What Do They Do
Among other things, probiotics help send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control gut movement. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Infectious diarrhea
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics
There is also some research that shows they’re useful for problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:
- Skin conditions, like eczema
Is It Safe To Take Probiotics Daily
For healthy individuals, probiotics have a long history of being safe and beneficial to use daily. Thats because most probiotic supplements typically use the same microbes that already exist naturally in the human gut.
The risk is greater for people with severe medical conditions or who are immunocompromised as supplementation. If you have a severe medical condition or are immunocompromised, please consult with your healthcare practitioner before you start using a probiotic supplement.
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.
You May Like: Why Is My Upper Stomach Bloated
Vita Health Adult Daily Vitamins
Budget-safe, breath-freshening chewables loaded with vitamins and canine-friendly enzymes.
About: Vita Health Daily Vitamins are budget-friendly chewables scientifically formulated to provide the vitamins and minerals dogs need. Serve on their own or crush over your floofs food for a daily dose of wellness.
- Some ingredients can be a problem for pups with sensitivities
- A few dogs had tummy troubles
Make Sure Any Supplements You Buy Are Coated
Some probiotic strains can’t survive the acidity of your gut. So if you’re taking a supplement, make sure it’s coated the outer shell will help it reach your intestines intact. If you can find only an uncoated version, take it with food to help protect it from the aggressive environment.
This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Womens Health. For more intel on how to live a happier, healthier life, pick up an issue on newsstands now.
Read Also: How To Cure Leaky Gut Syndrome
Probiotics Can Cause Gas
The most common negative side effect of probiotics is mild gas and bloating. This usually happens when you first begin taking probiotics but usually gets better with use.
What causes gas and bloating? Gas and bloating means that your digestive system is not breaking down and absorbing your food completely. The undigested food gets passed into the gut where probiotics and other gut microbes ferment the undigested food and produce gas.
The feeling of bloating is usually because your body is not used to the increased probiotic activity. Taking a probiotic can increase the number of probiotics inside your gut. This increased microbial activity produces additional gas which your body is not used to.
After the initial period , your body should gradually adapt to the new friendly bacteria, allowing for improved digestion.
If your gas and bloating do not get better while taking probiotics there are two things you can do:
1. Try taking a digestive enzymes supplement along with your probiotics to help your body break down, digest, and absorb food. More complete digestion helps reduce gas and bloating.
2. Try taking the probiotics on an empty stomach before bed. Probiotics can produce gas when provided with certain kinds of foods and taking probiotics before bed minimizes the chance of that happening.
Should You Take A Daily Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are good for your gut, but the source matters.
Theres a lot of buzz around probiotics. Theyre endorsed by celebrities and fill grocery stores aisles.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut. Scientists believe they could unlock a deeper understanding of our health. Probiotics are found in some foods and drinks, like yogurt or fermented tea.
Just like vitamins, probiotics are available as supplements. Manufacturers make steep claims about their benefits. They include digestive health, strengthened immune system, weight loss and reduced cancer risk. But can a supplement really do all that?
To learn more about probiotic supplements, we spoke with Carrie Daniel- MacDougall, Ph.D., M.P.H., a nutritional epidemiologist at MD Anderson who studies diet and the microbiome.
Heres what you should know about probiotic supplements.
Its always better to get nutrients from food. That includes probiotics.
More research needs to be done on probiotics in general and probiotic supplements, but its always better to get your nutrients from food rather than supplements, Daniel-MacDougall says. They just dont deliver the same benefits as food.
One reason is because supplements arent regulated as closely as medications. So the quality and ingredients can vary greatly from product to product.
Unless your doctor is prescribing probiotics for a specific purpose, stick to getting them from foods like yogurt that may have other nutrients, like calcium.
Don’t Miss: Can Multivitamins Give You Heartburn
How Popular Are Probiotics
The 2012 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 4 million U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. The use of probiotics by adults quadrupled between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 NHIS also showed that 300,000 children age 4 to 17 had used probiotics or prebiotics in the 30 days before the survey.
How Effective Are Probiotics
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. Theres constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
Its also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with claims of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
Read Also: Can A Bad Gallbladder Cause Constipation
How Do They Work
Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Some of the ways they may keep you healthy:
- When you lose “good” bacteria in your body, for example after you take antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them.
