Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics
Probiotics have in the last few years become one of the hottest trends in healthy living. And they truly deserve it. The right probiotics can have very positive health effects. They can nourish your gut bacteria and improve both your physical and mental health at the same time.
Probiotics are found in a wide range of foods. Whether it’s frozen yogurt or your average protein bars, these foods contain enough probiotics for your daily needs but not all probiotics are good. Two categories in fact exist – we have good probiotics and bad probiotics. While good probiotics can have positive effects on your health, bad ones can work against it.
Despite this small challenge, there’s a lot of medical research out there backing the benefits of probiotics for humans. This is unique because of one simple reason. Many health trends that have come up over the last few years have mostly been based on hype instead of real scientific research. Probiotics are however different, and while there’s still some hype about the products, there’s also some actual science behind them.
This article is designed to give you a full breakdown of probiotics. We will introduce you to the product, how it works, and the potential benefits you stand to gain if you use it. We will also give you additional information to help you take advantage of these bacteria.
What Are Probiotics?
Prebiotics are simply living microorganisms such as bacteria or strains. If supplied in the right amount, the bacteria can help improve your health substantively. Naturally, probiotics are found in foods. But they can also be manufactured in a lab and put on pills or offered in the form of a powder.
Probiotics work on your gut. They are often referred to as peacekeepers because of the role they play. To put it simply, the bacteria is designed to keep everything balanced in your gut. This balance has been found to have very good effects on the overall health and in treating several illnesses. The word probiotic itself means “promote life,” and it turns out that there are trillions of these microscopic bacteria in your body. The most important thing though is to find the right balance between the bad probiotics bacteria and the goods ones.
What Are Probiotics Used For?
Probiotics play two distinct roles in our bodies. Although most people are hearing of these supplements now, they have always been with us. For example, probiotics are transmitted to babies as they are born through the normal birth canal from their mothers. There are some studies indicating that the reason why many children born through C-section experience allergies in their first few years of birth is due to lack of probiotics transmitted at childbirth through the normal birth canal.
But there are other benefits for adults too. The first one is simple – probiotics protect our digestive tract. The human digestive tract needs a balance between good and bad bacteria. Naturally, the body is supposed to balance this on its own. But due to our lifestyle choices, it may not be able to do so all the time. Prebiotics step in and do the job. A healthy digestive system can help filter out harmful toxins or chemicals that can harm it. This leads to overall improvement in health.
Secondly, probiotics also affect our immune system. A lot of medical experts have always believed that this is, in fact, the most important role. Maintaining the right balance between bad and good bacteria in the body is the sure way towards a strong immune system. The aim is to maintain this balance right from birth until the last day. However, even if you have lost this balance for one reason or another, you can regain it by taking in more probiotics.
What to Look For When You Buy Probiotics
A lot of probiotics available in the market at the moment are sold as dietary supplements. There are quite a number of sellers these days and not all will guarantee a quality and genuine product. The last thing you want is to take in fake probiotics that will harm your health. There are a few things though that you can look out for to make sure you are buying something genuine. Here they are:
Bacteria in the body are not the same. We have an array of multiple strains that offer more benefits. As you buy probiotic supplements, make sure they are multi-strain. Research has shown that multi-strain probiotics have more benefits compared to single strain options. There are some products that may have as much as 15 bacteria strains. Go for them.
Getting a supplement with the right balanced formula becomes essential if you are using probiotics that have more than one strain. Normally, many supplements in the market tend to have only two strains like L. acidophilus, and L. rhamnosus bunched together with a flurry of other strains to make the label appealing. Do not fall for this. If the probiotic you are buying has more than two strains make sure the balance is right and that all the strains available are well marked on the label.
CFU For Potency
You may also want to make sure that the probiotic you are buying is a potent product. This is where CFU comes in. CFU is an abbreviation for Colony Forming Units, and it’s the measure of how strong a probiotic is. Traditionally CFU ratings in current probiotic products range from 2 billion to 100 billion.
Although it’s tempting to pick a probiotic product with the highest CFU, this is not advised. You need to take in probiotics in a controlled manner to avoid any serious side effects. The rule of thumb is not to exceed a CFU potency of 50 billion. Do not also go below 1 billion unless you are just taking the supplements as a complimentary way to keep your gut healthy. Some of the top products in the market will also guarantee potency until the expiry date.
