Using probiotic supplements to aid your body is a popular process, and that’s because there are so many immaculate products to choose from. Although there are a lot of useful supplements on the market, you’ve got to be able to identify the perfect candidate – that’s why we’re going to take a look at probiotics and the traits associated with them in this article. While you might feel like you know a lot about regular supplements, probiotic supplements are a bit different; it also doesn’t hurt to learn more about potentially beneficial products in these crazy times. Navigating this marketplace can be tricky as a newcomer, as there are a lot of shady characters who are trying to separate you from your hard-earned cash! Using the information available in this article you’ll be able to decipher which product helps the most, as well as which ones you should actively avoid.
I wasn’t always the ideal candidate for probiotics, as like most teenagers, I was eating junk food and candy for the majority of my youth. When I got older I realized that my gut health wasn’t where I wanted it to be, and so I started to look into probiotic supplements. It turns out that it isn’t just gut health that probiotic supplements can assist with, as there are several other ailments that they can help treat on top of that. After doing a bit of research, the discovery was made; probiotic supplements come in many different forms, all of which will help you in more than one way.
The bacteria in your body are much more important than you might think, as they aren’t always going to be harmful. It’s said that the bacteria calling your body home will outnumber your cells ten to one, meaning they could technically take over if they wanted to – the thing is, there are a lot of beneficial bacteria cells that you want to be present in your gut. Almost all of the bacteria in your body are going to reside in the gut, and if you notice that you lack proper digestion health, it may be time to research a few probiotic supplements. These supplements are only going to contain the most beneficial bacteria possible, but we’re going to dive into that a bit later on in the article.
Health improvements can be made by having a healthy diet, staying active, and introducing probiotic supplements into your lifestyle. I used to be somewhat overweight, and while these aren’t products that will “melt fat away” overnight, it increases the benefits associated with a balanced diet.
What Are Probiotic Supplements, Foods, Uses, Benefits, and Safety?
Probiotic supplements are any kind of supplement that includes live bacteria, all of which will be good for you. Sometimes you’ll find yeasts included in these products, which is okay too! Just like the bacteria, there are good yeast bacteria types that can help keep your gut health in check. While most people are going to hear the phrase “bacteria” and shudder in terror, there are a lot of bacteria that can improve your quality of life significantly. Some foods include probiotics naturally and they even make it their main marketing point, as who doesn’t want to eat foods that will help with digestion?
Researchers are still trying to figure out how probiotics work entirely, but even doctors will recommend using probiotic supplements and eating probiotic-rich foods to patients who require digestion aid. If you’re interested in what foods are going to help you consume the proper bacteria for your gut, you can always rely on these options:
As you can tell, a lot of these foods (if not all of them) are fermented at some point. When you go through the fermentation process you’re going to be injecting a lot of good bacteria into the food, which is probably why those who are willing to eat adventurously have better digestion systems (for the most part). Remember that you shouldn’t confuse probiotics with prebiotics, as prebiotics is a dietary fiber that can help with the bacteria that is already present in your gut. Both of these supplements work together well, so if you notice you’re having a lot of trouble when it comes to digestion, you may want to consider using both.
The different types of probiotic supplements available are going to vary from producer to producer, and you’ll need to consider what you’re purchasing beforehand as well. Some probiotics will have a positive impact on certain health conditions, so it’s smart to figure out what the probiotic supplement you’re looking at is used to treat before purchasing. There are also probiotic supplements that combine different bacteria species into one product, which can be known as “multi-probiotics”. In any case, using the right probiotic supplement is going to make digesting that massive plate of hot wings a bit easier!
More research is needed when it comes to the health benefits associated with probiotic use, but if you’re willing to give it a shot, odds are you’re going to enjoy the experience. Probiotic supplements have been around for a long time, and if they didn’t work at all, I’m sure we would know about it by now. The evidence that we’ve put together so far in certified scientific journals is promising at this point, so it seems as if there’s nowhere to go but up.
Importance of Microorganisms for Your Gut
Your gut relies on the village of microorganisms that call your stomach home, scientifically known as “microbiota” (or gut flora), you’ll want to keep these little guys happy whenever you can. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of different bacteria strains living in your stomach, and some scientists have claimed that there are well over 1,000 in some people! This micro-community is going to consist of various yeasts, viruses, and bacteria; don’t be alarmed, bacteria is going to make up the majority of these microorganisms. When you notice that you’re having digestion problems, reaching for another bottle of soda isn’t always ideal, as having a healthy diet is always going to improve your gut flora.
