Do you really need probiotics

By February 4, 2022


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Bacteria are generally considered harmful to the human body, however, there’re good bacteria (probiotics) that can help keep your gut healthy, and you already have them. Since probiotics also exist in many foods and supplements, should you add them to your diet? The answer is that they are helpful in most cases, but should be avoided sometimes.

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Benefits of probiotics

The microbes in our intestinal tract can help fight against bad bacteria which may cause illness and inflammation. Once the level of microbes is low, you may experience diarrhea or other health problems.

This is when probiotics come into play. Researches suggest that probiotics can reduce the pathogens in your body and thus prevent diseases like diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and gastrointestinal symptoms, including gas, bloating, and constipation.

Another benefit of probiotics is that they will offset the side effect of antibiotics –antibiotics are really good at killing bad bacteria, but they also kill the good ones at the same time. Taking probiotics for some time after using antibiotics will help recover some of the good bacteria that were lost.

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Risks of probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that have already existed in the human body, so taking them won’t cause harm most of the time. However, pay attention to the cases listed below.

If you have an impaired immune system caused by medication, surgery or illness, you may have worse issues once taking probiotics. For instance, you may experience an allergic reaction that includes gas, bloating, and diarrhea especially during the first few days after you take the probiotics.

Foods that contain probiotics

The best way to take probiotics is through the food source. Foods that contain a high level of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut. Avoid probiotics before giving them to your kid, or if you’re pregnant or nursing.

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What you should do

If you are going to take a probiotic supplement for a long time, it’s better to talk with your doctor or pharmacist before you start. Buy one that contains as many probiotics as possible within your affordability. The most common ones are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics are usually freeze-dried, and then they will get activated in your digestive system and work to improve your symptoms. Stop taking them once you find any problems.

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