- They can help balance your “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working the way it should.
How To Choose A Probiotic Supplement
Here are some other things to consider when choosing a probiotic supplement that is right for you.
Be choosy.Lactobacillus rhamnosusBifidobacteriaLactobacillus
Read the label. Make sure any probiotic you choose is free of any ingredients you do not want, such as food allergens. Your healthcare team can help you translate any terms you dont understand.
Practice caution. Understand that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before theyre marketed. Therefore, consider following the FDAs tips for dietary supplement users. Again, consult your healthcare team before adding a probiotic supplement to your diet especially if you have an underlying condition.
You May Like: What Is Probiotic Multi Enzyme Used For
Soluble And Insoluble Fibers
Medical scientists and nutritionists categorize dietary fiber into two classifications. Soluble fiber, as the name suggests, dissolves easily in water. Plants such as beans, greens, and other complex carbohydrates contain soluble fiber some foods, such as the potato, contain a mix of insoluble fiber and soluble fiber . The human body breaks down these complex carbs into a gelatinous, viscous byproduct that the large intestine turns into gasses and acids that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the lower gut. These bacteria positively affect several essential bodily functions and overall health.
Insoluble fiber wont dissolve in water but is just as important to overall health and well-being as soluble fiber. We can further classify insoluble fiber into two types: fermentable and non-fermentable. Non-fermentable insoluble fiber is known primarily as a bulking agent, and consuming adequate insoluble fiber keeps people regular. Fermentable insoluble fiber such as resistant starch produces the same healthy gasses and acids in the large intestine that soluble fiber does. One important difference between the two types of fibers is that soluble fiber tends to slow digestion while insoluble fiber speeds it up.
Probiotics Can Cause Constipation By Revealing Underlying Digestive Issues
Probiotics typically reduce constipation. According to several studies, probiotics were found to increase the average number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and generally supported softer stools that were easier to pass. These studies found Bifidobacterium to be the most effective probiotic for supporting regular digestive health.5
Because constipation is not typical when taking probiotics, experiencing constipation with probiotics may be a sign that you do not have enough fiber or water in your diet. In these instances we recommend increasing consumption of fiber with your probiotics. You can also start taking prebiotic fiber with your probiotics. Be sure to select one that is organic and diverse so your probiotics can have good food to thrive.
Don’t Miss: Do Baby Chickens Need Probiotics
Probiotic Foods Or Probiotic Supplements: Which Is The Best Way To Get Probiotics
Probiotics can be consumed through fermented food, such as yogurt kefir aged cheeses, like Parmesan or aged cheddar kimchi sauerkraut miso tempeh, and non-dairy yogurts that indicate they are cultured.
While there is no recommended daily amount for probiotics, if these arent foods you typically eat, it may be a good idea to consider a dietary supplement. Omni-Biotic offers a range of probiotic supplements for different conditions, and you can take our Probiotic Fit Quiz to find the best product for you.
Probiotic supplements contain different strains of live organisms which are often used for different conditions, so its important to research what combination of strains may be best for your needs and maybe talk to your doctor or dietitian first.
Should You Start Eating Probiotics
Russian microbiologist Elie Metchnikoff was the first to associate the large amounts of fermented dairy products with the good health and longevity of Bulgarians back in 1907. He proposed that the acid-producing organisms in fermented dairy products could prevent what he called “fouling” in the large intestine. He believed if eaten regularly, these foods could lead to a longer, healthier life. One version of the Old Testament even attributes Abraham’s long life 175 years to the “consumption of sour milk.” Fermented milk products may have also been used to treat illnesses of the digestive tract during Roman times.
The scientific community agrees that there are potential health benefits to eating foods with probiotics. However, more research is needed to solidify the claims. The best we can say right now is they won’t hurt and may help.
Remember that dietary supplements are not tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration like medications. And the probiotic strains in the supplements may not be specific for the condition you’re looking to treat. You may want to consult with a practitioner, like a registered dietitian, who is familiar with probiotics. Always tell your physician what you are doing that may affect your health.
