Probiotics Improve Gut Health
There is no doubt about the importance of the gut microbiota for our health and quality of life.
- Emotional well-being
So, how do probiotics impact gut health?
Probiotics can modify, restore, and positively impact those bacterias communities living in the guts. Therefore, they are used as a treatment when it comes to gut health issues.
Do Probiotics Help With Digestion
Gas and bloating can be embarrassingbut if youre struggling with routine stomach discomfort, know that you are not alone. Studies show that 1 in 10 Americans suffer from bloating, and an estimated 31 percent of women report IBS symptoms.
Learn how gut comfort probiotics can help reduce stomach discomfort and help you feel like your best self.
How Probiotics Help Digestion
We each have a gut biome that is affected by our diet, stress levels, exercise and medication usage. The good bacteria in your gut produce many beneficial compounds that help you maintain a healthy digestive system.
How does this work? Probiotics help your digestive system break down fiber, which increases nutrient intake and produces beneficial short-chain fatty acids and vitamins. These live bacteria help your body digest foods, including some nutrients through to be difficult to metabolise . In fact, there are 300-500 bacterial species in the GI tract that specifically aid digestionand the number of bacteria within the gut alone is approximately 10 times that of all of the cells in the human body!
Do Probiotics Help With Common And Everyday Bloating and Gas?
Gas forms in your colon when bacteria ferment carbohydrates that arent digested in your small intestine, and this excess gas can cause bloating. Studies show that a quality probiotic that is specifically targeted to gut health can aid digestion and offer relief from routine bloating.
Which Probiotics are Best for Digestion?
How To Use Probiotics For Bloating
Along with an anti-inflammatory diet, such as the low FODMAP diet, a combination of three probiotics is a good approach for IBS symptoms like bloating.
Some probiotics protocols make this unnecessarily complicated. However, theres no best probiotic for bloating.
Instead, probiotics generally improve your digestive health by improving your gut environment.
As I discuss more fully in my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, the most important probiotic strategy for bloating is to include a diversity of high-quality probiotics.
Most probiotics fall into one of these three categories:
- Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria blends, including species of probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis.
- Soil-based probiotics, usually Bacillus species
I recommend using one high-quality product from each category. When used together, the three probiotics work synergistically to improve your gut health. Probiotic strains from all three categories have been shown to help bloating .
The three types of probiotics work together like the legs of a three-legged stool. If the stool only has one or two legs, its likely to be unstable. With three legs, the stool can stay upright.
When mixtures of several probiotics were compared with single strains of probiotics in the treatment of IBS, two systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicated the multi-strain probiotics were more effective than single-strain probiotics [55
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Are Probiotics Good For Ibs
IBS is a common digestive system disorder that causes symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and stomach cramps. There is no cure for IBS, but probiotics might be able to relieve the symptoms.
Probiotics help to stabilise the bacterial communities in your gut by introducing helpful live bacteria that keep the gut lining healthy, maintain order between microbes, and balance the pH.
There are many different IBS symptoms and there are specific probiotic strains for each symptoms:
|abdominal discomfort, gas, bloating, bowel regularity|
How To Choose The Best Probiotic For Bloating
- Billion bacteria
You might think billions is a lot, but not with probiotic supplements. You need to have probiotics that contain billions of organisms. Each dose can range from 5 to 100 billion colony-forming units . It can measure the potency of the product so it can have a better effect on our gut health. It is better to start low and increase when you can digest it.
- Diverse strains in probiotics
If our gut is diverse, our probiotics are too. It is better to watch for supplements that contain multiple strains. It is listed as a blend though sometimes blends can be a misleading term if you dont know how many CFU each strain contains. Some brands might contain only one probiotic species such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. The best ones contain bifidobacterium so watch out for those.
- Watch out for details
Look out for dairy-free probiotic supplements. The CFU dose of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains have 30 billions CFUs. It is important to read the ingredients on the label to make sure the supplements dont contain binders or fillers including lactose or cornstarch. It may cause side effects such as gas or further bloating. Watch out for them as you may be sensitive to these ingredients.
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Got Gas Blame It On Your Bacteria
When I tell friends and family that I study gut bacteria and gut health, the most frequent question I am asked is why some foods cause intestinal gas. The next question is almost always whether or not gas is such a bad thing.
