Probiotics are great for better GI health. They are essentially healthy bacteria such as Acidophilus and Lactobacillus that can be eaten in foods containing these bacteria or by taking probiotic supplements that contain live bacteria or bacterial spores that grow and replace bad bacteria in the gut.
The lower gut contains several pounds of bacteria and fungi that help the body by metabolizing substances we canít metabolize for ourselves. These same bacteria live off nutrients we canít use. The end result is a symbiotic relationship between humans and the bacteria in the gut so that, ideally, both benefit from being in close connection to one another.
Depending on the bacteria in the gut, we can have good digestion or bad digestion. If we have good bacteria in the gut, the symbiotic relationship goes off without a hitch and we get nutrients from the bacteria while they get nutrients from us. The stools are normal and our digestion is maximized. If unhealthy bacteria or fungi take over, this can cause digestive upset, constipation or diarrhea, and the possibility of leaky gut syndrome, in which the larger particles of undigested food are allowed to enter the bloodstream, contributing to food allergies and many different types of illnesses.
Any time you take antibiotics or clear out your good bacteria, there is a chance that bad bacteria like E. coli can take the place of the good bacteria and that things like yeast can overgrow in the bowels. These bacteria do not give us healthy nutrients and can lead to malabsorption and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Good bacteria are beneficial to our overall health, but particularly to our gastrointestinal health. Good bacteria can help people with irritable bowel syndrome function better and can help enhance the immune system so that people with travelerís diarrhea can fight off their condition.
Probiotics are essentially the healthy bacteria you need for good gastrointestinal health. There are foods you can eat to enhance your good bacteria and, if foods are not enough, there are supplements you can take that create a healthy gastrointestinal milieu.
The FDA defines probiotics as ìlive microorganismsî that, when eaten or taken as a supplement can help us have a better digestive system, keeping us healthy from the inside out. There are no hard and fast health claims made by the FDA with regard to probiotics. The benefits of probiotics differ depending on the strains you eat and on how much of each strain of bacterium you take in.
Dietary supplements have been approved by the FDA containing probiotics since 2007. The FDA requires that probiotic supplements are free of impurities and contaminants and that they are properly labeled with the strains of bacteria contained in the supplement.
Look for supplements that contain the following bacteria:
- Bifidobacterium lactis. This is a strain that helps the immune system work better. It has special advantages in older people who have a need for a beefed up immune system.
- Lactobacillus reuteri.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus. This is found in Danimals yogurt as well as in Culturelle probiotic capsules.
- Lactobacillus casei. These are found in DanActive health food products.
For those who are suffering from diarrhea due to taking antibiotics for another illness, try these probiotic bacteria:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
- Streptococcus cerevisiae, which is found in Lalflor capsules as well as in Florastor powdered probiotics.
- Lactobacillus casei.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus found in capsule form as well as in soymilk.Read The Labels
Find out what strains of bacteria are found in the probiotic you use. There are different strains of the same genus and species of bacteria that have different properties. The website of the product you use may give you the strain of bacteria and may tell you what this type of bacterial strain can do for you, health wise.
Should You Take Probiotic Supplements?
If you have gastrointestinal problems such as frequent diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort after eating, probiotic foods and supplements can help change the gut flora so you donít have these symptoms. Probiotics should be taken while on antibiotics so you donít end up with a gutful of bad bacteria after taking the antibiotic.
Supplements tend to be easier to take than eating lots of yogurt and other foods containing probiotics and there is nothing wrong with choosing the supplement form. Most supplements contain higher amounts of live bacteria than the foods you might eat so, when taken daily, digestive health and a better immune system are a greater possibility.
Probiotics are safe for just about anyone. Those who have a poor immune system may want to check in with their doctor as to whether they should take probiotics.
If this is something you’re interested in, try Probiotics Restore ULTRA.