Probiotics: What you need to know

Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria and, when consumed, benefit us with health. They play a major role in gut health and enhance our immune system.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote our health and digestive system. It is known to prevent major digestive problems and restores gut health.

Probiotics are commonly found in fermented foods. They balance the good and bad bacteria in your body and keep your body healthy.  

When antigen invades our body, probiotics play a major role in eliminating the foreign antigens. Probiotics keep your body neutral by controlling inflammation.

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How do probiotics work?

Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits, from your gut to your immune system.

Probiotics are mainly involved with your digestive system. It helps to digest food and prevents the entry of infectious bacteria.

They also fight against bad bacteria and enhances the immune system.

Probiotics also help to break down the food and absorb nutrients.

Probiotics are present naturally in our body, and they need not be swallowed in any form. You have to consume healthy food so that you feed the good bacteria to survive in your body.

This can be done by taking healthy and balanced food.

Types of Probiotics

Probiotics change your microbial composition and make it healthy. The gut biome plays an important role in the process of metabolism.  

Some of the common probiotics species are

Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus is one of the predominant and common probiotic species. They are commonly found in dairy products such as curd and yoghurt. Some species are also available in cheeses.

The common lactobacillus species are Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus.

SpeciesClaimed health benefits
Lactobacillus plantarumPrevents endotoxin production.
Lactobacillus caseiTreats constipation in adults.
Lactobacillus delbrueckiiAnti-bacterial activity against Escherichia coli; Enhances immunity in elder people.
Lactobacillus brevisReduces plague acidogenicity and a protective role in bile salt tolerance.
Lactobacillus rhamnosusReduces the risk of allergic reactions; Protects colon muscle from Lipopolysaccharide-induced damage.
Lactobacillus acidophilusTreats traveller’s diarrhoea; Anti-fungal activity; Reduces irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Bifidobacterium 

Bifidobacterium species are commonly used in supplements. Bifidobacteria limit the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestine and break lactose into nutrients so the body can use it.

Some of the common Bifidobacterium species are Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium breve.

SpeciesClaimed health benefit
Bifidobacterium infantisReduces necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants.
Bifidobacterium animalisTreats functional constipation in adults; Reduces incidence of febrile urinary tract infection in children; Reduces microbial count in the dental plague.
Bifidobacterium bifidumReduces hospital stay of children with acute diarrhoea; Reduces total cholesterol level.
Bifidobacterium longumReduces radiation-induced diarrhoea; Treats gastrointestinal diseases; Perinatal intervention of onset of allergic reaction.
Bifidobacterium breveReduces cholesterol level;  Treats and reduces recurrent pseudomembrane colitis infection induced by Clostridioides difficile.

Saccharomyces boulardii

Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast that was initially isolated from lychee and mangosteen. It is similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae but differs in the non-pathogenic and biotherapeutic features.

It is proven to have an effective probiotic property against various gastrointestinal disorders and promotes overall immune health.

Saccharomyces boulardii is commonly called brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. It is commonly used to treat diarrhoea.

Saccharomyces boulardii is a proven biotherapeutic agent to treat various gastrointestinal diseases. There is evidence showing that it can cure diarrhoea caused by Clostridium difficile.

Necrotizing enterocolitis, an intestinal disease in premature infants, can be cured by taking this probiotic organism.

Saccharomyces boulardii enhances innate immunity by triggering and activating the complement cells. It also helps in the migration of monocytes and granulocytes to the site of infection.

In adaptive immunity, it enhances the mucosal immune response and immunoglobulin A levels. It also stimulates the T cells and inhibits dendritic cell-induced T cell activation.

It decreases the pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-8, interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-gamma (INF-γ).

What Do They Do? 

Probiotics enhance your gut biome and bring a balance between bad and good bacteria.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. It causes cramps, abdominal pain, gas, bloating and constipation. At times it can cause diarrhoea.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition, and some people exhibit severe symptoms and will need medical treatment.

Some studies proved that probiotics play an important role in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.  

