Probiotic Compounds Significantly Regulate Intestinal Health In Mice With Constipation
The GI transit rate reflects the dynamics of the small intestine and may thus reflect the effects of probiotic compounds on intestinal motility. A higher GI transit rate indicates a shorter residence of chyme in the small intestine and greater small intestinal motility. Loperamide challenge led to a low GI transit rate in the model group, indicating that the constipation model was successfully established. After the intragastric administration of probiotic compounds, mice with constipation in low and high-dose groups exhibited significantly improved GI transit rates . This observation suggests that treatment with probiotic compounds can effectively improve intestinal motility and accelerate the movement and exit of chyme via the small intestine. There was no significant difference in GI transit rate between the low and high-dose group.
Effects of probiotic compounds on defecation in a mouse model of constipation. Gastrointestinal transit rates. Times to first black stool defecation. Number of black stools. Weight of black stools. Data are means with SEM. aâd: Different letters indicate significant differences , and the same letters or no letters indicate no significant difference. Same as below.
What Is The Role Of Probiotics
Probiotics have several functions. They help regulate and process your food intake and can create necessary vitamins for your system. They can also function as agents which break down medications so that your system can process them.
Probiotics, however, are best known for their important role in your gastrointestinal tract. Their function as the good bacteria is to maintain homeostasis by keeping a balancing act going. Probiotics have a primary function, and that is to moderate and regulate your entire digestive system. A good supplement may be the solution to helping you balance your system and restore your gut health. AtNorthlake Gastroenterology, we can help!
The Best Probiotic Supplements For Constipation
Probiotics supplements will often come in capsule or powder form and are usually comprised of liquids that have an optimal combination of different strains of helpful bacteria. When you consume these capsules or powders, the bacteria can be released into your GI tract where they can get to work and go about their business.
Whats important to recognize though is that some of the little critters can be killed on their journey into your stomach by heat or by the process of swallowing. Make sure that you keep your supplements in the fridge and read around to select the best products that have the most positive reviews.
Otherwise, you can also get probiotics from certain foods that have been allowed to develop natural, health cultures of bacteria. A good example of this is yogurt and you can buy a large number of yogurt products that have actually been fortified with additional healthy bacteria, but be aware that yogurt doesnât really have the highest concentration of bacteria, and some will have minor digestive issues with dairy.
Another good source of probiotics is to consume fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or pickles.
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Probiotics Are Good Bacteria
Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.
Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.
These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:
Your kids likely get most of their probiotic intake from yogurt.
How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
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Can You Become Constipated From Taking Probiotics
In most cases you shouldnt experience constipation from taking probiotics, but everyone is different. As such, theres always a chance that it may be something that you experience.
If you take Saccharomyces boulardii in large amounts, for instance, your digestion can slow down and this may not be ideal if you want to avoid constipation.
The vast majority of information out there says that probiotics are effective with increasing the movement of your gut.
With that being said, they are still living organisms that all act differently so theres always a chance that results can vary. Theres no real way of knowing the reason why either.
In most cases its best to use a probiotic formula made with the specific strains and species that work for you in order to avoid potential negative side effects.
How Can Probiotics Help With Constipation
Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut that help maintain good digestion, immune function, neurotransmitter production, and more. Youre born with some probiotic bacteria, but many of the probiotics that end up in our digestive system come from our food, and now, supplements. Consuming probiotics can help improve your microbiome balance and even fight the bad bugs, harmful bacteria, yeasts, and parasites .
There is a significant and growing body of scientific evidence showing that probiotics can help to improve gut transit time and relieve constipation. Many systematic reviews and meta-analyses show that probiotics:
- Lessen bloating
- Improve overall quality of life
In the research so far, there does seem to be a difference in probiotics effectiveness in adults and elderly people versus children, with a significant beneficial effect in the former and less conclusive effects for the latter . This may be due to age-related issues like bacterial overgrowth .
