Probiotics as a Natural Health Remedy: 5 Points To Remember
Looking for a probiotic, but not sure what to look for in a probiotic? Here’s some advice from Reuters Health Watch and Consumer Reports on some probiotic basics as a natural health remedy for treating conditions such as bloating, excessive gas, gurgling, tummy aches and pains, diarrhea and unexplained weight gain resulting in belly fat.
According to a recent Reuters Health Watch, probiotics are becoming increasingly popular with health conscious consumers who are seeking a natural way to bring balance to their digestive tract. An important factor behind this balance lies in the types of bacteria you have in your digestive tract, which incidentally, can be controlled simply by eating some cultured food products such as special yogurts, or swallowing a probiotic pill.
Here’s what one health expert advises consumers when shopping for a probiotic:
One Common Health Symptom Tamed with a Probiotic
Last year, Consumer Reports reported that taking probiotics may prove beneficial for patients who are on antibiotics that not only kill off bad bacteria, but good bacteria as well which can lead to intestinal disturbances such as diarrhea. They stated that some clinical trials have shown that taking probiotics can reduce the risk of developing diarrhea or shorten its appearance while on antibiotics or when taking an acid-blocking drug such as Nexium or Prilosec. Acid-blocking drugs can change the gut’s environment and can thereby alter your gut bacteria populations.
Five Probiotic Points to Remember
• Probiotics only last about 1 week, therefore necessitating that you continue taking probiotics in order to continue to receive any purported benefits from the bacteria.
• Be sure to choose a brand of probiotic that provides at least a billion CFU (colony forming units) per dose.
• Look for brands that offer multiple strains of bacteria to bring balance back to your digestive tract. According to Consumer Reports, “Research suggests that the most effective probiotics are combinations of L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, and S. boulardii. To reduce the risk of diarrhea caused by C. diff, the most effective dose is thought to be more than 10 billion colony forming units, or CFU, daily.”
• Store your probiotic in the fridge as soon as possible to ensure that the bacterial cells will not die off and thereby decrease your probiotic dosing.
• You don’t have to take a pill to get those good bacteria. Consumer Reports found that many yogurts they tested contained an average of 90 billion to 500 billion CFU per serving in comparison to probiotic supplements in pill form that contained less, from just fewer than 1 billion to 20 billion CFU per capsule.
Probiotics for Weight Loss
Weight loss experts believe that what goes on in your gut can affect how fat is stored around your gut. Here are two select articles on how probiotics can be used to fight belly fat:
Reuters Health Watch “The Pros and Cons of Probiotics”
Consumer Reports “Using Good Bacteria to Fight Bad Bacteria”
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