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We realized something along time ago when reviewing various health supplements and natural products, programs, protocols and plans – that probiotics seemed to be the underlying cause and effect for the entire body as a whole when it came to health and wellness or it's dreaded polarity sickness and disease.

Your gut health, flora and food digestion ability is vital to your overall wellbeing and energy.

We have many health guides on probiotics for you to review in-depth; but we wanted to create this space for NEW probiotic news, findings, medical data, scientific literature and overall evolving space. Whether it is about functional foods or fermented foods, we wanted to have a dedicated outlet to gathering and collecting all of the latest and greatest knowledge and insight being shared about the fascinating world of your microbiome.

Here are just a few of the recent news about various probiotic benefits, meanings and understandings that have came forth in 2016:

Please make sure you read our Probiotics eBook that is much more in-depth. The following guide is just as a safety net to bring you up to speed on all of the new probiotic supplements and research we can curate online. It will be an on going probiotics hub of valuable information that showcases all of the best 2016 probiotic studies and segways into what to look for in the year 2017 for probiotics.

Probiotics Guide

Our digestive systems use bacteria to extract nutrients and energy from the foods we eat. Unfortunately, age, diet, and nutrition can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria in our digestive system.

That’s why many people choose to take a Probiotic supplement. Probiotic supplements add billions of beneficial bacteria colonies to your digestive system.

Adding bacteria colonies to your intestines may sound gross, but those colonies can cure chronic digestive problems and alleviate constipation.

Learn everything you need to know about probiotics today in our ultimate Probiotics guide.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts. Think of them as the “good” bacteria your body needs to stay healthy.

In addition to probiotics, you might hear terms like prebiotic and synbiotics. Prebiotics are dietary substances that nurture specific changes in the composition of microorganisms in the digestive tract. Synbiotics are supplements that contain both prebiotics and probiotics.

Types of Probiotic Bacteria

When we talk about bacteria in your digestive system, we’re not just talking about one or two different types of bacteria. Instead, your digestive system uses 500 to 1,000 different types of bacteria. In total, there are trillions of microbes in your digestive system at any one time.

When you take a probiotic supplement, you’re adding a small amount of bacteria to your intestines. These bacteria have been shown to encourage the healthy growth of important colonies.

Here are the most important types of probiotic bacteria:

Lactobacillus

This is a family of bacteria typically found in dairy products. Research has supported the use of specific bacteria strains, including Lactobacillus bulgaricus, acidophilus, rhamnosus, gasseri, and casei.

Saccharomyces Boulardii

This is a type of yeast. Studies have shown that it can be used to treat gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea, among other issues.

Bacillus Coagulans

This bacteria works in a similar way to Lactobacillus. Studies have shown that it helps alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases.

Bifidobacteria

Bifidobacteria lives in the intestine and studies have shown that it can alleviate certain types of diarrhea while also improving the health of bacteria lining the intestine. Bifidobaceria infantus is particularly beneficial.

Streptococcus Thermophiles

Despite the similarity in names, this bacteria is unrelated to the strain of bacteria which causes strep throat. Streptococcus thermophiles bacteria work synergistically with Lactobacillus.

How to Shop for Probiotic Supplements

Shopping for probiotics for the first time can be overwhelming. What are CFUs? Do I really need 50 billion bacteria per serving? Fortunately, shopping for probiotic supplements is easy when you know what you’re looking for.

Here are the most important things to consider when shopping for probiotics:

Health Goals: Different probiotic strains have different effects on the body. Look at the probiotic supplement to see what kinds of results it promises. Make sure those results align with your health goals – whether it’s alleviating irritable bowel syndrome, curing constipation, or extracting more nutrients and energy from the foods you eat.

Ingredients: Most probiotic supplements come in vegetarian capsules. However, you should still check the packaging for other ingredients, like additives or fillers. In some cases, probiotics may contain compounds to which you’re allergic.

Storage: How do you store the probiotic? Most probiotics need to be refrigerated, although some can be safely stored at room temperature. If you don’t refrigerate your probiotic supplement as directed, then you might kill off the bacteria.

Expiration Date: Plan to take one probiotic supplement per day. Given that, check the expiry date and make sure your probiotic won’t expire halfway through your bottle.

Accuracy: Some probiotic supplements make promises on which they don’t deliver. Check the ingredient label and make sure it aligns with the information listed in the probiotic’s sales copy.

Bacteria Dosage: Probiotic supplement dosages are typically measured in terms of colony-forming units, or CFUs. Supplements range in CFUs from 1 billion to 60 billion.

Probiotic Yogurt

Many people are familiar with probiotic yogurt. However, yogurts are rarely as effective as probiotic supplements when it comes to boosting digestive health.

For centuries, food manufacturers have used lactic acid-producing bacteria to ferment food. Yogurt contains this same lactic acid-producing bacteria. However, most experts don’t actually classify yogurts as “probiotics” because they don’t contain an adequate supply of microorganisms.

That being said, certain probiotic yogurts are supplemented with additional probiotics, in which case they can safely be classified as probiotics supplements.

If you’re buying yogurt specifically for the probiotic benefits, look for the probiotic logo.

How to Take a Probiotic

Take your probiotic supplement as recommended on the packaging. Typically, it’s recommended that you take one probiotic supplement per day two hours after eating food.

However, your probiotic supplement’s recommended dosage may vary.

You’ll need to continuously consume probiotic supplements in order to enjoy their benefits. One study showed that probiotic strains are no longer detectable 1 to 4 weeks after stopping consumption. So if you want to continue having good digestive health, then you’ll neat to follow the recommended dosage every day.

Benefits of Taking a Probiotic Supplement

Doctors will often prescribe probiotic supplements for specific digestive disorders. Listed below are all the disorders which probiotics can treat according to peer-reviewed scientific studies.

  • Acute Onset Infectious Diarrhea
  • Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea (antibiotics can often kill off probiotic bacteria in your digestive tract)
  • C Difficile-associated Diarrhea
  •  Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Pouchitis
  • Chronic Liver Disease/Hepatic Encephalopathy

Probiotic Supplement Side Effects

Probiotics typically cause some minor side effects when you first start using them. You may notice bloating and gassiness for the first two weeks, although those effects should dissipate as your body begins to adjust to the dosage.

Most experts recommend starting with a small dosage like 1 billion before moving up to doses of 30 billion to 50 billion.

Aside from minor digestive problems, probiotics have been well-tolerated in most major studies to date.

The only study which illustrated some risks of probiotics came from the Netherlands. That study examined the effects of probiotic supplementation on patients with severe acute pancreatitis. In this case, patients had a higher incidence of mesenteric ischemia and death after being treated with probiotics.

It’s important to note, however, that this is the only study which inferred such a relationship. That study was also extremely controversial and the deaths were thoroughly investigated after the study was published.

Who Should Take Probiotics?

If you take a probiotic supplement with reliable, well-studied ingredients, it can significantly improve your health. Probiotics have been well-studied over the years and well-tolerated amongst almost all patients.

Probiotics are particularly important for those who have choric digestive problems, or for those who have recently taken antibiotics. Doctors will also prescribe probiotics for those with certain conditions, like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Whether you suffer from one of those conditions or you just want to optimize the efficiency of your digestive tract, probiotics are powerful and beneficial health supplements which have proven effects on your gastrointestinal system.

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