There’s a lot of information out there about the advantages of probiotics. Many firms advertise the positive effects probiotics can have on your body and general health. And they’re popular: according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey shows that four million Americans used probiotics or prebiotics in the previous 30 days, with probiotic use quadrupling between 2007 and 2012. But what are they exactly, and are they safe to consume? probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
It all starts in the stomach. Nicole Avena, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University, explains, “Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria) that might improve the health of the gut.” “Our gut is an ecosystem, and probiotics are a crucial part of that ecosystem for digestive health.” Yes, they’re bacteria, but they’re the “healthy” variety, according to the Mayo Clinic, and they’re the same or comparable to what’s inside your body right now. probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
This all sounds great, but it’s crucial to remember that not all probiotics are created equal, and their effects vary depending on the individual. “Because probiotics don’t operate the same way in everyone,” Avena adds, “be sure you’re taking one that’s good for you.” “For instance, some probiotic blends contain strains that are best for promoting digestive health and general health in children, while others contain strains that are best for promoting digestive health and general health in adults.” probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
Where can i get probioticts
You’re right if it appears like they’re all over the place. “Probiotics can be found in a variety of places,” Avena says. “Foods are an obvious source of probiotics—fermented meals, yogurt, sauerkraut, and a variety of other probiotic-fortified foods and beverages are available. Supplements are another excellent way to incorporate probiotics into your diet. When choosing a supplement, be sure it meets your unique needs and has the cultures that are important to you. Vitafusion makes an excellent gummy probiotic if you’re searching for something simple to take.” probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
And, as previously stated, they’re already in your body. The sorts that are “naturally found in your intestines include Saccharomyces boulardii (a yeast) and bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifobacterium groups of microorganisms,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
What are the advantages
“One benefit of probiotics is that they can help us enhance our immunity by restoring equilibrium to our intestinal environment,” adds Avena. “When we are exposed to a ‘bad’ bacteria, our ‘good’ bacteria in the gut are better able to respond and protect us from illness. Probiotics can also aid in nutrient absorption and lactose digestion (which can help those who are sensitive to lactose). Prebiotics are also vital for gut health since they help feed the probiotics in our stomachs. Prebiotin Prebiotic Fiber promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria throughout the colon, maximizing prebiotic (and probiotic) effects.” probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
However, additional research is needed on probiotics’ purported benefits, such as their capacity to help with digestive difficulties (such as diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome), vaginal or urinary tract infections, eczema in children, inflammation, and other conditions. While preliminary research on the benefits of probiotics exists, according to the National Institutes of Health, “We don’t yet know which probiotics are beneficial and which are harmful. We also don’t know how much probiotic people would need to consume or who would gain the most from probiotics.” probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
Probiotics can be used by healthy persons with very little negative effects (like bloating, gas, or diarrhea). “Probiotics can actually help with gastrointestinal adverse effects that often occur when taking antibiotics,” explains Avena. “There is some evidence that probiotics may interact with some heart drugs, so talk to your doctor if you’re on any medications before taking any supplement (probiotic or otherwise).” If you frequently develop infections, have a weaker immune system, or are allergic to probiotic sources like dairy, the Mayo Clinic cautions against taking them. probioticseverything.comprobiotic n 1
What are the disadvantages
There is still a lot we don’t know about them. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Although some probiotics have showed promise in research studies, there is a lack of good scientific evidence to support their use for most health issues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has not approved any probiotics for the prevention or treatment of any disease. Some experts have expressed concern that the rapid growth in probiotic marketing and use has surpassed scientific research for many of its stated uses and benefits.” probioticseverything.com
The FDA does not fully oversee probiotics because they are sold as dietary supplements. Manufacturers can make claims about how a product impacts the structure or function of the body without FDA permission, according to the NIH, but they can’t make health claims.
As a result, certain labels may be difficult to read or include deceptive information, making it difficult to determine the genuine benefits of a product. You can be purchasing something that serves no purpose (or might not exactly be safe). Do your homework before making a purchase.