Probiotics Supplements Explained
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in yoghurt, kombucha and fermented probiotic foods such as sourdough, kimchi and sauerkraut. They are the good gut bacteria that support a healthy balance inside the gut and help to prevent the bad bacteria from overtaking and creating an imbalance that can lead to sickness and disease.
You can boost your probiotic intake with a dietary supplement that can be added to your daily routine. Amcal sells a great range of probiotics in different forms, including capsules and lozenges for adults and powders for children and babies. Shop multiflora, extra strength, breastfeeding, and broad-spectrum formulas from our biggest brands today with probiotics by Amcal and Life-Space for 60+ year-olds, women, and infants.
Where do Probiotics Live in the Body?
Probiotics are just one part of your human microbiome - the community of organisms that work together to keep the body functioning correctly. The microbiome consists of trillions of different microbes, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and Protozoa. Probiotics make up the good bacteria in your microbiome and are largely found in the gut, but also in the mouth, vagina, lungs, urinary tract and skin.
How Do They Work?
The main job of probiotics is to maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut microbiota. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number, and this can knock your body out of balance. The good bacteria in probiotics work to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body. Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune system and controlling inflammation. It can also assist in food digestion, creating vitamins, breaking down and absorbing medications and helping support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
Most Common Types of Probiotics?
There are many different types of probiotics, but the two most common types are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus probiotics can be found in yoghurt and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh and kimchi. Different lactobacillus probiotic strains, such as L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus, can help to relieve diarrhoea and aid in digestive health for those who are lactose intolerant.
Bifidobacterium probiotics can be found in certain dairy products and can help to assist with symptoms of IBS, such as bloating and diarrhoea.
Probiotics also contain good yeast, such as saccharomyces boulardii which is the most common type of yeast found in probiotics.
How Probiotics Are Good for You:
Previous and ongoing clinical trials have revealed many benefits of probiotics for the body. These studies have shown that an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can be linked to a wide range of diseases. The good bacterial strains found in probiotics may be able to help with:
- Diarrhoea - Probiotics can lessen the severity of diarrhoea and help to restore your gut health to normal after taking antibiotics
- IBD - Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), such as Crohn's Disease, may be improved by taking probiotics with bifidobacterium and lactobacillus strains in them
- IBS - irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes a range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Research has shown that probiotics may be able to reduce these symptoms.
- Yeast infection - Probiotics may be able to restore and rebalance bacteria and yeast in the body to improve and prevent a recurrence of vaginal infections.
- UTI - The lactobacillus strain of probiotic may be useful in preventing urinary tract Infections.
- Lactose intolerance - A probiotic may help those with an intolerance to dairy by reducing inflammatory responses in the gut.
- Skin conditions - Some probiotic strains may reduce the severity of skin irritations, such as eczema, in children.
- Stomach infections - Probiotics may be able to stop the growth of bad bacteria in the gut and improve your immune function by producing natural antibodies to help fight disease.
- Respiratory infections - The lactobacillus strain has also been shown to help help with respiratory illnesses, such as ear infections, common cold, and sinusitis.
- Decrease inflammation - Probiotics may help to minimise inflammation and provide relief with inflammatory diseases, including Ulcerative Colitis.
How to Take a Probiotic Supplement
A probiotic supplement can come in various forms, including food, drink, powder, capsule, and liquid. They may also be combined with a prebiotic which is a complex carbohydrate that is eaten by probiotics to produce more good bacteria in the body, particularly the gastrointestinal tract. These combined supplements are called synbiotics.
Probiotics for Adults
Our probiotics are full of live bacteria to help nurture and balance a healthy digestive system in adults. We have probiotics for breastfeeding mothers with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria, triple strength capsules with a 15 multi-strain formula, as well as probiotics to assist with IBS, boost the immune system and support over 60-year-olds. We also have a range of multiflora formulas for women by Life-Space and Pharmacy Care that's made to balance and restore a healthy gut and vaginal flora for optimal wellbeing.
Probiotics for Kids
We have special formulas designed to boost good probiotic bacteria in children and help to soothe and prevent a range of gastrointestinal issues. Shop Biogaia Probiotic Drops for colic relief and Life-Space multi-strain formulas for children and babies to support the immune and digestive system and reduce symptoms of IBS. It's best to always speak to a healthcare professional first before giving your child a probiotic.
How Effective are Probiotics?
Probiotics have been extensively studied in gastroenterology. Many studies using a placebo clinical trial have been conducted to explore the effect that probiotics can have for treating various conditions. While still ongoing, research is promising and suggests that probiotics can help to treat and even prevent many disorders and diseases, including diarrhoea, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD, vaginal infections, UTIs, stomach ulcers and eczema in children.
Certain probiotic strains need to be refrigerated to prevent them from breaking down if exposed to light, oxygen and humidity. Remember to read the specific instructions on your individual product to ensure you're getting the most out of your probiotics.
When is the Best Time to Take a Probiotic?
Research suggests that probiotics are most effective when they are taken on an empty stomach as this ensures the good bacteria makes it to the gut as quickly as possible. Different manufacturers may have different recommendations with regards to timing of dosing, so always check the product directions for more information. on an empty stomach.
FAQs About Probiotics
What Are Probiotics Good for?
Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your body and helps to fend off the bad bacteria that can lead to disease and sickness. When consumed naturally or as a supplement, these beneficial bacteria may have a huge range of health benefits, including:
- Reducing the severity of IBS and IBD symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and constipation
- Alleviating yeast infections and UTIs and minimising recurrence of infection
- Soothing inflammation associated with allergies, such as milk intolerance
- Reducing eczema in children
Should You Take a Probiotic Every Day?
Yes, it's safe to take a probiotic supplement every day to maintain the good gut flora in your microbiome. The best time to take a probiotic is on an empty stomach either in the morning or at night before bed so that it can move through the stomach quickly and avoid being killed by stomach acids. It's safe to take probiotics with your other vitamins and multivitamins.
What is the Best Probiotic to Take?
The best probiotic for you will depend on what concern you want to treat. Look for a probiotic that's been made to address this concern and contains important strains like bifidobacterium, lactobacillus and saccharomyces boulardii. We have probiotics for breastfeeding, babies and children, 60 plus years and for IBS by leading brands, including:
- Pharmacy Care
- Blis Probiotics
What Happens When You Start Taking Probiotics?
Once you find a probiotic that works for you, include it in a daily routine with other supplements, such as fish oil and omegas, multivitamins and mineral supplements. When you first start taking probiotics, you may experience some side effects as your body gets used to the good bacteria. These may include:
- Changes in stool pattern
- Allergy symptoms