Along with improving microbiome status in the gut, probiotics can lower inflammation , reduce and repair damage to the gut lining , and modulate immune system function .
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How To Manage Constipation
For some people, managing their constipation is a daily undertaking. Common therapeutic options include dietary supplementation with fibre, such as psyllium husks or flax seeds, use of over-the-counter laxatives such as bisacodyl or senna-based stimulant laxatives and in severe cases, the use of prescription medication such as lactulose or lubiprostone.
Almost half of patients who suffer with chronic constipation are dissatisfied with conventional measures used to increase their stool frequency including laxatives and fibre supplements4. In the same population-based survey, 52% of those suffering with constipation reported that it significantly affected their quality of life. Therefore, many of those who suffer are looking for alternative options to help alleviate their symptoms and probiotics are becoming an increasingly popular choice.
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.
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Related: 6 Secrets Of People Who Poop Perfectly
Pharmacy shelves are packed to the gills with different types of laxatives. At first glance, they might seem like the magic wand you need to make your poop-less bathroom visits disappear. But not all of these meds are created equal, and depending on them too much for relief can do more harm than good. Your body can get used to relying on stimulant laxatives, like Dulcolax and Senna, in order to have a bowel movement if these types of laxatives are used on a long-term basis, as your colon can lose the ability to contract on its own, says Shah. This is just one of a host of side effects associated with prolonged laxative use, which include electrolyte imbalances, seizures, heart arrhythmias, muscle aches, and more.
To be on the safe side, follow the dosing instructions on the box, and dont use any type of laxative for more than a week or two without telling your doctor first. They might recommend that you take a different type of laxative or fiber-bulking agents instead. According to James-Stevenson, these are considered safe for short- and long-term treatment of constipation symptoms. Regular probiotic use can safely stave off difficult dumps, too.
If altering your diet or activity isnt solving your poop problems at the end of the day, dont wave it off: A change in your bowel habits can sometimes be a sign of something more ominous occurring with your health, such as colorectal cancer, says Chen. If you notice a consistent change, inform your doctor.
Do Probiotics Help With Constipation Benefits Vs Side Effects
Probiotics do help with constipation and are commonly used to promote regular bowel movements and support healthy digestion. Various studies found that probiotics relieved the symptoms of constipation, improved the intestinal tract transit time, stool frequency and stool consistency. .
These results are promising, especially considering how common constipation is. More data and time are needed however, before the medical community can define clear guidelines and recommendations.
In this experts guide, well share our research and experience with probiotics for constipation. So you will know what to expect, get the most benefits and avoid common side effects of probiotics.
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Temporarily Increase Gas Bloating And May Cause Stomach Pain
You may find that as well as helping to relieve constipation symptoms, probiotics may temporarily increase certain digestive conditions.
When you start taking probiotics, you may find that you have more gas, bloating and occasional stomach cramping. It is not known why probiotics cause gas or may result in stomach pain. However, these side effects of probiotics are only experienced by a few people.
For example, a study from 2015 found that, although most people benefit from probiotics, a few people noticed excessive flatulence and bloating. However, after a week or so, your digestion should adjust to the probiotics and you should no longer have side effects from taking probiotics.
How Can Probiotics Help Constipation
With any digestive issue, this would often result in an imbalance of the gut microbiome. This is where probiotics may prove some help and assistance with getting everything back in balance.
As we have established, probiotics can help restore the natural balance of our gut flora. While it is not yet concluded whether this would be helpful for already healthy individuals, it appears probiotics may be beneficial in situations where the gut has been compromised by illness or treatment.
Some research suggests that probiotics may be helpful in cases where an individual has taken a course of antibiotics, or is seeking to ease symptoms of IBS, which often include constipation.
