Probiotics For Medical Conditions
Because of the way that beneficial probiotic bacteria affects the digestive system, some researchers speculate that taking probiotic supplements could help to address symptoms of certain medical conditions. A clinical review published in “Canadian Family Physician” concluded that there was promising evidence that probiotics could be beneficial for people with a digestive disease called inflammatory colitis. They may also help to improve symptoms of vaginal infections. However, the review stated that more research was needed to prove the benefits of good bacteria for these conditions. Research is also investigating the possible benefits for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Some scientists also speculate that probiotics could be beneficial for travel-related diarrhea and other types of stomach upset. These proposed uses are currently under investigation.
Can You Buy Probiotics In Pharmacy
Because probiotics are over-the-counter, and do not require a prescription, pharmacists are in a unique position to help patients navigate the multitude of products available, he said. Probiotics contain different strains of bacteria, and the benefits from active ingredients may vary among patients.
The Importance Of Feline Gut Health
Gut health is vital for feline well-being. Keeping a cats digestive system healthy requires a proper balance of good bacteria. By supplementing with probiotics, you give your cat friendly microorganisms that can help protect them against various illnesses and diseases.
For cats, immunity is closely tied to gut health. A number of vets advocate the use of cat probiotics for this reason. Cats are notorious for their sensitive stomachs. This should come as no surprise to cat parents chances are you have cleaned up cat vomit more than once during your relationship with your cat.
Domestic cats eat differently from their ancestors. For example, dry food doesnt exist in the wild and is harder for cats to digest than wet food. Long-haired cats eat a lot of hair if they groom frequently, which means theyre more susceptible to hairballs. And as cats grow older, they may become more susceptible to digestive problems in general. A number of cats develop irritable bowel syndrome as seniors.
Other probiotic-related improvements a cat owner may notice include a shinier coat, more energetic temperament, and better skin. In short, there are a multitude of reasons why a cat would benefit from probiotics.
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Why Millions Love Culturelle
The science behind the probiotic strain found in Culturelle® speaks for itself, and its easy to see why it is the #1 pharmacist recommended probiotic brand. Besides being the proven probiotic, Lactobacillus GG found in Culturelle® is naturally sourced and Culturelle® is simple to take:
- The Lactobacillus GG in Culturelle® is naturally sourced and the Digestive Health capsules are free from any sugar, gluten, lactose, dairy, and synthetic colors and preservatives.
- With our Digestive Daily Probiotic Formula, you only need to take one small capsule per day to receive the full health benefits.* It can be taken in the morning or evening with or without food.
- If you prefer, we also offer Digestive Daily Probiotic Chewables, developed with adults in mind. Still just as effective as our original capsule, but in a great tasting chewable format.
Dont trust your gut with just any probioticchoose the #1 pharmacist recommended probiotic brand and discover the amazing digestive health benefits Culturelle® Digestive Daily probiotic can provide.*
Dr Tobias Deep Immune Probiotics
The probiotic blend offered by Dr. Tobias includes five different types of bacteria which total to a bit under five billion colony-forming units.
The capsules are another major selling point Dr. Tobias claims that their capsules resist the digestion of the stomach acid, making it so that more bacteria make their way into the intestinal tract instead of being destroyed by stomach acid.
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What To Look For
Lactobacillus acidophilus products are available at health-food stores, supermarkets, drugstores, and online.
Just as there are several forms of acidophilus, there is a variety of formulations as well. You may benefit from reading labels and looking for two things in particular:
- Strains: Some acidophilus products contain a single strain of the bacteria, while others contain a number of different strains or species. There are many different strains of probiotics that have similar health benefits as acidophilus. Look for a broad-spectrum option that includes L. acidophilus.
- Pectin: Some acidophilus supplements contain pectin, a soluble fiber found in citrus and other fruits. Proponents claim that the pectin is a prebiotic .
Some probiotic supplements may contain milk allergens or traces of lactose. If you are allergic to milk proteins or lactose intolerant, or if this is of concern because you are vegan, look for a formulation that is labeled dairy-free.
Unlike prescription and over-the-counter drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate probiotics or test them for safety. Some products may contain fewer than the stated number of live organisms. Other products may be contaminated with other bacterial strains or ingredients.
