Probiotics are the micro-organisms that are living in our gut and are also known as gut flora. These micro-organisms are supporting gut functions and are important for processing and digesting the food that we take. They maintain a healthy environment in the gut and this is why they are also called Helpful bacteria. They also fight against harmful and problem-causing bacteria in the stomach. Hence probiotics are highly linked with good gut health and immune system.
These probiotics are naturally present in some foods such as yogurt cheese and other dairy products. Or they can either be taken up through synthetic pills which contain strains of live cultures. There are a lot of different brands for probiotics which are available in the market.
What do Probiotics actually do?
There are 2 basic types of probiotics which are present in the gut and they are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli. These probiotics are commonly found in dairy products and are beneficial in dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, and diarrhea.
How do Probiotics work?
Each individual has a different number of micro-organisms in their gut and is known as gut flora or microbiome. This different number depends upon their genetic makeup, lifestyle, and health status. However, any imbalance in this count can lead to various health issues and immune problems. They also fight against the bad bacteria present in the gut and hence are necessary for maintaining overall good health.
These probiotics are also helpful in processing and digesting of food. They also reduce the chances of having many digestive problems which can be even dangerous for your health. But sometimes their number falls down due to certain reasons like illness, stomach upset or even food poisoning. Stress and poor diet can also reduce their number and can be harmful. To maintain your gut flora, you can naturally add food item which contains these probiotics. You can also take synthetic supplements in order to maintain the number of probiotics in your gut. These will restore the adequate number of probiotics which are required for optimal functioning of the gut and the body.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are the indigestible fibers that are present in the food and feed the already existing good bacteria or probiotics in the gut. They are naturally present in certain food items like cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetable. Hence more the prebiotics more will be the number of probiotics present in your gut.
Probiotics and prevention of diseases
As probiotics strengthen the immune system so they fight back various diseases like common cold, stomach upsets and problems with digestion. They boost resilience and fight certain infections as well. They also help reduce symptoms of diseases that one is suffering from.
Fighting with Acne
As your healthy gut is associated with a lot of problems, acne is one of them. They reduce various types of inflammations in your body. Probiotics are also helpful in dealing with skin allergies like eczema.
Help in Weight Loss
Probiotics are somewhat helpful in weight loss as well. They will let you feel fuller hence least need for food intake. They also prevent the absorption of dietary fats and will burn more calories.
Probiotics for Women
Probiotics are helpful in recurrence of UTIs, skin infections, and kidney infections. They also help reduce the risk of developing thrush which is characterized by an infection in the mouth and throat.
Although unnecessary medication is prohibited during pregnancy yet there are certain probiotics which are recommended by the doctors. These probiotics maintain the gut and help reduce pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, disturbed stomach, and morning sickness. They are also good for lactating mothers.
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Probiotics for Men
Just like women, they also reduce the risk of UTIs in men. They improve gut health, reduce pylori, and ulcers. Probiotics also help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels hence reducing the risk for diabetes in men.
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How and when to take Probiotics
First, try to add food items that naturally contain probiotics in them, or you can either take synthetic pills. You can one capsule once a day roughly following the same time of each day. It is better to follow instructions given on the leaf given with your probiotics. Some of them are good at empty stomach while others require to be taken after eating something. Also, keep in mind sugar and salt content in your diet.
How to store Probiotics?
Usually, most of the synthetic probiotics come with longer shelf life and does not need refrigeration. While raw probiotics need contains fresh live cultures, so they need to be refrigerated so that they can be stored for a longer period of time without compromising their quality.
Side effects of Probiotics
One of the most side effects of probiotics in some people is constipation especially with yeast-based probiotics and associated with a high dose of probiotics.
Diarrhea is one of the initial symptoms of probiotics and usually resolves once you become habitual of taking them regularly. Hence it is a short-term side effect last for approximately 2 weeks.
- Sauarkaut (fermented vegetable containing lactobacilli)
- Miso (traditional Japanese fermented seasoning)
- Kefir (fermented milk drink similar to that of a thin yogurt)
- Tempeh (traditional Southeast Asian fermented food product)
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
How long does a Probiotic take to works?
The time till a probiotic works vary from person to person. Usually, you can notice visible effects within 2-3 days once you start taking probiotics. Because this is the minimum time any medicine takes to produce desirable results.
Hopefully, after giving a read to this article, you can have a better understanding of how to choose the right probiotic for yourself. This will also let you know when and how to take them so that they can produce good results. Also, what benefits you can take from them and sometimes how can they be bad for your health.
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