Why You Should Eat Probiotic Food On An Empty Stomach
For the beneficial bacteria in probiotic foods to make it to your large intestinethe gut of your gut microbiomeit must first pass through your harsh stomach acids. Your stomach is designed to break down food, drink, and any other particles. Unfortunately, that includes probiotics.
When you eat, the production of gastric acid in your stomach is increased to aid the digestion process. But while this acid is crucial for digestion, it can be greatly detrimental to probiotic foods. In fact, when eaten at the wrong time, a whopping 60% of the beneficial bacteria could be killed by gastric acids!
You want to give the beneficial bacteria in your food the chance to make it through that hostile acidic environment relatively unscathed. That means consuming probiotic-friendly food when your stomach isnt in digestion mode, to minimize the amount of gastric acid that might attack the probiotics.
Best Probiotic For: Immunity Gi Support
Time, stress, diet, and antibiotics can all deplete the bodys supply of B. bifidum. Researchers found that these microbes help regulate the innate immune response, your bodys first line of defense against infection.
B. bifidum has also been shown to prevent intestinal pathogens or digestive disrupters from flourishing in the gut, essential in restoring the bacterial balance and optimizing digestion. Clinical research found it supports a significant reduction in IBS symptoms, an improvement in quality of life and even helps relieve occurrences of ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. .
Can I Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Yes. Extensive clinical research suggests the best probiotic to take with antibiotics are particular strains that can be taken alongside antibiotics, rather than separately. These particular strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94. These strains can be taken at exactly the same time as antibiotic medication, which is not the case for most other probiotic supplements. Health professionals can read this article about research using a probiotic for antibiotics.
Its not necessarily bad or counterproductive to take other probiotic strains alongside antibiotic medication, it just means that the probiotic may not be viable, but rest assured, the antibiotic medication itself would not be affected. Its always good to take strains of probiotics that have been studied to help with the health concern or situation you are looking to support as not all probiotics are the same.
Taking well-studied strains that have been shown to survive when taken at the same time as the antibiotic medication is particularly useful alongside intravenous antibiotics which may be constantly administered on a drip. We would always say that it is a good idea to take probiotics during and after courses of antibiotics we will discuss the best probiotics for after antibiotics later in this article.
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What To Look For In A Probiotic Supplement
Probiotic supplements generally contain one or several different strains or types of bacteria.
There are hundreds of different bacterial strains found in the human body. Each of these has a specific function.
Researchers are still trying to determine the purpose of each strain through the Human Microbiome Project. But, since there are so many, this is going to take a very long time.
There are seven main groups of probiotics commonly found in supplements. These may include Bacillus, Escherichia, Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, Saccharomyces, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus.
Each of these is a genus of bacteria, but then they are further divided into species and strains.
For example, you may see Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, which is different from Lactobacillus acidophilus KU41.
It can get quite confusing when trying to select the right product because the potential benefits of each strain do not apply to other strains of the same species.
And we are still discovering what each specific strain does therefore, I would recommend sticking with certain species of bacteria when looking for a product.
I will discuss different health conditions below and which product might be best.
That being said, there are several things that we do understand about probiotics and how to best use them for their health benefits.
What Are The Best Probiotics To Take After Antibiotics
Even if you have taken a probiotic designed to be taken alongside your antibiotic medication, it is always a good idea to take a good daily probiotic after antibiotics for at least a month or so to replenish the gut microflora. Scientists are not really sure exactly how long it will take to rebuild the gut flora after antibiotics it will depend on several different factors such as the individual gut microbiome, the length of the course, the strength of medication, diet and lifestyle etc. So, what are the best probiotics after antibiotics? Well, studies show taking a probiotic supplement that contains the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07® after antibiotics may help to stabilise Lactobacillus populations in the gut13. The Lactobacillus genus of friendly bacteria helps to crowd out the bad guys and keep our gut environment healthy.
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Elm & Rye Probiotic Is The #1 Choice
Elm & Rye is an up-and-coming entrant on the probiotics scene whose mission is to improve the lives of humanity by making high-quality supplements accessible and convenient. Their products are made from the highest quality ingredients and are tested by a third party to ensure purity and consistency. No additives or fillers are ever used.
In addition, the company has made a commitment to sustainable sourcing in all aspects of production, from farming to packaging to transportation. They aim to build long-term relationships with their customers by providing superior customer service and education that allows consumers to take charge of their health.
Elm & Ryes Probiotic serves up a double whammy of supplement benefits, as it contains ingredients that both boost the functioning of the bodys immune system and promote healthy gut bacteria and ease digestion.