Recommended Reading: How Often Should You Take Probiotics When Taking Antibiotics
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.
Probiotics Help Balance The Friendly Bacteria In Your Digestive System
Probiotics include good bacteria. These are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed .
These benefits are thought to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria .
An imbalance means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. It can happen due to illness, medication such as antibiotics, poor diet and more.
Consequences can include digestive issues, allergies, mental health problems, obesity and more .
Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods or taken as supplements. Whats more, they appear to be safe for most people.
Probiotics are live microorganisms. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. As a result, health benefits may follow.
You May Like: How To Choose A Probiotic
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.
Probiotics Can Cause Allergic Reactions
Another possible side effect of taking probiotics is an allergic reaction. Humans can be allergic to just about anything, including milk which is often used in the probiotic production process.
The purification process used in the production of some probiotics such as Nexabiotic® Advanced should remove most of these allergens.
If you are lactose intolerant you should be able to tolerate the small amounts of milk in probiotics. Furthermore, probiotics themselves break down lactose. This is the reason why probiotic-loaded kefir yogurt is advertised as being lactose-free.
However, if you have developed an allergic reaction to milk ingredients that results in problems breathing then you should avoid probiotics.
You May Like: Why Do You Get Heartburn When Pregnant
Help With Weight Loss
The gut microbiota plays an important role in how the body extracts energy from food, so the gut may be an essential factor for weight loss. Some research shows that probiotic supplementation can result in weight loss.
There are likely a handful of factors at play, including the specific strain of probiotics, how long supplementation is done, plus age, gender, and baseline weight. More research is needed to understand what role probiotics play in weight loss.
Why Timing Matters
“In order to get the highest amount of probiotics from your capsule, taking them at the right time is important,” she adds. Your stomach is full of exceptionally acidic acid which is super helpful for digestion. However, too much of this acid can also kill this helpful bacteria before it can get into your system.
“Probiotics have to survive your gut acids in order to establish themselves in the GI tract,” says Dr. Sonpal. “If the capsule or encasement doesn’t offer proper protection from stomach acids, it may not be effective.” And that would defeat the whole purpose of taking them.
What you eat affects your gut, too. Watch the video to learn more:
Recommended Reading: Does Anesthesia Make You Constipated
What Is Vitamin B
Vitamin B is a family of water-soluble compounds often present in the food that both humans and canines ingest. It has many functions like promoting healthy metabolism and keeping cells in check. The way it works is that Vitamin B acts as a coenzyme to assist in biochemical reactions that change carbohydrates into glucose, which provides energy for the dog. And since Vitamin B is water-soluble, they just flush through your dogâs digestive system, compared to if you gave your dog fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, or K, any excess from these will be stored in fat cells, and some cases can lead to toxicity.
The Vitamin B complex comprises of the following B vitamins:
Vitamin B is deemed essential in a dogâs diet because dogs cannot make them independently. Each vitamin mentioned above has a similar goal but has unique properties that can help your canine differently. For example, B6 helps in blood flow and bladder health, B7 promotes healthy skin, and B12 encourages a healthy nervous system and controls hormonal imbalance in pregnant dogs. Many of the foods we feed our dogs will contain most of these B vitamins, but if in the case that you want to give your dog more B6, for example, you should feed it along with the complex powder.
Donât Miss: What Time Vitamin Shoppe Close
You Suffer From One Or More Mood Disorders
Depression, anxiety, irritability, and other mood disorders can stem from bad gut bacteria, since your gut flora interacts with brain neurotransmitters that control your mood. If you suffer from one or more mood disorders, try taking probiotics along with essential B vitamins that help improve your kidney health, as the kidney also plays a role in mood regulation.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Cheese Give Me Diarrhea
The Benefits Of Probiotics Bacteria
In a society of anti-bacterial warfare, who would have thought that anyone would tout the benefits of bacteria? Living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods may help improve your body’s bacterial environment inside and out. They’re called probiotics, a name that means “for life.”
More and more people are using probiotic products to treat or improve illnesses or to maintain overall well-being. In fact, a 2017 report estimated annual global sales of probiotic supplements at $3.7 billion in 2016, and that is expected to rise to $17.4 billion by 2027.