Things That You Need to Be Aware of Before Taking Probiotics
Probiotics are now very common. You’ll find them not just in yogurt but as well as in the supplement aisle. Probiotics are also turning up in cereals, juices, chocolate drinks, bread, and even toothpaste and straws. It’s kind of odd. It seemed hard to imagine how straw can deliver probiotics effectively or how the bacteria can survive when you toast probiotic bread.
To separate hype from reality, below are some things that you need to keep in mind before buying probiotic foods or supplements.
- Probiotic foods and supplements are not created equal.
Probiotics are flying off grocery store shelves, but not all of them are created equal. For foods, dairy products have the most probiotics, and the number of live bacteria they contain is quite good. For probiotic supplements, not all can deliver the diverse supply of living organisms you might expect. Before you decide on which probiotic supplements work best for you, there are things you need to keep in mind before taking probiotics.
- Heat can kill probiotics
Even if you purchased probiotic supplements with 100 billion CFUs in them, not all will survive. Probiotics are living organisms, and they can die when it’s too hot. If the label says to refrigerate them, do it. If you keep the bacteria warm too long in transit or on a shelf, the bacteria can die off.
- Choosing the right strain is crucial
Probiotic strains are important because different bacterial strain performs different functions. Species like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are very common, but they don’t all do the same thing. Strains like L. reuteri can inhibit the growth of E. coli, whereas L. plantarum has cholesterol-lowering properties. L. acidophilus and L. casei helps restore the gut flora, while L. acidophilus alone may help recolonize the good bacteria in the vagina. If you struggle with anxiety, opt for L. Plantarum or B. bifidum.
- Probiotic bacteria don’t hang out in the gut for too long
When you take probiotic supplements or consume probiotic foods and drink, the living organisms don’t take up permanent space in your intestinal flora. Yes, they help crowd out the harmful ones in your gut but, they eventually just pass through the gut.
- You need prebiotic if you take probiotic supplements
Probiotic in your gut needs to eat too, just like any other living organisms. Prebiotics are non-digestible food components needed by the good bacteria in your gut. They serve as foods for the good bacteria, and they help them multiply. In fact, prebiotics may even help adjust or rebalance microbiota that have been thrown out of whack by stress.
- Be sure that the supplements you buy are coated
Probiotic strains often die in the stomach because of the acidic environment before they can make their way into the intestine. So, if you are looking for probiotic supplements, make sure they are coated. The outer cover will prevent the probiotics from dying and will help them reach the intestine.
- The probiotics you use might not work for others
Each person has a unique microbial makeup, influenced by genes, age, and gender. So, what might work for you might not work for others.