Most of this gut flora is going to be present in the colon and large intestine, which are the last two stops made before your digestion is complete. When you look at how the gut flora operates, it’s almost as if they’re another organ in your body; if they aren’t healthy and flourishing, your digestion is going to be impacted. Your gut flora can produce vitamins by themselves, some of which would include both Vitamin K and B. Fibers can be turned into short-chain fats with healthy gut flora as well, as traces of butyrate, propionate, and acetate can be found in a healthy gut (all of which healthily feed your gut wall).
The fats that are created by your gut flora can mimic the process of your immune system, providing your gut with a healthier environment and creating a stronger gut wall. If you ever worry about unwanted substances getting into your system and shocking your immune system, having the right gut flora could help prevent that also! Some of these microorganisms aren’t trying to be friendly in your guy, which is why the importance of a proper diet should be stressed every single day. We know that cheeseburger looks amazing, but a salad is going to do so much more for your gut flora! Several diseases have been linked to having an unhealthy community of gut flora in your belly, so even if you think that it’s “not a big deal”, it could be the determining factor of whether or not you develop some ailments. Some of these terrible diseases can get severe, some of which would include:
- Type-2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Colorectal Cancer
- Heart Disease
Alzheimer’s is a disorder that we would usually associate with one’s brain, but that isn’t the only thing that can have an impact on it. Studies have shown that some patients have developed Alzheimer’s while showing a lack of proper gut health, meaning they didn’t show signs of healthy gut flora or microorganisms present in their gut. When serious diseases like Alzheimer’s and Cancer become associated with poor gut health, it only makes sense to do whatever you can to work probiotic supplements into your life.
Impact on Digestive Health
The nerves that control your digestive tract need to be in perfect working order for optimal digestion, and that’s a rare thing to achieve without using probiotic supplements. The most widely researched aspect of probiotic supplements has to be their association with digestive health, and there is very strong evidence that would support these claims. There are instances where using the right probiotic has cured a patient of antibiotic-related diarrhea, which can be a frequent fight if you’re battling an infection. When you’ve got to take antibiotics, it’s usually for an extended period of time and you’re supposed to take them all the way through (regardless of how much better you’re feeling). You tend to experience diarrhea during these times, and that’s because the antibiotics will kill all of the bacteria in your gut to help remove the infection – the only problem with this is that it’s also going to kill the good bacteria.
By throwing your bacteria balance off, antibiotic diarrhea is the result, which can be treated by using probiotic supplements. You’ll replace all of the good bacteria that was just killed during your antibiotic bout, treating your diarrhea in the process. There are also studies being done that prove probiotic supplements can be helpful for those suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which is a very common digestive disorder found all over the world. Some of the other things that probiotic supplements can help you with would be the reduction of gas/bloating, constipation problems, diarrhea, and several other digestion-related symptoms.
Additional studies have stated that they can prove to be beneficial when dealing with various bowel diseases, some of which can be debilitating in certain individuals. The issues that probiotic supplements have been proven to help with are the likes of Crohn’s disease and UC (Ulcerative Colitis). Helicobacter pylori despise probiotic supplements as well, which is perfect, as this bacteria has been known to increase your risk of developing both ulcers and stomach cancer.
If you’ve been dealing with digestive problems and aren’t quite sure how to treat them, the right probiotic supplement is likely your most optimal option. Although there are a lot of different products to choose from, one of them is surely going to help you get your gut health back in order! You should always consult with your doctor or physician before introducing a new probiotic supplement into your diet, as they’ll know a bit more about how well you’re going to do with them.
Impact on Weight Loss
Losing weight may be a large reason why you’re considering probiotic supplements, and that’s a very valid reason. While many people think that gut health has nothing to do with how well you’re able to melt away the fat, I would be the perfect example of that – I’ve lost well over 40 pounds of excess weight ever since I introduced a probiotic supplement into my life! Even if you aren’t the best when it comes to taking pills or capsules, there are plenty of liquids and other forms of probiotics that can help you get your gut health to where it needs to be. Losing weight was a challenge for me, but I realized that my stomach was in discomfort almost every single day; I wasn’t even properly digesting the food I ate the night before, and I was still up and trying to put more into my body.
They say that you need about 3 square meals a day, but there are all sorts of different tricky diets to consider using now. Probiotic supplements helped me get my gut flora in better shape, and I noticed that regardless of what I was eating, my digestion was going much smoother. Now that I eat a balanced diet and use probiotic supplements to ensure that my gut flora is always as healthy as possible, I haven’t had any digestion issues since, and I was able to lose all of the weight I wanted. Let’s talk about why it works for weight loss too, shall we?
