Probiotics: 10 Myths Busted
Probiotics are among the most popular supplements not just among Americans. You can easily purchase them in grocery stores or pharmacies locally, or perhaps you have even bought them online. You have probably heard a lot of stories and facts about it, but which are true, and which are false? Below are 10 common myths about probiotics.
Myth # 1: There is no real impact of probiotics on overall health and wellbeing
Myth 1 busted! Science has proven that the trillions of beneficial bacteria in your gut support many critical functions in the body. These include better digestion and nutrient absorption, and improved immune and cognitive function.
When the harmony among these bacteria is thrown off, digestive issues like diarrhea, gas, bloating may arise. Over time, this imbalance can result in skin problems, mental health issues, and food sensitivities. Numerous published studies have shown how important a healthy, balanced gut microbiome is, and how probiotic supplements can help.
Myth # 2: All probiotics are the same
Not true at all. Not all probiotics are created equal. There are different species and strains of probiotics. Each one of them has a different effect on the body, even strains that belong to the same species. Studies have shown that multi-strain supplements are significantly better than a single strain. Pick one that fits your specific health needs, or choose a product that offers a wide range of health benefits if you aim for an overall healthy lifestyle.
Myth # 3: Consuming fermented foods is enough
This isn’t true. Why? This has something to do with the bioavailability of the beneficial bacteria. You see, bacteria must survive the acidic environment of the stomach as they make their way into the intestine. Without protective coverings like capsules or coated tablets, most of them may die in the stomach.
Moreover, fermented foods and drinks are often stored on the shelf for long periods before they are consumed. Because of this, the bacteria inside the product may already be dead or at an age where they can no longer provide the benefits they did.
Myth # 4: You only need to take probiotics if you are taking antibiotics
Probiotics are essential when you are taking antibiotics. However, this doesn’t mean you only need to take them during the antibiotic treatment. Aside from antibiotics, other factors disrupt good gut bacteria. Stress, a poor diet, and alcohol are a few other factors. Our modern lifestyle also threatens the good bacteria in our gut. It is therefore important that you take a high-quality probiotic supplement to keep your overall health and well-being in check.
Myth # 5: The higher CFU, the better
CFU or Colony Forming Units measures how many bacteria are present in a probiotic supplement. Having a higher CFU does not mean it's a better probiotic. Although it’s important, the combination of bacterial strains in the product is much more important. Also, the efficacy of the delivery mechanism counts.