Probiotics area a gut-friendly bacteria that help keep the body healthy. In this article we answer some of the popular questions associated with them
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria that help keep the body healthy. They are live bacteria and abound in food like sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and miso. Competing for space and food in the gut, they prevent the harmful bacteria from settling in the gut.
The balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut can be upset by the use of antibiotics, fruits, vegetables, low dietary fiber, and infective diarrhea. Probiotics help to restore that balance in the gut.
Different Benefits of taking probiotics
Taking probiotics improves the overall health of the body. It is difficult to quantify the benefits of a healthy body. But taking probiotics does show some immediate benefits.
- Establish a balance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria in your gut.
- They can help prevent and treat diarrhea.
- They improve some mental and health conditions.
- Some strains of probiotics can help to keep your heart healthy.
- Some strains of probiotics may reduce the severity of eczema and certain allergies.
- Can help reduce the symptoms of certain digestive disorders.
- Probiotics may help boost your immune system.
- Probiotics may help you lose fat and belly weight.
Researchers believe that there is a strong link between the functioning of the brain and the gut. They claim that several types of diets and probiotics can help treat children with autism. Therefor children with autism generally have abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. It shows that probiotics for autism can help ease these symptoms.
Is it OK to take a probiotic every day?
Probiotics are taken as a part of a balanced diet. There is no harm in taking them every day. That being said it is advisable to take them regularly. If you restore an upset gut by taking probiotics and leave it by itself, the balance in the gut will tilt in favour of bad bacteria over time. It is necessary to make probiotics a part of our diet.
However, adults with weak immune systems and children with severe illnesses should consult their physicians before taking probiotics.
What happens when you start taking probiotics?
Firstly when taking probiotics, some people may experience gas, diarrhea, or bloating. The symptoms will go away in a few days. It is the changes that happen in the gut microbe that produces gas. Secondly you will feel better later.
Importantly, people with an allergy should read the labels carefully before taking probiotics.
Can probiotics help you lose weight?
Certain probiotics are known to decrease the absorption of dietary fat by the gut. Probiotic bacteria of the lactobacillus family are known to behave this way.
This means probiotics release appetite-reducing hormones as well as hormones that increase the levels of protein.
This can inhibit fat storage in the body, thereby reducing weight.
Who should not take probiotics?
People with an allergy to eggs, poultry, gluten, soy, or lactose will have to take care of which probiotics they choose to take.
Adults with a weak immune system, as well as children with severe illnesses, should not take probiotics.
People who have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) should also refrain fro taking probiotics. SIBO is a result of the bacteria from the large intestine migrating to the small intestine resulting in bacterial overgrowth.
Different Types of probiotics
There are two major species of probiotics:
The common probiotics that belong to these two species are:
Should you take probiotics on a full or empty stomach?
Probiotics should ideally be taken a quarter of an hour before food. However , taking probiotics before breakfast is the best.
When you take probiotics before food, the food that you eat feeds the probiotics. This allows them to multiply and drive away the bad bacteria from the gut.
How fast do probiotics work?
After taking probiotics, patients have been known to show signs of improvement within two to three days. Others might take as long as two to three weeks
Probiotics play an important role in balancing the microbe in our gut. That keeps the body healthy. The benefits of a healthy body cannot be quantified or put on paper. But we have seen the direct benefits that taking probiotics gives.
We have also seen the benefits of taking probiotics for autistic children.
To reap the full benefits of probiotics, you have to take them regularly. You will see the results in a few days or sometimes in weeks.
Ava Wadaby is a contributing writer for Autism Parenting Magazine. She researches and writes about autism. She works to understand the challenges of her son who was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. She also regularly conducts activities with children in her neighbourhood, focusing on their learning and development.