Would you be shocked if I tell you that bacteria are good for you? Generally bacteria are well-known factors for disease and illness in humans. But this doesn’t mean that every single bacteria type is harmful for us. As our body is full of bacteria, some of them are good for us and some are bad too. In fact most of the bacteria are good and helpful. Probiotic is the name that comes first when we talk about good bacteria. It’s a live bacterium and yeast, naturally found in our body, which helps us achieve good health, especially strong digestive system.
How Probiotic is Helpful?
Probiotic plays an essential role in human body as it provides a wide range of benefits when ingested, such as:
There are thousands of bacteria found in our digestive tracts which help us break down the food items we eat and absorb the nutrients from them. But sometimes consuming antibiotics may cause severe issues, such as: it may kill the healthy intestinal flora which is helpful for digestion. In such situation, doctors usually recommend probiotic, so that the digestive tracts can be repopulated with the essential bacteria. Also, probiotic is helpful in dealing with other types of digestive issues.
According to a research, probiotic can be taken as a complement with antibiotics if a person is suffering from urinary tract infections. This is an extremely common infection type, especially found in women. Most of the infections can be treated with the help of antibiotics. Taking probiotic regularly is helpful in preventing bad bacteria, so that they can’t be entered into the urinary tract. Probiotic is helpful in maintaining a population of healthy bacteria on the urinary tract.
Probiotic also helps us reduce the allergy incidence. It has been reported that 30% of allergy incidence can be reduced in the infants if their mothers take probiotic during their pregnancy period. Probiotic is highly recommended for those women who had a history of seasonal allergies, and/or whose partners had histories of allergies.
Being healthful bacteria, one of the surprising key benefits of probiotic is to provide us a strong immunity. A person who eats probiotic-rich foods regularly and maintains good intestinal flora, he/she has a healthy immune system.
The bacteria are different in the gut of those people who are suffering from obesity, if compared to normal-weighted people. Do you know this fact that gut flora plays a very important role in overall weight? It has been found that probiotic is helpful for the obese people who have gone though a weight loss surgery. If you want to reduce or lose the abdominal fat, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium capsules (probiotic supplement) are highly recommended.
How to Choose Best Probiotic Supplement?
As the probiotic supplement products are many in numbers, people are confused while choosing the best one. Before you can go for any such supplement, ask yourself: do you really need probiotic through supplements? If your body is getting enough probiotic from the foods you eat every day, taking probiotic supplement is simply unworthy. A person should consider a probiotic supplement only if he/she can’t eat the foods containing probiotic in regular manner. When you go in the market or search probiotic supplement on the Internet, you’ll come across a number of companies or retailers which provide probiotic supplements. But only few of them are best for you. Now you must be wondering how to choose the best among many without prior testing. Unlike software applications which are available with free demo or trial version, a probiotic supplement doesn’t provide you anything like that. Before I can discuss a few basic criteria here for choosing the best supplement, I strongly recommend you to consult your personal doctor or a dietary expert. He/she can better tell you whether you really need any probiotic supplement or not. Or if you need, which one is best for your body.
Note: Choosing the best probiotic supplement for you, is simply based on your specific health concerns. The optimal choice of such product for men and women is likely to be different.
The numbers of bacteria in probiotic is measured in CFUs aka colony-forming units. Many times you would’ve heard people saying that the probiotic supplement containing most bacteria is the best among all. But this is simply a myth, nothing else. Nobody knows yet whether consuming more bacteria through probiotic is helpful for us or not. So never go for the product that contains a number of bacteria as numbers don’t matter here. The main thing you should look for is the number of different strains of bacteria the product contains. The different strains of probiotic bacteria are highly essential in different bodily functions, and they work in various places including the digestive tract. The probiotic supplement that contains multiple strains should highly be preferred among other products.
Make sure the probiotic supplement you purchase, must have at least three of these essential strains:
- L. acidophilus: This strain is of Lactobacillus species, and is considered the most important strain. The main function of this strain is to absorb nutrients from the foods and help us digest the dairy products.
- B. longum: This strain is the most common bacteria just like L. acidophilus, found in the digestive tracts of adults. The primary function of this strain is to maintain the integrity of the gut wall.
- B. bifidum: This strain is found in small as well as large intestine, and considered truly helpful for the healthy digestion of dairy products. In the older age, the natural ability of a person to digest dairy products decreases. Another function of this strain is to break down the proteins, fats and carbohydrates into small components in order to be used more efficiently by the body.
- L. fermentum: Being a Lactobacillus strain, it helps in neutralizing the products used for digestion. Also, it is helpful for the gut bacteria by promoting it a healthy level.
- L. rhamnosus: This strain is commonly known as the premier travel probiotic. Its primary function is to prevent diarrhea.
The other criteria for choosing best probiotic supplement include the packaging of the product and its delivery system, its expiration dates, and also check if there’s any money-back guarantee.
Before you can go for any probiotic supplement, ask yourself is it worthwhile or not. Generally it’s said that consuming probiotic in food or pills form is highly effective. If you consume probiotic through natural food sources, you get more advantages as they provide you good nutrition as well as probiotic bacteria. But still supplements are found more convenient sometimes as they provide us higher levels of probiotic, simply depends on the product you choose.
There’s one more thing we must deeply consider before taking extra probiotic through supplement product. Is probiotic supplement safe for everyone? Though no studies have been done so far showing that probiotic can be harmful for a healthy people; however, people having some common health disabilities must avoid probiotic products and supplement. Such health disabilities include acute illness, compromised immune system, leaky bowels and acute pancreatitis. Also, cancer patients are strongly recommended not to consume probiotic product as it may be harmful for their health. Therefore, for safety concern, talk to your doctor and tell him/her that you’re thinking about taking probiotic supplements.
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