Most people have the notion that all bacteria are harmful to our body. It is not so. In fact, some bacteria can be beneficial for your health. It can help your gut and digestive system. The beneficial bacteria strains are loosely classified as Probiotics. Probiotics can help you tackle a lot of ailments. Owing to the immense benefits, it is high time people start consuming them in natural or supplement form. Generally speaking, consuming it in a natural form is not that easy, but supplements will help you out.
Today, we will shed some light on such probiotics and also their benefits. We will also share with you their impact on the body to help you know more.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are preferably bacteria and other microorganisms that are beneficial for your health. The benefits which they provide are numerous. Probiotics are often present in yeast and foods that undergo fermentation. The good news is that these days probiotics are available in the form of supplements as well. It means that you can directly consume them without having to change your diet. Some of the natural ingredients which consist of probiotics include:
The truth is that it is difficult to include these natural ingredients in our diet. That is why; supplements are a much better option. Supplements are an easy way to get probiotics without disturbing your daily schedule. Moreover, since most of them are natural supplements, you need not worry about any side effects as well. Before we put more emphasis on the use of probiotic supplements, let us understand exactly which bacteria constitute probiotics and how it can help us over time.
Which are the common probiotics?
Two strains of bacteria act as probiotics that are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Most supplements consist of both these bacteria to provide you with maximum benefits. It is essential to choose the right probiotic bacteria to get the right benefits. Now that you are aware of the strain of bacteria beneficial for our body let us look at how these microorganisms in your gut can improve your health.
How can microorganisms in your gut improve your health?
The benefits of probiotics are plenty like:
1. Balance of friendly bacteria in the gut:
Not all bacteria are good for your health. That is why, when trying to improve your digestion system, it is essential for you to achieve the right balance of beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria in your gut. The best way to do so is to increase the beneficial bacteria in your body. If the harmful bacteria in your body are present in higher concentration, it can lead to ailments and slowing down of metabolic activity. Some of the causes of the high level of harmful bacteria in your body can be:
• Excessive medications
• Lack of a balanced diet
With the help of the right balance of beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria, it is easy to keep the ailments at bay. Moreover, your digestive processes will work more efficiently, which will benefit you in the longer term.
2. Prevention of diarrhea:
Probiotics are very popular in helping you to prevent diarrhea altogether. If you rely on antibiotics or any heavy medications, it can lead to diarrhea. On the other hand, when taking probiotics; the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut is on the higher side, so, you can avoid diarrhea altogether. However, probiotics do not work instantly, and therefore; you should consume them for some time before seeing the benefits.
3. Beneficial for mental health:
Up until now, you might be thinking that probiotics are only good for the gut and digestive system. However, you are wrong; probiotics are also beneficial for mood elevation and mental health. There are plenty of studies proving that probiotics can help you reduce anxiety, depression, and improve your memory power. Hence; you can be sure that probiotics can indeed help you better your mental health.
4. Improves Cardiac Health:
Probiotics are well-known to lower the bad cholesterol in your body. They help you keep the blood pressure under control as well. With the help of lactic acid producing bacteria, cholesterol can be broken down in the gut. Due to this very reason, it is easy to lower blood cholesterol levels when you have enough probiotics in your body.
5. Improves metabolic activity:
The benefit which we are going to discuss now is one of the most well-known. Probiotics present in the gut can speed up the metabolic activity and can help you increase your digestive power. As a result, your body can fight ailments like inflammatory bowel disease efficiently.
6. Increases your organizational power:
Probiotics are directly responsible to increase the immunization power of your body. As they reduce harmful gut bacteria, your body does not need to fight them on an active basis. Moreover, some of the probiotics help you produce antibodies in your body, which can help you increase the immunization power. Since probiotics can keep infections and allergies at bay, the immunization power rises automatically.
7. Can help you with weight loss:
Probiotics can help you avoid the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine. As a result, fat get excreted from the body. Since the absorption and accumulation of fat are on the lower side, it is easy to lose weight. Moreover, the fats stored in the body are used at a faster pace to produce energy. Hence; the speed of weight loss accelerates.
These are a few benefits of probiotics. Due to these reasons, the popularity of probiotic supplements is on the rise. These days, probiotic supplements specific for women are also available which provide them with not only good bacteria but a host of nutrients. With benefits like these, such supplements are a must-have.
How to take probiotics?
Probiotics are beneficial for your body when you choose the right ones. It is also essential to consume the proper dosage. Only once you do so, you can derive all the above benefits. The red lines which you have to follow are:
1. Correct dosage:
You should choose a probiotic which provides you with at least 10 billion live organisms in a single dose. Also, the shelf life should be such that it should be able to provide you with these much live organisms till the end of the shelf life. It will ensure that you get benefits with the right micro-organisms.
