Top 5 Myths About ProBiotics
When most people think about bacteria, they are thinking about the germs that can lead to illnesses and diseases. This is just one of the reasons that many are wary about probiotics, a type of live bacteria and yeast that is said to have a variety of health benefits. For those that are still on the fence, here is a look at some of the most widely spread myths about probiotics and a closer look at exactly what this live bacteria can do for one’s health.
All Microbes and Bacterium Are Bad
One of the reasons that probiotics have so many myths surrounding them is the fact that many believe there is no such thing as “good” microbes and bacterium. Unfortunately, this is completely untrue and bacteria serves a number of important roles within the body. This begins with bacteria that is found in the mouth that helps aid in the process of digestion. Other microbes and forms of bacteria are found throughout the body that protect humans from certain diseases and breakdown food after being eaten.
Probiotic Products Are Generally All the Same
In theory, there are so many strains of probiotics that every single product that is currently on the market could be slightly different. This means that there might be small to moderate changes after being consumed depending on the potency, the individual’s personal health, and that particular strain. The key is to find a well-known company that focuses on consistency and quality over everything else.
Probiotics Aren’t Working if You Can’t Feel Them
Due to the fickle nature of probiotics and how they interact with the human body, it can be difficult for many to tell if they are even working at all. Some individuals may take probiotic products for multiple days in a row and feel nothing at all, but there are some solutions out there. One simple way to test the probiotic is to add the powder to a medium such as coconut milk, let it sit in room temperature for a few hours, and then see if the mixture expands and cultures. This will mean that the probiotic is alive and active.
Yogurt Is a Replacement for Probiotics
While some yogurt does contain healthy microbes and bacterium, it is important to remember that most yogurt brands are made for the taste. This means that there is less of a focus on probiotics and more of a focus on the other additives. When choosing a type of yogurt, it is important to ensure that they do test their products to see if the cultures are alive. Families should also steer clear of sugar-laden or dyed yogurts if they are eaten daily.
Probiotic Products Are Not Regulated
Anything that is labeled or marketed as a health supplement is regulated by the FDA, but that does not mean that labels will always provide perfect information. Some second-rate products may not accurately list the type of microbes that they contain or if the probiotics are even alive. This is just one more reason that everyone should do their research and stick with companies known for quality.
Benefits of Probiotics:
- Weight Loss: The balance of good and bad bacteria can play a role in weight loss.
- Better Sleep: Much of the serotonin that is produced in the body comes from the stomach, and this means that a well-balanced GI tract can promote more restful sleep.
- Healthier Teeth: A number of studies now show that flora within the stomach can affect oral health issues such as dental caries and gum disease.
- Urinary Health: Those that are prone to urinary tract infections may want to consider the use of probiotics to help restore the correct balance of bacteria.
- Improved Immune System: Some limited studies have shown that those who consume probiotics produce a higher count of lymphocytes, a sign of a healthy immune system.