Probiotic, literally meaning, “for life,” refers to the good, helpful bacteria that live in every healthy individual’s gut by the thousands.
These days, we are so accustomed to thinking that bacteria are negative, harmful, disease causing agents. While this can be true in many cases, bacteria are also a very important part of our health and well-being.
According to Harvard Health, there are an estimated 100 trillion of these good guys hanging around in every healthy digestive system. Not only do these helpful bacteria keep the disruptive, pathogenic bacteria at bay, they also help with digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function.
Although these already sound like amazing functions, a growing body of research is continuing to discover more and more evidence that although supplementing with these helpful bacteria isn’t necessary, it can prove to be very helpful.
Today in America, there is an extraordinarily large population who suffer from intestinal discomfort, from diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, and constipation, to chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
Instead of turning to symptom suppressers, or band-aids, consider getting to the root of the problem and actually helping your intestines by providing it with live, helpful bacteria.
Among their many benefits, Mayo Clinic cited probiotics as a treatment for diarrhea, vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections, and IBS, as well as for the prevention or reduction of severity of colds and flu, prevention and treatment of eczema in children, treatment for certain intestinal infections, and reduction of bladder cancer recurrence.
Many argue that digestive health is not a separate entity of our systems, but the root of well-being, since this is where food (our life source) is broken down into the building blocks of our cells.
Because antibiotics strip away much of the bacteria in your body, good and bad, many individuals choose to supplement their diet with probiotics during or after a round of antibiotics.
Probiotics can be found naturally in food sources like certain yogurts, or beverages like Kombucha, a fermented tea that can be found at your local health food store. However, the easiest way to ingest a large amount of probiotics is through a supplement that contains billions of helpful organisms.
Supplements can come in many forms from pills, to liquids, to powders. Because probiotic supplements are similar to the bacteria that is already found in our digestive system, and have been ingested in fermented foods throughout history, they are generally esteemed as safe and effective.
However, as with many dietary supplements, there is still some research that should be done about their effect on young children, elderly, and those with suppressed immune function. Talk to your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, to make sure that a probiotic supplement is right for you!
Are probiotics and prebiotics important for health? - MayoClinic.com. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/probiotics/AN00389
Health benefits of taking probiotics. (n.d.). Health Information and Medical Information - Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0905c.shtml
Oral Probiotics: An Introduction | NCCAM. (n.d.). Home Page | NCCAM. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
Reviewed March 12, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Add a Comment2 Comments
If you are experiencing some chronic intestinal-related discomfort, I recommend giving the Lady Soma Probiotics a try. It's the same concept as that Dannon Activia yogurt but way more useful, because people with tummy trouble often have lactose/dairy problems and can't eat yogurt. I was getting a lot of bloating and discomfort after eating just about anything and was starting to get freaked out. I've been taking these Lady Soma Probiotics for almost 2 weeks now and have definitely noticed a difference. I haven't been having uncomfortable food/intestinal reactions, and without getting too explicit, visiting the toilet these days is practically something I look forward to now. I feel "regular" and "productive" for the first time in months and have a feeling that I had too much intestinal bacteria. These
I hope they work for you, too, because it's no fun to be bloated and gassy all day!!February 17, 2013 - 12:47pm
Caraway seed is an ancient remedy for digestive problems, bronchitis, and even colic. Caraway supplement itself tends to help gas bloating digestion, menstrual cramps and gallbladder, but the properties of the caraway seed bring added benefit. The best way to experience the benefit is through herbal supplements which is easy to take at home if you have caraway seeds on hand. one of the most popular herbs today, caraway has long been prized for the excellence of its aromatic dried seeds (actually fruits) as a condiment and an aid to digestion. Caraway gives rye bread and various cheeses their characteristic flavors.
The caraway seeds, leaves and roots are considered useful in activating the glands, besides increasing the action of the kidneys. It is characterized as an excellent “house cleaner” for the body. www.1wallmart.com/product.php?id_product=676
Caraway is similar in action to anise and fennel. Being antispasmodic and possessing carminative properties, the seeds of caraway soothe the digestive tract, acting directly on the intestinal muscles to relieve colic and cramps as well as all types of bloating and flatulence.
They sweeten the breath, improve appetite, counter heart irregularity caused by excess digestive gas, and ease menstrual cramps. In addition, the seeds are diuretic, expectorant, and tonic, and are frequently used in bronchitis and cough remedies, especially those for children. Caraway has a reputation for increasing breast-milk production. www.1wallmart.com/product.php?id_product=677
The health benefits of caraway seeds are amazingly and are a very good source of fiber. Just about 100 grams of seeds provides 38 grams of dietary fiber. Amazing? Right! They add bulk and help treat constipation by helping the gut pass the food through it.
The fiber in caraway seeds also binds the toxic substances in the food and safeguards the mucus membrane in the colon from cancerous growth. The fiber also binds the salts from the bile and stops it from getting reabsorbed in the colon. These health benefits of caraway seeds help in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. caraway promotes gastric secretion and stimulates appetite. It breaks down spasms in the gastrointestinal tract to prevent flatulence, but it is also used to treat menstrual cramps and gallbladder spasms. caraway supplement is strongly fungicidal, having a stronger anti-fungal andMarch 21, 2012 - 9:18am