Probiotic Facts and Myths: What You Need to Know
In recent years, there has been increased interest and research on characterization and finding out the potential health benefits of using probiotics. Additionally, the probiotics market continues to expand exponentially as many people turn to them to take advantage of their health benefits. They have become some of the top dietary supplements consumed worldwide. There is a high possibility that you have come across them in your pharmacy, grocery store, and even when shopping online.
You might have heard all sorts of stories and supposed facts about probiotics. Like, everything else on demand, there will always be lots of information surrounding it. However, which of these are real and which are false? Below, we explore everything you need to know. Take a look!
Myth: probiotics are only found in the form of supplements
Fact: You do not have to rely entirely on supplements since kids’ probiotics can also be found as food ingredients. For the supplements, they can be available in the form of powder, capsules or drops. On the other hand, some of the common foods that contain probiotics include cereal, chocolate bars and fermented dairy products. Do not listen to false information that you only should buy supplements if you want probiotics in your diet.
Myth: Probiotics do not have an impact on health and wellbeing
Fact: The small and large intestines contain billions of beneficial bacteria referred to as probiotics. These good bacteria support many critical functions in the body, such as healthy digestion, nutrient absorption, the immune system, skin health and cognitive function. Without probiotics, side effects of antibiotics such as gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea would easily be unpreventable. The last thing you need is an imbalance in your gut bacteria since it may cause food intolerances, skin issues, and in other cases, mood disorders.
Myth: All yogurts are probiotics
Fact: If you thought that taking any yogurt you purchase from the nearest supermarket will give you probiotics, you could not be any further from the truth. Look for yogurts with live cultures of the bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus since they facilitate the digestion of lactose in people who are lactose intolerant. Before making any purchase, look at the yogurt’s label to see if it has live cultures or active cultures.
Myth: Probiotics do not contribute to supporting the immune system
Fact: Various studies have found out that consuming specific probiotics supports the immune system’s functioning by adjusting the intestinal microbial balance. Studies have also indicated that lactic acid bacteria, lactobacilli and bifidobacterial help the immune system since they produce or trigger beneficial compounds to respond to any changes.
Myth: All probiotics are created equal
Fact: Not all probiotics are the same. If you find yourself standing in front of a shelf of probiotics supplements at your grocery store or pharmacy, what should be your next step? It is easy to grab the one that looks more appealing or the first choice that comes your way, then call it a day. However, a few weeks might go by, and despite taking your probiotic supplement every day, the symptoms seem never to go away. When that is the case, do not say that the probiotics are useless. You could be taking the wrong one without your knowledge.
Each probiotic strain is a live bacterium and provides your body with a different scientifically proven function. If you want optimal results, you must choose the right high-quality probiotic.
Myth: Refrigerated probiotics are better than non-refrigerated ones
Fact: You might think that your probiotics have to be refrigerated to give you the utmost value. Probiotic products such as fermented milk products and yogurt are better when refrigerated. Still, if you opt for the dried options such as dietary supplements in capsules, chocolates and cereal bars, you do not need a fridge. It is vital to understand the probiotics you are buying to store them under the right conditions.
Scientific evidence shows that probiotic microorganisms have several health benefits. However, if you have any health problems, you should not use probiotics as the reason for postponing seeing your healthcare provider. Likewise, if you want to take any probiotic supplement, it is best to consult with your doctor. If you have a severe health condition, you should be closely monitored by a health professional to avoid complications.