Where Are Probiotics Found
Probiotics are found in many forms, but technically they may not be in some of the foods you associate with probiotics.
For example, many people assume that fermented foods, which are made through the controlled growth of microbes, such as sauerkraut, always contain probiotics. But, in order for a food to meet the definition for probiotics established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization, the microbes must offer a health benefit.
Not all fermented foods include microbes that have proven health benefits. In other fermented foods, the microbes may not remain alive in the gut after being digested and in some fermented foods, live microbes are destroyed by heat or pasteurization.
Generally, fermented foods that contain live microbes include:
- Traditional kimchi
- Fermented vegetables, such as unpasteurized sauerkraut
- Yogurt or kefir that says “contains live cultures” on the label
But again, these foods may not meet the formal definition of probiotics. They may contain amounts that are too low to provide the benefits demonstrated in clinical trials.
Probiotics Break This Destructive Cycle
An unhealthy balance of gut flora can lead to a poorly trained immune system and result in excessive inflammation. This inflammation can further damage the good bacteria in your intestinal tract and damage your gut lining. More inflammation and damage furthers the dysfunction, and so starts a self-feeding cycle.
Probiotics help tobreak this destructive cycle and can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of healingand improvement.
Probiotic 40 Billion Cfu Guaranteed Potency
And given that changes in the microbiota have been connected to gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, including great germs in the form of probiotics should enhance your health. However You might have seven individuals take the very same probiotic and only have one report a certain difference.Officials in the E.U., where supplements are more greatly managed than in the U.S., have not authorized using the word probiotic to back any health claim.
So we asked researchers at the leading edge of probiotic research to assist us different truth from hype, and pros from cons. Heres what you require to know. Many of the probiotic strains contributed to foods are picked because they are safe and can be manufactured cheaply and quickly. Theyre not necessarily the ones that are best at keeping health or treating disease.
Shoot for 50 to 100 billion CFUs of a combination of lactobcillus and bifidobacterium. Beginning with a large amount of CFUs will either keep you riding high or trigger small but yucky responses, like gas or nausea. If you see those, downsize to 50 billion, then 20 costs, up until you seem like your typical self.
Go the direct route are probiotics good for you. Use 2 to 5 billion CFUs in an OTC probiotic suppository, or damp an oral capsule to soften, then insert it. Pros suggest doing this every other day at the end of your duration .
Fiction: Probiotics Are A Substitute For A Healthy Diet
Fact: Probiotics cant take the place of eating well and maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein sources such as chicken or fish at most meals each day to ensure that youre getting all essential vitamins and minerals that promote good health including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zincwhich is important when taking antibiotics since they deplete these nutrients faster than usual.
Balance Is The Secret To Natures Success
When you think about the jungle, it may be tempting to remove everything you consider unpleasant so you can enjoy an exotic hike when youre on vacation.
So lets say we had a way of removing all the mosquitos, spiders, and other pesky insects, as well as lions, and snakes, and gila monsters. That does make it sound like strolling through the jungle would be so much safer for us
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Do Side Effects Indicate An Overdose
Not at all. It cansimply mean this is not the right type of probiotic for your gut. What mosthealthcare consumers dont understand is that nearlyevery probiotic product can be classified as one of 3 categorial types of probiotics. Ideally, you want to try and incorporate allthree into your probiotic program. Thereare 3 categories of probiotics that we want to incorporate:
Each category offers different support to overall guthealth.
If a reaction occurs,this is not an overdose but rather the wrong fit. Meaning your gut does not respond well to agiven categorical type of probiotic. Itis that simple!
If youve had reactions to probiotics, try themone-at-a-time so you can easily assess which categorical type is causing thereaction. Then simply avoid that type asthis indicates its not a good fit for your gut.
What Is The Appropriate Daily Dose Of Probiotics
It is challenging to determine the correct daily dose of probiotics. There is a challenge because the correct dose varies based on the human gut flora and the probiotic product. Generally, studies show that probiotics are safe for consumption, and the chances of experiencing side effects are low.
As mentioned earlier, professionals recommend that children take 5 to 10 billion CFU daily. Also, adults should take around 10-20 billion CFU daily. However, increasing this dosage does not lead to higher benefits. If anything, it can cause issues you were trying to treat.
Moreover, probiotics are live microorganisms, and these organisms can die over time. Therefore, it is hard to pinpoint how many CFU exist in your probiotic supplement dose. The inability to determine the number of CFUs is one of the reasons scientists find it difficult to recommend the right amount of probiotics to take daily. It is also why they find it challenging to understand what amount of probiotics is too high for you.
However, there are ways you can estimate the amount of CFU in a supplement at any time. In order to guess the amount in a supplement, take a look at the probiotic label.
