Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fast Facts on Probiotics

So, do you eat yogurt?  Have you ever been looking at the label, reading the various things about probiotics on it, and thought to yourself "hmmm, not really sure what that is".  Here is your quick guide to probiotics!  What they are, how they work, and where to get them from.  Any other questions?  Comment below and I"m happy to answer them!

What are Probiotics?
·    Probiotics are live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.  This definition comes from the World Health Organization.
·     Most Probiotics are similar to those that are naturally found in people’s GI tracts.
·  There are many different types of Probiotics, and they function in many different ways throughout the GI tract.

How do they work?
·    Each person has a different mix of bacteria in their GI tract, some good, and some harmful.  It is a balancing act to keep both in check.  There are two major ways this can be thrown off:
o  Antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria along with the unfriendly bacteria
o Unfriendly bacteria can upset the balance too.  Researchers are exploring whether Probiotics can halt the unfriendly bacteria
·      Some Probiotics are able to inhibit the growth of unfavorable bacteria
·  Other Probiotics reduce the pH of your gut, making it an intolerable place for other bacteria
·   There are many other different ways they work to improve the health of your GI tract, some studies show they help with diarrhea, constipation, and other symptoms.

Where do you get Probiotics?
·   Most commonly, Probiotics are present in yogurt.  You want to look for one that contains “live active cultures”. 
·   Probiotics are also popping up in a variety of other products.  The artificial sweetener Nevella contains Probiotics that are shelf stable, and also hold up to being baked.
·       Probiotics are also in fermented foods, such as sauerkraut.
·       There are a number of supplements out there promoting Probiotics.  Talk to a health care provider before starting any new supplements.




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1 comment:

  1. "So, do you eat yogurt? Have you ever been looking at the label, reading the various things about probiotics on it, and thought to yourself "hmmm, not really sure what that is". Here is your quick guide to probiotics!"

    I'm not fan of eating yogurt or any dairy products. I only depends on taking probiotics supplements, pretty works with me though.

    ReplyDelete