From cereals, juices to toothpaste and chocolate, nowadays, ‘good bacteria’ are turning up in several edibles. However, putting probiotic bacteria into foods that don’t naturally have beneficial bacteria might not make them a worthwhile addition to your diet.
Therefore, it is better to consume probiotics in the form of supplements in the right amounts. However, there are some important things which you need to keep in mind before you start taking them in routine-
Choose The Right Probiotic Strains
Depending upon the health issue, make sure to choose the right strain. If you are taking probiotics to stay healthy, consider CFUs (colony forming units) of a combo of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Starting with large amounts of CFUs will support your immune system. However, it may trigger some small reactions such as gas or nausea. If you notice such symptoms, decrease the dose of probiotic supplement until the gut feels better.
If you are struggling with tummy troubles such as bloating or constipation, look for lactobacillus acidophilus or lactobacillus casei. Probiotics with saccharomyces boulardii can cure diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics. It also prevents extreme cases caused by infections. You can consider DrFormulas probiotics supplements containing different digestive enzymes to cure gastrointestinal issues such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Digestive tract infection
If you have annoying anxiety, opt for Lactobacillus plantarum.
Read Out The Product Label Carefully
The amount of probiotics present in a food product is often unclear. Though the ingredient labels reveal the organism’s genus and species, it doesn’t show the microbial count.
Make sure that the label specifies the genus, species, and strain in the same order. For example, suppose a label says ‘Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.’ And, the microbial count is listed as CFU or colony-forming units. It suggests that the number of live organisms present in a single dose of probiotics is in billions.
Also, follow the package directions for instructions on frequency, dosage, and storage. You can speak with your physician about the adequate dosage as per your medical condition.
Taking Prebiotics Before Probiotics Help Friendly Bacteria To Grow
Bacteria in your gut-visitors, as well as residents, need a diet too. You can take prebiotics, non-digestible carbohydrates that feed the good bacteria and help them to multiply.
Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that is found in foods such as onion, garlic, legumes, banana, wholegrain, and asparagus. So, you can take them daily in the form of food, not pills.
Though you don’t need to take prebiotics for probiotics to work, it will make the supplements more effective.
Heat Can Kill Probiotic Bacteria
Though a product label shows it has billions of CFUs, they all may not be present while you swallow the pill. This is because probiotics contain living organisms that can die when it is too hot. If they swelter for too long on a shelf, the bacteria may lose some of the potency.
Moreover, these good bugs may also decay over time. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a container with the furthest expiration date. Also, refrigerate the supplement of the label says to do so.
Make Sure To Buy Coated Supplements
Many of the probiotic strains can’t survive the acidity of your gut. Therefore, if you are taking a supplement, make sure that it is coated. The outer coating or shell will help the live organisms to reach your intestine intact.
However, if you find only an uncoated version of probiotics, it is a great idea to take them with food. It will protect the strains from the aggressive environment.
Every probiotic is different due to the variations in bacterial strains. Moreover, not all probiotics work the same way, and not everyone needs to take this supplement. But, if you feel the need to take it, it is crucial to choose the right type that will target specific health issues.