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Probiotic Use, Purchase Tips, and Effects

Probiotic Use, Purchase Tips, and Effects

Probiotics are the good bacteria that are similar or the same as the ones in your body. They are mainly concentrated in the lower digestive system, and in fact, there are more bacteria in your intestines than the cells in your body. Are all the bacteria in your body good? According to researchers, having too many bad bacteria and less than enough good bacteria is caused by eating an unhealthy diet, and this can wreak havoc in your body's system. As a result, one may experience complications such as irritating skin conditions, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, and other chronic health conditions.

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms consumed as supplements or through fermented foods. They are found in the following foods:
• Selected yogurts
• Cheese
• Dairy products containing probiotics eg. kefir or Lactobacillus milk
• Kimchi and
• Sauerkraut

Ongoing studies show that your body's balance of microorganisms is directly related to a wide range of health issues, which include weight loss, immune function, and digestive health.


The following are some of the essential health benefits of probiotics

a. Probiotics help to balance the good bacteria in the digestive system:

The good bacteria in probiotics are the live microorganisms that when consumed, provide health benefits. The benefits are due to restoration of the natural balance in the gut bacteria.

Too many bad bacteria are the major cause of an imbalance, and they are induced by illnesses, poor diet, and antibacterial medication. If not treated, the consequences may include mental problems, allergies, obesity and digestive issues.
Since probiotics are taken in the form of supplements or fermented foods, they are considered healthy for most people.


b. Probiotics can reduce, prevent and treat diarrhea:

Probiotics are popular for their ability to reduce or prevent severe diarrhea. According to researchers, the reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea is associated with probiotics, and that taking probiotics reduces diarrhea by a rate of 42%. Probiotics also take care of other forms of diarrhea not associated with antibiotics. Probiotics are also said to cut all travel-related diarrhea by 8% in adults. The risk is lowered to 26% and 57% in children. Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii are the most common strains associated with the reduced risk of diarrhea.


c. Probiotic supplements help in improving some mental health conditions:

According to the study, gut health is associated with mental health and moods. The results confirm that indeed, probiotic supplements may improve some mental disorders. A scientific review of 15 human studies confirms that supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifida bacterium taken from 1-2 months, improve conditions such as autism, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Other notable benefits were found in a study of 40 patients with depression. Some levels of depression can be reduced by taking probiotic supplements for eight weeks straight. Probiotics also reduce C-reactive proteins and hormones like insulin, in comparison to those who do not take probiotics.


d. Probiotics can reduce eczema and some allergies:

Certain strains of probiotics may help reduce the severity of a disease as well as some allergies. The study shows improvement in symptoms of eczema in infants who are fed with a mild probiotic supplement-or reduced dose, as opposed to infants fed milk without probiotics. Selected probiotics can also reduce inflammation in those people with allergies to dairy products.


Tips on how to purchase Probiotics
There are positive proven effects that a good probiotic will offer. If you feel it is time for you to try probiotics, here are some buying tips you can use to ensure you get what you are looking for:

• Get only those probiotics with billions of CFU bacteria colony-forming units present. Taking into consideration that the human gut contains trillions of such bacteria, it follows that billions of bacteria are needed to balance those trillions in the intestines.

• Buy the live bacteria. Dead or inactive ones are not probiotics.
• Always check the expiration date to avoid buying one that has been sitting on the shelf for a long time, and that may have been exposed to high temperatures. Bacteria exposed to heat and moisture begins to grow, exhausting the resources around them, and eventually, they will die.

• Buy only those probiotics whose bacteria have health benefits, and check whether they are backed with human trials and show a positive effect on certain conditions. Thoroughly check the ratings on each product.


Possible Side effects of Probiotics
Probiotics are considered to be safe for all healthy people. However, short-term mild side effects may be felt, and these include mild bloating and gas. The risk may be more significant to immune-compromised people because probiotics can over-stimulate the immune system, which can significantly affect their metabolic pathways. Someone with a compromised immune system, someone seriously ill, or someone with a threatening bowel condition should avoid taking probiotic supplements unless otherwise advised by their doctor. Pregnant women, young children, and infants should take probiotics cautiously.


In general, probiotics are safe for people who are in good health. However, it is essential to consult a health care provider for advice regarding any supplement you would want to take. This will prevent unexpected health complications. The health provider should be in a position to walk you through your health issues and tell you any do's and don'ts, and by doing so, give you personalized care.


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