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Herrmann Health Products Advanced Probiotic
With a combination of seven different probiotic bacteria, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Bacillus strains, Hermann Health Products offers a solid combo of healthy bacteria, though only at a dose of 5.75 billion CFUs.
The lower dosage and lack of cutting edge bacterial strains means it finds itself lower in the rankings than many of its competitors.
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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.
Learning About The Microbiome
The community of microorganisms that lives on us and in us is called the âmicrobiome,â and itâs a hot topic for research. The Human Microbiome Project, supported by the National Institutes of Health from 2007 to 2016, played a key role in this research by mapping the normal bacteria that live in and on the healthy human body. With this understanding of a normal microbiome as the basis, researchers around the world, including many supported by NIH, are now exploring the links between changes in the microbiome and various diseases. Theyâre also developing new therapeutic approaches designed to modify the microbiome to treat disease and support health.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is among the many agencies funding research on the microbiome. Researchers supported by NCCIH are studying the interactions between components of food and microorganisms in the digestive tract. The focus is on the ways in which diet-microbiome interactions may lead to the production of substances with beneficial health effects.
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Can Probiotics Be Harmful
- Probiotics have an extensive history of apparently safe use, particularly in healthy people. However, few studies have looked at the safety of probiotics in detail, so thereâs a lack of solid information on the frequency and severity of side effects.
- The risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater in people with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems. When probiotics are being considered for high-risk individuals, such as premature infants or seriously ill hospital patients, the potential risks of probiotics should be carefully weighed against their benefits.
- Possible harmful effects of probiotics include infections, production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms, and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from probiotic microorganisms to other microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Some probiotic products have been reported to contain microorganisms other than those listed on the label. In some instances, these contaminants may pose serious health risks.
Path To Improved Wellness
The use of probiotics relates to digestive health. Although some probiotics have shown promise in research studies, strong scientific evidence to support specific uses of probiotics for health conditions is lacking. There is evidence that probiotics may be helpful in reducing or preventing diarrhea caused by infections and antibiotics. They also may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. As far as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned, depending on a probiotic products intended use, it might be regulated as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug. Probiotic products are not currently approved to treat a disease or health condition.
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Natures Bounty Ultra Probiotic 10
The ubiquitous and trusted Natures Bounty brand delivers when it comes to probiotics. Their Probiotic 10 supplement contains 20 billion colony forming units and, as the name suggests, ten different strains of bacteria.
The capsules are vegetarian, and there arent any extraneous ingredients included either, so this ones a very solid choice.
Buying Guide For Best Cat Probiotics
If you have ever dealt with digestive problems, you may have thought about taking probiotics. Well, our furry friends can benefit just as much from probiotics as humans can. Similar to human probiotics, cat probiotics promote positive gut health, helping to regulate digestive function and soothe stomach sensitivity.
Before you commit to a cat probiotic, there are some factors to consider. Taste and flavor are high on the list since cats are notoriously picky about what they eat. Youll also want to think about the sensitivity of your cats stomach, the form that the probiotic comes in, and any specific dietary issues your cat is dealing with.
You may be wondering if a probiotic is the right choice for your feline friend. Many cats end up benefiting from the extra bacteria in their digestive tract, including those who suffer from chronic health conditions.
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How Are Probiotics Available
Foods and drinks that contain probiotics include the following:
- Acidophilus milk
- Some soft cheeses
- Unpasteurized sauerkraut
Look for labels that identify live active cultures or that include the full name of the bacteria on the nutritional label. There are many different types, or strains, of probiotics available. Most of these are of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium variety. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus is a type of probiotic found in yogurt and soy products. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements in capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. One commonly used supplement is acidophilus.
Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
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When To See A Doctor
You may be considering a probiotic supplement if youre experiencing gut issues. But its a good idea to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional first, because your symptoms could be related to a condition that requires a specific treatment or medication.
Additionally, taking a probiotic can do more harm than good in some individuals, so its important to discuss options with a trusted expert before trying anything new (
Issues To Be Aware Of
If youre considering trying probiotics, there are a few issues you need to be aware of.
Probiotics are generally classed as food rather than medicine, which means they dont go through the rigorous testing medicines do.
