Probiotics are a type of bacteria with some important benefits for some of your most important bodily functions. Specifically, they aid in the digestion process, and thus probiotic supplements are often used in holistic medicine in Humble, TX to improve digestive and gut health.
Probiotics also occur naturally in some types of foods. Yogurt is the most well-known natural source of probiotics, but you can also find them in certain types of dairy foods (soft cheeses and buttermilk, for example), soy drinks, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.
Selecting probiotics to aid in your digestion
With so many probiotic supplements and foods on the market, how do you know which is best for you?
Three of the most common choices are as follows:
- Lactobacillus: These bacteria are most commonly found in fermented foods, such as yogurt and certain types of cheeses and other dairy products. Different strains of these bacteria can assist with treating diarrhea and can also help resolve issues with lactose intolerance.
- Saccharomyces boulardii: This type of yeast is found in probiotics, and studies show it helps to fight against diarrhea and a host of other digestive issues.
- Bifidobacterium: These bacteria are found in a variety of dairy products, and can help to treat some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and various other digestive conditions.
When in the market for a probiotic supplement or food product, your first step should be to carefully read and assess the label for the product. Look for phrases such as “contains probiotics” or “contains live active cultures” if you’re focusing on yogurts or dairy foods, as not all yogurts will have these live cultures in them.
For supplements, you should be aware that while they are technically subject to FDA regulations, they are treated more like foods than medications. Supplement makers do not have to produce studies showing their products are safe for use or that they meet minimal standards of effectiveness. Therefore, the results you get from probiotic supplements can vary from brand to brand, which is why people often prefer to use food sources instead—you can be a little more confident in what you’re getting out of the product.
If you do decide to try out a probiotic supplement, you should make sure you gather as much information about the product as you can before you purchase, including the genus, species and strain of the probiotic bacteria, the dose you should be taking, the number of organisms that will still be alive by the use-by date and the name and contact information of the company that made the product. Check online reviews and see what you can learn about its effectiveness and value in treating some of the more common digestive issues.
If you’re interested in learning more about the various benefits of probiotic foods and supplements and what else you should know about holistic medicine in Humble, TX, we encourage you to contact A Gift of Health today. The team at our health foods and supplement store would be glad to answer your questions!