Having access to the best probiotic supplements can boost your gut health and improve your overall health. The hard part for most of us is knowing where to start. With the wide range of choices available out there, probiotic names and brands can start to get a little overwhelming.
No worries though, we’ve got you covered. In this Ultimate Guide we are going to give you a crash course on what you need to know to start using probiotics. By the end of this guide you’ll know what you need to get the best probiotic supplements for your needs.
Probiotics: Who Needs Them Anyway?
If it seems that you’ve been hearing more about probiotics these days, you’re probably right. That’s because more and more people are discovering the benefits of these little microscopic gut buddies.
Probiotics are now included on a variety of foods such as protein bars and frozen yogurts. These foods can be the first step on your path to a healthy lifestyle, but why stop there? Choosing the right type of supplements can definitely help nourish your gut bacteria, improve your digestive health and overall mental and physical well-being.
Today, more and more Probiotics products are showing up on the market, and more and more people are asking: How do I choose the best suited probiotic product for my condition and specific needs? Let’s answer that question in this article as we tackle the different uses and facts about probiotics products and how it affects our general health.
What are Probiotics?
Before we proceed, it important for you to have the basic knowledge about probiotics and what they are. Probiotics are actually live bacteria that keeps our gut health at its best.
So, maybe you’re thinking – “Wait a minute, bacteria? Isn’t that the stuff that makes people sick?”
Yes, it is, but the truth is there is also good bacteria. You may have heard of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. Your body is the natural home of billions and even trillions of microorganisms that keep our system well-functioning and that includes probiotics or the “good” bacteria.
The sole purpose of these gut-friendly bacteria is to patrol your intestine and destroy any harmful pathogens, produces essential vitamins, and helps in digestion in order to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
So, probiotics are good for gut health – but what else?
We all know that these gut microbes or probiotics offer several benefits in our body especially in our digestive health – but what else? Here some of the most important benefits of probiotics in order to learn what you can get.
Probiotics promote healthy immune function
Fun Fact: our mucosal barrier or intestinal lining is over 300 square meters in size or about the size of a tennis court (wow). That’s definitely a lot of territories for the good guys to patrol and support our overall health. As mentioned before, these beneficial bacteria play an important role in developing and maintaining the mucosal immune system in our gut.
They usually combat “bad” bacteria or any less-friendly microbes found in the receptor cells and food. These microbes partner up with our immune cells to protect us against any immune health stressors. They also help in supporting healthy and normal response to the allergen as it distinguishes the undesirable antigens and non-harmful antigens in our immune system.
Probiotics support better weight management
Incorporating probiotics in daily diet has frequently become a popular trend in the health scene. Consuming high-probiotic foods such as frozen yogurt can be beneficial for those with obese tendencies or some people who are trying to lose weight.
Based on one study conducted on infants, subjects with a high level of beneficial bifidobacteria has shown to have an increase protection in terms of gaining excess weight. This study concluded that breastfed babies appeared to have a lower risk obesity as the bifidobacteria from the mother’s milk flourishes in the guts.
In addition, another research which compared obese people to lean people based on the level of microbes in their gut. They discovered that a higher amount of different health bacteria are found in lean individuals while obese people tend to have the lower amount and which plays a factor in gaining excess weight. So, if you’re struggling to lose or manage your weight, then you should definitely add right types of probiotic products or supplements in your regimen now, most trusted brands like Renew-Life, GT’s Kombucha, and Udo’s Choice Probiotics can give you the best probiotic products.
Probiotics help in better and effective nutrients absorption
Another key role of probiotics supplements is the better nutrient absorption. The main role of these beneficial gut microbes is to absorb different nutrients such as fiber, undigested starches, and glucose or sugars in foods and eventually helps our body to convert these carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins into essential nutrients and energy for keeping our several system’s functions at its best.
In addition, probiotics also boost our body’s Vitamin k and vitamin b production which adds more effective mineral absorption from the foods we consume and metabolizes the breaking down the process of different body toxins or wastes.
Probiotics improve our both emotional and psychological health
There is a connection between good gut health and better cognitive function. The proof of this connection primarily based on how the guts create and produce more serotonin or mood-influencing neurotransmitter compared to your brain – remember those times we feel “hangry” (hungry and angry) or that feeling of madness because we ’re hungry? This is backed by several studies as they show that probiotics or beneficial gut microbes are beneficial for the gut to brain communication.
This is because both of our nervous systems in the spinal cord to the brain and in our gastrointestinal tract is made of the same type of tissue that is connected to through the main route or pathways where information sharing between the gut and the brain happens – the vagus nerve. This fact clearly influences any learning disability, psychiatric, or neurological issues – so, we strongly suggest that pay attention to your gut health mainly because of its profound interrelationship between your overall cognitive function.
Probiotics support healthy skin
Our body is a living ecosystem for trillions of microorganism, which is why separating the ones on the surface and on our inside can be difficult. Researchers suggest there is a connection between these microorganisms and incorporating probiotic products or supplements can benefit your skin health. Several mild or severe skin issues are common in infants due to developmental delays in their immune function.
Because probiotics improve our body’s immunity, it’s clear what the importance of the different probiotic supplements on the market are. Also, it is beneficial for women who are planning to become pregnant or moms-to-be. According to a study, taking probiotic supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy until the end of breastfeeding cycle can help the mother manage their weight after the arrival of the baby. This could benefit both the mother and the new-born.