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Is Probiotic Overdose Possible
Were used to health supplements coming with a recommended daily allowance. However, because probiotics are live bacteria rather than vitamin or mineral nutrients, its a bit more difficult to quantify. Its estimated that we contain ten times more bacterial cells than our own bodys cells. Its hard to imagine that an extra capsule of probiotics can make too much of an difference.
However, as Ive already mentioned, taking too much probiotics will most likely increase incidence of digestive side effects.
The number of bacteria found in probiotic supplements is unlikely to cause problems, particularly when taken as directed. If you accidentally take too much probiotics, you may want to stay near a toilet but unless you have a weakened immune system youre unlikely to experience major health impacts.
That said, you should always use supplements as per the instructions on the packaging or your doctors instructions. Theres no reason to adjust the dose yourself unless you want to lower it to avoid side effects.
Prebiotics Probiotics And Your Health
Instead, they provide standards to assist their customers and patients become vital consumers of dietary supplements best probiotic. Stephanie Biggs, RD, LDN, CLC, consultant RD for Household Food in Philadelphia, recommends probiotic supplements for individuals during periods of stress or illness, if theyre taking prescription antibiotics, or have a history of antibiotic use.
Biggs doesnt recommend customers take probiotics indefinitely but that they ought to consist of probiotic-rich foods as part of their routine diet. Niki Strealy, RDN, LD, owner of Strategic Nutrition and author of The Diarrhea Dietitian: Specialist Guidance, Practical Solutions, and Strategic Nutrition, utilizes recommendations from The Ps and Qs of Probiotics: A Customer Guide for Making Smart Choices, developed by The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, which advises taking a look at the following four criteria prior to choosing a probiotic: 1.
Match the specific pressure with published scientific research. 2. Proof of effectiveness. Probiotics need to be evaluated in humans to determine health advantages. 3. Quality and quantity. Probiotics can be efficient at varying strengths. Scientific research studies have actually identified health gain from 50 million to more than 1 trillion CFUs per day.
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Dont Mistake A Reaction For An Overdose: Thedie
You may experience a reaction while re-balancing isoccurring. A few days of turbulence is OK. However, reactions lasting over a week indicate this particularprobiotic is not a good fit for your gut.
Simply remove the probiotic that is not working for you, andcontinue with the categories of probiotics that you tolerate.
Taking Excess Probiotics Can Cause Mild Discomfort
Taking more than a usual dose 1 to 10 billion colony forming units of probiotics doesnt necessarily mean better results and, instead, might provoke some mildly uncomfortable side effects.
Some research has shown that using more bacteria may, in fact, counteract . If the bacteria get to the food before us, they can turn it into gas, says Farhadi. On top of excess gas, you might experience bloating or a generally upset stomach. Diarrhea can also occur, but thats about as bad as it gets.
Side effects, most commonly gas, may also occur when someone first starts taking probiotics, as their gut may experience some changes in bacteria levels. Usually, though, if someone is taking an average dose, these side effects should wear off soon, once the body adjusts.
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When Taken In Excess Probiotics Can Be Dangerous
People at higher risk for adverse effects, like infection, of taking too many probiotics are those with serious illnesses or weakened immune systems, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
If you fall into either of those categories, its important to consult your doctor before taking probiotics.
Which Probiotics Should You Take With Antibiotics
Your pharmacy probably has shelves filled with different bottles of probiotic supplements. How do you choose the right probiotics to take with your antibiotics? Dr. Bryan Tran, cofounder of DrFormulas, recommends looking for probiotics that have the three Ds:
Dose: The amount of active microbiota in a probiotic is measured in colony-forming units, or CFUs. You want a dose with 10 billion CFUs or higher, Dr. Tran said. This dose may appear on the product label as 1 x 1010.
Diversity: The label on a bottle of probiotics will also tell you which strains of bacteria the capsules contain. Look for probiotics that have five to 10 different strains. Studies that compare single-strain probiotics to multi-strain probiotics have found that a variety of strains is more effective at reducing diarrhea, said Dr. Tran. However, other studies have shown that multi-strain probiotics are not always better than single strain.
The most widely studied types of probiotics include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium species. These strains of probiotics have been shown in more studies to help stabilize the microbiome and keep it healthy, compared to other types of probiotic strains. If youre considering adding a probiotic supplement to your daily regime, consult with your provider first about what type of diversity you need.
You can ask your pharmacist for a recommendation that fits these criteria.
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Easy To Follow Recommendations For The Correct Probiotic Dosing
One of the most common questions I get from patients is, Can I overdose on probiotics? A simple internet search will give you a myriad of different answers to this question.