All of the food you eat is going to pass through your stomach, so think of it as a “floodgate” of sorts. Every single time a meal comes to pass through the floodgate, it’s going to be met by an angry gang of microorganisms – these are the bad bacteria that call your gut home. Whether you’ve got too much yeast or just an unbalance gut in general, all of your meals are going to get mugged (metaphorically speaking, of course) by these bad bacteria! At that point, the food isn’t going to have all of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs anymore, and even if it does, your gut bacteria and flora won’t be able to absorb it effectively. You lose most of your weight in the kitchen by eating right and digesting your meals accordingly, but what are you supposed to do if you can’t even digest properly?
Probiotic supplements have been researched for what seems like decades at this point, and there was even a study that shows fecal transplants in an animal can help the obese lose weight (so long as the fecal matter being transplanted comes from a lean specimen). This essentially means that putting the gut flora of an athletic person into one who is overweight will help with their weight loss almost immediately, although that isn’t exactly an easy (or realistic) process at this point. The next best thing would be using probiotic supplements to build healthier gut flora and a stronger digestive tract, allowing you to effectively digest food and lose weight faster!
Another study was conducted that looked at 210 people, all of which suffering from a form of central obesity (meaning a lot of belly fat). After taking the probiotic “Lactobacillus gasseri” in daily doses, they reported an 8.5% loss of belly fat over 12 weeks. Although these trials have a lot of variables to them, this means that just using probiotic supplements alone was enough to shed 8.5% of their belly fat away!
Other Health Benefits
Inflammation is always a constant issue in many of our readers, which is why using the right probiotic supplements will prove to help you in more ways than one. Not only will you be aiding your digestive tract, but you’re also going to reduce the amount of system inflammation you feel – overall inflammation is the leading cause of many different diseases, and it’s something that we’re growing accustomed to. If you notice that you’re swelling up randomly or have aches and pains that cannot be explained, using probiotic supplements could be the first step to treating your problem.
Depression can rear its ugly head for many different reasons, most of which are going to be attributed to your physical health. The phrase “health is wealth” comes to mind, as people aren’t happy when their bodies aren’t operating at peak performance. That’s why using probiotic supplements might be way more helpful than you think, as both Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum are probiotics that are proven to relieve the symptoms of depression (and anxiety). Studies were conducted where people who suffered from clinical depression were given these two probiotics and showed improvement in their mood, as well as actions.
Blood cholesterol is another important health benefit that comes along with using probiotics. If you’ve been known to sport bad levels of LDL in regards to your blood cholesterol, several probiotic options can help you treat it. If you’ve been given medicine for your blood cholesterol problems you shouldn’t try and replace it with probiotic supplements, although you could consider using them both.
Blood pressure becomes a topic of discussion as you get older, since having blood pressure that’s too high could lead to a higher risk of heart attack (and other cardiovascular issues). Probiotic supplements have been proven to reduce your blood pressure by a modest amount, although it might not be something that you can lean on 100%. Always consult a physician before you consume probiotic supplements, especially if you’re already taking medicine!
Having a compromised immune system used to be a death sentence back in the day, but thankfully modern medicine has been able to help most people who suffer from autoimmune disorders. Probiotic supplements aren’t going to treat your autoimmune issues by themselves, but if you’re suffering from consistent infections or colds, using a probiotic supplement could be the key to your treatment. The enhancement of your immune function is always possible with the right probiotics to choose from!
Skin health is probably one of the bigger things to consider when you’re using probiotic supplements. If you’re dealing with acne, rosacea, and eczema, considering the health of your gut flora should be a top priority. There’s a reason why we associated greasy foods and stress with acne, and that’s because they are two large contributing factors to skin health. If you eat poorly and lack healthy gut flora, it’s going to take a physical form using your skin. Many skin disorders can be eased using probiotic supplements, as sometimes it’s just a matter of improving your immune system (and overall bill of health).
Safety and Side Effects
While probiotic supplements are manufactured with good intentions, there are some side effects that you may notice while taking them. These are living bacteria and if you aren’t responsible enough to consume them properly, you could find yourself dealing with the consequences. While the health benefits are going to greatly outweigh the risk of side effects, it doesn’t hurt to learn about what could happen; these are very minor in most cases and will only impact a small portion of the population. Take note of the side effects and if you experience any, you can use this article as a resource when trying to reduce them.
The first side effect would be discomfort and indigestion, which typically only happens due to increased bloating. If you’ve been taking a probiotic supplement that is yeast-based, this could be the culprit; when your guy has too much yeast the individual feels thirst all of the time and could experience constipation. While the reason for this side effect isn’t fully known, using the probiotic supplement for a week or two should help reduce the side effects (as your body will become accustomed to the bacteria). It’s always best to start with a low dose and then work your way up to avoid any potential digestion problems, and if you experience discomfort for more than a few weeks, you should visit your doctor.
Another study has shown that headaches can be potentially triggered by the Amines present in probiotic-rich dishes. If you’re a fan of kimchi and yogurt (or anything else that is aged and fermented), there’s a small chance that you could develop a headache after indulging in your favorite meals. The most common amines found in these foods would be tyramine, tryptamine, histamine, and phenylethylamine, all of which could produce headaches. One study showed that those who took part in a “low-histamine diet” showed a reduced number of headaches in 75% of those participating. More research is certainly needed on this matter, but if you suffer from headaches and love fermented food, probiotic supplements might be a better option.
Certain strains of probiotics have shown to increase the level of histamine in your body, which isn’t ideal for your digestive system. This molecule is naturally produced by our bodies, but it’s only created whenever something is considered a threat. This means that having a high level of histamine will put your body in a stressed state, causing inflammation and even allergy symptoms in some (such as itching, watery eyes, breathing issues, and runny nose). Histamine in your digestive tract is going to be broken down naturally by DAO (dixamine oxidase), which is an enzyme that prevents your histamine levels from getting high enough to present symptoms. If you suffer from histamine intolerance, you’re going to have trouble breaking it down and the symptoms will begin to show at an increased rate.
There are some ingredients in probiotic supplements that you may not be familiar with, and you may even be allergic to some of them. It’s important that you always look at the label and check for potential risks, as those who are allergic to dairy, egg, and soy could consume them without knowing. If you have a yeast allergy, taking a yeast-based probiotic wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do either! Some supplements will also include prebiotics, which are plant fibers that humans cannot digest traditionally – it’s merely used to boost your probiotic supplements, as your gut flora can feed off of it.
The risk of infection can be increased should you choose to use probiotic supplements, as anyone who has a very weak immune system could become compromised when the bacteria or yeats enter their bloodstream. This is a very rare occasion and only occurs when the person using it is incredibly weak (as in, essentially bed-ridden and in the hospital where a doctor wouldn’t let it happen). There has not been a serious infection reported throughout all of the clinical studies conducted on the general population, although we know it’s still a risk while using probiotic supplements.
The Best Probiotic Supplements
There are supplements for anything you need, so long as you’re willing to spend some time researching. Looking at reviews of people who have used specific products in the past is a great way to find out which probiotic supplements are best, as they’ll have a personal opinion (but you’ve always got to take them with a grain of salt, as who knows if they’re biased).
Probiotic supplements come in the form of a stool softener, which is perfect for the relief of constipation. You don’t have to take all sorts of crazy medicine to finally get the relief you deserve, as there are plenty of gut-satisfying probiotic supplements out there that can help.
Brain health is another thing to consider, which is why some of the most popular probiotic supplements on the market right now feature “second brain” marketing. When you aren’t able to digest food effectively, your brain is going to develop a fog of sorts – treating your gut with probiotic supplements is the perfect way to maintain brain health in just about anyone. There are neurotransmitters located in your stomach that regulate your moods and emotions, which is why some people can become “hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry) at times; it’s their neurotransmitters telling them to get upset about being starved.
Immune system boosters are also very popular as it’s an efficient way to keep yourself protected from sickness and infections. Bad bacteria is always lurking in the shadows, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that bacteria and viruses are something to take seriously. Using immune system probiotic supplements will not only prevent you from getting sick as often, but it will also help you to recover and get better quicker as well!
Overall health is a solid indicator of living life the right way, and that can be achieved through probiotic supplements. If you feel great both mentally and physically, it seems like nothing in the world can stop you! It just so happens that probiotic supplements can help you achieve both of those feats. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to feel energized throughout the day and remain sharp well into the night, probiotic supplements could be the solution you seek.
Family Care Nutrition is proud to offer a full range of premium natural health supplements for the entire family. All our products are proudly Canadian-made and from our one-stop manufacturer’s direct company with over 25 years of experience. Contact us today to get the best probiotic supplements for you.