Why Take Probiotic Supplements
There are many great reasons to add a probiotic supplement to a healthy diet. Depending on the person and the type of bacteria involved, taking a probiotic supplementor eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kombuchamay help:
- Create a healthy balance of gut microorganisms after an illness
Research shows probiotics may also help treat digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome , and even aid with fat loss. But knowing when to take your probiotics is key to getting the most out of them.
Why Does Activia Need Billions Of Its Exclusive Probiotic
Since Activia was launched in 2006 it has contained billions of our exclusive probiotic in every cup. Activia yogurt’s exclusive probiotic culture was specifically selected because of its ability to survive passage through the digestive system and reach the large intestine in sufficient amounts. Two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies show that Activia may help reduce the frequency of minor digestive discomfort when consumed twice a day for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Minor digestive discomfort includes bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, and rumbling.
At Least 100 Million Live Cultures Per Gram
According to the International Dairy Foods Association , formerly the National Yogurt Association , an organization that certifies yogurt manufacturers, yogurt should contain at least 100 million live and active cultures per gram by the time it was manufactured. If you want to be sure, look for their Live and Active Cultures seal which is given to certain brands that meet their requirements.
Yogurt that contains at least 100 million live cultures is effective for countering side effects of antibiotics, most especially diarrhea. In addition, its also beneficial in helping to restore the healthy microbiome population in your gut.
However, if you are opting for frozen yogurt, look for those that have at least 10 million active cultures per gram.
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Benefits Of Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics are live bacteria that help promote gut health. Emerging research shows the correlation between the bacteria in the gut, also known asthe microbiome, and overall health. Gut health is essential, not only formanaging digestive disorders like occasional diarrhea and constipation, but also for strengthening the immune system and providing mood support.
You can get probiotics from fermented foods such asyogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchior you can get them from supplements. While eating probiotic-rich foods is one way to introduce beneficial bacteria into the body, taking them in supplement form is an effective way to improve your gut health that may come with additional benefits.
Some reasons to consider taking probiotic supplements include:
How We Select Supplements
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology.
We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science, as well as clinically tested and approved for use in humans. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. These attributes include non-GMO, Organic, and allergy-friendly products that are free of most artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. When possible, we recommend products that are third-party tested and certified.
It’s important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.
Here, the best probiotics:
Helps with diarrhea, gas, and bloating
For adults and kids
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Should I Take Probiotics
Before determining when to take a probiotic, you should first determine if you need a probiotic at all. The list of scenarios when a probiotic is beneficial is very lengthy. Some of the strongest evidence supporting the use of probiotics exists for those that need digestive system support or immune function support. Research shows that probiotics can improve a persons gut health and also boost their immune system. In addition, probiotics are most commonly used when a person is taking an antibiotic. As mentioned above, antibiotics tend to eliminate both good and bad bacteria from our bodies, so it is important to add good bacteria back in. Typical of any supplement, it is important to speak with your doctor if you want to take a probiotic to improve your health.
The Probiotic Strain Game
U.S. guidelines state that yogurt must contain at least two specific strains, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, although manufacturers can add more. Its easy to assume that all yogurt is the same, but thats not the case at all, Ansel says.
Only three familiesLactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcushave been widely researched, and the data suggests they may improve immune and digestive health and protect against yeast infections in women. In fact, these are the kinds nutritionists trust most. But probiotic yogurt brands vary in other ways, from the number of strains they contain to the amounts in each serving.
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What Probiotics Are Contained In Yogurt
In order to understand the effectiveness of the probiotic in your yogurt, you have to know what kind of probiotic they contain. There are hundreds of probiotic strains in existence, but very few of them have any science proving their ability to support digestive and immune health. If you read the label on most yogurt containers, the exact strain of probiotic is nowhere to be seen. On the contrary, when you take Culturelle®, you can know with certainty that you are getting 100% of the most clinically studied probiotic strain in the world, Lactobacillus GG.
Is It Better To Consume Probiotics Through Pills Or By Eating Foods With Probiotics
There are several reasons why probiotic foods are the preferred choice for getting probiotic bacteria over pills. Consuming probiotics through dairy foods allows the stomach acids to be buffered and increases the chance that the probiotics will survive and make it to the intestine. Probiotic supplements in the form of pills dont usually provide nutrients that the cultures found in probiotic foods like yogurt produce during fermentation. Finally, fermented dairy products, like yogurt, are also a source of nutrients that are critical for good health such as calcium, protein, and potassium.
