Probiotics are microorganisms (bacteria or fungus), that cause positive influence on the health of the host when used in appropriate amount. Food products, medicines and nutritional supplements contain “good” microorganisms. Lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, Saccharomyces boulardii and several strains of Escherichia coli are the most commonly used probiotics.
The minimum criteria for probiotic pills are:
- The supplement is ought to be determined by class and strain – investigations of specific strains cannot be applied to any product declared as probiotic.
- Microorganisms must be alive.
- The strains must be contained in an adequate dose.
- The efficacy must be proven by controlled studies in patients.
Before the products with probiotic go on sale, the proper documentation confirming its positive influence on health must be presented. Results of studies and review articles on certain strains cannot be used as proof of the efficiency and safeness of unexplored strains. Certain carrier substances/fillers should as well be taken into account in the matter of potency.
How do probiotic pills work?
The essential aspects of the cooperation of probiotic strains with the inner flora are the formation of protective compounds against hostile agents, competition for nutrients and the places of adhesion, shifts in microbial metabolism, boosting the immunity, anti-cancer and anti-cholesterolemic effects.
Inner flora, obtained with probiotic agents, protects the host from hostile agents, and forms a front line of mucosal defense. Due to successful competition for essential nutrients or attachment sites, probiotics prevent pathogenic colonization. Forming antimicrobial substances, energy-dependent fatty and chemically modified bile acids, intestinal flora create a local environment that is unfavorable for the life of evil agents. Probiotic pills stimulate the recovery of the immune cells, which form a second layer of protection
Why take probiotics?
The benefits of probiotics:
- increased efficiency of the local and systemic immune system;
- preventing numerous infections;
- warning of the attachment of adverse bacteria to the enteric wall;
- the suppression of the growth of hostile agents;
- destroying toxins;
- producing vitamins B;
- helping in digesting food;
- competition for nutrients with pathogenic agents;
- elimination of superoxide radicals.
Probiotic pills are used to restore intestinal flora after using antibiotics. It is a perfect solution to strengthen immunity in case of frequent catarrhal diseases and to fill a deficiency of vitamins K, H or B. While taking with breastfeeding and in case of intolerance to lactose probiotic pills contribute to lactose digestion. Probiotics reduce the ingress of substances that cause food allergies into the blood.
What is probiotics?
Probiotics are biologically active food supplements and are not monitored by the FDA. There are no unified standards for supplements, that is, the probiotic pills are made differently according to numerous rules established by manufacturers and have various additives. Probiotic pills also vary in cost, and the price does not describe the excellence.
Types of probiotics
The probiotic supplements are released in such form:
- Dry substances. A dry probiotic is available in powders, pills or capsules. It takes 24 hours to activate the dry probiotic. This type of product is perfect for course reception and preventive use.
- Yeast. Barms are used to prepare yogurt or kefir, perfectly complement the daily diet, and can be added to baby food to prevent diseases and maintain the level of flora after treatment.
- Liquid. Probiotics in liquid form have a momentary result. The supplements have a short shelf life, so they are not purchased for stock, the liquid is ideal for an emergency.
According to reviews, the best probiotics are Islands Miracle Ultra-30 Probiotics, MegaFood MegaFlora, Dr. Formulas Nexabiotic Advanced Multi-Probiotic, Primal Defense Ultra, Nutrition Essentials and Vitamin Bounty Pro 50.
Hints for safe use
Here are some hints to help you choose the best probiotic:
- Read the label. The more detailed information is on the label, the better. Ideally, the sticker should include information about the kinds of used strains.
- Find out strains. Unluckily, many stickers lack information about the present strain, many just list the species. If you plan to take probiotic pills for certain goals, investigate which strains are used and added to the supplements and whether there are articles that prove their usefulness for health.
- Purchase supplements of well-known companies. The longer the manufacturer exists, the more likely that the products are inspected and re-examined, and the more will mean the reputation of the company.
It is considered that probiotics are safe; nevertheless, it is not known whether they can be consumed by patients with immune system disorders. Probiotic pills are safe for people who do not suffer from digestive dysfunction. The safeness of supplements is obvious, as they are used in dairy products for a long period of time.
Before including probiotic supplements in a diet, one should consult a doctor. Probiotic tablets may be unacceptable for the elderly. The result of the impact of probiotic on the action of medications or the interaction with them is unknown. The doctor helps to decide whether probiotics are necessary in accordance with the history of the disease.
- Irianto, Agus, and Brian Austin. “Probiotics in aquaculture.” Journal of fish diseases 25.11 (2002): 633-642.
- Ishibashi, Norio, and Shoji Yamazaki. “Probiotics and safety–.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 73.2 (2001): 465s-470s.
- Borchers, Andrea T., et al. “Probiotics and immunity.” Journal of gastroenterology 44.1 (2009): 26-46.