Bloating, constipation, indigestion, and yes, intestinal gas, are among the most common health complaints among the general population. Indeed, one of the main reasons for a person to see a gastroenterologist is due to excessive passing of gas.
According to the actual research, most healthy people have about 10 to 20 discharges per day. In terms of volume, this represents about a liter of gas . And yes, some poor graduate student probably had to somehow measure this.
In general, intestinal gas or flatulence is only a problem in social circumstances, like business meetings, religious events, classrooms, or elevators. Apart from the sound effects and associated aroma, gas is usually not a serious condition. At minimum it is usually only annoying or embarrassing. When its more severe, however, excessive gas can have considerable impact on quality of life. It may also be a symptom of a chronic condition, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or celiac disease, for which a physician should be seen.
Ultimately, there are two main reasons for intestinal gas. One is simply swallowed air. Some, but not all, of this air is expelled via burps.
Prof. Robert Hutkins, PhDKhem Shahani Professor of Food ScienceUniversity of Nebraska, Lincoln
Ibs And Probiotics: The Takeaway
It has been recommended that a probiotic supplement should be used for a month to see if there is any improvement. If its ineffective, a different bacteria type should be used. Science will surely make further progress in this area and make new formulas since as much as 60 percent of gut bacteria remains unknown.
Clinical studies have shown that the effect of probiotics can be fortified by taking them along with prebiotics, as these nourish the existing good bacteria and allow them to proliferate in the intestines. Although there is a need for further research in this area, the existing research suggests that probiotics have a potential role to play in treating individuals with IBS.
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Probiotics May Improve Nutrient Absorption
Around 90 percent of nutrient absorption happens in the small intestine, and intestinal microflora play an important role in this process. Probiotics help break down food into nutrients that can enter the bloodstream and be used by the body.
Those who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohns or any other type of gastrointestinal disorder will often have trouble absorbing nutrients from food. Research now shows that both probiotics and prebiotics can help to improve the absorption of micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals from foods that we eat.
Gas And Bloating Side Effect
The use of probiotic supplements is considered generally safe for most people when used as directed. If you develop adverse reactions after taking a probiotic supplement, call your doctor for evaluation. Common side effects for some people who are taking one to two billion probiotic cells daily are gas, upset stomach and diarrhea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. These side effects are the result of the sudden increase of bacteria in the digestive system. Common side effects should subside within a few days, once your body becomes accustomed to increased dosage.
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What Is The Best Probiotic For Ibs
Before you rush out to buy a daily probiotic, theres a few things you need to consider. The first is that there are different types of IBS, and so there are different probiotics suitable for the different types. So, it pays to do your research into IBS and probiotics first.
Finding the best probiotic brands for IBS depends on your IBS type, your symptoms, and your microbiome. When it comes to probiotics and IBS, there is often a trial and error process involved to find which bacterial species and their strains work best for you.
If you want to know more about the composition of your own gut microbiome, an Atlas Microbiome Test can give you unique insight into your gut bacteria and how they influence your health.
Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics may trigger some allergic reactions, according to the Cleveland Clinic, and could cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, flatulence or bloating in the first few days after taking them. The clinic cautions that it may take a little trial and error to find the best probiotic for you. If you don’t notice any benefits from a product after a few weeks, try another product with a different bacteria strain.
Also, Harvard Health Publishing recommends taking probiotics at the end of a meal to ease issues like loose stool.
Given that probiotics are already in the body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered to be safe, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But people with weakened immune systems or those who’ve had a surgery need to approach probiotics with caution and consult their physicians.
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Prebiotics Make Us Happier
You may be aware that our guts are responsible for the majority of the serotonin, a primary feel-good chemical needed for emotional wellbeing, that our bodies manufacture. The link between wellness and our intestines is irrefutable for physical and emotional health, and just like probiotics can help keep us happy, taking prebiotics has been proven to improve our emotional wellness. Prebiotics reduce our production of the stress hormone cortisol, and have an anti-anxiety effect.
Expert Tips For Choosing Probiotics
Probiotics come in two forms: live cultures such as in yogurt or in a dormant form, such as those found in capsules. If you want to try probiotics, here are tips to help you choose.
One advantage to probiotics in food is that they may also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as dietary fiber, which also promotes digestive health. But most experts agree that its a matter of preference whether you consume probiotics in your diet or as supplements.