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Mistake #: You Store Probiotics In Your Medicine Cabinet
The bathroom medicine cabinet can have fluctuating temperature changes, which will affect moisture in the air, and can compromise the quality of your probiotics.
Its important to note that there are a few ways to take probiotics. While one is in food , you can also take probiotic supplements. They are available in refrigerated or dry formulas. The latter can be kept at room temperatures. Foods and refrigerated supplements must be kept in a cool fridge to keep the bacteria alive. For dry probiotic supplements, check the packaging on how to store them, but generally they must be kept in a dry, dark place thats free of moisture. However, some probiotic capsules are better kept in the fridge, says BioK scientific director Mathieu Millette, PhD, Mcb. A., RMCCM. Check the instructions on the package to ensure youre storing them properly.
Your Personal Circadian Rhythm
Because your gut bacteria can influence your sleep cycle, it is common to take probiotics to help heal an unhealthy digestive tract. Having a bacteria imbalance in the gut can reduce your quantity and quality of sleep. But having a healthy gut can improve sleep.
If you are an early riser, take your probiotics in the morning. If you tend to stay up late at night, take them in the evening.
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Best Yogurt Drink Danone Danactive
- Per serving : 80 calories, 1.5 g fat , 50 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 3 g protein
- Probiotic strain: Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001
- Studied benefits: decrease the frequency and length of the common cold
This is actually a yogurt drink, which makes it easy to take with you when youre on the move. It contains 10 billion active probiotic cultures in every bottle, and is a source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
The drink comes in 7 flavours, including strawberry, vanilla, and mixed berry.
The only downside is that it does have a fairly high amount of sugar, with 10 grams per bottle, with sugar listed as the third ingredient on the label.
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Should I Take Probiotics With Other Medication
Generally, it’s safe to take your probiotic with other supplements in the morning or at another hour of your choosing. Antibiotics, however, should be taken alone, and a doctor may instruct you to discontinue other supplements due to temporary illness. Dr. Asike maintains that probiotics are generally safe for most individuals, and the likeliest side effect may be some temporary bloating or extra gas, which usually sorts itself out over time.
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Mistake #: You Stop Taking Probiotics When You Take Antibiotics
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you should wait until your antibiotics are finished before you take probiotics, says registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen, author of Un-Junk Your Diet: How to Shop, Cook and Eat to Fight Inflammation and Feel Better, Forever. People think that antibiotics will kill probiotics, which is true, but probiotics can ease the side effects of antibiotics . The key to survival is when you take probiotics: wait two hours after your antibiotic dose so the antibiotic can move through your system and give probiotics a fighting chance. In addition, continue the probiotics for a time after your antibiotics are finished to ensure that their effects are out of your system.
What Are Probiotics Used For
The word probiotic is derived from the Latin word pro meaning for in Latin and bios meaning life in Greek. Probiotics colonize the lining of our digestive system and ensure that the natural intestinal flora can perform its role in vital functions in your body.
Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally occur in a healthy intestine. Our intestine consists of billions of bacteria that are critical to many important processes within the body, including digesting food, absorbing nutrients, eliminating toxins, and preventing pathogens from spreading.
When this world of bacteria is disrupted by a poor diet, stress, or strong medication, probiotics help to restore the balance within our intestine. Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement can improve and maintain your long-term health and wellbeing.
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How Much Yogurt To Eat When Taking Antibiotics
Consuming 450ml of yogurt everyday while taking antibiotics is beneficial for your gut microbiome, and will also help reduce the side effects associated with antibiotics. However, the yogurt you choose is also important these are the factors you should look for:
- Minimum of 100 million live active cultures per gram
- Low or no sugar
- Low calcium content
Its just as important to wait at least 2 hours between consuming yogurt and/or antibiotics. This is because dairy products including yogurt contain calcium, which can bind to the antibiotics and makes it less effective.
Your Reason For Taking Probiotics
If you are taking these supplements because of digestive issues like diarrhea or bloating, you will benefit the most from taking them with each meal or directly after. The dietary fat in the food you consume will help the healthy bacteria in probiotics survive through your intestinal tract.
For those who have trouble sleeping, it is best to take probiotics right before getting into bed because there is a strong connection between the gut and liver, and calming the liver tends to help with sleep.
Research has proven this connection through studies of people with cirrhosis of the liver and other liver diseases. Studies have shown that these individuals suffer from insomnia more than those with healthy livers.