In case you suffer from any allergies. This is one factor you will need to consider. Even for people who don’t have allergies always but an allergen-free probiotic. This will reduce any potential complications that may arise after using the product. The label on the supplement you intend to buy will easily show if it’s allergen-free or not.
Type of Capsules
Capsules are very common with supplements. This is the enclosing where the powder is placed, and it helps to ensure the probiotic reaches parts of the body where it’s needed. At the moment, most supplements are housed in enteric-coated capsules. The sad thing about this is that some enteric coated capsules may contain phthalates and plasticizers which may not be good for your health. Look out for supplements that are using natural or vegan capsules that can be digested by the body naturally.
Prebiotics are after all bacteria, and regular exposure to the atmosphere will affect them. Most of the supplements you’ll get in the market are packaged using bottles. Every time you open the bottle the bacteria is exposed to humidity and air. This affects their potency. As a rule of thumb, always choose supplements packaged in blister packs to ensure that the potency of the bacterium is maintained at all times.
What’s the Research on Probiotics?
There is a lot of hype surrounding probiotics, but there is also a lot of science. This is the reason why usage of probiotics has been on the rise over the last few years. A survey from the National Institute of Heath in the US found that the people who use probiotics had grown from just 865, 000 in 2007 to 4 million in 2012.
Another study done by a silicon valley based firm valued the entire probiotic market in the US at $35 billion with this figure expected to hit $66 billion by the end of 2024. These are massive figures, and they simply indicate that there is a market for these products.
There is also research suggesting that probiotics can offer great health benefit for humans. Scientists have already established that the human body contains about 39 trillion bacteria most of which are found in the gastrointestinal system. For the last 15 years, researchers have been focusing their attention on these commensal microbes, and it is emerging that they are indeed essential.
The microbes are designed to remove bad bacteria and also break down fibrous foods into more digestive components. They are also involved in the production of vitamins. The microbes are produced naturally by the body, and this begs the question why people will need probiotics in the first place. Well, you don’t if you have the perfect balance between the good and the bad bacteria.
However, this balance is not always guaranteed. Bad lifestyle habits such as eating junk food, stress and lack of sleep may lead to an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. The probiotics are designed to solve this. Probiotics are good bacteria, and research studies show that if introduced to the gut system, they can help repopulate good bacteria leading to better health outcomes.
Some studies have however shown skeptical results on the use of probiotics. One single dosage of probiotic supplements will give you about 15-50 billion bacterial strains. The human body already contains 39 trillion. Some research papers have argued that it is practically impossible for a few billions of bacteria strain to have any effect on a gut system that already has trillions of bacteria.
But dietary supplements are not supposed to work magic. It’s not like you will take one pill and everything will be okay. The probiotics supplements are simply designed to compliment your body’s ability to produce more good bacteria.
How to Maximize the Results of Probiotics
Taking a few probiotics supplements is good, but it’s not the only thing you should do. There are other important solutions that can be used to maximize the outcomes. Here they are:
Eat more yogurts - Eating more yogurts may aid the probiotics in colonizing the gut. However, choose fat and sugar-free yogurt to get the best results. Some foods such as bananas, honey, garlic, and whole grains will also be ideal.
Fiber up - Probiotics are living microorganisms, and as such, they will need food to survive. Well, they eat what you eat, and fiber is a very good fit for them. Besides, fiber is also a very good source of good bacteria in your digestive system.
Get the right product - Finally, if you are buying probiotics online or anywhere else, make sure you are buying a genuine clinically tested product. This will ensure you get the full benefits of probiotics with no side effects at all.
What’s the Right Dosage for Probiotics?
The dosage to use in probiotics depends on the CFU. Different brands in the market contain anywhere between 2 billion CFU to 50 billion. In case you are simply taking probiotics to maintain proper health in your gut system, going for a product with two million CFU is highly recommended.
But there are cases where the patient is simply looking to correct the imbalance between good and bad bacteria in their gut system. Here you will need a bigger dosage. Normally, a product with a CFU of up to 10 billion or more should be considered. Once the imbalance is fixed you can double down to a smaller dosage.
The different brands available in the market also differ regarding the CFU for every capsule. In case you want the best results, always focus on taking one more potent capsule than too many with lesser CFU. For example, if you are targeting an intake of 10 billion CFU, taking five capsules all at once each containing 2 billion CFU will not work well. Instead, try and use one capsule with 10 billion CFU or two at most. The dosage should be taken for 2 weeks. For people who are taking antibiotics or suffer from allergies, please consult your doctor first before using the supplements.
