Many experts say that if they could only take one supplement they would choose a probiotics. Rightfully so, probiotics are believed to have many health benefits. Even the origin of the word probiotics translate into, “Promotion of life.”
For those of you that are new to this, probiotics are the “good” bacterial that live in your gut and create the healthy gut flora or micro-biome, which is the balance of these beneficial bacteria to promote proper gut function and health.
The benefits of having a healthy micro-biome are numerous and seemingly nothing short of amazing. Here are 9 benefits that are thought to be directly and/or indirectly related to taking a probiotics regularly:
Promotes a healthy Immune system
Supports digestive health – Studies suggest that many people taking a probiotic regularly have reported a decrease in IBS symptoms such as cramping, bloating and diarrhea.
Help promote proper digestion and assimilation of certain carbohydrates.
May help support proper urinary tract health by reducing the risks of urinary tract infections.
Promotes neutralization of harmful microbes and helps keep bad bacterial in your intestinal tract from proliferating and getting out of control.
Helps to produce vitamins B and K.
May help reduce the severity of allergies.
May reduce the risk of yeast infections by promoting proper .
May assist in eliminating toxins.
Now, in my office we get a lot of talk about eating yogurt as a good source of probiotics. Though I am not a big supporter of dairy because of it’s suspected inflammatory properties in the gut I, however, am always please to see that people are mindful of getting good nutrients into their system, including probiotics.
With that being said, though yogurt does have probiotics, studies suggest that by the time the yogurt digests in your stomach the probiotics effectiveness has been reduced considerably because your body’s own digestive juices have "killed" the good bacteria.
For this reason I recommend an enteric coated capsule probiotic supplement. This type of capsule is unique because it is designed to withstand the acidic gastric juices that are found inside your stomach, which can be harmful to the probiotic supplement and promotes the breakdown of the capsule in a more alkaline environment, like the intestines, where the probiotic supplement can be directly delivered and utilized for maximum benefit.
Here are some quick tips believed to increase the benefits of taking probiotics.
Refrigerate your probiotic supplement to ensure maximum potency
Best to take your probiotics on an empty stomach.
Best to consider taking a PREbiotic fiber to support effectiveness of your probiotic supplement.
Increase your intake of raw vegetables.
According to WEBMD.com there has been no studies that have proven probiotics to be harmful when taken by healthy individuals, my official stance is to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement.
Hempel, S, et al. Probiotics for the Prevention and Treatment of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA. May 2012. JAMA. 2012;307(18):1959-1969. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3507