Probiotics May Help With Weight Loss
Multiple research studies indicate that the composition of the gut microbiome is linked to a persons body weight.
While research is still in its early stages, it has shown that certain types of probiotic bacteria are more common in thin people and other types are more common in overweight individuals. Depending on which type of bacteria you have more of, your weight can be affected.
In addition, if your gut microbiome is out of balance, there is an opportunity for bad bacteria and other pathogens, such as Candida, to grow. Many of these pathogens send signals to the brain that encourage the body to crave sugar, because sugar is what these pathogens survive on. The more sugar you eat, the better these pathogens can thrive!
The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are safe for those who are healthy. If side effects occur, they are usually mild digestive issues, like gas. Just like before starting any new drug or supplement, you should talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic. This advice is especially important for those with suppressed immune systems. Serious complications, like infections, have been reported in some people.
Are Probiotics A Scam
With probiotics, details matter. Its silly to walk into a drugstore, grab a probiotic off the shelf and think its going to do you any good.
Be wary, too, of recommendations made by people who havent consulted the scientific literature. Dont blindly trust a pharmacist, doctor, health-food shop attendant or dietary book, as sadly, most are ill informed, Dr. Reid said.
But if a doctor you trust recommends a particular strain that has been shown in clinical studies to help your condition, or if you have identified a strain that is backed up by solid clinical research and really want to give it a try, then sure, go ahead after double-checking with your doctor first. Dont expect miracles, however.
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Reduce Gas And Bloating
Intestinal gas is often a result of too many species of bad bacteria in the gut, which cause food to ferment badly.
Gas is actually a normal byproduct of digestion, and contains a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and often methane. The average human produces between 1-4 pints of intestinal gas each day!
Our intestines contain large amounts of bacteria which are required for breaking down foods we eat. These bacteria also help to consume excess gas.
Its the friendly bacteria in our gut that swallow up gas. The more colonies of friendly bacteria we have, the less gas! However, the opposite is also true: when we have large amounts of bad bacteria, we end up with more gas and flatulence.
Fortunately, its been found that certain strains of probiotics can help to relieve gas and bloating. Although scientists arent quite sure how this works, it appears that Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis can reduce gas production in the gut.
They also help to crowd out unhealthy microbial populations and deter more gas from being created. This can make a huge difference in the amount of bloating and flatulence someone experiences in a normal day.
And You Are Probably Asking If All Probiotics Are The Same
The answer is NO. A probiotic is characterized by belonging to a genus and a species and, finally, by a specific strain . That way, probiotics are given specific properties and benefits, although each one has its own unique characteristics and health benefits.
Most Lactobacillus help maintain the health of the gastrointestinal tract, and some Lactobacilli strainsLactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricusin association with Streptococcus thermophilus help with lactose digestion.
And what about bifidobacteria? Most bifidobacteria help prevent and reduce diarrhea associated with antibiotic treatment or viral infections. Furthermore, specific strains have been shown to strengthen the gut barrier or improve digestive symptoms.
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Maintain And Improve Gut Integrity
The digestive tract is protected by a thin wall of cells called the gut barrier. This wall allows beneficial particles to pass from the intestines to the bloodstream while keeping partially digested food or disease-causing particles from slipping through.
When the gut barrier is damaged or inflamed, proteins and other bacteria may leak through the barrier. This is known as increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.
More research is needed to understand why this happens. Evidence shows that the integrity of the gut barrier can be affected by genetics, stress, alcohol use and may be disrupted by poor diet and certain medications.
One study of 23 men showed that probiotic supplements helped improve the stability of the gut wall. Omni-Biotic Stress Release contains specific probiotic bacterial strains that support a strong gut barrier.
Prebiotics And Probiotics: Creating A Healthier You
You’ve probably heard of prebiotics and probiotics, but do you know what they are? Nutrition research has pinpointed specific functional components of foods that may improve health, and prebiotics and probiotics are two such substances.
Although they are available as dietary supplements, it is not necessary to use special pills, potions, cleanses or other concoctions to incorporate prebiotics and probiotics into your daily intake. These “nutrition boosters” are natural ingredients in many everyday foods.
While research continues in this area of nutrition investigating how effective and safe these substances are and how much we need to obtain health benefits here’s what we know now.
What Are Prebiotics and What Do They Do?
Prebiotics are naturally occurring, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Simply said, they’re “good” bacteria promoters. That’s right, not all bacteria are bad! Prebiotics may improve gastrointestinal health as well as potentially enhance calcium absorption.
Prebiotics in Your Diet
Prebiotics include fructooligosaccharides, such as inulin and galactooligosaccharides. But rather than focusing on these lengthy words, include more prebiotics in your day by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, beans and whole-grain foods.
