If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems, there’s a good chance you’ve considered taking probiotics. These are living microorganisms that work to balance out bacteria in your gut.
You can get probiotics from a handful of foods such as yogurt and kimchi. However, many people have found supplements to be easier and more effective.
Before you give these a try, you need to understand a little more about them. That’s why we’re going over five probiotics facts you may not know.
1. Not All Probiotic Supplements Will Work for You
There are many probiotic supplements on the market. Buying the first one you see isn’t the best idea. There are some things you should look for on the label.
First, look at the number of colony-forming units (CFUs). You want a supplement with 500 billion or more. This refers to the number of healthy bacteria you’ll get.
You’ll also want to look for certain strains in the supplement you choose. More specifically, bifidobacterium breve can help with obesity and immune health while lactobacillus acidophilus can aid in indigestion and IBS relief.
2. Probiotics May Help Your Mental Well-Being
A lesser-known fact about probiotics is that they can also help boost your emotional health. After all, your gut and brain are connected.
When the microorganisms in your stomach are out of whack, this can affect your mood and brain functionality. The reason you’ve felt depressed lately may be directly related to gastrointestinal issues.
3. Probiotics Can Be Harmful to Some People
While probiotic supplements are generally considered safe, they’re not an option for everyone. In fact, these supplements are still a mystery to doctors and scientists.
Individuals suffering from immune disorders or chronic illnesses could experience negative side-effects after taking a probiotic. These may include infections, resistance to antibiotics, or an increase in GI problems.
If you have a preexisting health condition, you must speak to your doctor before taking a probiotic supplement.
4. Fiber is Important When Taking a Probiotic
Probiotics need certain types of food fuel to work effectively. When taking a supplement, it’s important to get a healthy amount of fiber.
The fiber found in foods contains prebiotics. They help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Eating high-fiber foods like bananas, quinoa, and almonds will help create a good balance of microorganisms.
There are also prebiotic supplements on the market you can take alongside your probiotics.
5. Probiotics Aren’t Regulated by the FDA
It’s important to keep in mind that probiotics don’t go through official testing like other medicines. Considered dietary supplements, they don’t require FDA approval.
This means there aren’t regulated levels of microbes in probiotic supplements. You need to make sure you take a close look at the label when choosing one.
Don’t let this fact scare you away from probiotics. As long as you find a high-quality brand and talk to your doctor, there’s a good chance you’ll have a positive reaction to them.
Consider These Probiotics Facts Before Choosing a Supplement
If you suffer from GI issues and can’t seem to find a reliable cure, consider taking a probiotic. These supplements can work better than prescription medications.
Keep the probiotics facts discussed above in mind when deciding if they’re right for you.
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