Some people take probiotics to maintain the health of their mouths and sinus cavities because probiotics help reduce destructive bacteria from occupying the teeth, mouth, and gums. In this case, it is best to probiotics before bedtime.
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Should You Give Your Child Probiotics
Parents might assume that even if probiotics don’t help, they aren’t likely to be harmful. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that probiotics do appear to be safe for healthy children.
However, there are many types and strains of probiotics to choose from, and the dosages can vary widely between supplements. It can be hard to figure out how much to take as well as how often to take them.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to give your kids probiotic supplements:
- They are not regulated by the FDA, making it virtually impossible to know if the label accurately describes what is in the products.
- Although probiotics appear to be an effective treatment for the conditions listed above , there is much we still don’t know about which strains and dosages are the most effective.
- There is no proven benefit to giving healthy kids probiotics regularly, and they are not approved bythe FDA as a treatment for any specific disease or condition, according to the AAFP.
- Gas and bloating are the most common side effects of probiotic supplements. While not harmful, these side effects can be uncomfortable.
A healthy and safe choice is to give your child a serving of yogurt daily or include other probiotic-rich foods in your family’s meals. Look for a statement on the label that the food contains “live and active cultures.” These foods will provide good bacteria to support a healthy immune system without the risk of side effects.
How Are Probiotics Regulated In The United States
Government regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex. Depending on a probiotic productâs intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.
Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which donât require FDA approval before they are marketed. Dietary supplement labels may make claims about how the product affects the structure or function of the body without FDA approval, but they arenât allowed to make health claims, such as saying the supplement lowers your risk of getting a disease, without the FDAâs consent.
If a probiotic is going to be marketed as a drug for treatment of a disease or disorder, it has to meet stricter requirements. It must be proven safe and effective for its intended use through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA before it can be sold.
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Do Probiotics Have Any Risk Of Side Effects
For example, your doctor may recommend that you avoid probiotics if you have a compromised immune system or have recently recovered from a serious illness. If adding probiotics destabilizes your internal balance, you may also experience:
- Gas and bloating
- Redness and swelling
- Allergic reactions due to increased levels of histamines
Talk to your doctor to find out if its safe for you to take probiotics.
Conditions Related To Allergy
- A review of 23 studies in which probiotics were tested for treating allergic rhinitis found some evidence that they may be helpful for improving symptoms and quality of life. However, because the studies tested different probiotics and measured different effects, no recommendations about the use of probiotics could be made. Few side effects of probiotics were reported in these studies.
- A review of 11 studies of probiotics for asthma in children had inconclusive results.
- Atopic dermatitis is an itchy chronic skin disorder thatâs associated with allergies but not caused by them. Itâs most common in infants and may start as early as age 2 to 6 months. Many people outgrow it by early adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is one of several types of eczema.
- A 2017 review of 13 studies of probiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants and children did not find consistent evidence of a beneficial effect. A review of 9 studies in adults provided preliminary evidence that some strains of probiotics might be beneficial for symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Prevention of Allergies
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Other Factors To Consider When Taking Probiotic Supplements
In addition to the best time to take probiotic supplements, another important factor to consider is quality. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which means that what is claimed to be on a label may not actually be what is in their product. For this reason, its essential to select a probiotic from atrustworthy and well-researched brand that utilizes third-party testing for purity and potency.
Also, keep in mind that some probiotic supplementsneed to be refrigerated to stay alive. Its important to read the label of any supplement and pay attention to storage guidelines and expiration date to preserve its potency for as long as possible.
Youll Get A Rush Of Many Vital Nutrients
In addition to probiotics, yogurt is packed with so many other nutrients that your body can benefit from. For example, Kane says youll get a decent dose of calcium , phosphorus , magnesium , and potassium . And thats not all, either.
Probiotics actually produce vitamin K as well, which is used for healthy blood coagulation to support healing, says Kane.
The best way to ensure that youre reaping the full health benefits of yogurt is to take a close and careful look at the nutrition label before adding it to your shopping cart. Ideally, Kane advises selecting one that contains multiple strains of bacteria.
Think of this as diversifying your roster for a sports team, she explains. You need all sorts of players to build a versatile unit, each contributing different skills and talents to create a strong and resilient squad capable of handling any opponent that comes their way.
Other than that, as long as you go for a product that doesnt contain heaps of added sugar, yogurt can definitely be a super healthy component of your daily diet.
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