It seems as if more and more people are suffering from food sensitivities and digestive discomfort, and as a result, we are all becoming more aware of what we put into our guts. Research suggests that probiotics can help maintain a healthier, more balanced gut environment and may help with common digestive complaints. Here are 5 things you should know about probiotics.
1. Probiotics Put 'Good' Bacteria In The Gut
The trillions of microorganisms in our gut make up what is known as the gut microbiota. This includes both friendly and not-so-friendly microbes coexisting together. When the "bad" bacteria start to overtake the "good" gut bacteria, that's when we start to experience gut health problems.
A healthy gut microbiota is very important not only for digestion, but also for immune health1. Approximately 70% of the immune system lives in the gut, so it is vitally important to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics can help replenish the "good" bacteria, helping to rebalance the gut microbiota.
2. Probiotics Can Help With Common Gut Problems
When the gut microbiota becomes imbalanced, it can disrupt normal digestion and elimination. For instance, diahrrea often occurs after taking antiobiotics, because antiobiotcs often destroy both good and bad bacteria.
Research suggests that taking probiotics can help with some of the most common digestive complaints, such as diahrrea and constipation.2 Early research suggests that probiotics may also help ease symptoms of bowel discomfort and irritation.3
3. You Can Feed Probiotics With Prebiotics
Prebiotics are non-digestible elements in our food, such as certain types of dietary fiber.4 Our bodies can't digest these substances, but our friendly gut bacteria can. Eating more foods that contain prebiotics, such as whole grains, onions, bananas, beans and garlic, can help feed your friendly bacteria so that they can thrive and multiply.
It's good to increase your prebiotics while you are taking probiotics to help the new bacteria get established. Even if you aren't taking probiotics, prebiotics will help feed the friendly bacteria you've already got.
4. Many Foods Contain Friendly Bacteria
Friendly bacteria can be found in fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, tempeh and kefir. It is these bacteria that actually do the fermenting, by feeding on sugars or starches in the food. Fermented foods have been a traditional part of the human diet for centuries, and it is one way to increase your friendly gut bacteria.
Although you may not know exactly which strains of friendly bacteria are in your fermented food, or exactly how many there are, research does suggest that eating more probiotic foods is beneficial for the gut5. To be certain that your food contains live, active cultures, look for one that says so on the label.
5. Probiotics Can Be Taken As Supplements
You can support a healthy gut microbiota by eating a well-rounded diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and some fermented foods. But if you are experiencing digestive discomfort or other signs of a gut imbalance, you may want to take a probiotic supplement to help boost your friendly bacteria.
Our Probiotic supplement contains 11 probiotic strains that have been researched for their healthy gut benefits, with 50 billion CFU to help replenish your friendly bacteria. It's always advisable to check with your doctor to make sure your supplement won't interfere with any medications you are taking.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4528021/, Role of the normal gut microbiota, August 7, 2015
2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics, Health benefits of taking probiotics, August 22, 2018
3. Moayyedi P, Ford AC, Talley NJ, Cremonini F, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Brandt LJ, Quigley EM. The efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review. Gut. 2010 Mar;59(3):325-32. doi: 10.1136/gut.2008.167270. Epub 2008 Dec 17. PMID: 19091823.
4. https://isappscience.org/prebiotics/ Prebiotics, June 16, 2017
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622781/, Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health, September 15, 2017