You see how confusing it can be trying to weed-out thetruth. Luckily, the truth is a lot lesscomplicated than we make it.
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There Is No Right Dose Of Probiotics
The average dose of probiotic supplements is 1 to 10 billion colony forming units according to the National Institutes of Health.
Most probiotics on the market have this amount, though you may see products that claim to have up to 50 billion CFU. However, there’s no concrete research that says what the most effective dosage is, says Farhadi.
“This is kind of uncharted territory. Most of our knowledge about probiotics is not pharmaceutically scientific or chemically scientific, and it’s a little bit different from other medications,” he says. For these reasons, researchers don’t know exactly which probiotics and what the effective dose is for health benefits.
However, if you are taking probiotics to deal with the uncomfortable effects of antibiotics, there is some evidence that a higher dose of certain probiotics might help abate the side-effect of diarrhea. In a small 2010 study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, patients who were given two capsules of probiotic, each containing 50 billion CFU, had fewer instances of antibiotic-induced diarrhea than patients who were given one capsule or no probiotic at all.
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What Is The Right Amount Of Probiotics To Take Per Day
The right dose of probiotics to take each day likely varies depending on the product and individuals based on their unique gut microbiome. Generally speaking, research shows that probiotics are safe to take and that there is a low risk of adverse effects.
The dosage for probiotics is given in colony forming units , and its typically recommended to find a supplement that has 106 109 CFUs. But more CFUs doesnt necessarily mean greater benefits.
Probiotics are live cultures, and over time those cultures die, so its hard to know exactly how many CFUs are present in a probiotic supplement at the time you take it. This is also the reason why its so difficult for scientists to pinpoint a recommendation for the amount of probiotics to take and understand if there is an amount of probiotics that is too high.
As a good rule of thumb, at least half of the CFUs will still be alive and active before the best by date on a probiotic label. Because the precise CFU amount is hard to calculate, its more important to find the correct strain of bacteria to provide you with the benefit you are looking for versus the product with the most CFUs.
The delivery mechanism of probiotics is also important and can affect how the body is able to digest and absorb the beneficial bacteria. Thats because the acidic environment of the stomach can destroy probiotics before they are absorbed. Encapsulation and freeze-drying are common techniques used to maintain probiotic functionality.
Its Important To Choose The Right Supplement
If you have a gut bacteria imbalance, chances are its a specific strain youre lacking and you need a supplement to fill in those gapsa one-size-fits-all probiotic probably wont work.
I dont prescribe a probiotic supplement without evaluating the patient with a comprehensive stool analysis, says Dr. Swenor. And I often dont prescribe a probiotic supplement at all, but instead advise patients to eat a predominately plant-based diet.
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What You Should Eat During Antibiotic Therapy
Dont stop with supplements aloneeating foods that are rich in probiotics and prebiotics can help your stomach stay strong, and are an alternative approach to probiotic supplements. Prebiotics are the high fiber foods that your body cant digest. As they pass through your digestive tract, they feed the probiotics living there, stimulating their growth. In other words, they help the good bacteria in your gut flourish and make them more effective.
When youre taking antibiotics, its a good idea to eat a diet thats rich in both prebiotics and probiotics.
Try eating these prebiotic rich foods, such as:
- Leafy bitter greens, like dandelion greens, seaweed, and spinach
- Onions, garlic, and leeks
- Roots, like chicory root and jicama root
- Jerusalem artichoke
These can all help to increase beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
Then, add more probiotic-rich foods to your diet, such as:
- Fermented foods like raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut , tempeh, and kimchi
- Yogurt , kefir, and buttermilk
If you are trying to incorporate pre-and probiotic foods into your diet, be sure to double check with your doctor or pharmacist about foods and drinks that may interfere with your antibiotics.
What Is The Right Amount Of Probiotics To Take On A Daily Basis
There is no one size fits it all solution when it comes to the right amount of probiotics to take as it depends on every individuals gut microbiome. Everyone has a different amount and ideally, you should take medical advice as to how much of probiotics youll need.
Of course, there is a standard recommended dosage which is about 106 to 109 CFUs . This will be written down on your probiotic supplement as different probiotic supplements have different amount of CFUs.
However, the CFUs found in probiotics have a certain expiration date as not all of them tend to live forever. Hence, even if the amount of CFUs are written on the label, it may not be accurate because on a general note, half of the CFUs will be alive while the other half would be dead just before the written expiry date.
Therefore, it is best to consume the probiotics with the right bacteria strain catered to your needs and requirements. This is because the right amount of CFUs in each probiotic supplements are hard to estimate so you will never get an accurate number.
You should consider how effective the probiotics are and whether it is working for you or not, rather than putting importance on the right amount of probiotics to take.
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