Tips on How to Choose a Probiotic Supplement
A healthy environment for your second brain.
It has been stated by health advocates that your gut is your second brain.
You’ve always heard we are what we eat… NOT TRUE… we are what we ABSORB! Air, water and nutrients are all vital to our health and what we absorb is the key.
Every healthy immune and digestive system needs a sufficient amount of ‘friendly’ bacteria. These beneficial bacteria may be destroyed by common factors, such as carbonated drinks, laxatives, birth control pills, coffee, alcohol, aging, stress, and antibiotics.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases.
But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
What Do They Do?
Probiotics help move food through your gut. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea
There are two primary methods to increase your intake of probiotic bacteria such as food and supplements. Various probiotic strains can be found in fermented foods and some dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir.
However, the quantity of these beneficial bacteria in these foods can be low and the variety of strains is often limited.
To achieve those higher intake of probiotics, as well as more varied strains, probiotic supplements are a great option. Though, it should be noted that not all probiotic supplements are created equal.
The best probiotic formulas have high amounts of bifidobacteria and consist of various strains of probiotic bacteria to provide support to the largest number of people.
An article published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology identified a specific strain of probiotic bacteria called Bifidobacterium bifidum (bifidobacteria) that may help treat ulcers.
It’s only been since about the mid-1990s that people have wanted to know more about probiotics and their health benefits. Doctors often suggest them to help with digestive problems. And because of their newfound fame, you can find them in everything from yogurt to chocolate.
How Do They Work?
Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Here are some of the ways they may keep you healthy:
- When you lose “good” bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them.
- They can help balance your “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working like it should.
Types of Probiotics
Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups. Ask your doctor about which might best help you.
Lactobacillus. This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Bifidobacterium. You can also find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.
There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:
- Skin conditions, like eczema
- Urinary and vaginal health
- Preventing allergies and colds
- Oral health
Probiotic supplements can help you by:
- Improving digestion and elimination
- Helping to maintain healthy functioning of the intestinal tract
- Supporting the body’s ‘second immune system’ by increasing beneficial bacteria
- Producing enzymes essential to proper intestinal function
- Supplying natural whole food sources as food for the beneficial bacteria
Remember that to get the optimum benefits from any supplement, it should always come from one that is made from whole foods.
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God bless and stay healthy out there my friends
Disclaimer The information contained in this and subsequent articles are not intended in any way to be medical advice but is to be used for information only. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional treatment. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements as they might interfere with prescribed medication but also for medical purposes the doctor might want to increase or decrease the dosage of the supplement.