I've been hearing how good probiotics are for our health but if you go through the vitamin section of the store, you'll find pills filled with assorted bacteria that is good for your health. Is it possible to take a pill to provide the necessary healthy bacteria for a healthy gut? What do you need to know about this topic?
I admit, I've bought in to the buy a bottle of tablets, pop one, and think I'm set for the day. Unfortunately, I should have done a bit of research before I started taking them.
Probiotics are actually good bacteria which grows in the gut while balancing the bad bacteria out. The bacteria is needed in your gut so you remain healthy. It often comes in pill form or is added to a variety of foods with an assortment of attached claims. Many of the supplements actually contain only one type of bacteria rather than a variety which is better for us. The one type contained in the supplement, may or may not be the one we need.
In addition, if the pill you take is not designed to operate as a time release substance, most of the bacteria will be killed by stomach acid. Its been found that only 10 to 25 percent of uncoated pills survive swallowing. Furthermore, the bacteria needs to be alive when it reaches your gut in order to do any good and most probiotics that are added to foods are dead by the time the food hits the stores.
If you do decide to go the route of pills, make sure the bacteria is encapsulated, have at least one billion bacteria per dose, and are stamped with a best use by rather than a present at time of manufacture. It is strongly recommended to add foods such as kim chi, kombucha or yogurt to your diet but they should be the versions without any extra added sugar.
Unfortunately, if you read up on probiotics, you'll find claims that probiotics might cure certain diseases or can replace current medications. It is recommended you not replace proscribed medicines with probiotics but their regular use could eliminate future problems. Currently, its difficult to find actual research done on probiotics such as yogurt because people have to first register the food as a drug which means you would not be able to buy it on the shelf.
Furthermore, when buying yogurt, check the label to see if it states the yogurt includes live and active cultures because the yogurt may have been made using live cultures but they might have been killed during processing. The same applies to most probiotic foods. The bacteria in them needs to be kept alive for you to have full benefits.
Just to let you know, I'm now raising my own kombucha and yogurt so I can include them in my diet. I have noticed some major changes since I've begun consuming the live bacteria versus ingesting them via my mouth. The changes are good and help me with a problem or two I've had since I was 20.
Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear.