Probiotics seem to be a great way to boost your immune system. However, some people seem to be sensitive to them. Let’s examine probiotics pros and cons.
Have you been to the grocery store? Notice labels containing “probiotics”? They are common in the dairy aisle. They are found in yogurt, chocolate, and supplements.
But, what exactly are they? Probiotics are living organisms. They are bacteria claimed to promote digestive health.
Probiotics can also be yeast. The most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Below is a list of the potential health benefits and things to be cautious of.
What are the Probiotics Pros and Cons?
Benefits of probiotics
Also known as beneficial bacteria, probiotics are commonly used for digestive help. One study shows these bacteria to reduce colorectal cancer.
Studies have also shown a trend between the colon and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study showed balancing bacteria lessened to risk of ASD.
Have you recently taken antibiotics? Antibiotics play a role on your gut. It likes to kill all bacteria. The result? Imbalance in your colon.
What are the symptoms of not having enough beneficial bacteria? Cramping, gassiness, and diarrhea. Not very pleasant side effects to deal with!
Use probiotics to fix your colon. The bacteria will balance out. The result of this balance? Your symptoms vanishing.
Lactose-intolerance is another issue. Don’t worry. These bacteria will help! You will remain lactose intolerant. However, diarrhea symptoms will reduce.
Surprisingly, there are other health benefits. Did you know bacteria can reduce high blood pressure? Use probiotics if you already have high blood pressure.
Do you have any oral issues? A 2015 study shows these good bacteria to alleviate issues. Issues mentioned in the study include cavities and halitosis.
Cons of probiotics
Since we are looking at probiotics pros and cons, let’s examine some of the negatives. Although beneficial bacteria is a good supplement to take, there are a few cases where it should be used with caution.
Some individuals should be weary of taking this beneficial supplement. Do you have a chronic disease? An auto-immune disease? A weakened immune system? Some studies show these individuals should not take probiotics. If you have some of these conditions, you may experience bloating and gas problems.
The very young and elderly are also effected. However, it’s also suggested that it may take some time for the healthly flora to develop. The bloating and gas issues should improve once the good bacteria is established. Since probiotics are often found in dairy products, some may actually be sensitive to the lactose and not the probiotics.
It should be noted that probiotics are NOT regulated by the FDA. They are considered a supplement. This means we are left to trust the manufacturer’s claims.
These are living organisms. One batch may differ from another. There are different strains. Try a different product if you are having issues. Still experiencing discomfort? Stop taking probiotics. Most importantly, seek your doctor.
What are the best probiotics?
Here are some tips to help you be proactive when choosing probiotics…
Look at the food itself. See if it contains other beneficial ingredients. Maybe you find a yogurt that contains dietary fibers. That’s great! This one is common sense.
Look at the expiration date. Some items you “safely” eat after they expired. This supplement is different. It is a living organism. Eating it on time will ensure you consume the expected bacteria. More importantly, the effectiveness of the bacteria.
Lastly, never order online. Some manufacturers will claim their product is the best. Consequently, they will increase the price. An inflated price doesn’t always mean better quality. When possible buy your probiotics at your local store.
There’s no doubt that beneficial bacteria play a profound roll on digestive health. However, you need to be aware of the probiotics pros and cons.
They are naturally occurring. But, they are not regulated. Some people have better effects than others. And, not all products are of the same quality.
As with any supplement, talk to your doctor. They will help determine what is best for you.