When we discuss Gut Health and Digestive problems many will recommend the use of Probiotics. These are living microbes that populate the digestive system including the gut biome.
When we ask “What Are Probiotics Good For?” there are many things that studies have shown to be possible solutions.
If we consider our digestive tract as a populous of good and bad bacteria this is maybe the best way to explain it.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are beneficial to fight off bad bacteria that can negatively impact human health. As strange as it might sound within our gut environment there are billions and billions of living microorganisms. This bacteria in terms of how healthy it is will of course impact our own overall health.
Creating a healthy live gut environment (microbiome) can affect overall health in many positive ways.
The Immune System for example is a large network of organs and cells that help fight off bad bacteria but it also relies on healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) as an extra line of defence,
However, not only this, when we also add to the mix fat accumulation, metabolism, hormonal balance, mental health, blood sugar and blood pressure problems there are a lot of things probiotics are good for.
For today’s post, we will look to explore this question further plus many more questions about Probiotics for Better Digestive Health, and why taking probiotic foods and supplements are a good idea.
So let’s begin shall we>
What Are Probiotics Good For? and 20+ More Questions FAQ (TOC)
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Do Probiotics Improve Gut Health?
In short YES, of course, they do. The human body needs probiotics to effectively manage our gut biome. Without them in a great enough number, we would get very ill so they most certainly do improve our gut health. Whether taken as probiotic food sources or as supplements our gut health can definitely benefit from taking them.
Which in fact, is supported by much research that has been taken over many, many years. [R]
How To Know If Your Gut Needs Probiotics?
If you are someone that wonders if you might benefit from taking probiotics as a solution to better gut health then all you really need to know is that generally speaking in any given situation they are very good for you.
Especially, if you experience any gut health issues. This is usually a sign of detrimental bacteria but In hindsight, there are three very common indicators that might signal the need to take probiotics.
- You’ve taken antibiotics and need to replace the healthy bacteria this might have affected.
- If you find that you’re constantly getting sick this could be an indicator of an unhealthy gut environment.
- Bloating, Gas and Diarrhoea… and any kind of digestive discomfort could be signs that you need probiotics.
- If you feel unwell or have skin issues this could be a further sign that you might need probiotics.
Which Probiotics Are Best For Gut Health?
One general recommendation when trying to find a reliable probiotic supplement is to choose one with at least 1 billion colony-forming units (CFU) that contain the genus Lactobacillus.
This should be a probiotic supplement where the bacteria does not die off before the product is taken. In this case, also look for AFU (active fluorescent units).
Lots of the cheaper kinds of probiotics on the market often have this problem – so definitely it is sensible to do your research first. Always read product reviews or customer testimonials before making any purchase of new supplements to see what other previous customers’ experience has been like.
Usually, you can tell if the product is any good based on this information.
So definitely, Probiotics that still contain live bacteria are the most important thing to consider but another thing to look out for as well is patented ingredients. Any probiotics that just list the strains such as L. Plantarum or B. Breve for example without a number next to them are not patented blends. Look for further information on labels as indicators – these could be a TM sign.
In a lot of cases, these probiotics are designed to survive in stomach acid and on the journey to the gut biome.
How Long Do Probiotics Take To Work
Whilst this can vary from person to person for most people the healing process will take around 2 to 3 weeks to feel noticeable changes after they begin taking probiotics. This is because probiotics need time to reach three key goals to actually improve all-around gut health. These are;
- To Increase the Good Bacteria Count,
- Decrease Bad bacteria count, and…
- Reduce Inflammation and swelling
If you do not notice any significant improvement after taking probiotics within these first few weeks (if taken as supplements) then it is likely the bacteria is dead before you’ve taken the product.
So bear this in mind give it 2-4 weeks to see what effects you notice.
Are Probiotics a Waste of Money?
This is actually a good question. Obviously, probiotic foods are not a waste because foods like pickles, cheese and jams etc. might be things we actually enjoy regardless but with supplements, this is a good question.
It really depends on the product and the probiotic strains that they contain.
The answer is quite simple some probiotics yes are definitely a waste of money but others are certainly not. Just make sure to do your research first to find out what probiotics are good and which ones are not good.
See my top recommended Probiotics Supplement here.
Should You Take Probiotics Every Day?
Many people will actually ask, whether it is ok to take probiotic supplements every day?. It is a good question and whilst there may be a few exceptions to this rule, generally speaking, the answer is yes!
Taking probiotics every day is completely safe, and not only this but it is in fact recommended.
What is the main thing to note is that probiotics are a natural supplement and not a medicine.
You should only take them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Taking too much actually may have negative effects.
So always read the labels before taking probiotic supplements as a precaution. You probably won’t get much more than an upset stomach but these recommendations are there for a reason.
What Happens To Your Gut When You Take Probiotics?
For some people the first time using probiotics this may cause things like gas, bloating, or diarrhoea. It kind of sounds off-putting (I know) but changes in the gut microbiota can mean bacteria producing more gas than usual. You might find for this reason it may be recommended that you start off with a lower dose. Usually, one capsule instead of two – each product varies.
However, this is completely normal as your body begins to adapt to these new microbes. You should find after the first 1-2 weeks that this goes away. Then once these probiotic colonies really begin to establish themselves you should notice the more positive changes such as better digestion, increased energy levels and improvements to general health.
