Garden Of Life Primal Defense Ultra
Garden of Life always has an interesting take on supplements, and their Primal Defence Ultra probiotic is no exception. The thirteen strains of probiotic bacteria are supported by a matrix of organic oat grass processed with an enzymatic procedure to help bacteria growth, as well as a small amount of iron, which is known to massively boost bacteria growth inside the body.
They also include ionic plant based minerals, presumably to boost growth further. Garden of Life generally has a love it or hate it approach if you want all the extras, its a great choice, but if you just want plain old bacteria in a pill, there are better options.
Ranking The Best Probiotic Supplements Of 2021
Probiotic supplements provide a boost to the naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria that live inside your bodys digestive tract.
Taking a probiotic supplement every day is a fantastic way to improve your digestion, boost your gut health, improve your immune system, and reduce inflammation.
Want to find the best probiotics on the market? Our research team put together these rankings to find the cleanest and most effective probiotic supplements:
For those whore serious about taking the most potent probiotic, 1MD Complete Probiotics is the best you can get.
No other probiotic supplement can compete with the 51 billion cultures and 11 unique strains with each serving.
Dr. David Kahana, a renowned gastrointestinal doctor, says, When my patients ask me what probiotic is best, I recommend 1MDs Complete Probiotics Platinum. Complete Probiotics Platinum has 11 different strains and guarantees 50 billion live cultures per capsule. It also contains an effective dosage of Nutraflora prebiotic fiber that will ensure these cultures get the fuel they need to really make a difference in your gut.
Why is this important?
Because several probiotic products only have 2-3 different strains, and consuming probiotics with a diverse collective of good bacteria strains offers a better bacterial balance for your gut.
All natural, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial coloring, no artificial preservatives and 100% GMO-free.
Made in the USA and in an FDA-approved facility.
Is It Ever A Question Of Probiotics Or Antibiotics
There are some conditions where those afflicted may prefer trying natural interventions first. Acne is a very common skin issue where antibiotics are often prescribed as a treatment by a general practitioner or dermatologist. In a 2011 literature review, it was determined that there is sufficient supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the health of the gastrointestinal tract itself, may be contributing factors in acne vulgaris3. You may like to read our FAQ about probiotics and skin health. However, this decision should always be made in line with a doctors consent.
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When Should You Take Probiotics
Fortunately, while limited, there is at least one study that assesses the survival rate of probiotics under certain conditions. One such study found that a probiotic tablet exhibited the highest survivability when taken 30-minutes before a meal. The survival rate lowered drastically when the tablet was taken 30-minutes after a meal.
The type of foods was also taken into consideration. Survival was higher when consumed with a meal of oatmeal and milk, compared to taking the tablet with apple juice. Researchers concluded that probiotics are best taken half an hour before eating. The subsequent meal should preferably contain moderate amounts of fat.
The Best Time To Take Probiotics
Does it matter when you take probiotics to make them more effective? We’ll answer this question with specifics regarding the best time to take probiotics whether they are in food or supplements.
Bacteria is with you every dayand not just when you touch a dirty grocery store cart or someone nearby sneezes. Even right now, there are millions of bacteria living on your skin and in your gut. Sounds scary? It isnt!
Its perfectly natural and, more importantly, these microscopic organisms are crucial for your best health and well-being.
Surprising, but true: Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, there are trillions of beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, that help keep your body functioning at its prime. And supporting your best digestive, immune, and even emotional health requires that you have plenty of these good guys on hand at all times.
Not sure about the best way to introduce healthy bacteria into your system? Read on to find out more about probiotic foods and supplements, as well as specifics regarding the best time to take probiotics. Plus, well give you a cheat sheet of our favorite suggestions for adding probiotic-friendly foods into your daily diet.
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Antibiotic Risks For Your Microbiome
Thats because your gut microbiome is critical for your health. It’s involved in immune system function, body weight, and even brain health. However, antibiotics can lower the diversity of microbes present in your gut, causing imbalances that increase the risk of inflammation and lower your protection from diseases.
