Do Probiotics Help Gut Health


Should I Try Probiotics

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If you are interested in adding probiotics to your diet, its worth a conversation with your healthcare provider. Many providers may suggest giving them a try to see if they help with your general health. It is important to remember that not all probiotics behave the same way and have the same effects. Each has their own individual benefits. They generally dont cause harm. One easy way to start can be by simply introducing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like yogurt.

Before you start any supplements, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.

Probiotics Can Help Reduce Symptoms Of Certain Digestive Disorders

Over one million people in the US suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease .

Certain types of probiotics from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis .

Surprisingly, one study found that supplementing with the probiotic E. coli Nissle was just as effective as drugs in maintaining remission in people with ulcerative colitis (

31 ).

Nevertheless, probiotics may have benefits for other bowel disorders. Early research suggests they may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .

They have also been shown to reduce the risk of severe necrotizing enterocolitis by 50%. This is a fatal bowel condition that occurs in premature infants .

Bottom Line:

Probiotics may help reduce the symptoms of bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, IBS and necrotizing enterocolitis.

The Best Way To Benefit From Probiotics

You can get probiotics from a variety of foods or supplements.

If you want to buy a probiotic supplement, then there is an with thousands of customer reviews.

Live probiotic cultures are often found in fermented dairy products such as yogurts and milk drinks. Fermented foods like pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and soy products may also contain some lactic acid bacteria.

You can also take probiotics as tablets, capsules and powders that contain the bacteria in dried form.

However, be aware that some probiotics can be destroyed by stomach acid before they even reach the gut meaning that you get none of the intended benefits.

If you want to experience any of the health benefits discussed above, its important that you consume adequate amounts.

Most of the studies showing benefits used dosages of 1 billion to 100 billion live organisms or colony-forming units per day.

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Can Probiotics Hurt Me

For most healthy people, probiotics dont cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often given a try to see if they could help with various medical conditions. Theres a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldnt be taking them. Its always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.

Where Can Probiotics Be Found

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Probiotics come from either supplements or foods. Supplements may contain higher levels of probiotics, yet food sources provide nutritional benefits in addition to probiotics. Probiotic bacteria have long been associated with dairy products because some of the same bacteria that are used in fermented dairy products also make up the intestinal microbiota.

Dairy products are a desirable probiotic delivery vehicle for several reasons:

  • Dairy foods can protect probiotic bacteria from high acid levels in the stomach, allowing higher levels of probiotics to reach the intestine.
  • Refrigeration of dairy products helps promote the stability of probiotics.
  • People are often afraid of bacteria in foods but have a positive perception of the terms live, active cultures linked to fermented dairy foods.

Probiotic-containing dairy products have healthy functional-food properties. Probiotics provide an added value to milk products that already have high levels of vitamins, minerals and protein needed for healthy growth and development in children and disease prevention and wellness in adults.

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Combining Prebiotics With Probiotics

Probiotics can work together with prebioticsdietary fibers that act as food for probioticsto create greater health benefits, known as a synbiotic effect. Synbiotics can improve the activity of the beneficial bacteria in the gut and their chance of survival.

In the Omni-Biotic probiotic powder, there are prebiotics included which fuel the good bacteria before you ingest them.

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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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Can Probiotic Supplements Help You Lose Weight

One of the most consistent benefits we found in user reviews was unintended weight loss. Probiotics help people shed extra fat because they block the absorption of fats, boost metabolism, and reduce cravings.

That said, we do not recommend starting probiotics for weight loss without talking to a doctor first because this is not the intended purpose of taking a probiotic supplement.

Final Thoughts On 25 Best Probiotics For Gut Health In 2022

Probiotics and Gut Health

There are a number of different probiotic supplements on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. If you are looking for a good quality probiotic, make sure to check out our list of the 25 best probiotics for gut health.

If you are struggling with constipation, talk to your doctor about which probiotic would be best for you. Probiotics have a number of different health benefits, and they are a great way to improve your overall health.

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Probiotics And Gut Health

The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children . Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.

More common than diarrhea is the opposite problem constipation. In a search for studies on the benefits of probiotics in treating constipation, researchers found that probiotics slowed “gut transit time” by 12.4 hours, increases the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and helped to soften stools, making them easier to pass. But the jury is still out on specific recommendations when it comes to the benefits of probiotics for constipation.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis . Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.

Why Are The Right Bacteria In The Gut So Important

Lets say your colon contracted a C difficile infection. The probiotic microbiota already present in your gut would likely fight it off successfully. But if youre perhaps taking a high-powered antibiotic or other medication that suppresses the immune system, or if you have a chronic disease, bad bacteria may be able to grab hold and do damage within the gut. This is why its so important to consistently maintain good gut microbes through a healthy diet.

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What Are The Best Strains Of Probiotics For Bloating

The strains of probiotics that youll find in most yogurts and probiotics supplements, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, are the most common and have the most research backing them to combat bloating. These probiotics for bloating are good for supporting a healthy balance of bacteria for the gut Bifidobacterium specifically can also help immune health, which starts in the gut, according to research published by Dr. Bishara. Bifidobacterium works as an anti-inflammatory mediator to help the immune system properly regulate and fight the inflammation that causes you to get sick.

When it comes to taking probiotics, you should try to get as many probiotics as possible through fermented foods like yogurt and kefir. The second strongest form of probiotics are the spore-forming ones you mix with liquid. They seem to absorb better and you dont need as high of a dose, because the good bacteria are not as destroyed by gastric acid, which kills bacteria, explains Dr. Bishara. If youre taking pill form, you should take a higher CFU countat least 20 billion per dose. For the spore-forming probiotics, youll need a CFU of between 10 and 15 billion.