Because of the way probiotics are regulated, we cant always be sure that:
- the product actually contains the bacteria stated on the food label
- the product contains enough bacteria to have an effect
- the bacteria are able to survive long enough to reach your gut
There are many different types of probiotics that may have different effects on the body, and little is known about which types are best.
You may find a particular type of probiotic helps with one problem. But this doesnt mean itll help other problems, or that other types of probiotic will work just as well.
And theres likely to be a huge difference between the pharmaceutical-grade probiotics that show promise in clinical trials and the yoghurts and supplements sold in shops.
Page last reviewed: 27 November 2018 Next review due: 27 November 2021
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Best Probiotics To Take With Antibiotics
There are many probiotic supplements on the market, so how do you know which one to choose?
Well, the right probiotic to choose depends on what youd like it to do. Probiotic effects are strain-specific, meaning that different strains have different effects on the body. If you want to reduce anxiety you could take a strain called Bifidobacterium longum R0175, while this strain may not be as effective if you wanted to prevent c.diff infection.
So as you can see, its important to choose the right probiotic strain for the job!
Conditions That Benefit From Probiotic Supplementation
Based on current research, the following gastrointestinal diagnoses benefit from probiotic supplements:
Antibiotics can sometimes create an imbalance, or dysbiosis, of microbes within the microbiome and trigger frequent loose stools, aka diarrhea. The goal of probiotic supplementation is to re-establish balance within the microbiome. To create this balance, research has shown that the use of Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast-based probiotic, taken within 48 hours of the first dose of antibiotics can reduce the risk of antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
The AGA recommends that if a person is concerned with the cost of probiotics, and is not at risk for Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection in the gut that impacts those who are immunocompromised, then they can go without supplementation as antibiotic-induced diarrhea is a temporary condition.
Some people with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis may eventually need to have their entire colon and rectum removed. This is done via a procedure called Ileoanal anastomosis or J-pouch surgery. Once the J-pouch is in place, there is a risk of an infection known as Pouchitis.
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Are There Any Side
Probiotics generally have very few side-effects, and the majority of people take them without any negative effects at all. For some individuals however, there may be a period of adjustment in the gut when they start taking a new live cultures product.
Mild symptoms such as: bloating or wind can occur as a result of the changes taking place within the microbial population of the gut. Changing the composition of the microbiome is of course the goal of taking probiotics, so this change is a positive one, however temporary symptoms can occur as a result. Most people find that probiotics benefits far outweigh any short-lived discomfort, however if side-effects persist it is recommended to contact the manufacturer for advice.
To read more about this check out the FAQ: Do probiotics have side-effects?
Health professionals may also like to head over to The Probiotics Professionals site to read: Probiotics and side-effects. An in-depth review.
What Medical Conditions May Be Contraindicated With Probiotics
The list of patients for whom probiotics are contraindicated is relatively short in comparison to many other natural remedies or herbal supplements. However, probiotics are not recommended for use in just a few serious medical conditions, which are listed below:
- For those who are severely immunosuppressed1,5
- For those who have pancreatitis2
- For patients who are in the ICU1
- For those that have melaena
- For those with a central venous catheter3
- For infants with short bowel syndrome4
- For patients with open wounds following major surgery6
It should be noted however, that these medical circumstances have only been highlighted as there is limited research on how probiotics react with them. The recommendation is therefore, that probiotic supplements are not taken in these circumstances unless with the advice of a doctor. We also suggest you contact the supplement manufacturers directly for guidance on their products.
In addition to the above contraindications, it is also recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women consult their doctor before taking certain live culture strains. Within the Optibac range, most of the strains of bacteria used are safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. .
There is however one strain of friendly bacteria within our range, which is lacking in clinical evidence for use in pregnant women. For this reason, Saccharomyces boulardii does not carry the suitable in pregnancy symbol, and we recommended to discuss its use with a doctor during pregnancy.
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What Do Probiotics Improve
Its important to note that probiotic benefits are strain-specific. So, before picking a probiotic to use for a particular ailment, ensure that youre getting the right one. Probiotics are sold as health supplements, which means they arent regulated. While they arent all bad, some arent entirely trustworthy either, so research before you buy.
Lactobacillus is the most commonly used strain in probiotic supplements. Its most frequently used to help with intestinal issues, though it has applications in treating other conditions as well.
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