Probiotics today are so popular that global sales reach more than $40 billion. You may have tried probiotics before. Do you wonder how Probiotic works? How long do you need to take it? Or is it working? With so many products to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right one.
1. What is probiotic?
Probiotics are live microorganisms (yeast or bacteria) that provide health benefits when given the right dosage.
According to an expert council of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), manufacturers need to use more evidence-based research to assert the health benefits of probiotics.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not considered the quality of probiotics because they are registered as functional foods, fermented foods, or food additives.
Let's take a closer look at how to choose the right probiotics and understand how they work, so next time you want to try, you will probably choose the best one for yourself.
2. How does probiotics work?
Probiotic doses are listed as colon formation units (CFU), which means the number of live strains per dose.
Different brands will have different dosages and recommended uses, so it is important to understand the information listed.
Recent research has found that the type of bacteria, health status, product formula, dosage and quality of the product are all important for the effectiveness of that product.
The condition or symptoms you are trying to treat can affect how Probiotic works and when you will see the results. If you are taking a probiotic for intestinal health or the immune system in general, you will need to take some time to see the results.
If you are using probiotics to reduce diarrhea, you may see faster results.
For example, research from Trusted Source has explained that, when used in combination with rehydration therapy, treatment with probiotics can reduce the duration of illness and the frequency of infectious diarrhea in just 2 days.
Another study demonstrated that people who consumed high-dose probiotic drinks containing Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum for 12 weeks were less likely to have upper respiratory tract infections and had less flu-like symptoms than the placebo group.
In addition, it has been proven that probiotic drinks strengthened the immune system of participants by increasing antibody levels including sIgA in the intestines after 12 weeks.
However, another study from 2011 Trusted Source found that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) supplement Saccharomyces boulardii for 4 weeks significantly improved the symptoms associated with this syndrome compared to the group of subjects.
Depending on what you are using Probiotic for, you may see symptoms improve anywhere between a few days and several months.
3. Why can Probiotics be inactive or take longer to come into play?
Probiotics do not work for everyone. Your own genetic structure, age, health, bacteria you already have in your body and diet all affect the mechanism of action of probiotics.
Here are some other reasons probiotics may not work:
- Incorrect dosage (too little CFU).
- You are taking it improperly (when you have food instead of on an empty stomach). Read and follow the product's instructions on how to use it.
- Inappropriate product selection: Not all strains work for every symptom. Find the right product based on proven studies.
- Poor product quality: One of the biggest challenges with probiotics is their fragile properties. They must survive in the production, storage and acid in your stomach to function effectively in your intestines.
- Probiotics have not been stored properly: Humidity, temperature and light can also negatively affect probiotics. Some products may need to be refrigerated.
4. How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You
Choosing the right probiotics product depends on why you take it. The specific effect of each strain of bacteria and the condition.
Probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurt ,or in functional foods, with various popular strains.
Although there are many claims made regarding probiotic products, there is now support based on reliable evidence that certain probiotics such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium (bacteria) and Saccharomyces boulardii (yeast) are generally safe and useful under specific conditions.
Probiotics are thought to be most effective for the following conditions:
- Prevention and treatment of diarrhea in travelers.
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea.
- Ulcerative colitis
A new review also found probiotics are useful in healthy people to maintain intestinal, vaginal and immune system health.
The biggest points to keep in mind to use Probiotics effectively are:
- The right condition of the diseaseto be treated : Probiotics do not work for every disease, so it is important to choose the product that is suitable for symptoms with bacterial strains.
- Correct micro-microorganisms: For best results, choose based on evidence to support symptoms. Consult your doctor before starting supplements.
- Correct dosage (CFU): The dosage of probiotics depends on the health condition or symptoms that you are trying to control. Average doses of CFU 5 billion or higher were found to be more effective than lower doses for the treatment of digestive conditions. Dosage varies by brand. Many brands come in a variety of categories so be sure to read the labels carefully. Dosages also vary between children and adults.
5. How to ensure Probiotics will work?
The most important way to make sure the Probiotics you choose will work is to find a reputable brand and follow the instructions on the recommended label on how to use it. Each brand will have specific information printed on the product.
Manufacturers are constantly trying to improve to improve the effectiveness of probiotics by using various methods such as micro-condoms to protect probiotics from environmental factors, increasing the chances of survival and applied.
For a probiotics to work, it must be guaranteed:
- Good quality: Choose one of the products with proof of effectiveness.
- Stored correctly. Read the label and store it according to the instructions on the label (refrigeration, room temperature, etc.).
- Follow the instructions. Read and drink as suggested on the product label (before meals, before bedtime, etc.).
- Capable of existing in the body. Probiotics must be able to survive in the body, when moving through stomach acid and bile and entering your intestines.
- Safe for you: Read the product label and note the ingredients added. Be aware that added fillers and adhesives can cause reactions.
On the label of a regular probiotics product will have the name of specific probiotics (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus), dosages in CFU, expiration date and instructions for use and storage.
Currently, there are many probiotic products on the market, you may be confused to choose the best one for you. Be sure to discuss with your doctor in advance about taking any supplements. You should also discuss concerns about side effects or interactions with other medications you are currently taking.
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