What are Probiotics?

What are Probiotics? #$%&

By Piyush Bansal  on: 17 October 2017
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What are Probiotics? &&&

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Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.

Good bacteria are naturally found in your body. You can find probiotics in some foods and supplements. Also we've all been told that probiotics are good for our digestive system. Media leaders like CNN and Huffington Post have spoken in depth about the pros and cons of these supplements. There are hundreds of options on the market, and it can be hard to navigate the attributes of each to find a formula that's best for your needs.

How Do They Work?

Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Here are some of the ways they may keep you healthy:

When you lose "good" bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them.
They can help balance your "good" and "bad" bacteria to keep your body working like it should.

That's why the team at Reviews.com recently released a guide to choosing a probiotic. They looked at 200 supplements, analyzing potency, purity, and other essential factors. They ultimately determined a variety of formulas that work well for the unique needs of different people like antibiotic recovery and IBS. Here are some important things to consider when finding one that works for you:
CFU Count

Probiotics come with a specific dose of bacteria that which are alive within the supplement. It's important to find a colony forming unit (CFU count, referring to the amount of bacteria) that maximizes the impactfulness of the cultures. Look for supplements that have at least 1 billion CFUs per serving. Some probiotics may have lower numbers, but that doesn't mean that they don't work just look for something in this range. You may find formulas with far more than this. Often high CFU probiotics are prescribed doctors for specific reasons, so always check with your physician to be safe.

Shelf Life
Probiotic cultures are alive when created and die off over time. Each bottle comes with an ensured expiration date, which means that the bacterial count is guaraunteeed until the expiration date. You may find a great probiotic at an excellent price, but keep in mind that it will only have that CFU count until that date, so it's important to note.

Bacterial Variety
Take a look at which bacterial strains are present in the supplement. Probiotics should have more than 1 strain of bacteria and they actually work better that way. 75 percent of studies that compared the effect of a strain mixture with a single strain supplement show that a mixture is more effective at improving IBS, immune function, and overall digestive health. It's also important to note which specific strains are included. Certain types of bacteria work well together as a team, like B. longum and L. helveticus

No two digestive systems are the same, so the choice of probiotic is ultimately up to personal preference. These key factors can help guide your search and help along the way!

You can take a look at the full review written by Reviews.com here and see their top picks here:


For personalised consultation and customised diet plans, you are always welcome to contact us at palakmittal.zest.md or can like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PalakDietClinicMeerut/ (If expert advice is needed)

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Piyush Bansal

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Nutritionist/ Dietician, India 

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