The symptoms improved when treated with probiotics, and the quality of life was also improved in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

A comparative study was conducted on patients with irritable bowel syndrome. A group of 90 people was divided into two groups.  

The first group was given Lactobacillus delbruekii and Lactobacillus fermentum three times a day. And the second group was given itopride hcl 50 mg with the same dose.

The irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are measured with the IBS-symptom severity scale, and the quality of life was measured with irritable bowel syndrome quality of life (IBS-QOL).

The results revealed IBS-QOL score increased significantly in the first group of people than in the second group.  

Inflammatory bowel disease 

Inflammatory bowel disease is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Prolonged inflammation may lead to damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a term used to describe two conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract starting from the mouth to the anus. It commonly affects the small intestine.

Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine and rectum. Inflammation can be seen in the innermost layer of the colon.

The common symptoms of Inflammatory bowel disease include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, bloody stools and fatigue.

Since inflammatory bowel disease is a combination of disorders administering probiotics may significantly improve the condition.

Inflammatory bowel syndrome patients were administered with S. boulardii, results revealed that there were positive effects.  

S. boulardii treats and prevents relapses of inflammatory bowel disease and moderate symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Probiotics are capable of multiple mechanisms like stimulating the anti-inflammatory cytokines, strengthening the intestinal barrier, antagonistic action on pathogens and inhibiting inflammatory cytokines.

With the help of probiotics, inflammatory bowel disorder can be treated effectively.

Infectious diarrhoea

Infectious diarrhoea is the common cause of diarrhoea worldwide. It is also responsible for deaths.

The major causes of diarrhoea are bacteria, virus and some parasites. The way of infection is through the faecal-oral route.

Bacterial diarrhoea is a widespread cause of diarrhoea and death. The bacterial organisms that cause death diarrhoea are Escherichia coli (strain number 0157), Salmonella enteritidis and Campylobacter species.

Clinical studies have proved that probiotics can treat and prevent diarrhoea. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. reuteri, L. casei (strain Shirota) and Bifidobacterium lactis (Bb12).

Probiotics fight infectious diarrhoea pathogens by competitive binding site mechanisms, lowering the luminal pH, producing bacteriocins and binding with the available substrates.  

Diarrhoea caused by antibiotics

Diarrhoea caused by antibiotics are common. Antibiotics disturb the natural balance of bacteria in the intestines. So digestive irritation and diarrhoea are common during the antibiotic course.

Antibiotics such as penicillin, lincosamides and cephalosporins are commonly associated with antibiotic diarrhoea.  

A clinical trial with 33 patients was conducted, and probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus rhamnosus in dosage of 5-40 billion CFUs per unit were effective.

Among the 33 patients, 19 patients were followed up, and the results were analysed. The results revealed that the benefits remained significantly high.

How do I take a probiotic supplement?

It is impossible to calculate CFU per unit and then consume probiotics like in a lab. It is better to consume foods that are rich in probiotics and supplements.  

It is better to consult a doctor before taking any new supplements or probiotic organisms.

Foods

It is safe to consume foods that are rich in probiotic properties. The probiotics will be in natural distribution, and you need not use any special calculations to consume the probiotics.

Probiotics, when they ferment foods, they produce primary and secondary metabolites. So when the food is taken as such, the nutrients are fully consumed, and they benefit the health.

Drinks

There are many probiotic drinks available in the market. Non-dairy probiotic drinks, probiotic dairy-free yoghurt, organic kombucha, apple cider vinegar and kefir.

These drinks are readily available in the market. Probiotic drinks can be made at home. The fermented rice water can be used as a probiotic drink.

Research has suggested that the fermented rice water contains more protein and nutrients the body requires.

Lactobacillus species are identified in the fermented rice water. The zone of inhibition study was conducted with 20 µg/ml of the extract.

The results revealed that the zone of inhibition for the organism Staphylococcus aureus was 15mm, which is the maximum inhibition, and for Klebsiella pneumonia, it was 13mm.

Capsules or pills

There is some research evidence that probiotic capsules and pills help in cases to prevent diarrhoea and other digestive complications.

