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Probiotics

Written by Cheryl Schwieters
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RS2733 iStock 000003176288XLargeIf you are at all interested in looking into what can be beneficial for assisting in good health, the use of probiotics is a hot topic as of late.  A probiotic is“good for you” bacteria as well as specific yeast found in some foods and supplements.  Research has been identifying these bacteria and yeasts as highly helpful in reducing a wide range of disorders, from GI distress to allergies, ulcerative colitis to bloating.  These bacteria also help to assist replenishing intestinal flora following a round of antibiotic usage.

Is the use of probiotics right for you?  Here are four things you may not know about the world of good bacteria:

  1. The collection of microorganisms in the gut is ENORMOUS!  Some estimates are as many as 500 to 1,000 species of bacteria.  The amount of microorganisms number 10 to 1 to the cells in our body.
  1. The strain does matter.  Probiotics are bacteria that are helpful to the body when either swallowed OR applied to it.   Most probiotics will be identified by three names, their genus, species and strain.  The Food and Drug Administration does not currently require manufacturers to disclose their strains on food or supplements
  1. Probiotics should be taken frequently but may not be needed every day.  Unless you are having a specific issue with your digestive system where you would use a strain specific probiotic shown to assist with a specific symptom.
  1. Most major brands have been shown to contain what they claim.
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