Nowadays, various dietary supplements are also available that contain probiotics. Probiotics are usually given to treat problems of digestive upset and according to recent research and studies it is confirmed that taking probiotic foods and supplements may relieve digestive ailments. Probiotics also promotes the health of immune system.
Best Time to Take Probiotics
Website Enzyme Essentials suggests taking probiotics at either bedtime or in the morning. According to them, during these times, the activity of digestive system is very less, causing the pH of the stomach to be relatively low. Due to the less acidic stomach, the chances of the bacteria to attach to the intestinal walls and thrive are high. However, you do not need to worry, if you have missed taking the probiotics at these times. It is further noted by Enzyme Essentials that it is better to take probiotics at a less ideal time than not taking at all.
Best Ways to Take Probiotics
There are numerous types of probiotic supplements and foods available these days making it a difficult task to determine which the best way to take probiotics is. It is not easy to choose the right product. Following are some tips to purchase probiotics.
- Effective in Different Forms. Probiotics are available in numerous forms, such as powders, capsules or foods including probiotic enriched yoghurt, dairy drinks, cheese, infant formulas, even snack bars etc. Any of these forms of probiotic supplement is effective in relieving digestive ailments as long as it has the required or adequate numbers of friendly bacteria. According to Stefano Guandalini, MD and a professor of gastroenterology at the University Of Chicago School Of Medicine, every individual has his or her own preference while taking the various types of probiotics supplements, some may prefer taking in the form of food while other may prefer in the form of a capsule or powder. You should follow the directions mentioned on the label while taking probiotic supplements. Moreover, probiotic supplements should be taken under the supervision of your physician.
- Choosing Right Microbes. Choosing the right microbes is more important than choosing the type of probiotic supplement you use. There exist many types of useful probiotic organisms both bacteria and yeast that have very specific effects and certain strains relieve symptoms of only certain specific conditions. For example, the strains of probiotic bacteria that are most effective in relieving symptoms of infectious diarrhea are Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus GG.
- Not Available to All GI Problems. Probiotics do help to relieve the symptoms of some digestive problems; however, they do not provide benefit for all of them. They are helpful to relieve symptoms of infectious diarrhea according to convincing evidences. They are also helpful to relieve symptoms of IBS. However, they may not provide much benefit for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. They have shown to prevent remission of pouchitis and also maintain remission; however, the findings are not conclusive for other areas of ulcerative colitis.
- Checking Labels: While choosing a probiotic supplement it is very important to check labels. The label should have information on the following: name of the specific genus and species of the probiotic it has, the total number of organisms present in a single dose and the frequency with which you can repeat, recommended uses of the probiotic determined on the basis of scientific studies, information on storage of the product, and company’s contact information. Look out for the end of shelf life of the product to make out if the product is still useful or not.
- Picking Reliable Brands. It is recommended by health experts that you should chose reliable brands that base their claims and recommended doses on scientific studies while purchasing probiotics because till now there is no regulation on these products. This is because probiotics are regarded as supplements and health foods and not prescription medicines; hence, it is not required for them to meet the medication standards.
- Right Dosage. It is recommended by The Harvard Women’s Health Watch that you can take anywhere between 1 billion and 10 billion colony-forming units of probiotics on several days a week. This amounts to one to two capsules per day on several days a week. Probiotics can be taken to treat specific conditions such as a yeast infection or an intestinal infection, when they are given for a limited time. They can also be taken as a preventive measure for an indefinite time period. However, as goes with any other natural supplements, similarly before taking probiotics, you should take them under the guidance of your health care provider. Probiotics can be harmful to individuals who are allergic to bacteria including Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacterium or lactobacillus acidophilus.
Role of probiotics in treating various gastric illnesses is still under study. There are only a small amount of studies that are used as a basis to determine the best dosage of probiotics. More and more research is required to know more about how and when to give probiotics to patients.