements is fermented foods that contain healthy bacteria. Ballal recommends yogurt with live and active cultures to her pediatric patients. Surawicz recommends kefir, a fermented milk product that contains live bacteria and yeast, to her adult patients. Kefir may cause constipation and cramping, and is not recommended for use in children younger than 1 year of age.
Another good post-antibiotic move: up your intake of foods that naturally contain probiotics, such as the previously mentioned kefir, but also craft-made sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh and kimchi. In short, make a point to invite lots of the good guys to your gut.
Recommended Reading: Egg Retrieval Bloating
Probiotics Vs Prebiotics Vs Fiber
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the human body. The word probiotic means for life. Prebiotics are the nourishing sources for these beneficial bacteria.
There are numerous types of fiber that have been discovered in plants. Prebiotics are essentially indigestible plant fibers that reach the colon untouched. In the colon these fibers are fermented by the good bacteria.
There are multiple studies that have suggested an important link between probiotics, prebiotics and fiber. Probiotics and prebiotics have been extensively studied and proven to be dependent on each other.
Prebiotics cannot be digested without probiotics and probiotics cannot survive without prebiotics. Fiber plays an important role in the overall health of your body. It helps move things along the digestive tract and helps the gut microbiome complete their jobs effectively.
The food you eat plays a vital role in your gut microbiome. Gut probiotics are directly influenced by prebiotics and other types of fiber you eat.
For instance, a diet low in fiber content and rich in high-fat and high-sugar diet will help the harmful bacteria become dominant which Drew Carey and Mimi know all about.
Once the harmful bacteria are fed, they are able to grow faster and colonize quicker in your gut. This automatically depletes the good bacteria levels in your body. It is possible for the harmful bacteria to make you crave for more sugary foods in order to help them grow.
Also Check: Does Bone Broth Have Probiotics
Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions
There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.
However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.
Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body include:
- Upper respiratory infections .
Should I Try Probiotics
If you are interested in adding probiotics to your diet, its worth a conversation with your healthcare provider. Many providers may suggest giving them a try to see if they help with your general health. It is important to remember that not all probiotics behave the same way and have the same effects. Each has their own individual benefits. They generally dont cause harm. One easy way to start can be by simply introducing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like yogurt.
Before you start any supplements, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.
Don’t Miss: Improve Gut Health Without Probiotics
Should Children Eat Probiotic Foods
Some studies suggest that probiotics may be good for children. One study found that children who were given probiotics every day for 3 months were less likely to have respiratory problems and diarrhea than children who were given a placebo.
And while more research is needed, probiotics may reduce childrens risk of developing certain conditions like autoimmune diseases, allergies and asthma.
On the other hand, some researchers note that probiotics may not have much effect on children. Because their microbiome isnt fully developed, probiotics may simply be passed as normal waste.
Probiotics are considered safe for kids with some exceptions, notes Dr. Drass. You should avoid giving your child probiotics if they have a compromised immune system or cancer, or if they are a premature infant. In these cases, probiotics can put them at risk for infections.
In general, its better for kids to get probiotics through foods instead of supplements unless their pediatrician recommends otherwise. Talk to your childs doctor if youre thinking about using probiotics to help your childs digestion because keeping your child safe and healthy is their prime concern.
Also Check: Antacid And Birth Control
Why Is Some Bacteria Beneficial
The good bacteria that are in your digestive tract will help to protect you from harmful bacteria and fungi.
Studies on bacteria in the gut have confirmed that a wide variety of this kind of good bacteria can help with immune system functions, improve symptoms of depression, and help to manage obesity, as well as other benefits.
Some of your gut bacteria also form vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are the main nutrient source of the cells that line the colon. They help to promote a strong gut barrier that will help to keep out the harmful substances, viruses, and bacteria. This will also help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Don’t Miss: Best Probiotic Yogurt For Toddlers
More Research Is Needed To Clearly Understand Probiotics
Though researchers dont have the full picture yet, the National Institute of Health says there is evidence to suggest probiotics might be helpful for certain health conditions.
For example, in a review published in Antibiotics, across multiple studies, researchers found that probiotics can help relieve diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics. On average 8% of people who took a probiotic experienced antibiotic-associated diarrhea compared to almost 18% of people who did not take a probiotic.
Two stand-out strains that the researchers found helped were L. rhamnosus GG and S. boulardii.The dosage, however, varied among the different studies ranging anywhere from as little as 106 colony forming units to 1010 CFU taken one to two times a day for one to two weeks straight.
And another review, published in 2014 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that probiotics helped ease constipation in adults, including upping stool frequency and decreasing bloating. When it came to boosting stool frequency, for example, the B. lactis strain seemed to be the most effective, resulting in an additional 1.5 gos weekly.
While this difference was statistically significant, it is a very small effect, if you think about it. And it may be that some people respond better than others, though researchers dont yet know how to identify them.