Hello SOTGC community,
Probiotics are defined as “live micro-organisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit,” according to 2002 guidelines developed by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. Stated more simply, probiotics are “good” bacteria, found naturally in the body, which replace “bad” bacteria in the gut and are believed to improve one’s overall health and digestion.
Probiotics have received a lot of media attention since their inception during the 1990s. Several studies have since shown evidence that supports claims of probiotic health benefits. Probiotics have been found to help support a healthy immune system, lower the incidence of yeast infections, decrease digestive transit time, reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Chron’s disease, and even decrease the risk of developing cavities.
It turns out that not all oral probiotic supplements are equally beneficial despite the wide array of choices found on store shelves. There are certain clues that one should always look for when choosing a probiotic. Products that are described with words such as “live” and list particular strains of bacteria are more likely to contain organisms known to render health benefits.
Research studies have found the following list of probiotic organisms are associated with health benefits:
|Probiotic Organism||Health Benefit Claims|
|Lactobacillus casei Shirota||Immune system and digestive health|
|Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 (L. casei immunitas)||Supports a healthy immune system and decreases duration of cold and flu symptoms|
|Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 in combination with Lactobacillus reuteri||Improves vaginal health|
|Lactobacillus reuteri 55730||Helps with colic, gingivitis, and antibiotic associated diarrhea|
|Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 (Bifidis Regularis)||Supports a healthy gut and faster digestion|
|Bifidobacterium infantis 35624||Reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)|
|Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12||Aides with digestion and overall immune health|
|Saccharomyces boulardii yeast||Prevents and treats antibiotic-associated diarrhea|
Probiotics are widely available and are supplied most often in the form of yogurt and oral capsules. The recommended adult probiotic dosage ranges from 10 to 20 billion colony forming units (CFU) per day. It should be noted that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the sale of probiotics in the United States. And although scientific research has shown promising results supporting claims of probiotic health benefits, there is an insufficient amount of data that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of these products.
Talk to your doctor first if you are considering trying a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are not for everyone, and they are specifically contraindicated with certain immunodeficiency diseases.
For more information about probiotics check out these links:
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