How to choose the best probiotic supplements for you?
So know you that having a great gut-health play and abundant role in our digestion, well-being, psychological and emotional health, beauty, and overall health – is now the time for you to learn the basic on how to choose the best and right type of probiotic supplements that suit your needs.
As the booming numbers of several probiotic supplements in the market that claims to give you 100% effective and optimum result, knowing the fact that not all of these products are created equal – it can be problematic to choose the right kinds.
Below are some few basic criteria that you can use to evaluate what probiotic supplements will work best for you:
1. Choose the right kind of Probiotic
There are different types of probiotics with several subcategories that offer beneficial effects for certain conditions.
L. Acidophilus for Diarrhea, Acne, and Vaginal Health
One of the most widely used and recognized probiotics since 1920’s is the L. Acidophilus for treating common gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea and constipation. These beneficial bacteria pass through the intestine and patrols on the stomach to inspect and eliminate some possible issues. The study also has been shown that this type of good bacteria also helps in treating vaginal infection, reducing the risks of colon cancer and issues associated with lactose intolerance.
Another study also concludes that the probiotic combination of L. Bulgaricus and L. Acidophilus improves the overall physical health of the patients, particularly in reducing inflammatory acne, better compliance, and tolerance with antibiotics.
L. Casei for Gastrointestinal Support and Brain function
The promising result of L. casei is shown for supporting digestive process and regulating diarrhea. According to study, it also beneficial in relieving anxiety and depression.
L. Rhamnosus for Eczema
During the supplementation of antibiotics, some healthy bacteria are killed off and several studies have shown a strong evidence which shows that the L. Rhamnosus colonizes the intestine and thus, effective for treating diarrhea and preventing eczema (more especially atopic eczema in childbirth).
L. Plantarum for Inflammation
The main purpose of L. Plantarum is to control any inflammation in the gut and regulate our body’s immunity against any bad bacteria. This could also relief issues like bloating, bowel syndrome, and abdominal pain.
B. Lactis for Body’s immunity
- Lactis has been shown to increase our body’s immune system as it increases the number of antibodies for better immunity and digestive comfort as well.
B. Bifidum for Better immunity and improved digestive health
These beneficial microbes can strengthen and improve our body’s immunity against infection and prevent any intestinal pathogens or disrupter from flourishing in the gut.
B. Breve for Anti-aging
According to one study, B. Breve can be beneficial for those who have skin ailments as it mitigates the detrimental effects of sun damage especially extreme UV exposure which keeps your skin younger-looking and hydrated.
B. Longum for better brain function and Constipation
At birth, the role of B. Longum probiotic is to colonize our bodies. Its sole purpose is to ferment sugars from the food we eat and turns it into lactic acid and prevent any formation of harmful bacteria in the intestine while stabilizing its acidity at the same time. This one is an ideal choice for memory improvement, decreasing stress levels, and constipation.
Thermophilus for skin health
The antibacterial properties of the S. Thermophilus play a significant role in eliminating harmful intestinal microbes due to antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It is also found to have beneficial effects on supporting better skin health because of the natural lipids called ceramides that are important for keeping the skin hydrated and younger-looking as well.
2. Check the Product packaging and delivery system
The most important factor in choosing the best probiotic supplement is by understanding the different ways on how the manufacturer deliver and package their products. A good delivery system should involve how that form enables the different beneficial bacteria to stay healthy and alive while in the storage and how will they reach the guts where the will be most effective.
Keep in mind that, if the probiotic supplement with full dead bacteria, it is a waste of money. Opt for the ones that use controlled-release tablet or beadlet technology in packaging. You should also remember to store any probiotic products or supplements away from light, moisture, or heat exposure in order to keep the living bacteria alive and ensure that they will give you best results.
3. Check the Product Potency
CFU or the colony forming units is one way to measure the number of probiotic bacteria in a supplement. The level of CFU will depend on your specific medical condition that is needed for your overall health. Typically, opt for the one with have at least 10 – 30 billion CFU if you’re looking for a standard priced probiotic supplements while other expensive ones have 500 billion to 1 trillion CPU per capsule – it doesn’t really matter how much CFU will work best for you because there are trillions of microorganisms in your colon right now and these supplements can only add to its numbers.
Stay away also for the supplements that include unnecessary types of fillers and opt for the one that allows refrigeration for storage.
3. Always check the Expiration Date
To know if the probiotic supplement is for quality use, it should display expiration dates that are based on the stability and formulation of the testing data. Remember, if you don’t see any expiration date written or labeled on the product then there’s no way you could know if the supplement really is quality and safe to use. Additionally, also opt for the brands that offer money-back guarantee.
Having the right balance of bad and good bacteria in our body can influence our mental and bodily functions. While there is an increasing number of different probiotic supplements that are available in the market, you should always aim for what’s best for you.
Learning the different variables to consider when choosing the best is a no brainer.
“All disease starts in the gut” – as Hippocrates said, having a good gut health is the key for our general health’s improvement while poor gut health can lead to inflammatory bowel disease, skin conditions, multiple food sensitivities, and so on – keeping our guts healthy sure is important for everyone.