What Are Probiotics and What Do They Do?
Probiotics in Your Diet
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What Are Microbes And Their Role In Our Health
Microbes are tiny organisms — so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle — that are so powerful that an imbalance in the body is related to numerous diseases. These microorganisms can be found in almost every part of the human body, living on the skin, in the nose, and in the gut. There are trillions of these microorganisms in our bodies. They outnumber human cells by 10 to one, but due to their small size, they only make up 1%-3% of a body’s total mass.
The National Institute of Health is sponsoring the Human Microbiome Project , which is developing research resources to enable the study of the microbial communities that live in and on our bodies and the roles they play in human health and disease. The NIH has funded many more medical studies using HMP data and techniques, including the role of the gut microbiome in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and esophageal cancer skin microbiome in psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and immunodeficiency urogenital microbiome in reproductive and sexual history and circumcision and a number of childhood disorders, including pediatric abdominal pain, intestinal inflammation, and necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe condition in premature infants in which the intestine tissue dies due to lack of oxygen.
Can Reduce Risk Of Developing Clostridium Difficile Infection
Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause a serious gastrointestinal infection, particularly in people who have been hospitalized or taken antibiotics for long periods. Research in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded with moderate certainty that probiotics can reduce the risk of C. difficile-associated diarrhea in adults and children who are taking antibioticsGoldenberg JZ, Yap C, Lytvyn L, et al. Probiotics for the prevention of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea in adults and children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 12:CD006095. . Interestingly, probiotics can prevent C. difficile infection but not treat it, says Cresci. Other research has found favorable results with the Lactobacillus strains, specificallyPierre-Jean Maziade, Noam Ship, Jason C Sniffen, Ellie J C Goldstein. Enhanced Clostridioides difficile Infection Prevention With a Pharmacy-Controlled Policy That Adds a 3-Strain Lactobacillus Probiotic Concomitantly to Antibiotic Therapy. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2021. .
Note that if you are taking antibiotics, experts recommend taking probiotics at least two to three hours after your antibiotic dose.
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Which Teas Have Probiotics
Kombucha tea, raw puer, and ripe puer all contain natural beneficial bacteria and other microbes as a result of how theyre made.
And according to a 2016 peer-reviewed paper, traditionally made probiotic and fermented foods may offer additional benefits over modern manufactured probiotic supplements .
Probiotics Boost Nutrient Absorption
If health is important to you, its likely youve already started making smart food choices at the supermarket.
But even if youre choosing the most nutrient-dense foods, if your gut cant properly absorb nutrients, you cant use them in your body.
A proven probiotic can support a thriving population of good bacteria in your gut, which has been shown to help your system absorb nutrients effectively.
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Could You Benefit From A Probiotic Supplement
While there are several potential benefits of probiotics, its important to get educated before you increase your probiotic intake.
When you go to the grocery store, youre likely to see a number of items containing probiotics, these friendly microorganisms that are most commonly bacteria and sometimes a type of yeast.
And thanks to their popularity, you can find everything from probiotic smoothies, chocolate, and granola bars to probiotic supplements and powders.
Though theyve become more prominent over the last two decades, Probiotics have actually been consumed by humans in one form or another for more than 100 years, says Susan Lucak, MD, a gastroenterologist in New York City and a special lecturer at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.
The two most common types of probiotics found on the market are species of good bacteria called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. While their manufacturers claim that probiotics have a number of overall and digestive health benefits, supplement dosing and the included strains vary widely, and not everyone needs one.
Possible Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits when consumed in large amounts.
They can be taken as supplements or consumed naturally through fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha .
The health benefits of probiotic supplements and foods have been well documented, including a lower risk of infections, improved digestion and even a reduced risk for some chronic diseases .
While there are many health benefits linked to taking probiotics, there can also be side effects. Most of these are minor and only affect a small percentage of the population.
However, some people with serious illnesses or compromised immune systems may experience more severe complications.
This article reviews the most common side effects of probiotics and how to reduce them.
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Probiotics Can Help Reduce Symptoms Of Certain Digestive Disorders
Over one million people in the US suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease .
Certain types of probiotics from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis .
Surprisingly, one study found that supplementing with the probiotic E. coli Nissle was just as effective as drugs in maintaining remission in people with ulcerative colitis (
Nevertheless, probiotics may have benefits for other bowel disorders. Early research suggests they may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .
They have also been shown to reduce the risk of severe necrotizing enterocolitis by 50%. This is a fatal bowel condition that occurs in premature infants .