Possible Side Effects of Probiotics
There is no doubt that there are many benefits that come with probiotics. However, you still need to watch out for a few side effects. Here they are:
Unpleasant Digestive Symptoms
The intake of probiotics may have some temporary unpleasant digestive issues such as bloating and increase in gas. In case you are using yeast-based probiotics, you may also experience constipation and increased thirst. However, these side effects tend to go away after a few weeks. To reduce the risks of side effects, it is advisable to start with a smaller dosage of probiotics before moving to bigger ones. Other digestive issues may include diarrhea while some people may also experience rashes, acne, and cramps.
Some probiotics rich foods such as Kimchi, yogurt, and sauerkraut may contain elements known as biogenic amines. These are simply substances that are formed when proteins age or are fermented by bacteria. Amines can excite the central nervous system and may also limit blood flow. In some cases, they may lead to headaches in sensitive people.
Increase in Histamine Levels
There are some probiotic strains in the market that may trigger the production of histamine in the digestive tract. Histamine is produced by the body’s immune system when it detects any threat. When the level of histamine in a certain body part rises, blood vessels will dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels will also become more permeable to allow immune cells to get to the threat. This will lead to redness and swelling around the affected area. Some people also report some itching around the area.
10 Key Benefits of Probiotics
Taking probiotics can be inspired by some reasons. Some people may take small dosages to maintain a healthy balance in their gut while others may take the supplements to fix their intestinal system. Whatever category you fall into, there are benefits to be savored and here are 10 of the main ones.
Strong Immune System
Intake of probiotics can help boost your immune system substantively. This is the body’s ability to fight infections. A study that was done in New Zealand appeared to back this claim when it found that athletes who took a probiotic had 40% fewer colds. The study also found that the athletes were less likely to get sick if they took any kind of placebo.
Fix Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Although our digestive gut plays a central role in our overall health, it’s also very sensitive. However, there are some strains found in probiotic bacteria that can help deal with this. The bacteria will go a long way in reducing inflammation on your gut system and improve regularity. They will also help to reduce bloat and discomfort in your stomach. All these are symptoms associated with the Irritable Bower Syndrome or IBM.
Relief from Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The probiotics that you take will all go to your gastrointestinal system, and it’s no surprise that many of the benefits they bring will be based in this area. Well, probiotics will also help provide some relief on your inflammatory bowel disease. IBD can show itself in many ways. The most common forms of IBD, however, are the Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. Although the research on this is still not as conclusive as it should be, there are studies already showing that taking in probiotics can help with these ailments.
Reduction of Allergies and Eczema
Allergies and Eczema is the same thing, and they often go hand in hand. Allergies occur when our body reacts badly to allergens in our bloodstream. Different people have different degrees of allergic reactions, but even then, none of this is a pleasant experience for anyone. There is new research suggesting that taking probiotics can help reduce allergic reactions by the body. This can provide the much-needed relief for people who have terrible and dangerous reactions.
Improved Oral Health
One study that was done on probiotics and oral health found a very interesting correlation between oral health and probiotic intake. The study results were quite interesting. First, the research found that taking in probiotics helped to reduce gum bleeding. In addition to this, the bacteria also helped to reduce the risk of oral cancer and gingivitis. Finally, the study noted that taking in probiotics led to the reduction of bad bacteria in the mouth. This had a positive effect on overall oral health.
Get Your Mood Up
Associating probiotics with mood improvement is something surprising, but there is a study by the University of Toronto that did exactly that. The study noted that intake of probiotics affected the L – tryptophan levels in the body. L-tryptophan is a form of amino acid that can be turned into serotonin. Serotonin is an important hormone that regulates mood. It’s also a hormone that originates directly from the digestive tract system. The University of Toronto research found that the participants who took a probiotic for two months were able to record a substantial relief in depression and anxiety compared to those who simply took a placebo.
