No, we didn’t stutter. We’re just all about some good bacteria.
Oh, you didn’t know there is good, as well as bad, bacteria?
Well, have a seat and lend an ear for good-for-you bacteria. It just might turn you pro probiotics, too.
The human body contains several forms of good bacteria that help protect your health. But no good thing can exist without some resistance from bad guys. Sometimes there is an imbalance of bacteria in the body leading to an overwhelming amount of bad bacteria. The use of probiotics can increase the good bacteria and help provide immunity.
And we like it when the good guy wins.
So, what are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms, similar to what are found in our bodies, that provide health benefits when taken in proper amounts. They’re also called “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria”.
Two common forms of probiotics: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (scary names, good products).
What do probiotics do to my body?
These microorganisms work to balance the good and bad bacteria in the body. We want more good than bad, right? Taking Probiotics increases the amount of good bacteria in the body, which in turn, increases the health benefits from them. Probiotics aren’t digested by our body, but pass through the gut and through a chemical process in the colon.
Where can I get probiotics?
Well, food is a great source (such as yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, some soy products, and some juices). If you don’t eat food or want more probiotics, try dietary supplements (liquid, capsules, tablets and powders). These are found in vitamin shops, health food stores and grocery stores.
How do I know if it’s a good, quality supplement?
Probiotics can be purchased without a prescription and with little money.
- DON’T just look at the name brand or price of the probiotic supplement.
- DO look at the amount of live bacteria in the supplement. We’re aiming for at least 1 billion live cells of bacteria.
Here’s your super mathematical equation: the higher amount, the better the product should work.
Why should I take probiotics?
Oh my, the list goes from head to toe. Here are a few things probiotics do for you…
- Treat and reduce the risk of some illnesses (commonly Gastrointestinal, diarrheal, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease).
- Strengthen your immunity and protect you from harmful bacteria.
- Balance out Antibiotics, which rid the body of some good bacteria when flushing out the bad.
- Prevent relapses of c. difficile colitis.
- Help with abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
- Boost the immune system.
- Aid in the digestion of lactose with fermented dairy products (yogurt) for those of you who are lactose intolerant.
- Reduce the symptoms of allergies and skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
- Prevent the occurance of herpes virus outbreaks such as cold sores and genital sores.
- Treat and prevent UTIs and yeast infections.
- Lower exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. Probiotics help regulate metabolic processes in the body that may contribute to cancer as well as help stop the growth of tumor cells by boosting the immune system to better defend against cancer cell growth.
Probiotics & Pregnancy
We’re pro babies around here, and therefore, pro probiotics for pregnant women. If you’re expecting or expecting to expect, check out Babyzone’s page on Probiotics During Pregnancy.
Most people don’t experience negative side-effects of probiotics but if they occur they are usually mild and digestive. Some people may experience gas and or bloating.
*If you are immunosuppressed, seek medical advice before using probiotics.*
This article is courtesy of Health Educator Alicia Courterier and ARNP/OBGYN Dixie Thompson of the Pensacola Health Clinic for Women. They are located in our Clinic on 12th Avenue and we’ve loved having them!