Probiotics may help reduce the symptoms of bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, IBS and necrotizing enterocolitis.
What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics
Studies suggest that certain probiotics can help in certain contexts. But you will need to do your research. We can help.
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Walk into a health food store, or even a drugstore, and youre likely to find an entire aisle, maybe two, dedicated to probiotics. Probiotics are live micro-organisms, usually bacteria, that provide health benefits when consumed at appropriate doses.
According to some surveys, approximately four million Americans take probiotics, which are available as pills, powders, foods and drinks. Probiotics are a huge industry at least a $40 billion dollar one, according to Zion Market Research and popular brands sell for 35 cents to $1 a dose, with a shelf life of several months.
Proponents argue that they improve the composition of the gut microbiome, which is involved in many aspects of health including immunity, metabolism and mood.
Framed this way, probiotics may seem like a no-brainer. But before you reach for your wallet, keep in mind that while many scientists and doctors believe that probiotics have promise, they also say that a lot of products on the market dont live up to the hype.
The current evidence does not convince me to recommend probiotics for any of my healthy patients, said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance.
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Probiotics Drive Optimal Urinary Health
Urinary issues are commonly caused by bad bacteria like E. Coli that live in the gut, and manage to find their way into the urinary system.
If your natural bacterial balance gets disrupted as a result of stress, antibiotics, or poor food choices, bad microbes are able to gain a stronger foothold and run rampant.
However, when your beneficial bacteria outnumber the bad guys, pathogens are less likely to grow. This positively impacts your entire body, including your urinary system.
Reduce The Severity Of Certain Allergies And Eczema
The gut houses the majority of the immune system, which is directly related to allergies. Keeping the digestive tract healthy has been of interest in helping relieve allergies and skin conditions like eczema.
In many studies that used the probiotic strains of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium among adults, positive effects have been shown, including reductions in symptoms and in the prevalence of eczema.
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Why Probiotics Matter So Much
After dissecting and inspecting the various key strains that may be in your probiotic supplements, it is easy to see why they, particularly those discussed above, are crucial for your overall health.
Their long list of health benefits doesnt stop there, though prebiotics and probiotic supplements play a vital role in almost every system in the body to strengthen, enhance, and extend the quality of your life. These benefits include:
1. Helping the good and bad bacteria in your body stay balanced to ensure your body is functioning at its very best
2. Working to replace good bacteria that may be lost for whatever reason, such as when you take an antibiotic
3. Ensuring that food moves properly through your gut and breaking down food into nutrients your body can use for energy, cell repair, and growth
4. Promoting mineral absorption from the foods you eat, particularly iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other minerals that are crucial for bone health
5. Helping to metabolize and break down body wastes by attaching to the wall of the intestines and dislodging any accumulated decay before flushing it out of your body
6. Giving your immune system a boost to stop the growth of harmful gut bacteria and possibly promoting the production of natural antibodies in the body, such as IgA-producing cells, natural killer cells, and T lymphocytes
7. Killing oral bacteria that cause tooth decay and decrease the effects of gingivitis
Probiotics May Help Treat Stomach Bugs In Kids
Although two widely publicized studies in the New England Journal of Medicineone in the United States and the other in Canadafound that probiotics did little to help treat a severe stomach bug in kids, Reid believes the results need interpretation: The children in these studies were already too sick to see a real benefit from probiotics, Reid says. They went to an emergency department and received probiotics on day three of their sickness. Nothing but rehydration can help at that point. Starting the probiotics sooner could have made the difference, he says.
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Improve Mood And Reduce Stress
The bacteria in the gut produce neurotransmitters that are your bodys messengers. Neurotransmitters help with sleep, mood, as well as controlling your bladder and heart function. Stress is known to disturb the gut bacteria, which may affect the quantity and function of neurotransmitters.
Probiotic supplements can help repopulate the gut bacteria during and after periods of stress and have been shown to improve mood, sleep, and cognitive function.
Is It Okay To Take A Probiotic Every Day
Since probiotics are typically sold as supplements and not drugs, the FDA does not have to regulate the health claims. However, research shows that daily use of probiotics is safe.
While there are usually not many side effects associated with using a probiotic, people may feel occasional bloating/gas or differences in bowel movements when they first start taking a probiotic, Del Borrello says. It usually goes away with time.
It is also important to get the correct dosage of probiotics for full effectiveness. Probiotic dosages are given in colony-forming units or CFUs. Children are recommended to take 5-10 billion CFUs a day and adults are recommended to take 10-20 billion CFUs per day.
When starting probiotics, it is possible that you will develop loose stool for the first few days. Because probiotics are live bacteria, it is important to check the sell by date on the supplement.
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