Though these capsules and pills help ease complications, it is better to take advice from your doctor before taking them.

Powders

The probiotic powders are made with both bacteria and yeast. They help eliminate bad bacteria in your body and bring a good balance to the gut microbiome.

A study was conducted with probiotic powders. It suggested that probiotics are helpful in periodontal diseases by reducing the disease-causing bacteria and improving the bacteria’s clinical signs.

Liquids

Probiotic liquids are more common and available in the markets.  

Some of the probiotic species used in liquid drinks are Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium longum.

Probiotic food

Probiotic food, on the whole, benefits your body and mental health. They promote heart health, improve the digestive system and help to reduce depression.

Some foods that naturally contain probiotic properties are listed below.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Yoghurt contains live strains of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Yoghurt is made with milk that is fermented with probiotic milk. It contains protein, calcium and vitamins that enhance gut health and strengthen your bones.

People with celiac disease and lactose intolerance can try yoghurt. It contains less lactose, and the probiotic bacteria break down lactose into lactic acid.

Kefir 

Kefir originated from European countries. According to a research paper published in Springer, Kefir contains bioactive compounds like peptides that help to inhibit the proliferation of tumour cells and induces apoptosis.  

They are powerful probiotics that offer anti-cancer properties. Kefir is prepared by inoculating milk with kefir grains. They are a combination of bacteria and yeast that exhibit a symbiotic matrix.

Research has proved that kefir can alleviate conditions like diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroenteritis and traveller’s diarrhoea.  

Kefir naturally has the potential to inhibit and fight pathogenic growth. Lactobacillus Plantarum present in kefir produces bacteriocins that inhibit the formation of pathogenic bacteria.

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural metabolite present in kefir and acts as an antimicrobial compound.

Bacteriocin produced by Lactococcus lactis strain DPC3147 called lactin 3147, which was isolated from kefir, exhibits antimicrobial activity against pathogens such as Escherichia Coli and Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, S. enteritidis, S. Flexner and Yersinia enterocolitica.

Some of the bacterial species present in kefir are Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus kefiri and Lactobacillus parakefiri.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is cabbage that is chopped finely and fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Sauerkraut is believed to be originated in China.  

Initially, fermentation was used to preserve food. Sauerkraut offers various health benefits starting from immune-boosting mechanism to weight loss.  

Sauerkraut employs a wide range of bacterial communities. The fermentation starts with Leuconostoc mesenteroides, and it favours the growth of other probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus plantarum.

Bacteria such as Enterococcus faecalis and Pediococcus cerevisiae are thought to play a role in fermentation.

Tempeh

Tempeh is an Indonesian food that is made with fermented soybeans. Tempeh is made by culturing in a controlled fermentation process that binds to form a cake.

Tempeh is a staple food for protein and an excellent vegetarian replacement for meat. It is also a source of dairy-free calcium.  

Research studies have proved that tempeh promotes thermogenesis, leading to an increase in metabolism. An increase in metabolism helps your body burn more calories and promotes weight loss.

Kimchi

Kimchi is a native Korean food that is an excellent probiotic source. Kimchi is made by combining vegetables like cabbage, scallions, radish, ginger, garlic, and fish sauce.  

The combination is allowed to ferment, and it tastes like a spicy vegetable dish. The vegetable mixture is fermented in pots to control the growth of bacteria.

Kimchi offers various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Choline present in kimchi helps to improve your mood and regulates cells and muscle growth.

Kimchi can help reduce the negative symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive system-related problems.

The microorganisms that help ferment kimchi are Leuconostoc gelidum, Weissella koreensis and Lactobacillus sakei.

The other dominant probiotic strains present in kimichi are Pediococcus pentosaceus, Leuconostoc citreum, Leuconostoc gelidum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides.

Miso

Miso

Miso is a traditional Japanese food made from soybean, moulded rice and salt. The moulded rice is used as a starter culture. The moulded rice is called koji.

The miso contains a Lactobacillus organism Tetragenococcus halophilus. The fermentation helps in digestion and enhances nutrition.

