A Guide to Probiotics

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A Guide to Probiotics

Probiotics promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a person’s gut. They can be used to treat and prevent gut-related illnesses such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and atopic dermatitis. Probiotics can also be taken in order to maintain a healthy gut.

What are probiotics? Where can you find them? And how can they help you?

Only certain species of bacteria are considered probiotic. Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus are some of the most common probiotic bacteria. Probiotic bacteria can be found in a number of sources.

Natural Sources of Probiotics

Traditional yogurts and other fermented foods are rich in probiotics, and eating them regularly can help keep your gut health strong. Choose your brand of yogurt carefully, however.

Pasteurization strips milk of good and bad bacteria alike. If the probiotics are added before the pasteurization process, there will be no beneficial bacteria left in the yogurt. This means that the yogurt you are buying may not have any probiotic bacteria at all. Choose a brand of yogurt that has live and active cultures.

Artificial sweeteners and added sugar found in most yogurt feed the bad bacteria in your gut, which can counteract any probiotic benefits that the yogurt may have had. Choosing unsweetened yogurt can help avoid this problem.

If you are eating yogurt for its probiotic benefits, you must be selective. Some brands have already been verified to have an adequate probiotic content, but the regulation standards are light, and you never know for certain which strains of bacteria you’ll be getting.

Probiotic Supplements

While yogurt and other foods can be a good source of probiotics, a probiotic supplement prescribed by your physician may be a better option if you are serious about your gut health. Pills offer measured doses of identifiable probiotics for maximum effectiveness.

Not all formulations of probiotic supplements are created equally. The makeup of the tablet is important and must survive your stomach acid to deliver the probiotic bacteria to your gut. The formulation of bacteria is also important and can greatly impact the length of time it takes the probiotic to begin working. A high-quality probiotic such as BioTE Probiotic is an effective choice.

The Right Dosage of Probiotics

The reason for taking the probiotic—to maintain a healthy gut versus post-antibiotic use—and your age are two important factors that affect recommended probiotic dosage. Patients should consult their physicians for recommended dosage.

Overdosing on probiotics is possible. This can happen if a person takes them while they already have a healthy gut biome. Common signs of probiotic overdose include bloating, abdominal tenderness, and pain. Stop taking the probiotics and consult your doctor. When the symptoms stop, you may be able to start reintroducing them into your system with small doses.

Probiotics Can Be Taken Together with Antibiotics

This seems like a contradiction because the antibiotics will kill off the probiotics that you are taking. This is true because antibiotics do not pick and choose which bacteria that they will kill and which ones they don’t. The benefit of taking the two together is that you will reduce any side-effects experienced from taking the antibiotics.

For the best results, start taking probiotics toward the end of your course of antibiotics. The antibiotics will have cleared out your gut’s healthy bacteria, and taking probiotics early will give your healthy bacteria a better chance of seeding. Clinical research shows that taking the two together will not cause an adverse reaction.

As a provider of BioTE Nutraceuticals, Dr. Sue Reddy understands what is required to live a healthy, active life and can assist you in achieving optimal nutritional health. If you are interested in adding a probiotic to your health routine, give Dr. Reddy a call today. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.