Chicago Health | Homepage
Probiotic supplements boost gut-friendly microbes

Probiotic supplements boost gut-friendly microbes

By Marcia McCulloch, M.S., R.D., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter

Your gut is home to trillions of friendly microbes, which are primarily bacteria, but also include some yeasts, which support health. You acquire these probiotics naturally, at birth, but many factors can affect the composition and number of your gut microbes over time, such as diet, antibiotic use and stress. Thus, many people benefit from supplemental probiotics.

In the past decade, research on probiotics has skyrocketed. Growing evidence suggests probiotics may one day help treat chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Other probiotic benefits are more well-established, such as supporting digestive and immune health. Your chances of gaining desired results are better if you know a little about probiotics and use clinically tested products.

What’s in a name?

Probiotics are identified by their genus, species, and strain, such as Bifidobacterium (genus) infantis (species), 35624 (strain). Within each species, there are many different strains, which may have different benefits. Sometimes several different microbes that provide synergistic benefits may be combined in the same product. For general wellness, a multiple-species product is usually preferred rather than a single-strain product.

Dosing probiotics

The number of probiotics in a supplement is expressed as colony-forming units (CFUs) and indicates the minimum number of live microorganisms at the expiration date. It’s generally advised to select probiotics with at least 109 (1 billion) CFUs per dose.

Tips for taking probiotic supplements:

1. Consult your health care provider, to ensure probiotics are appropriate for you.

2. Follow package instructions for the best way to take and store probiotics.

3. Take regularly. Supplemented probiotics generally do not survive in the gut more than a week or two.

4. Separate by at least two hours if also taking antibiotics, to avoid destroying probiotics.

5. Consume prebiotics, which are fibers that nourish beneficial microbes. Prebiotic sources include plant-based foods, such as asparagus, onions and whole grains. Some probiotic supplements have added prebiotics, such as inulin.

6. Try again. For ongoing health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, try a specific product for 3-4 weeks. If your symptoms don’t improve, take a break and then try a different product to see if it works better.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)

(c) 2015 BELVOIR MEDIA GROUP DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Similar Articles

Whole foods generally a better source of vitamins than supplements

Whole foods generally a better source of vitamins than supplements

Mayo Clinic Q&A By Brent Bauer, M.D. DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I've read that the antioxidant vitamin E

There is relief for side effects of iron supplements

There is relief for side effects of iron supplements

The Medicine Cabinet - Ask the Harvard Experts  By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I have anemia and

High-dose vitamin D may not lower risk of falls

High-dose vitamin D may not lower risk of falls

Harvard Health Letter Vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a possible preventive strategy to improve

How to take supplements safely

How to take supplements safely

Environmental Nutrition Newsletter By McKenzie Hall, R.D. More than half of Americans use dietary supplements, including multivitamins

The scoop on protein powders

The scoop on protein powders

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, R.D.N., EatingWell Stroll through the grocery store and you'll see a flurry

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

March 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
February 26, 2017 February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017 March 4, 2017
March 5, 2017 March 6, 2017 March 7, 2017 March 8, 2017 March 9, 2017 March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017
March 12, 2017 March 13, 2017 March 14, 2017 March 15, 2017 March 16, 2017 March 17, 2017 March 18, 2017
March 19, 2017 March 20, 2017 March 21, 2017 March 22, 2017 March 23, 2017 March 24, 2017 March 25, 2017
March 26, 2017 March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

Categories

Recent Comments

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

A Hazy Shade of Healthcare: What does tort reform

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives