Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. You can buy probiotic supplements or get them from some foods, such as yogurt and kefir. Probiotics are also added to some processed foods, such as some kinds of bread and milk.
Scientists have known about the benefits of probiotics for many years. In 1907, Russian scientist Elie Metchnikoff theorized that the lactic acid bacteria in fermented foods could prolong life. But only recently have they begun to understand how they work and how important they are for overall health. Read on to learn more about probiotics, including their benefits, taking them, and what to look for in a supplement.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They can be found in yogurt, other fermented foods, and supplements. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. A healthy gut has a balance of good and bad bacteria. But sometimes, bad bacteria can take over and cause problems like diarrhea, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections. The top probiotics can help restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. They may also help with other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and allergies.
What are the Benefits of Probiotics?
Probiotics offer several potential health benefits. Here are some of the most well-researched:
1. Digestive health: Probiotics can help with digestive issues, including diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They may also help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.
2. Immune system: Probiotics may help strengthen the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
3. Mental health: Some studies suggest probiotics can help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
4. Skin health: Probiotics may help keep skin healthy by reducing inflammation and promoting a healthy balance of good bacteria.
5. Weight loss: Some research suggests that probiotics may help promote weight loss by reducing appetite, increasing fullness, and improving metabolism.
6. Other potential benefits: Probiotics may help with other conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and allergies.
How to Take Probiotics
Probiotics are available in many forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, yogurts, and fermented foods. They can also be taken as an oral supplement or in an enema. If you’re taking probiotics for digestive health, it’s best to take them with food. This helps them survive the journey through your stomach acid to your intestines, where they can start working. If you’re taking probiotics for immune system health, you can take them anytime. But if you’re taking them to prevent or treat a specific infection, it’s best to take them as directed by your doctor.
When choosing a probiotic supplement, it’s essential to look for one that is high quality and has been third-party tested. Check out the best rated probiotics on the market. Read the label carefully to ensure you’re taking the right amount and probiotic for your needs. It’s generally recommended to start with a lower dose of probiotic and increase gradually as needed. Probiotics are generally considered safe for most people, but side effects may include gas, bloating, and nausea.
What to Look for in a Probiotic Supplement
When choosing a probiotic supplement, look for one that is:
1. High quality: Choose a probiotic supplement from a reputable company that has been third-party tested.
2. The right type and amount: Be sure to choose a probiotic supplement with the right type and amount of bacteria for your needs.
3. Refrigerated: Probiotics are live bacteria that need to be kept alive. Refrigerated probiotics are more likely to be alive and effective than those not refrigerated.
4. Enteric-coated: Enteric-coated probiotics are designed to survive stomach acid and reach the intestines alive.
5. Suitable for your needs: Probiotic supplements are available in many forms, so choose one that is best for your needs. Capsules, tablets, and powders are easy to take and can be taken with or without food. Drinks and yogurt are also convenient but may not be as potent as other forms of probiotics.
Probiotic supplements are a safe and effective way to improve your gut health. Look for a supplement containing live and active cultures tested for safety and efficacy. Be sure to take the supplement regularly as directed. Probiotic supplements are a safe and effective way to improve your gut health. Look for a supplement containing live and active cultures tested for safety and efficacy. Be sure to take the supplement regularly as directed.