Probiotics are often used in medicine as a supplement that can help your body produce the type of bacteria needed to keep you healthy. Probiotics are often used in situations where people have recently gotten off of an antibiotic regime. Your body naturally produces bacteria that is vital to the way certain systems operate such as the digestive system.
What are Probiotics?
A probiotic can be simply defined as any supplement that onsets the growth of a number of beneficial bacteria in the body. Most commonly these types of advantageous bacteria benefit natural processes such as our digestive systems. Bacteria are essential to the proper regulation and function of your body regardless of how you may personally feel about them. Our bodies naturally contain many bacteria that assist us every day in maintain our health.
Probiotics serve as the medium between the naturally occurring bacteria in your body that is both beneficial and malefic. They are often used to treat patients who have recently undergone surgery that required the aid of an antibiotic for recovery purposes. Some of the main conditions that are treated with the use of probiotics are as following: antibiotic-related diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea caused by viruses and parasites. Being that our bodies naturally run off a balance of bad and good bacteria, probiotics are currently undergoing research to examine their potential to benefit your body in other areas that those most commonly treated with their application.
The Probiotic Claim
Probiotics are a very popular supplement for people who suffer from a number of conditions related to digestive system issues. The common cause of digestive issues is related to malefic bacteria and parasites. Probiotic supplements are a form of counteractive bacteria that aid in the reduction of the bad bacteria and viruses. The validity of probiotics effectiveness is relatively solid; studies indicate its beneficial effects for women’s vaginal health and urinary tract.
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The truth is that probiotic research still has a long way to go. Most of the studies conducted on probiotics show that in fact in average adults do not benefit much from the addition of probiotics into their supplement diet. However, there are some studies that have been conducted which do lead doctors and medical experts to believe that probiotics do have some sort of positive effect on people who may be suffering from viruses or illnesses related to bad bacteria.
Probiotics have been proven to have their highest effectiveness in patients who suffer from digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
One of the main reasons probiotics is used so frequently as an aid to treat bowel-related illnesses is because it reacts directly with the bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract to weaken their effect and strength your body’s immune system.
Probiotic supplementation is beneficial for those who want to increase their natural defense system after taking antibiotics or for those who are experiencing gastrointestinal issues.
If you suffer from intestinal infections or medical problems where bad bacteria cultivates quickly inside of your body then you should consult with your doctor to see which probiotic supplement is most beneficial for you.
Here are some of the results yielded by research performed on probiotics:
- Probiotics supplementation has been proven to reduce infections related to respiratory infiltrations in athletes. Link To Study
- Certain strains of probiotic supplements have been proven to strengthen your intestinal barrier lining. Link To Study
- Probiotic supplements have been proven through studies to reverse increased intestinal permeability in patients. Link To Study
- Probiotics can help sustain and regulate properly functioning thyroids. Link To Study
- Probiotic supplementation can help cure bacterial vaginosis which is one of the most common vaginal infections among women. Link To Study
Probiotics have undergone significant research to come to a conclusion on its relative effectiveness for many issues related to gastrointestinal infection and viruses. Most of the studies conclude that probiotic supplementation has a significant beneficial effect for people who are suffering from such issues.
Other studies conducted on various types of probiotic supplements conclude that there is a wide range of correlative information suggesting that they can help people who suffer from a wide range of bad bacterial infections or issues.
If you are experiencing a condition that is most likely caused by the onset of a bad bacterial growth or inhibition you should consult with your doctor to see if any of the available probiotics supplements may be able to help you with your condition.
Who is at risk for probiotic deficiency?
People who consume large amounts of fermented products, honey, raw garlic, cabbage, grape fruit seed extract, and oils of certain herbs are at a significantly high risk for a probiotic deficiency. These products act as natural antibiotics which fight off bacterial infections however too much of an antibiotic can weaken your body’s natural immune system actually causing it to become even more susceptible to bacterial infection and viruses.
People who have recently undergone surgery that requires an antibiotic as part of their medication schedule are also highly susceptible to deficiencies in probiotic levels. After the successful completion of your antibiotic regimen, you should consult with your doctor to see if you may need to supplement with different forms of probiotics to rejuvenate your natural immune defense back to its correct levels.
A probiotic deficiency can be diagnosed with many forms. Most of the common symptoms associated with a deficiency in probiotics within your body are constipation, bad breath, chronic diarrhea, and excessive gas. These symptoms are all related to your gastrointestinal tract; there are other symptoms associated with a probiotic deficiency that do not relate to gastrointestinal issues.
