We hear the phrase "With its rich probiotic content..." in advertisements these days. Sounds remarkable, right? Maybe you started consuming probiotics because of these advertisements, or there are probiotics in the products you frequently consume without realizing it. So, do you know what probiotics are and what they do? Here's everything you need to know about probiotics...
What is a Probiotic?
Live microorganisms, such as bacterial species, provide health benefits when consumed adequately. They can be found naturally in fermented foods such as yogurt, or they can be developed in the laboratory and produced as pills or powders and added to different foods. Although many people think that bacteria and other microorganisms are ultimately harmful, we need some of them, especially probiotics. The results of scientific research are an indication that using probiotics to regulate the bacterial balance of the intestines is beneficial for human health.
Which Foods Have Probiotics?
If you want to get probiotics into your body naturally, you can consume foods and beverages such as yogurt, kefir, fermented milk, cheeses, and sauerkraut. When natural ways are not enough, you can choose products such as specially prepared pills and powders under the supervision of a doctor. However, it would be best if you were careful about processed foods that claim to contain probiotics, such as sugary drinks and even candy, and carefully read the ingredients of these products.
What Kinds of Bacteria Are in Probiotics?
Probiotics contain various microorganisms. The most common bacteria belong to groups called lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Other bacteria and yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii can also be used as probiotics. Different types of probiotics have different effects on the body. In other words, the fact that a microorganism is a probiotic does not mean that it will have the same function and effect as the others.
How do Probiotics work?
When you consume foods containing probiotics, you may think that you are supplementing your intestines with beneficial bacteria; But that's not how probiotics work. Instead, you can think of probiotics as balancing elements of the intestines. Most probiotics do not settle directly in the gut. Instead, they form a series of compounds that affect other organisms, feeding beneficial bacteria and eliminating harmful bacteria. Another critical point to remember is that probiotics are mostly temporary helpers. Therefore, it is helpful to consume probiotics regularly.
Are There Any Side Effects of Probiotics?
Probiotics can create temporary conditions such as bloating, gas, or changes in bowel movements due to their areas of action. It is okay for anyone to take probiotics, but if you have a digestive disorder such as celiac disease, it is helpful to consult your doctor before taking probiotics. It is also helpful to check the ingredients of the products you buy if you have a food or drug allergy to minimize the risk of a reaction.
What Diseases Can Probiotics Help Treat?
If you have an unhealthy diet or lifestyle, probiotics cannot compensate for all the consequences. Therefore, to get the maximum benefit from probiotics, it is essential to have healthy eating habits and regular life. Scientific research shows that probiotics can be part of the treatment plan for many diseases: diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, mood disorders, anxiety, leaky gut syndrome, and microbiome imbalances, to name a few. In addition, some scientific research shows limited but promising results that probiotics can solve numerous problems such as poor sleep quality, lactose intolerance, autoimmune disease, atopic dermatitis, allergies, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Although no food or supplement directly helps you lose weight, studies on probiotics and obesity also seem positive.
Steps to Follow for Probiotic Supplementation
If you need to take a probiotic supplement under the supervision of a doctor, you can follow the steps below to get the most out of it:
● Make sure you use it correctly: Be sure to read the descriptions of the type of probiotic you are taking.
● Make it a daily habit: Remember that these beneficial bacteria will leave your body early if you do not use probiotics regularly. For this reason, it is helpful to determine your probiotic intake at least five days a week.
● Drink lots of milk: Consuming probiotics with food helps keep them alive during their journey into your stomach. To increase the possibility of probiotics reaching the intestines, you can prefer foods that neutralize stomach and bile acids, especially yogurt, milk, and cheese.
● Go for quality rather than quantity: It is not right to think that products with ten different probiotic species are necessarily superior to products with fewer species. For this, you can get the most accurate information from your doctor.
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