Power behind probiotics: bacteria that helps digestion


Yogurt and berries
Some yogurts contain live cultures, or probiotics, that can help regulate the digestive system.


Stomach troubles can be one of the most uncomfortable and common illnesses that keep students and professors away from their schoolwork.

No matter how many multivitamins a person takes they still might be plagued by horrible stomach cramps or diarrhea.

Research suggests that by taking probiotic supplements, or by eating more yogurt and milk with live cultures, people may begin to notice a more regular digestive system and experience less digestive tract infections.

What exactly is in these tiny capsules and yogurts? According to WebMD, probiotics are microscopic bacteria that help maintain the balance of “bad” bacteria in the intestines.

By doing this, it has been suggested that probiotics actually help treat problems in the stomach and intestines.

To help probiotics, it is also suggested that people eat prebiotics, which are foods that nourish the intestines. These foods generally include fibers, like whole grain breads and pastas.

There are over 400 different types of probiotics, but, according to WebMD, only a few of these strains of bacteria have actually been proven to work in the digestive tract.

Of the probiotics that have shown to be affective, some research suggests that they help prevent infections in the digestive tract, improve digestion and help control immune response in the intestines.

There is also evidence that probiotics help treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and can prevent urinary tract infections.

Probiotics are usually ingested into the body through live cultures in yogurt called lactic acid bacteria, or Lactobacillus acidophilus. Probiotics can also be found in products that contain yeast.

But some find a simple dietary supplement pill is easier to swallow.

One of the reasons why there are so many different forms of probiotic supplements is because they generally contain different strains of the bacteria. Each one can have a different effect on the body.

Other supplements have different dose ranges starting at 50 million live cells and can go up to as many as one trillion live cells. It is suggested that you try different types of supplements to see how your body reacts.

Something to keep in mind when browsing the digestive health isle is to look for probiotic supplements that boast bacteria that last until the end of the product’s shelf life instead of ones that say “at time of manufacture.”

There are many ways to get probiotics without guzzling down dietary supplements.

When food is fermented, probiotics and other cultures are found in them. So foods like yogurt with live cultures and fermented milk can be added to a diet and can aid in intestinal health.

Activia is a yogurt by Dannon that contains live cultures. It is made with low-fat fermented milk that boasts having bacteria called “Bifidus Regularis” that remains stable throughout the product’s shelf life.

One of the great things about this brand is the different flavors it provides. They have products ranging from the common peach or strawberry yogurts, to low fat and Greek yogurts.

Another common brand of probiotic yogurt is Yakult. The consumer only has a choice between Yakult and Yakult light, but these products are great in a time crunch when running out the door to class.

Conveniently packaged in a plastic bottle, Yakult boasts having about 8 billion of their exclusive probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei, Shirota, per bottle.

Because probiotics are already present in the body’s intestinal tract, they are generally considered safe. But before starting a supplement routine, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor and make sure that they are right for you.

To receive the best results, probiotics should generally be taken on a daily basis.

Whether pills or yogurt seem more appealing, probiotics supplements can help regulated digestion and prevent infections.

Foods filled with probiotics

Yogurt: Any kind of yogurt that has live and active cultures in it will help with digestion. These cultures are most commonly found in special digestive yogurt brands.

Sauerkraut: The probiotics Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus are commonly found in sauerkraut. Buying unpasteurized sauerkraut is important because pasteurization kills the good bacteria along with the bad.

Soft cheeses: Lactobacillus strains, which are found in fermented soft cheeses, like Gouda, are strong enough probiotics to survive the gastrointestinal tract.

Sourdough bread: This kind of bread contains Lactobacillus and can be used to make everyday sandwiches.

Milk: Acidophilus milk, which is milk that has been fermented with bacteria, is one of the simplest ways to get a daily dose of probiotics.

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