The use of antibiotics during pregnancy, in newborns and infants, is especially problematic because the gut microbiome develops in early life and, during that period, it educates the immune system.
Infants who are exposed to antibiotics either before or after birth have been shown to have fewer health-promoting microbes like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus that are dominant members of the infant microbiome.
Research shows that antibiotic disruption of the gut microbiome at a young age is linked with an increased risk of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disorders. Antibiotics and weight gain are also a major issue: this medication has been pinpointed as an important factor in the obesity epidemic.
For example, Clostridium difficile is a deadly bacterial infection affecting the colon that is common in healthcare settings, and it’s resistant to most antibiotics. Nowadays, doctors have found that transplanting a healthy microbiome into patients is most effective when treating for C. diff.
Too Many Probiotics From A Specific Strain
While there are no studies we know of, we do advise taking a multi-strain probiotic product as opposed to a single-strain supplement. Its possible that too many probiotics from a single strain may lead to a microbiome imbalance. This leads to a monoculture that may cause more harm than good. Again, there are no studies on this, but this is the sentiment expressed by Dr. Zach Bush, a triple-board-certified physician in the area of internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism.
In an interview with Shape magazine, Dr. Bush explains that too many probiotics from only one or two strains may create an unstable intestinal environment. We agree with this assessment. The gut microbiome is naturally diverse. Its unnatural to overpopulate it with a single strain and create an environment where a single bacterium even if beneficial dominates.
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Probiotics And Vaginal Health
Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.
Probiotics are generally considered safe they’re already present in a normal digestive system although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.
Pros And Cons Of Probiotics
The assumption that there is little downside to taking probiotics was challenged in a recent Israeli study.
The participants were given antibiotics and split into two groups: the first group was given an 11-strain probiotic preparation for four weeks the second was given a placebo, or dummy pill.
The researchers found the antibiotic damage to the gut bacteria of those in the first group allowed the probiotic strains to effectively colonise the gut. But this colonisation delayed the normal recovery of the microbiota, which remained perturbed for the entire six month study period.
In contrast, the microbiota of the second group returned to normal within three weeks of finishing antibiotics.
This research exposes a perhaps unexpected truth: we still dont know what types of bacteria are truly beneficial or even what constitutes a healthy microbiome.
The answer is unlikely to be that individual bacterial strains are particularly helpful.
Its more likely a diverse community of thousands of different types of microbes working together can provide health benefits. This microbial community is as individual as each one of us, meaning there is not just one configuration that will result in health or illness.
So, its unlikely that the addition of one or even 11 strains of bacteria in a probiotic could somehow balance this complex system.
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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.
Are There Side Effects Of Taking Probiotics
This is a question we hear often, and the answer is pretty simple. Side effects is a medical term used in the labeling of some pharmaceutical products. Probiotics are not pharmaceutical drugs they are dietary supplements that support good digestion and immune health.*
However, similar to when you consume a new food or make changes to your diet, taking a daily probiotic may produce occasional gas or bloating at first. We recommend gradually increasing the amount each day until your body adjusts and you are satisfied with the results.
If youre concerned about how your daily probiotic supplement may interact with other medications or supplements youre currently taking, we recommend talking to your doctor about any possible effects that may occur.
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Why Take A Probiotic With An Antibiotic
Replenishing the gut with probiotics helps to rebalance the gut microbiome following antibiotic use. The NHS has recognised the beneficial effects of probiotic supplementation7. When prescribed antibiotics, many individuals now choose to supplement their natural bacteria with a probiotic supplement. Your local pharmacist may even recommend probiotics when dispensing antibiotics.
Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea is one of the most common side effects of antibiotics, with a prevalence of between 5 to 35%, depending on the type of antibiotic8 taken. A meta-analysis of 23 studies carried out in 2012 supported the use of probiotics in antibiotic-associated diarrhoea9. One particular form of AAD is Clostridium difficile infection, which manifests as chronic diarrhoea and in severe cases, colitis. This is of particular concern in the elderly and can sometimes be fatal. Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 23 randomized controlled trials including 4213 patients, evidence suggests that probiotics are both safe and effective in helping to support the health of the gut microbiome and reducing digestive upset related to Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea10. Health professionals can visit this article in the Professionals site to find out more about Probiotics and Clostridium difficile.
The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Because of the amazing benefits probiotic provide for your gut and your health, they are one of the most popular supplements around today. As with any supplement, the possibility of side effects or adverse reactions is very real. You should always discuss probiotics with your doctor before starting a program. Side effects can range from temporary to longer-lasting and vary for each person.
Understanding the possible side effects will help you to make informed decisions about taking probiotics safely.
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How Might Probiotics Work
Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.
- Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your bodyâs community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
- Produce substances that have desirable effects
- Influence your bodyâs immune response.
Sign 4 Better Response To Stress And Lower Anxiety
The link between the brain and the gut can also be seen in the bodys response tostress. Stress has been shown to harm our gut just as much as junk food.Likewise, one study found that having an intestinal infection is associated with anincreased risk of developing an anxiety disorder over the next two years.The absence of certain bacteria in our guts could alter areas in our brains that areinvolved in anxiety. Probiotics can therefore be helpful to establish, or reestablish,beneficial microorganisms in the gut, especially when there is a deficiency of goodbacteria, helping us to stave off stress and reduce anxiety.So pay attention to your ability to deal with stress after you start taking probioticsas an improvement in this area could be related to a healthy probiotic balance.
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How Much Do I Take
In addition to choosing a probiotic with multiple strains of good bacteria, another thing to look for is a high culture count this refers to the overall number of bacteria in each serving. Did you know there are more than 100 trillion bacteria inside your digestive tract?
Choosing a probiotic with billions of live cultures per serving will help you get more of the friendly microbes that occur naturally in a healthy gut.* Some of the most effective probiotic supplements have at least 10 billion cultures per serving.
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.
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Important Tips For Supporting General Health Whilst On Antibiotics
- Eat fermented or prebioticfoods. These can help rebalance the gut microbiome and optimise gut health after a course of antibiotics.
- Avoid refined sugary foods, as these feed the harmful bacteria and yeasts which often overgrow due to antibiotic use.
- Avoid alcohol, even if not contraindicated with your course of antibiotics. Alcohol can also disrupt the gut microbiome and negatively impact immune function, which may hinder your body’s efforts to fight infection.
- Ensure you complete your course of antibiotics. Unpleasant side effects can make it difficult to continue taking antibiotics but failing to complete the course can increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.
- Eat a healthy diet. Don’t let the antibiotics do all the work – include a selection of immune-boosting foods containing vitamin C and other antioxidants, including citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.
What Does The Research Say
Probiotic doses are listed as colony forming units , which means the number of live strains in each dose.
Different brands will have different suggested doses and uses, so its important to understand the information listed.
Recent research found that the type of microbe strain, health condition, product formula, dose, and the quality of the product are all important for effectiveness.
The condition or symptom youre trying to treat can affect how the probiotic works and when youll see results. If youre taking a probiotic for general gut or immune health, youll need to take it awhile to see results.
On the other hand, if youre taking a probiotic for relief from diarrhea, you may see faster results.
For example, has shown that, when used in combination with rehydration therapy, treatment with probiotics can reduce the duration and frequency of infectious diarrhea in as little as 2 days.
Another study demonstrated that people who consumed a high-dose probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus fermentium for 12 weeks experienced significantly less upper respiratory infections and flu-like symptoms compared to a placebo group.
Plus, it was shown that the probiotic drink boosted the immune system of the participants by increasing levels of antibodies including sIgA in the gut after 12 weeks.
Depending on what youre taking probiotics for, you may see symptom improvements anywhere between a few days to a few months.
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