Though, there are a few issues with probiotics that are worth taking into consideration:
- Probiotics are classed as a food, so are not always regulated to a quality standard
- The product may not contain the bacteria stated on the label
- The bacteria contained in the product are live and fragile, meaning they may not survive long enough to reach your gut
- The product may not contain enough bacteria to have an effect
So, while probiotics are generally harmless for most of us, it may burn a hole in your pocket as opposed to making a meaningful difference to your gut flora.
Does this mean that there is an effective alternative?
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So Are You Ready To Dump It Good
Studies are still being conducted as you read this, primarily in determining which combination of strains can quickly cure constipation. At this moment, Bifidobacterium is the important strain that should be included in your supplements formula.
Our choice for the best probiotic to treat constipation is FloraTrust 4000. It has multiple strains including Bifidobacterium, which goes beyond constipation relief. And with 100 capsules per bottle, youre literally getting more than what youre paying for.
Probiotics May Cause Allergic Reactions Such As Rash Or Itchy Skin
Although probiotics can help to reduce symptoms of allergies, some people find that the type of probiotic they take causes skin itching or a rash.
The reason for some probiotic supplements causing side effects of itchy skin or a rash is usually down to other ingredients in the supplements. For example, in 2012 researchers found that probiotic supplements that contain dairy product can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
Some types of probiotics are also yeast based and if you have a yeast allergy, you should avoid these. For example, probiotics containing Saccharomyces boulardii can cause digestive upset in people who are allergic to yeast.
So, if you suffer from pre-existing allergies, you should carefully check the ingredients in probiotic supplements. Remember that probiotics can contain a number of different strains of healthy bacteria and may also include yeast-based probiotics.
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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.
Signs Your Probiotics Are Working
You’ll know when your probiotics are actually working. You’ll start to feel better as your system fights off those harmful agents trying to wreak havoc on you. As they continue to work, they not only fight off the bad guys, but they also retain the good bacteria that you already have. Both the probiotics and the good bacteria team up to continue the war against invasive toxins.
If you’ve enjoyed relatively good health most of your life, you may not notice any immediate changes when you first take a probiotic. However, you will start to notice a difference right after the first few weeks. One is that you will begin to notice that you are catching far fewer colds than you used to. Plus, you may see improvements in other areas as well. Common skin conditions such as certain rashes or eczema may begin to clear up. You may even notice far fewer outbreaks of acne as the bad bacteria make their one-way exit. This is how you’ll know that those probiotics are working with the good bacteria to restore your system.
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How Do You Know If You Are Constipated
If your toilet is not working as efficiently as it should and there is a lot of incomplete bowel movements, you may be constipated. Constipation is a condition that is characterized by infrequent bowel movements. In the US, constipation affects approximately 35% of the population, and as many as 25% of these individuals may be constipated for two months or longer. A constipated individual will typically experience infrequent and hard to pass bowel movements and often complain of straining and bloating. In the longer term, there may be lower abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, weight gain, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. Its important to mention that a constipation does not mean there is a bowel disease present.
When Can Babies Have Probiotics
The source of the probiotic determines when your baby can have it. Here is the average age to introduce probiotics to the baby, depending on the different food sources:
- Yogurt: 12 months. You can try introducing it around the age of nine months .
- Soy milk: 12 months
- Cottage cheese: 12 months
- Probiotic drops, infant formula, and infant cereal: Probiotic drops and infant formula may be available for babies as young as three months old. However, it is best to consult the doctor before giving probiotics to infants below the age of six months. Infants older than six months can safely have probiotic infant cereal, formula, and drops.
- Fermented soy, milk, and vegetable products: Several traditionally fermented products contain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Examples of milk-based fermented products are kefir and some types of cheese. Miso and tempeh are fermented soy delicacies that are a dairy-free source of probiotic. Kimchi and Sauerkraut are preparations made by fermenting vegetables with bacteria.
Most cheeses and other fermented milk preparations can be safely introduced to babies at the age of 12 months.
Fermented soy and vegetable preparations can also be given at 12 months, but since they contain high quantities of sodium, consult a pediatrician before trying them.
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