If transparency and social responsibility top your list of requirements for your probiotic supplier, Elm & Rye Probiotic should be at the top of your shopping list. At $50 for 30 tablets, they are not the cheapest option on this list, but orders always ship free.
Probiotics For Digestive Health
Healthy gut bacteria feed on fiber and some other prebiotic foods, so experts recommend that people eat a diet rich in high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
To improve digestion, choose probiotics known to support gut health, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. The L. rhamnosus GG strain, in particular, has many protective factors that may benefit gut health, for example, inhibiting the growth of some salmonella bacteria.
Taking a probiotic supplement will not always benefit a persons digestive health and should not replace a healthy lifestyle. People should ensure they are:
- eating a healthy diet
support vaginal and digestive health. This product contains 1 billion CFU of L.acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and L. plantarum.
The company claims that Probiotic Pearls may protect against UTIs.
This probiotic contains softgel capsules. They are free from gluten and sugar, and do not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. However, this product is not suitable for vegetarians.
How To Tell If Probiotics Are High
I like a bargain as much as anyone, but buying a probiotic supplement is something you don’t want to skimp on. Warehouse stores are great to buy paper towels and grass-fed beef in bulk, but those mega-containers of probiotics are hardly the great deal they might seem.
Quality matters for any supplement, and that goes triple for probiotics. Many commercial brands lack the technology to identify specific strains and how much of that strain each dose contains. That could mean you get an ineffective or potentially harmful dose. It’s a great sign if the company is using probiotic strains that have been used specifically in clinical trials at a dose similar to or the same as that used in the study. This is one of the only ways to guarantee a probiotic’s effectiveness.*
And even then, with probiotics, it’s all about survival. These delicate microorganisms must survive several obstaclesthe manufacturing process, packaging, shelf life, and the acid in your stomach environmentto reach your intestines, where they do their job.
To avoid those and other problems, I strongly recommend buying a professional brand from a reputable health care professional or another vendor who stands by their products and submits their products for multiple rounds of quality testing, from raw ingredients to finished product. Some of these brands have created advanced technology that preserves a probiotic supplement’s survival on the shelf and in your gut.
Probiotics Vs Antibiotics Youre Asking The Wrong Question
The question of whether someone should be taking a probiotic or an antibiotic is commonly asked. The answer, in short, is that it isn’t a question of either/or! but instead, whether a probiotic should be taken in addition to, or alongside, an antibiotic. The answer to this question is, in most cases, yes!
Read Also: Maximum Daily Dose Of Probiotics
Best Probiotics For Digestive Health
Digestive concerns can have many underlying causes, such as stress, food sensitivities, or bacterial imbalance.
Probiotics can help address some of these issues. When choosing a probiotic for digestive health, it is important to evaluate your symptoms first.
Whether you have constipation, diarrhea, or IBS, it is important to choose the product with the right strains for your specific digestive symptoms.
Lovebug Heres The Skinny Daily Probiotic
Lovebug Heres the Skinny Daily Probiotic is a supplement that comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains 5 billion lactobacillus sporogenes as well as 10 mg of plant-derived calcium.
This supplement also helps improve mental clarity, reduce bloating and gas after meals, promote regularity, alleviate occasional constipation, relieve occasional diarrhea due to antibiotic use or mild cases of irritable bowel syndrome.
Image courtesy Honu
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Choosing A Good Probiotic
Many patients arrive in my office who want to improve their gut health. When I say gut health, I’m talking about the more than 500 different speciestrillions of microorganisms altogetherresiding in your gut, whose delicate balance influences gut function, your metabolism, your hormone balance, and your overall health.
Suboptimal gut flora opens the door for unfriendly microbes to step in and disrupt balance. One targeted strategy I leverage to help restore and promote gut balance is probiotics*and when it comes to this supplement, it’s important to choose the best option for your body.
Among probiotics’ numerous health benefits, research shows these friendly microorganisms support a healthy bowel and immune system promote a healthy gut and regularity during travel help you maintain a healthy weight, support healthy skin, ease bloating, and help to reduce the effects of stress.*
Think of probiotics as your little helpers that restore order and help maintain harmony in your gut ecosystem.* You want them to outnumber and antagonize the unwelcome bugs, including unfavorable bacteria, yeast, and parasites.*
These include cultured foods fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, pickled vegetables, and kimchi and cultured beverages, like kombuchathat all contain favorable live bacteria.
Align Probiotics Digestive Probiotic
Last but not least, Align is designed to support digestive health. Its main feature is its inclusion of Bifidobacterium longum 35624, which the manufacturers claim will deliver 24/7 support to the gut.