If you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance, this can be one of the tell-tell signs that you are deficient in the correct amount of probiotics. Chronic Blatter infections, high cholesterol, chronic anemia, the formation of a breast in men, osteoporosis, menstrual issues, and chronic respiratory problems are all associated with probiotic deficiencies.
Probiotic supplements come in many different forms. Each probiotic will have a different effect for each given condition. Probiotics are measured in CFU which means the amount of yeast & bacteria that are able to divide among themselves and form colonies. The proper dosage for a general probiotic supplement is recommended at 6 to 10 billion CF.
Possible Side Effects of Probiotic Supplementation
Most of the common side effects related to probiotic supplementation are mild; you can expect things such as excessive gas and bloating. More extreme cases are circumstances in which probiotics actually cause infections that may need to be treated with antibiotics.
Does Supplementing with Probiotics Actually Work?
Probiotic supplements come in many forms that aid in the growth of healthy bacteria in your body. Their effectiveness all depends on numerous factors. We’ll take a look below at the conclusion on probiotic supplementation effectiveness with taking into account multiple scientific and medical research studies.
The Research Consensus
Many of the studies conducted on the effectiveness of probiotic supplementation have revolved around pre-existing or concentrated illnesses in patients. Research has shown that in cases where people fall victim to certain diseases or illnesses that are related to the growth of bad bacteria, probiotic supplementation can be very beneficial.
There have been studies conducted where athletes see a significant reduction in inflammatory respiratory issues after taking a probiotic. There have been other studies performed which yielded positive results on probiotic supplementation’s effectiveness for women who suffer from vaginal bacteria. The conclusion is that if you suffer from an illness or condition that is caused by the onset of bad bacterial growth, then probiotic supplementation can be very beneficial.
How Effective Are Probiotic Supplements?
Probiotic supplements have very high success rates for people who need more healthy bacteria in their body. If you are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, high cholesterol and a number of other symptoms, then probiotic supplementation is definitely something you should look into.
However, if you maintain a healthy diet and eat foods that boost the level of healthy bacteria in your body, then probiotic supplements may not have an effect on you. For most healthy adults probiotics can be derived from natural sources such as milk and yogurt. There are some foods particularly that are very high in probiotic cultures such as kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.)
Should you supplement with probiotics?
Probiotics will not help you in any way when it comes to your physical performance as an athlete. However, for your general health and well-being, then yes, probiotics are highly recommended as a means of improving overall gut health.
If you suffer from constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive problems, supplementing with probiotics may see you remarkable improvements. Because gut health has also been linked to your immune system strength, by improving your gut health, you may also be improving your overall immune system.
Probiotic supplements have no real effect on healthy athlete performance — at least directly. However, there are a host of benefits that probiotics may indirectly bring by improving gut health.
Your gut contributes to your immune system and having a healthy gut may help ward off sickness. As such, probiotics are worth taking, though if you can get your hands on natural probiotics such as found in fermented foods, kefir, and kombucha, you get a far more powerful dose than you’ll get from priobiotic pills.
Should you supplement long term?
The short answer is no. If taken too long probiotics can actually help bad bacterial growth. You only want to take probiotic supplements when you have a deficiency of healthy bacteria within your body.
Probiotic Supplementation for Fighters
Fighters do not need a probiotic supplement. The only time a probiotic supplement is recommended for a fighter is if you are experiencing bacterial infections or gastrointestinal issues.
Probiotic Supplementation For Fighters: What to do
Supplement If: you are experiencing a bacterial infection or gastrointestinal problem.
Don’t Supplement If: you have health levels of good bacteria in your body.
The Final Word
The research surrounding probiotic supplementation is still evolving however the studies that have already been conducted show substantial proof that when used correctly probiotic supplements can have very beneficial effects. You should always speak with your doctor regarding which probiotic supplements if any are the right ones for you. There are many natural sources of probiotics you should consider implementing into your diet before taking the supplement route.
Probiotic supplementation is most effective in cases where the bad bacteria actually starts affecting the function of your natural systems. Take heed and pay attention to the signs that your body gives you to gauge whether or not you should start taking some form of probiotic supplementation.
Top Recommended Probiotic Supplements
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#2 Align Probiotic Supplement- Align Probiotic Supplement contains probiotic strain B which is a powerful and unique probiotic that is not offered by any other supplement. It helps boost your digestive and gastrointestinal systems.
#3 RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic- RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic has been clinically tested to aid in digestive health and contains strains of lactobacillus which is a very powerful probiotic.
#4 NOW Foods Probiotic-10 25 Billion- NOW Foods Probiotic-10 25 Billion contains 10 powerful probiotic strains that can help you fight off bad bacterial growth and infections. It is free of any dairy, wheat or grain products.