Reduction in LDL
LDL is simply bad cholesterol. Increase in LDL in the boy increases the risk of heart attack substantially. A few studies have shown that intake of probiotics can help reduce the level of LDL in the blood. The studies are not conclusive, but they provide a theoretical starting point. The papers noted that taking in probiotics led to the reduction of bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol in the blood. Another study was far more interesting. It found that taking probiotics that contain the lactobacillus acidophilus strain on a regular basis reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 10%.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Probiotics have also been known to affect reducing high blood pressure. Research commissioned by the American Heart Association discovered that the consumption of probiotics led to the reduction of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. However, the research noted that the reduction in blood pressure was very modest. But this opens a new door for the application of these microorganisms in overall heart health.
Healthy Digestive System
Finally, taking in probiotics can help improve your digestive system massively. The bacterium is designed to provide the perfect balance between bad and good bacteria in the gut. This leads to proper digestion and reduces the complications associated with the gut system.
Probiotics and Weight Loss
Probiotics have also been promoted as possible solutions to weight loss, and there is a lot of promising research in this area. To be honest, perhaps the most promising research on the use of probiotics is on weight loss than anything else. There are three main ways through which probiotics can help you lose weight.
Here they are:
Taking probiotics will help you digest foods better. This will ensure that waste is eliminated more effectively, and you will eventually feel lighter.
Taking probiotics will also affect the hormones that regulate weight in the body. A study by Authority Nutrition noted that probiotics helped to produce a hormone called GLP-1. The hormone is designed to suppress appetite in humans and can help you eat less leading to better results in cutting weight.
There are some strains of probiotics that can inhibit the production of fat too. This is a very important part of weight loss.
Despite these clear potential in using probiotics to lose weight, it is important to note that eating well and doing exercise will always remain the only best ways to cut a few pounds. Probiotics can only be a supplementary solution that allows you to get the very best out of your current weight loss routine.
Interesting Facts about Probiotics That You Should Know About
There is probably a lot you’ve already heard about probiotics. But it helps to know a few facts and keep them in mind. Here they are:
There are 10 times more probiotics in our body than normal cells. The human body contains about a trillion cells while probiotics can hit up to 10 trillion.
Although most of the materials online these days will tell you that probiotics are found in the gut system, the bacteria are in fact found in all parts of the body.
The appendix is a major incubator for probiotics. So before you have it removed thinking it’s useless, you’d better think again.
There are more than 100 known benefits of probiotics based on real scientific research out there
There is hope within the medical community that probiotics will be the next 21st century antibiotics
Popular Probiotic Strains
There are so many different types of probiotic strains in the market at the moment. Some products may contain as many as 15 strains while others may have two or three. In order to know what you are buying, it is important to familiarize yourself with some of the common strains sold in the market. Here they are:
Bifidobacterium longum is also shortened as B- longum. It is one of the first strains of bacteria that develop in the body. The bacteria plays one crucial role – it aids in the metabolizing of carbohydrates. For people who are looking to burn off fat and lose weight, choosing probiotics with high strains of B longum can help you.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is also a common strain and is often shorted as L – acidophilus. This is one of the most important strains of good bacteria. Its main role in the body is inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. L acidophilus is also responsible for maintaining the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut system.
Lactobacillus reuteri is a different form of L acidophilus, and its main role is the same as the acidophilus. However, it also helps to strengthen your immune system too and can also help in relieving inflammations on the digestive system.
Is It Safe To Use Probiotics?
In general, the use of probiotics should be safe. However, in select cases, there have been some undesirable effects. Most of the side effects though are temporary. They should be gone in one or two weeks after completing your dosage.
The body may also react differently to the intake of probiotics in some people. Please note that ingesting probiotics means that you are adding billions of good bacteria into your body. This may affect the balance that already exists. Whether this is a good balance or not doesn’t matter at all. The body might react to this change in an undesirable manner leading to bad side effects.
But this reaction is also temporary and should go away in one or two weeks. Your body will soon adjust to the new balance, and everything will be okay. This might take a few days, but you will pull through no doubt. It is also important to take the right dosage and the right product. Certified probiotics with FDA approval should be highly recommended.
Should You Take Probiotics?
There is a consensus in the research body out there that there are benefits that come with taking probiotics. However, even with these real benefits probiotics are not for everyone. Older people are not advised to use the supplements. This is because older people are assumed to have a weak immune system and introduction of large amounts of bacteria into the body at the same time may pose some risk. In case you are not old, but your immune system has already been weakened for one reason or another, you should also not take probiotics. This applies to people who are also on antibiotics. Taking probiotics with a weak immune system will make you sick.