This particular strain isnt often seen in other products. If youre suffering from IBS, this could be a good choice.
What You Can Do
Don’t start taking probiotics without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether probiotics might help you. People who have immune deficiency or are being treated for cancer should not use probiotics without a doctor’s okay.
The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The bacteria are usually freeze-dried when you take the supplement, they warm up in your digestive system and become fully active. You can find probiotic supplements in most drugstores and supermarkets. They come as capsules or tablets to swallow and as loose powder to sprinkle on food. You’ll want a product that explicitly states a “sell-by” date. Dosages vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day.
Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.
Best Probiotics With Antibiotics
There are a lot of myths floating out there about whether or not to take probiotics during an antibiotic course. The argument goes a little something like this: Im taking an antibiotic that kills bacteria why would I take a probiotic? Wouldnt my antibiotic just kill the probiotic?
The answer is that probiotic supplements during antibiotic treatment has been shown to reduce the severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. So even though your antibiotics might kill off some of those good gut bacteria, probiotics still reduce the negative side effects of antibiotics.
Heres a list of the most researched and effective probiotic supplements for reducing the incidence and severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. These are some of the best probiotic supplements on the market.
- Saccharomyces boulardii biocodex is found in the Florastor brand probiotic and helps to prevent C.diff infections and even helps those who tend to have recurrent C.diff infections. . This strain does not need to be refrigerated, so its very easy to buy saccharomyces boulardii online.
- Visbiome has also been shown to reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Note that if you buy Visbiome online, you should choose a retailer that ships it refrigerated.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been shown to reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well. Like Florastor, its easy to buy Culturelle online since it does not need to be refrigerated.
Count The Colony Forming Units
This tells you how much bacteria you’re getting in each dose. How much you need varies with different types and what you want to treat. There’s no general rule to follow. Most doses range from 1 to 10 billion CFUs that you take once or twice a day.
If you don’t get enough CFUs, you might not get the results you want. But more isn’t always better. It could just be a waste of money. To find out what you might need, ask your doctor.
On the label, some makers list CFUs “at time of manufacture.” But it’s important for the CFU count to tell you how much you’re getting when you use the probiotic before it expires. If you’re not sure what the count tells you, get in touch with the maker.
Keep in mind that the CFU listed is usually the total for all probiotic types in the product. If you can find one that lists it for each type, that’s even better.
Who Should Buy Probiotics
Probiotics are most important for people who may have a disrupted or deficient gut microbiome. Probiotics are commonly recommended following a course of antibiotics, for example.
While antibiotic drugs can be very effective against infectious bacteria, they also lay waste to the healthy bacteria present in your stomach and intestines, paradoxically leaving you vulnerable to health disruptions in the future.
Taking a probiotic supplement after a course of antibiotics can help rectify this imbalance. Probiotics are also very helpful in many people who have intestinal problems like Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome .
The mechanisms behind many of these intestinal problems are unknown, but appear to be linked both to your immune system function and your levels of probiotic bacteria.
Not only are gut bacteria populations different between people with intestinal problems and health people, but modifying the gut bacteria in people with irritable bowel syndrome or Crohns disease can lead to improvements in symptoms, which strongly suggests gut bacteria is linked to the problem.
Beyond people with these health problems, there is increasing recognition that even healthy people can have a disrupted gut biome as a result of their diet.
Recommended Reading: Does Align Probiotic Help With Constipation
Vegan Probiotic With Prebiotic Capsules
Vegan Probiotic with Prebiotic Capsules is a 30-capsule supplement that is to be taken as two capsules daily before or with meals. It has about 16 Billion CFUs, meaning that it is highly potent and of good quality. It has Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium longum, which are clinically studied strains that are clinically approved for consumption. Its other ingredients are purely organic and safe to improve general digestive health, immunity, absorption, reduce constipation and stomach gas.
Culturelle Daily Probioticdigestive Health Capsules
The Culturelle probiotic is made up of Lactobacillus GG, Inulin, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sucrose maltodextrin, sodium ascorbate, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide. The lactobacillus improves your digestive functionality and has been scientifically proven to maintain a balance in your digestive system by preventing diarrhea, bloating the stomach, and gas. The recommended dose is one capsule a day meant for vegetarians, and it is gluten-free.
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Best Probiotics For Womens Health
Probiotics can help support vaginal health, particularly for women who struggle with chronic yeast or bacterial infections. They can help rebalance bacteria in the vagina.
Strains that have been found to be effective for vaginal health include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
For vaginal health, my suggested product would be Swansons FemFlora Probiotic for Women.