2. Avoid chlorinated water:
When ingesting probiotic supplements, it is necessary to avoid chlorinated water. Only once you follow this rule, it will be possible for you to derive these benefits.
3. Check the ingredient list:
When selecting probiotic supplements, it is essential to check the ingredient list. If it consists of too many synthetic ingredients or preservatives, you should avoid them. The more the number of natural ingredients, the better it is. That is why; you have to always take into account the composition of the probiotics supplement before choosing one.
4. Always have meals before consuming probiotics:
When you’re on an empty stomach, the stomach acid levels are on the higher side. In such a case, the probiotic microorganisms will not be able to survive. Due to this reason, it is advisable to consume probiotics after consuming your meals.
5. Choose the probiotic with the right bacteria:
As we stated above, probiotics refer to different species of bacteria. So, you have to look at the type of bacteria on offer. Only once you do so, it is easy to choose the right probiotic bacteria. Moreover, it is always better to choose a probiotic supplement which consists of multiple species of bacteria. When that is the case, you can get maximum benefits from the probiotic supplement.
These are the five guidelines which you always have to follow when ingesting the probiotic supplements. These guidelines will not only help you choose the right probiotic supplement, but also help you consume it in the right way.
How long do probiotics take to work?
Now that you are familiar with the procedure to choose the probiotics and consume them, the next question which you will have is how long it takes for probiotics to show their effect. As we mentioned above, they are not an instant solution. That is why it is essential to understand the time frame required for them to show benefits.
The time for the probiotics to show some results in your body can vary from 1 week to 3-4 weeks. It depends on a whole host of factors which we will discuss below.
• Colony forming time:
The bacteria strains in different probiotics are different. Once you ingest these probiotics, the bacteria start multiplying in your body. When they reach a critical mass; you get the beneficial effects of those bacteria. The critical mass is also known as the colony of the bacteria. That is why; the colony forming time of the bacteria has a direct impact on the time which it takes for the probiotics to work.
When you look at the two most common forms of bacteria used in probiotics, they are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. If you are consuming probiotics which consist of these two bacteria, they have a short colonization time. Due to this very reason, you can notice the effects in the first week itself.
However, the number of pathogens currently present in your body can delay the effect. That is why; in some cases, even when you consume probiotics containing these bacteria strains, it can take up to 2 weeks to witness the effect.
• Use of prebiotics:
Another factor on which the speed of results depends is the use of prebiotics. If you’re using them with prebiotics, it is easy to witness the results much sooner. Prebiotics should be taken before every meal. Thirty minutes of gaps should be there between the meals and prebiotics. Once you do that, your body will have enough dietary fiber to exclude all the toxins from the body. As a result, the number of pathogens in the body will be lower. It will ensure that the bacteria can multiply at a faster pace, which will speed up the results.
• Storage of the probiotics:
The storage mechanism of the probiotics has a significant impact on the time which it takes to make them work. If you do not store them properly, the number of microorganisms will be on the lesser side. So, it will take a long time for the microorganisms to multiply in your gut. As a result, they will be low for some time and will only increase after a considerable amount of time.
It is advisable to store the probiotics at room temperature. Once you do so, the micro-organisms in each dose will be retained. If the probiotics require any special storage arrangement, it will be mentioned on the label. Most of them stay just fine at room temperature.
It is better to keep them away from humid conditions. When they come in contact with humidity, probiotics can degrade. You have to store them where humidity does not come in contact with probiotics negatively. Additionally, you have to keep them away from sunlight. The UV rays can destroy the micro-organisms and reduce their effectiveness considerably. Even though, most of them are available in the dark colored bottles to keep them away from direct sunlight since; it is the best way to store them.
If you cannot abide by any of these temperature and climate conditions, the concentration of bacteria in the probiotic supplement reduces considerably. It means that you will have to consume it for a long time to get the limited quantum of benefits. The best way is to store them is as per the instructions mentioned on the packaging and use them much before the expiry date. It will help you witness the benefits within the first couple of weeks.
If you’re confused regarding the time frame which it would take for the probiotic supplements to show their effects, these are the factors which you should take into consideration. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks to witness the positive benefits.
So, if you’re worried about your digestive health, now is the time to switch over to probiotic supplements. With the help of our guide, it is easy to not only choose the right supplement, but ensure that you can consume it correctly as well. With our guide above, you can derive maximum benefits from your probiotic supplement and improve your overall health. It is time that you start paying attention to your digestive system rather than just consuming the foodstuffs which you want.