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Exploring the less obvious difference in probiotic supplements.

How Much Difference Do Probiotic Supplements Make, Really?

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How Much Difference Do Probiotic Supplements Make?

There are three main things that get talked about with regard to gut health:

  • Prebiotics (fibrous foods)
  • Probiotics (things containing live “good” bacteria)
  • Postbiotics (things to help them thrive)

Today we’ll be talking about probiotics, but if you’d like a refresher on general gut health, here’s our previous main feature:

Making Friends With Your Gut (You Can Thank Us Later)

What bacteria are in probiotics?

There are many kinds, but the most common by far are Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacteria sp.

Taxonomical note:sp.” just stands for “species”. The first name is the genus, which contains a plurality of (sometimes, many) species.

Lactobacillus acidophilus, also written L. acidophilus, is a common species of Lactobacillus sp. in probiotics.

Bifidobacterium bifidum, also written B. bifidum, is a common species of Bifidobacterium sp. in probiotics.

What difference do they make?

First, and perhaps counterintuitively, putting more bacteria into your gut has a settling effect on the digestion. In particular, probiotics have been found effective against symptoms of IBS and ulcerative colitis, (but not Crohn’s):

Probiotics are also helpful against diarrhea, including that caused by infections and/or antibiotics, as well as to reduce antibiotic resistance:

Probiotics also boost the immune system outside of the gut, too, for example reducing the duration of respiratory infections:

Multi-Strain Probiotic Reduces the Duration of Acute Upper Respiratory Disease in Older People: A Double-Blind, Randomised, Controlled Clinical Trial

You may recallthe link between gut health and brain health, thanks in large part to the vagus nerve connecting the two:

The Brain-Gut Highway: A Two-Way Street

No surprises, then, that probiotics benefit mental health. See:

There are so many kinds; which should I get?

Diversity is good, so more kinds is better. However, if you have specific benefits you’d like to enjoy, you may want to go stronger on particular strains:

Choosing an appropriate probiotic product for your patient: An evidence-based practical guide

Where can I get them?

We don’t sell them, but here’s an example product on Amazon, for your convenience.

Alternatively, you can check out today’s sponsor, who also sell such; we recommend comparing products and deciding which will be best for you 😎


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