Miso is rich in salt content, and it is believed to aggregate the symptoms of hypertension. Though miso has high salt content, research has shown that it regulates immune cells like dendritic cells and T cells.

The LABs present in miso help in the immunoregulatory action against the pathogens.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink that is believed to be originated in China. It is a sweetened black or green tea and is consumed as a healthy drink.

Research suggests that kombucha drink contributes to various health benefits like supporting the digestive system, promoting a healthy gut microbiome and enhancing immune responses.  

Probiotics present in kombucha are Acetobacter, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and Gluconacetobacter.

Since kombucha is categorised as tea, they contain a considerable amount of caffeine. Kombucha contains acetic acid that kills harmful bacteria.

Kombucha exhibits considerable antimicrobial properties. It suppresses the growth of undesirable bacteria and other pathogens.

Pickles  

Pickling practices are one of the oldest methods to preserve foods. Pickling foods bring in favourable changes to the food and benefit the health.

Pickles are more than a tasty and tangy dish. Fermented pickles are packed with health benefits. They help in digestion and are high in an antioxidant called beta-carotene.

The organism that help in the fermentation of pickles are Lactobacillus plantarum, L. brevis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Pediococcus cerevisiae, Pediococcus pentosaceus and Enterococcus faecalis.

These organisms can tolerate a considerable amount of salt and inhibit the growth of undesirable bacteria.

An antimicrobial study conducted by a group of researchers suggested that the probiotic bacteria isolated L. plantarum from pickles inhibited the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria like E. coli, S. dysenteriae, S. aureus and E. faecalis.

Traditional Buttermilk  

Traditional buttermilk is the liquid that is left over after the churning of whole milk into butter.

The primary health benefit of buttermilk is hydration. The buttermilk contains probiotic organism that enhances the gut microbial composition.

The lactic acid bacteria present in buttermilk are Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.  

These bacteria increase the acidity in the buttermilk and create an unfavourable condition for pathogens. This is the reason that the buttermilk has a slightly sour taste.

The LABs present ferment the lactose in milk. The buttermilk is thicker than milk because the bacteria produce lactic acid and reduce the pH, solidifying the milk protein, casein.

Unlike other dairy products, buttermilk is easy to digest and aids digestion. People with lactose intolerant are safe to intake foods that are cultured by bacteria. The bacteria break the lactose and help in digestion.

Periodontitis causes inflammation in gums, which is due to the growth of periodontal bacteria. Buttermilk contains anti-inflammatory property that inhibits the growth of periodontal bacteria.

Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese food. Natto is made from soybeans that are fermented from  Bacillus subtilis var. natto. Natto has a strong flavour and a slimy texture.

Natto contains vitamins like B6, folate and pantothenic acid, antioxidants and other plant compounds.

Probiotics in natto help digest foods easily so that our gut can absorb nutrients easily. Natto helps to dissolve blood clots. It produces an enzyme called nattokinase, which increases the tissue plasminogen activator and reduces platelet aggregation.

According to PMC6723656, a peptide was isolated from natto that exhibits antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Bacillus subtilis.

Some types of cheese 

Some types of cheese

Cheese is one of the best food that delivers the probiotic organism into the human intestine. The most commonly used probiotic species are Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp.  

All types of cheese have a starter culture, and they differ in industrial needs. Probiotic cheese contains L. acidophilus A9, B. bifidum A12 and Lactobacillus paracasei A13.  

Cheese that has probiotic strains are cheddar, gouda and feta. Probiotic cheese proved to have an immunomodulatory property and promotes phagocytic activity in the small intestine.  

After ingestion, this cheese increased the production of immunoglobulin A in the large intestines.  

Health benefits of taking probiotics

Help balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system

There are many factors that affect gut flora. One major factor is the food we consume. They either enhance the gut microbiome or affect the gut flora.

To balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system does not mean you have to overeat or only consume a particular food.  

Healthy probiotic consumption consumes a diverse microbiome that enhances the immune and digestive systems.

Good bacteria provide health benefits and bring a balance of the good bacteria and inhibit the growth of pathogens.