HUMs Gut Instinct contains 25 billion CFUs, six different Lactobacillus strains, and three different Bifidobacterium strains to support healthy gut diversity.

What Should You Look For In A Probiotic Supplement

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Your doctor will recommend a probiotic shown to help with your specific complaints, says Dr. Poppers. For example, one bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, is better for those with diarrhea, compared with other strains, Gilbert says.

Some doctors also encourage the use of probiotics if their patient is on antibiotics. Taking probiotics before, during, and after taking antibiotics could help prevent common side effects like diarrhea, Poppers says. He recommends taking probiotics containing the saccharomyces bacteria strain prior to starting antibiotics, and to continue for at least a few days after your course of treatment is done.

If you have ulcerative colitis,a chronic disease causing inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the large intestines and rectum, a doctor may also prescribe probiotics.

While people with ulcerative colitis can take anti-inflammatory medication to manage discomfort, Poppers says there is some research to suggest that the supplement VSL#3, a combination of eight different Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Streptococcus bacteria strains, could help in addition to traditional treatment.

“IBS is very complex. What may work for your neighbor may not work for you,” he explains. “A lot of trial and error is necessary, and thats OK.”

At the end of the day, it’s best to talk with your doctor to determine if taking a probiotic is right for you.

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Actimel Yakult And Other Live Yoghurt Drinks

Probiotic yoghurt drinks such as Actimel and Yakult, along with live yoghurt, have been supermarket staples for many years and, as such, have a little more research behind them than some of the more recent fermented food options.

Activia has been shown to help relieve constipation, and there are some studies linking Actimel with the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. However, in both cases the evidence has not been deemed strong enough to be authorised by the EU register on nutrition and health claims.

Some products only have one strain of bacteria in them, which limits their efficacy beyond milder symptoms. Most will have more, but check the label.

Probiotics And Prebiotics: Working Together

Probiotics work better when they dont act alone. To get the full health benefit of probiotics, prebiotics are part of the equation, Dr. Eisendorf says.

Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that feed probiotic bacteria and help them grow. They exist naturally in most whole grains and beans, especially oats, beans, bran, whole barley and whole-wheat products, as well as many fruits and vegetables, including most greens, garlic, bananas, artichokes, asparagus and chicory root. Even red wine offers some prebiotics.

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Reduce The Frequency Of Diarrhea

While there are many causes for diarrhea, a change in the guts bacteria can lead to loose stools. Antibiotics often disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome, leading to antibiotic-associated diarrhea and causing loss of good bacteria.

Probiotics may reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in adults aged 18-64. Omni-Biotic AB 10 contains ten carefully selected bacterial strains that restore the gut microbiome and reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

When To Consider Probiotics

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While more research is needed for the EFSA to approve any health claims linked to probiotics, there is some evidence that probiotics can help with IBS symptoms and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, but its important to match the bacteria strain to your specific symptoms.

Some strains that have been studied in human clinical trials include:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has some evidence to help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
  • Bifidobacterium lactis has been linked in some studies to constipation relief.
  • There is some evidence for probiotics helping IBS, but it may not work for everyone. Some products that have published studies in relation to IBS include Alflorex, BioKult Advanced, Symprove and VSL3.

Experts suggest taking probiotics on an empty stomach and as a liquid formulation instead of solid, where possible, as the bacteria in liquid probiotics dont have to rehydrate in the gut, so may be more effective.

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What Are Vegan Probiotics And Do Supplements Help With Gut Health

Your body has a symbiotic relationship with trillions of microscopic bacterial organisms, most of which live in your gut. It gives communities of bacteria and yeast, called probiotics, an ideal environment to feed on nutrients. In turn, the friendly gut bacteria spend their lives fighting influxes of bad bacteria and doing other good deeds for your body, like improving your gut health. Probiotics are found in foods that humans have been making for millennia, like yogurt and kimchi. But, whats so great about them, and do vegan probiotic supplements work?


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Both good and bad bacteria live within your digestive tract, affecting digestion, immune health, weight, and even your energy levels. Probiotic supplements have helped countless people worldwide discover the many health benefits of balanced gut bacteria.

Unfortunately, not all dietary supplements are created equal, so its essential to do your due diligence before taking a daily supplement. For example, manufacturers must ensure that the good bacteria make it to the gut, but 96% of probiotic supplements fail to do that.

Luckily, weve done the research for you to present the five best probiotic supplements available today. If you struggle with poor digestive health, here are our top picks for the best probiotic supplements.

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Restores Your Gut Microbiome After Antibiotics

Certain antibiotics can really mess up your gut. Whether you took them for a sinus infection or other health concerns, your doctor may encourage you to increase your probiotic usage. This is because antibiotics wipe the infection out of your body, and along with it goes all of the good bacteria, too. This can lead to yeast infections if you dont rebalance your gut quickly after an antibiotic round.

Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions

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There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.

However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.

Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body include:

  • Upper respiratory infections .
  • .

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Probiotics Can Help Prevent And Treat Diarrhea

Probiotics are widely known for their ability to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity.

Diarrhea is a common side effect of taking antibiotics. It occurs because antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut (

15 ).

A review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 12 months can improve anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and memory .

One study followed 70 chemical workers for 6 weeks. Those who consumed 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a daily probiotic capsule experienced benefits for general health, depression, anxiety and stress .

Benefits were also seen in a study of 40 patients with depression.

Taking probiotic supplements for 8 weeks decreased depression levels and reduced levels of C-reactive protein and hormones such as insulin, compared to people who did not take a probiotic .

Bottom Line:

Research shows taking probiotics may help improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress and memory, among others.

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