What You Should Know About Probiotics?
How to Choose the Best Probiotics for Your Health?
In this new article in our Supplement Guide, we will discuss a very current topic: the use of probiotics. These supplements can be found in supermarkets, pharmacies, and herbalists and are often recommended to people suffering from intestinal disorders, such as abdominal bloating or flatulence. Do you know how they really work?
Probiotics promise to restore the balance of the microbial flora of people under stress, who follow inappropriate diets, who abuse antibiotics or who are celiac. However, these supplements are especially delicate and require some knowledge to be used successfully.
What You Should Know About Probiotics
The terms "bacteria" and "microorganisms" lead us to immediately think of "disease." However, there are beneficial microbes for our health that are part of the normal intestinal flora of healthy humans. If our normal microbiota (flora) dies, we can restore it through the use of probiotic supplements.
What Is a Probiotic?
A probiotic is a type of supplement that contains live microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) with the ability to generate beneficial effects. The most popular bacteria used as probiotic supplements are those belonging to the genera (bacterial classes) Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
A common mistake is to confuse these articles with so-called prebiotic supplements. These substances are non-living compounds that help or collaborate in the formation of a suitable environment for the growth of a healthy microbiota. They are composed of carbohydrates that provide energy to the normal “flora”.
What Criteria Must a Supplement Meet to be Considered Probiotic?
It is not possible to use any bacteria present in the body to create a probiotic supplement. The indiscriminate use of certain microbial species does not bring any benefit and, in the worst case, can pose a threat to health. A probiotic must meet the following criteria before it can be marketed:
- Scientific evidence: It is necessary that the effectiveness of the probiotic has been validated by good quality scientific studies.
- Safety: Probiotic microorganisms cannot, under any circumstances, become aggressive and cause infections in a healthy person.
- Vitality: After encapsulating the product, the bacteria or yeast of the probiotic must remain alive.
- Survival: It will be necessary that at least half of the probiotic microorganisms survive the intake, digestion or application of the product, arriving alive at their destination.
- Stability: The microscopic organisms contained within the probiotic must remain alive once packaged, and remain active until the expiration date of the product is exceeded.
- Suitable strain: Each bacterial species is further divided into different strains or subtypes (different members of the same family). It will be essential to choose an active strain with favorable actions. For example, strain 431 of the species L. casein.
- Labeling: Probiotic information should appear on a visible label, with true and easy to read and understand information.
The use of probiotics has become popular with several pharmaceutical laboratories developing novel strains that promise wonderful effects. Unfortunately, these bacteria do not always meet the conditions that a quality probiotic must meet. Find out carefully before deciding on a particular product, Also, you can pick Gluten Free probiotics and these are so popular for weight loss.
What Benefits Do Probiotics Give Me?
Probiotics offer a wide variety of benefits, which depend largely on the type of strain used in each supplement. Once the microorganisms colonic in the "target" area (it can be the mouth, stomach, intestine and even the female genital tract), they will begin to give us the following advantages:
- Light and faster digestions
- Reduction of flatulence.
- Improvement of intestinal transit.
- Abdominal perimeter reduction.
- Normalization of weight and blood cholesterol levels.
- Lower incidence of infections.
- Lower incidence of allergic processes.
- General improvement of anxious symptomatology.
- Increased levels of folic acid, cyanocobalamin and vitamin K.
- Increase fertility (in women)
- Decreased pain associated with menstruation.
If we use a probiotic supplement with numerous bacterial species, we will improve our quality of life in general. If we want to solve specific problems, it is advisable to choose a probiotic with specific strains. For example, there are articles aimed at losing weight or increasing defenses against infection.
What Kinds of Probiotics Exist?
There are hundreds of different probiotics, as many as possible combinations of microorganisms exist. Knowing well what symptoms you want to treat will help you choose a product that offers you maximum benefit. Check the information below to choose a probiotic according to your needs:
Symptoms to be Treated Recommended Probiotics
This table is just a small sample of the exciting world of probiotics. If you want to treat other more specific problems (for example, menstrual abnormalities, diverticulitis or Crohn's disease), you should consult a health professional to help you choose the most appropriate supplement for you.
How Should You Take The Probiotic Supplement?
Probiotics contain live microorganisms. Therefore, we must follow a series of specific guidelines to ensure the vitality of these cells. Otherwise, we will ingest hundreds of dead or weakened bacteria, unable to help us. Follow our advice if you want to get the most out of your probiotic:
- When? They can be taken at any time. If you use a probiotic to improve digestion, it is recommended that you ingest it approximately half an hour before meals.
- How? You can take the supplement only with water or with food. However, do not ingest it with acidic foods or very hot liquids. Heat and acid can destroy probiotic microorganisms.
- How much? Each probiotic has a certain dose, which will be explained in its labeling. For people who use probiotics for the first time, a maximum daily dose of 15 billion Colony Forming Units (CFU) is advised.
Medication can be an extra challenge when it comes to probiotic supplementation. If you take antibiotics, keep in mind that the bactericidal substance is harmful to probiotic microorganisms. We advise you to allow a minimum of two hours between taking your drugs and your probiotic.
Did you know that there are many probiotics with little or no utility? It is essential to choose safe and effective bacterial strains if you want to benefit from the use of these products. Use our “Chart of probiotics" to buy a quality product, with proven results from hundreds of demanding consumers.