Some pathogenic bacteria that are pathogenic are Escherichia coli (particular strains) and Salmonella species.

Can help prevent and treat diarrhoea

Probiotics have proven benefits in their ability to treat diarrhoea and also reduce its severity. There are many reasons for diarrhoea, such as an imbalance in the gut microbiome, antibiotics and foods that are infected with pathogens.

Research has proven that probiotics can reduce antibiotic-associated conditions. Probiotics have the potential to treat other types of diarrhoea and not only antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei and Saccharomyces boulardii have the potential to treat traveller’s diarrhoea.

Supplements improve some mental health conditions

Probiotics can directly or indirectly improve your mental health. Consuming probiotics makes you feel healthy and happy about your digestive system.

They also help maintain a healthy weight, and if you are obese, they aid in weight loss. Being fit makes you feel good and confident about yourself.

There were human and animal studies conducted, and they revealed that probiotic supplements help improve your mental health.

A group of 15 people with depression was given Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for a month. And it proved that it improved people’s mental health with anxiety and depression.  

Strains Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

People are aware that probiotics enhance your gut health and regulate the immune system. But little did they know that probiotics also check your cholesterol level and keep your heart healthy.

Probiotic organisms like Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 7527, Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 7528, Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 7529 and Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 contribute to healthy cholesterol levels.

Probiotics bind to the cholesterol in the intestine and block them from getting absorbed. They also produce certain acids and bile, which metabolise the fat in the body. They break down the bile and prevent it from reabsorbing into the gut.

A research study was conducted with 127 people with high cholesterol. They were administered with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri for nine weeks.  

The results revealed that administration with the probiotic bacteria reduced the total cholesterol level by 9% and LDL level by 12%.

May Reduce the Severity of Certain Allergies and Eczema

Inflammation is the result of an immune reaction. When a pathogen enters the body, it switches on the immune system to fight against the foreign pathogen. The other reason for inflammation is C-reactive protein.

Probiotics help to reduce the inflammation and symptoms of eczema. Infants fed with probiotic milk showed reduced symptoms of eczema.

Probiotic bacteria also help to reduce inflammation in people that have dairy allergies.

Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Certain Digestive Disorders

Probiotics are known to improve gut health and reduce symptoms of digestive disorders. They treat inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Bacterial strains like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus have improved symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis.

Consuming probiotics help to reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a fatal bowel condition in premature babies.

May Help Boost Your Immune System

Probiotics boost your immune system by bringing a balance between your good and bad bacteria. They line your intestinal membrane and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Probiotics promote the production of natural antibodies and boost immune cells like immunoglobulin A, T lymphocytes and natural killer cells.

Lactobacillus crispatus, a probiotic bacteria, reduced urinary tract infection in women.

May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat 

Probiotic bacteria use various methods to reduce weight and belly fat. Probiotics in the gut absorb the fat in the intestine and inhibit the fat from getting deposited in the body.

Probiotic and prebiotic food like yoghurt, curd and green bananas contains nutrients that make you feel full for a long time and helps burn calories.

How to choose a probiotic

There is a diverse community of probiotic organism, and choosing the one among them that benefit our health is nearly impossible. But we can be clear about how much we consume and the bacteria that cause negative effects.

Intended use

An imbalance in gut health contributes to various health and digestive issues like gastrointestinal problems and immune system dysfunction.

Additional conditions like antibiotic intake can also disrupt the gut microbiome. People with additional conditions like digestive problems and gastroesophageal reflux disease are suggested to take probiotics.

Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements or probiotic strains. They may aggravate your condition. Foods like curd, yoghurt and kombucha will help to soothe digestive problems.

CFU Counts

CFU is the colony-forming unit of bacteria. CFUs are the general recommendation for choosing probiotics.

The recommended range is one billion colony forming units of the bacterial species Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces boulardii.

You should be careful before choosing a bacteria, as these bacteria may contain pathogenic strains.

For example bacterial strains like Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are used as starter cultures in yoghurt.

When consumed, these bacteria do not provide any beneficial effect and destroy the stomach acid.

Some people prefer probiotic supplements to foods. But probiotic foods are always the better choice.  

Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi and kombucha provide the bacteria with a nourishing environment, and they release an important by-product, short-chain fatty acids.

Storage needs

It is very important to store the bacteria in favourable conditions to keep them alive and avoid pathogen growth.

Probiotics that don’t require refrigeration also should be stored in a cool and dry place. Probiotics should not be exposed to more than 70 Fahrenheit.  

Different strains have different needs. For example, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and streptococcus are very sensitive to heat, and they need refrigeration to survive.

Third-party needs

Many probiotic products and supplements are available on the market, but the end-users have difficulty identifying the real and reel products.

The third-party certificates help customers to choose the right product. It is recommended that companies undergo third-party evaluations to certify the probiotic quality.

Dietary restrictions

According to the National Institute of Health, the recommended dietary range of probiotics is 1 to 10 billion CFU per dose.  

Some products offer 50 billion CFU or even more. But the fact is, taking more probiotics does not improve the product’s benefits.

How to Use Them Safely  

Always read the manufacturer’s recommended dietary requirements before taking any supplements.

Some probiotics need to be taken on an empty stomach, and some to be taken after food. Before consuming any probiotic curd, always consult your doctor.

Risk Factors of Probiotics

Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits, albeit they cause harmful side effects. Probiotics, when stored in unfavourable conditions, may support the growth of harmful bacteria or other pathogens.

Some probiotic products may contain bacterial contaminations other than those mentioned on the label, which might pose health risks.

Infections

There are significant limitations when it comes to probiotic use. They might alter the immune system or digestive system.

The bacterial or yeast strains can enter the bloodstream and cause infection and other undesirable side effects like constipation, yet they may settle within a few days.

Biogenic amines are formed when probiotics ferment protein. These amines may excite the nervous system, cause fluctuation in blood flow and trigger headaches.

Some probiotic strains may increase histamine production. Histamine is produced in the body when a threat is detected. This can trigger an allergic reaction.

Production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms 

Probiotic organisms are both yeast and bacteria. They produce certain undesirable by-products that bring harmful health effects.

The bacteriocins produced by certain probiotic strains may have toxic substances.  

Transfer of antibiotic resistance genes

They might transfer the antibiotic-resistant genes to other harmful bacteria or pathogens in the digestive tract.

So pathogens may develop resistance against the antibiotics, which will not provide any cure.

Cardiovascular disease 

According to review paper published in Taylor and Francis journal, People with cardiovascular disease and weakened immunity should be thoughtful before consuming live probiotic strains.

People with health conditions should consult their doctor before taking any probiotic strains.  

Conclusion

Though probiotics have health benefits, they might cause some undesirable health issues. Researchers have alerted about the extensive growth in probiotics that have outnumbered the real benefits.

They provide various health benefits and boost immunity naturally. It is always advised to consult your doctor before taking any live strains.

Instead of taking supplements, always go for foods that naturally contain probiotic properties like curd, yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. They provide us with natural health benefits.

FAQ

1.Are there any storage instructions for probiotics?

Probiotics should be stored in refrigeration as most strains cannot withstand heat.

2.Can I use probiotics to help with medical conditions?

Yes, probiotics are safe still. It is always better to consult your doctor before taking any live strains.

3.Can I get probiotics from food?

Yes, foods like curd, kimchi and sauerkraut provide natural probiotic benefits.

4. How effective are probiotics?

Probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and improve the clinical signs of disease.

5.Should I try probiotics?

Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits for people with allergies, asthma and arthritis.

6.Should I give probiotics to my kids?

Probiotics are safe for kids except if they have any additional health conditions.

7.Can probiotics hurt me?

Probiotics are generally considered safe and do not cause any harm. People with other medical conditions should consult the doctor before taking it.

8.How safe are probiotics? 

Probiotics are good bacteria that enhance your immune system and aids in weight loss. They have no or very less side effects.

9.Can long-term use of probiotics be harmful?

Long-term probiotic use is safe and not harmful.

10.Can probiotics affect your immune system?

Probiotics help to regulate your immune system.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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