What Are Probiotics And Are They Safe?
There is a lot of talk about probiotics and the benefits they have, but do you really need to take them? And if you do, are they going to cause issues in your body or will they only provide the benefit promised?
What Are Probiotics?
Simply put, probiotics are good bacteria. They are responsible for keeping the intestinal organisms in balance so that harmful bacteria don’t overtake the gut and cause health issues. Right now, there are about 400 types of probiotic bacteria in your digestive system.
For instance there is:
- Lactobacillus: These bacteria can be found on fermented food and some dietary supplements, and they are thought to help prevent and treat many different diseases and conditions.
- Bifidobacteria: These can be found in the intestinal tract days after birth in breastfed infants, and they help to improve glucose tolerance and blood lipids, among many other benefits.
You can get probiotics from your food, such as yogurt and fermented food. You can also take probiotic supplements to help support a healthy digestive system. Currently, I’d recommend BioTrust Pro-X10 over any other probiotics available on the market due to the quality of their supplements as well as the company that creates them. Supplements come in liquids, powders, and capsules, and all have various strains and amounts of probiotics inside of them. The recommended amount ranges from 1 billion to 10 billion per dosage.
What Are They Used For?
It is important to remember that supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way medication is. Therefore, manufactures of probiotics can claim that there supplement is effective and safe without having to be approved by the FDA. Therefore, only buy supplements from reputable companies that you trust.
Some people believe that probiotic supplements are effective while others believe they do nothing at all. Research is being done on how probiotics affect health and how the bacteria actually work in the body, but many people find that probiotics help with various digestive issues caused by antibiotics or illness.
For instance, people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, gas, bloating, and diarrhea have found that probiotics can be helpful.
“If you start children with infectious diarrhea on probiotics, you can shorten the length of the illness by 24 to 30 hours.” – WebMD
Research also suggests that probiotics may help with the immune system, aid in nutrient absorption, and protect against respiratory infections.
Do You Need To Take Them?
Is taking probiotics automatically going to make you healthier? While, for the most part, the balance of bacteria in your gut is pretty normal, there are times when experts are recommending that taking probiotics may be necessary.
For instance, if you are under a lot of stress, taking medications like antibiotics, eating a poor diet, or experiencing health problems, then the healthy bacteria in your gut may be depleted. Taking probiotics can help you maintain a healthy bowel while you deal with the issue.
Are Probiotics Safe?
Taking probiotics is generally considered safe, however, they have been known to trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Moreover, they can cause stomach upset, gas, bloating, or diarrhea when you first start to take them. This is because they are affecting your digestive system and the bacteria balance is being adjusted.
In short, because you naturally have probiotics in your body, introducing probiotics from supplements or food will not likely pose a problem.