Of course, this depends on the product but generally speaking this is mostly true.
How Do I Fix My Gut Health?
If you suffer from gut health problems and digestive discomfort some ideas to try are
- Take probiotics and eat fermented foods. …
- Eat prebiotic fibre. …
- Eat less sugar and sweeteners. …
- Reduce stress. …
- Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. …
- Exercise regularly. …
- Get enough sleep.
Do Doctors Recommend Probiotics?
This is a very good question and whilst some doctors might recommend probiotics the truth is the evidence that probiotics actually work is not definitive. They have been studied in a variety of conditions, including antibiotic-related diarrhoea, digestive disorders, tooth decay, allergies, eczema, liver disease and even the common cold – however, as the evidence doesn’t really support the use of Probiotics many doctors will not recommend them.
Although contrary to this the market for probiotic foods and supplements is HUGE. All you need to do is read people’s online reviews to see that many people swear by Probiotics for better gut health.
How can I Restore My Gut Flora?
Actually, there are many ideas to try here which might be helpful;
- Eat fermented foods. …
- Eat foods with prebiotic fibre. …
- Reduce stress. …
- Eat foods rich in polyphenols. …
- Talk with a doctor about antibiotic usage. …
- Swap your cleaning products. …
- Exercise in a way that feels good regularly. …
- Be sure to regularly consume whole grains (if there are no issues doing so)
Do Probiotics Detox Your Body?
In a way yes. They can certainly help as taking probiotics increases the number of good bacteria in your gut. This can help detoxify your system as it allows you to absorb nutrients more efficiently which can help manage hormones better.
If you have been taking too many antibiotics, the probiotics can balance the negative effects of that as well.
When is the Best Time To Take Probiotics
Probiotics are most effective when they have been taken on an empty stomach. This is to make sure that good bacteria make it to the gut as quickly as possible.
The best time to take probiotics they say is either before eating breakfast or before going to sleep at night
What is the Best Probiotic for Leaky Gut?
Many different Leaky Gut supplements can be found online but my top pick as of now is Leaky Gut Guardian® by Bioptimizers. What this supplement offers is a powerful blend of probiotics and prebiotics (synbiotics), which work together to get rid of bad bacteria and promote the growth of good bacteria in its place.
Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition that affects the gut lining and causes something which is called intestinal permeability.
Besides this other benefits include the elimination of bloating and gas, promoting overall GI health, reducing gut inflammation, and increasing nutrient absorption. Increased energy levels and improved immune response are other advantages.
However, one problem with Leaky Gut Guardian® is that it is not vegan friendly – as it contains hyperimmunized egg powder. This is well known for its gut health benefits for anyone who doesn’t have a problem with this.
Alongside Hyperimmunized egg powder (IGY MAX) Leaky Gut Guardian also contains a lactobacillus blend (10 billion CFU), including L. Rhamnosus, L. Gasseri, and L. Helveticus. It is both available in Carnivore Chocolate and Vegetarian Vanilla flavours.
Can You Take Probiotics Long Term?
In case you are wondering if probiotics are safe to take long-term then yes – by taking probiotics over the course of several months and even longer there is evidence to support beneficial changes in the gut microbiome.
However, like dosage, the duration of taking probiotics will vary depending on the bacterial strains and specific product.
What Are AFU Probiotics?
Active-fluorescent units (AFUs) represent a count of “living and viable” bacteria in a batch of probiotics.
When evaluating the strains in Pendulum medical probiotics, CFUs and AFUs differ only in the way they are measured but are calibrated in order to be in agreement with each other.
How Many Billions of Probiotics Should You Take?
There’s no general rule to follow. Most doses of probiotics in the case of supplements range from 1 to 10 billion CFUs that you take once or twice a day. CFUs are short for colony-forming units and If you don’t get enough CFUs, you might not get the results you want.
But more isn’t always better – another important thing to note is AFUs – Active Flourescent Units which means how many live bacteria are inside the probiotic supplement.
What is the Best Probiotic for Urinary Health?
According to some research, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GR-1 and L.Reuteri RC-14 (previously called L. Fermentum RC-14) seemed to be the most effective among the studied lactobacilli for the prevention of UTIs. [R]
Are SBO probiotics safe?
One type of probiotics that the casual customer online might come across are SBOs or soil-based probiotics. These are probiotics that are grown in soil. Of these one common type is Lacto Bacillus.
This is actually very common in a lot of probiotic products and as long as the company that supplies these products has these ingredients this should never really be something you ever have to ask.
Should You Take Probiotics In The Morning or at Night?
What time of day is the best to take probiotics? This is another good question, and the main thing to note is this…
Probiotics are most effective when they have been taken on an empty stomach to make sure the good bacteria makes it to the gut as quickly as possible. The best time to take a probiotic is either first thing in the morning before eating breakfast or before going to sleep at night.
The best time will vary on the individual so it is sensible to try out both.
Are Refrigerated Probiotics Better?
Refrigerated probiotics aren’t superior to the shelf-stable options out there. What’s most important is that you choose a high-quality probiotic and store it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If your probiotic calls for refrigeration, keeping it cold keeps the bacteria alive.