What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that happen to be great for the digestive system. There are millions of good and bad bacteria, named microbiota or more commonly, gut flora, living in the digestive system. Digestive health needs to be balanced and that’s when probiotics can help. Sounding like something from a 1970’s horror movie like ‘The Andromeda Strain’, probiotics are a health boosting microorganism, living inside of the body’s digestion tract. In recent years, the public have invested in the industry, which was worth a whopping 46 billion in 2017.
Probiotics have the potential to assist the immune system, improve digestion and possibly aid weight loss. Dr. Francois-Pierre Martin, Jeremy Nicholson, and colleagues from the Imperial College London, Nestlé Research Centre in Switzerland, and Uppsala University in Sweden were fascinated by the response of the body’s metabolism, once probiotic food was ingested. Using two groups of mice, one group ingested probiotics and the other did not. The doctors discovered that the mice who had been given the probiotic were metabolically different to those who had not been treated because of the breakdown product found in the probiotic mice’s urine, liver, and feces. They experienced changes of bacteria in the gut that had an effect on the way their liver processed fat, suggesting that probiotic may help with weight loss. Microbiotas are also thought to be the link between health and sickness, with researchers suggesting that cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and the immune system may all be affected and possibly controlled my these organisms.
Where To Find Probiotics
Probiotics can be found in supplements or in food that has bacterial fermentation with lactic acid. An obvious example of this would be yogurt which contains live bacteria. If recently prescribed antibiotics, a doctor may suggest these kinds of yogurts, to replace the good bacteria (Lactobacillus Acidophilus) in the gut, decreasing the side effects from taking the medicines. The good probiotics help with various ailments, some of which include, yeast infections, diabetes and bad cholesterol. There are many probiotic yogurts and drinks availablle in local stores, here are just a few:
- Kombucha (fermented tea combined with a culture of yeast and bacteria)
- Activia yogurt
- DanActive Probiotic Dallies
What Are The Types Of Probiotics?
Out of the many types of probiotic, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common. There are also numerous combinations of probiotics in supplements, called multi-probiotics. The choice of priobiotic depends heavily on which illness or health problem being treated. If the issue is a little more complex, for example a digestive problem, visiting a doctor and obtaining a prescription would be beneficial. There are many on the market, but plenty of research is available online, to give some ideas of which provide the most benefits. Some suggestions include:
- VSL (labeled Probiotic Medical Food): the highest available concentration of good bacteria. Depending on the amount required, the box is labeled #1-3, with #3 being the highest, and it is commonly prescribed to treat IBS or severe digestive issues. Refrigeration is essential because many probiotics are heat sensitive, which can kill the active ingredients
- Multibionta: helps digestive tract and the immune system.
- Prescript-Assist: used to help with allergies, gas, constipation. Replenishes healthy GI Microflora and refrigeration is not required.
- Hyper biotics PRO-15: time release tablets ideal for digestive health and to support a healthy immune system.
Doctors advise that many products don’t contain a high enough count of probiotic, with 99% of the product being killed off by stomach acids, before progressing through the gut. Knowing the products and getting advice by a professional could save a lot of money. Probiotics should not be taken by people who have late stage cancer, are undergoing chemotherapy, or have a compromised immune system.
So after the next health assessment, consider probiotics, it may just help keep that good bacteria in check.
British Medical Journal