The term probiotics has been used frequently in the media as something you should include in your body, whether through special vitamins and supplements, or naturally with the food you eat. Probiotics are actually organisms that have a wide range of benefits and healing properties, often used to improve your overall health.
They can help with things like a weakened immune system, diarrhea and digestive problems, and even more serious conditions like Crohn’s disease. The probiotics organisms and bacteria is considered good and friendly bacteria which is why a good balance is recommended for various medical conditions.
Benefits of Probiotics
One of the biggest benefits for your health and taking probiotics seems to be your immune system. It can help strengthen your immune system, even if you have an autoimmune disease.
Some other things taking probiotics has shown to help is with childhood diarrhea, certain types of infections or inflammations, such as necrotizing enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, preventing and treating eczema caused by a milk allergy, and helping with diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
Additional evidence has shown improvement with probiotics and Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, vaginitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Foods with Probiotics
Not only can you get probiotics in pill or liquid form as a vitamin or supplement, but you can get these natural organisms and friendly bacteria in the food you eat.
Some foods that include natural probiotics are yogurt, aged cheese, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, tempeh, and some soy products, like soy milk and other beverages.
If you can add these foods to your diet regularly, you may still get the benefits of probiotics without having to take a special supplement.
Keep in mind when you do take a supplement, it can either be solely probiotics or mixed in with other multi-vitamins.
Things to know about Probiotics
Before you start taking more probiotics to improve your physical health and strengthen your immune system, there are some things you should know about them. First of all, the term probiotics is not a term used by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), but the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
While there is plenty of evidence proving its benefits, the FDA has still not considered probiotics to be linked to these benefits. You also want to look at the right type of strain if you’re going to get probiotics. The best strains include bifidobacterium lactis HN019, lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, and lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730. There are also others, though you should consult your doctor with getting the right supplement.
Cautions and side effects
In general, there are few side effects or cautions with taking a probiotic, though you should always let your doctor know before you start taking a new vitamin or supplement.
While they can help strengthen your immune system, you should be cautious if you have a severely compromised immune system or serious disease. For example, if you have severe pancreatitis, they can actually worsen your disease, not make it better.
The last caution is making sure you are buying food products or supplements that indeed have the right type of probiotics. Just because a container of yogurt claims to have these friendly organisms doesn’t mean it is the right choice or that it’s going to cure all your ailments.
This is why talking to a doctor first is the best course of action as he or she can prescribe you a good supplement or point you in the right direction for an over-the-counter option. Probiotics can help tremendously with your immune system, diseases, and even your high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Not only that, they are a good choice for a healthier body overall.