What Are the Best Food Sources of Probiotics?
In case you want to complement your dosage of probiotics with natural foods then we have some information that can help.
Here is a list of some of the foods that contain high levels of probiotics:
Yogurt - This is an obvious one, and most people know it. Yogurt especially Greek yogurt has a lot of probiotics. Regular intake can help up the ante. Make sure you are taking low fat and low sugar yogurt.
Fermented Vegetables - There are some fermented vegetables that may also contain high levels of probiotics. Things like pickles and sauerkraut should be high on your diet list.
Kefir and Tangy Dairy Milk - If you can get a combination of all of them the results will be even better.
What Are The Risks Involved in Using Probiotics?
Although there are so many people out there who have benefited from the use of probiotic supplements, you still have to deal with a few risks. First, there is no way of making sure that the products available in shelves are high quality. When you step into a local store or a pharmacy to buy probiotics, you can only trust that the manufacturer has followed the due process in making the right high-quality product.
But there is no sure way of knowing whether the ingredients contained in the label are in fact true or not. In addition to this, a big share of the probiotics products sold in the market today is categorized as dietary supplements. This means that the FDA has no power to track and monitor their sales. Finally, you may also want to take probiotics at the required dosage. Overdosing on this bacterium can weaken your immune system and lead to other side effects.
Our Number One Product Recommendation
We know that there are hundreds of probiotic supplements on the market today. Each of these products is unique no doubt, but it’s always best to go for a reputable option. Well, we have done our research, and we have found one product that stands out from the rest. The PurityLabs Probiotics is our pick, and you should try it.
What is PurityLabs Probiotics?
The PurityLabs Probiotics is a certified supplement that’s designed to deliver your daily dose of probiotics. The product can be used by both men and women anytime they want. It’s said to be 15 times more efficient than probiotic capsules. PurityLabs is a known dietary supplements manufacturer. The company has a great reputation and a huge customer base. Over the last few years, the company has been focused on producing healthy diet supplements designed to enhance the health of customers. The PurityLabs Probiotics is not any different. If you have been thinking about trying out a new probiotic product, the PurityLabs Probiotics is the best to get for.
Features to Note
The PurityLabs Probiotics has some interesting features that set it apart from most products in the market.
The PurityLabs Probiotics product offers the highest CFU potency more than any other product available on Amazon. Its CFU is 15 times more powerful compared to other products in the market
The PurityLabs Probiotics is made by a reputable company with a very good track record of producing high-quality dietary supplements
You can try the product risk-free. A 100% money back guarantee is offered in case you don’t like it.
The PurityLabs Probiotics contains a total of 16 targeted probiotic strains. This is one of the highest combinations of strains in the market
The product is an all-natural solution. There are no chemicals or other additives. In addition to this, PurityLabs Probiotics is also made in the US under very strict manufacturing standards
The product is easy to use too. All you need is one pearl per day, and that’s it. The pearls are easy to swallow too.
Where to Buy the PurityLabs Probiotics
The PurityLabs Probiotics is now available on Amazon. You can also buy through the PurityLabs main website. Your product will be shipped to you in a few days. The PurityLabs Probiotics bottle is clearly labeled and marked with the PurityLabs logo. The bottles are also tightly sealed with clear-to-read labels. Always make sure you have purchased the genuine PurityLabs Probiotics product.
The human body is designed to regulate itself and maintain a healthy balance of all cells and bacteria in it. However, this is not always the case. Although most of the time probiotics are promoted as possible solutions to restore the balance between good and bad bacteria in the body, the overall health implications of using these supplements are huge. There are so many research papers out there that are linking the use of probiotics to positive health outcomes. This is not something to dismiss. There’s a reason why many medical experts believe that probiotics are the antibiotics of the future. But even then, there are also some risks that come with using these supplements. As a buyer, you must understand these risks and learn how to deal with them.
There are two important things to keep in mind when you buy probiotics.
Is your body capable of handling the supplements and are you buying the right product?
As long as the answer to these two questions is yes, then you can go ahead and purchase the supplements. Understand the right dosage too. Overdosing on probiotics can have several side effects.
With everything said and done, there are many dietary supplements out there today, but very few can match probiotics regarding the benefits they offer. Despite the small risk of temporary side effects, this is one supplement you should consider using. Besides, there are some genuine high-quality products to choose from in the market.