Watch the expiration date. Because probiotics are living organisms, the amount placed in the container or capsule when it was manufactured may not be the same as when you consume the product. You must use these products before the expiration date to be sure the probiotic is still effective.
Play detective. If your doctor recommends a specific species and strain of probiotic, be aware that you may have a difficult time finding it. Many manufacturers dont tell you exactly which strain is in their product they only list the species . If youre looking for a specific strain of probiotic and its not listed on the label, call the manufacturer and ask. This information might also be on the companys website.
Buyer beware. To avoid being scammed, dont order products online unless you know and can trust the site. Keep in mind that the price of probiotics can vary tremendously, and a higher cost doesnt necessarily mean the products are of higher quality.
Additional reporting by Erica Patino
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Gas Bloating Do Probiotics Help Gas
Before you reach for that antacid to stop your heartburn, or Gas-X to alleviate your gas and bloating, pause for a second because you could actually be making matters worse.
How could something that stops your discomfort so quickly end up making matters worse?
Well, many common remedies for these types of digestive issues dont address the root cause of the problem, they just temporarily relieve the symptoms. One example is when we take medications like antacids, they reduce the concentration of hydrochloric acid in our stomachs, which can change the entire environment of the gut.
The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms known as the gut microbiota. When their environment is thrown off balance by powerful drugs, it can cause complications further down the line.
Gas and bloating are some of the most common digestive issues people have today. Between 10 and 30 percent of Americans struggle with these uncomfortable symptom thats 97 million people!
If you struggle with digestion issues, you are not alone.
How do you truly address gas, bloating, and other digestive issues without long-term consequences of using various over-the-counter medications? Is it the foods you are eating contributing to the problem? What can be done to address the root cause, rather than mask the symptoms?
The answer is in restoring balance to the gut microbiome.
Rebalancing the Gut Microbiome for Gas and Bloating Relief
Mischievous Methane Producers
Which Probiotics Are Best For Bloating And Gas
Probiotic dietary supplements restore balance to the gut. By having a sufficient amount of good bacteria in our colons and digestive tracts, we reduce negative side effects like gas and bloating. Its even been shown that probiotics can increase gut motility, speeding up digestion, so things dont get backed up.
If you suffer from bloating and gas, it is most important to figure out what the cause is so that you can work against this. For example, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to dairy and this causes bloating and gas, then it is a good idea to avoid dairy-rich foods.
That said, taking a probiotic supplement with key beneficial bacteria that restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome can be very helpful in reducing bloating and gas.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two probiotic strains that scientists have demonstrated to be most helpful during trials on patients with IBS, SIBO, or Functional Abdominal Bloating and Distention .
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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.
How Do Probiotics Work With Ibs
A significant amount of recent research has investigated how probiotics might be used to treat and manage IBS.
IBS symptoms have been linked to certain changes in the gut flora. For example, people with IBS have lower amounts of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in their guts, and higher levels of harmful Streptococcus, E. coli and Clostridium (
- Reducing gas production by balancing the gut flora
- Reducing the guts sensitivity to gas buildup
However, not all probiotics are alike. In fact, the term probiotic covers many different strains and types of bacteria and yeasts. Their health effects vary depending on the type.
Summary Gut flora imbalances may contribute to the symptoms of IBS. Probiotics help restore balance in a number of ways, including by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, reducing inflammation and slowing down the digestive system.
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Dont Eat Foods That Give You Gas
Some high-fiber foods can make people produce large amounts of gas.
Major players include legumes like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
Try keeping a food diary to figure out if certain foods tend to make you more gassy or bloated than others.
Fatty foods can also slow down digestion and the emptying of the stomach. This can have benefits for satiety , but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
Try eating less beans and fatty foods to see if it helps. Also, check out this article on 13 foods that cause bloating.
If certain foods make you feel bloated or give you gas, try cutting back or avoiding them. Eating fatty foods can also slow digestion and may contribute to bloating for some people.
What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Bloating is the result of a build up of gas in the digestive system and can lead to pain and that uncomfortable, heavy feeling after eating. Some people experience this occasionally, or for some this can be a daily occurrence.
The gut microbiome is made up of many different strains of bacteria, and is influenced daily by our individual environmental and lifestyle exposures. We play host to this army of bacteria, including beneficial probiotics, which are essential for our health and wellbeing. You may like to read: Are all types of friendly bacteria the same?
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