How To Take Probiotics
With all the advertising about probiotics, are you wondering how to take probiotics? Do you really know what probiotics do and
what they are? I've been taking probiotics for about 5 years now and hopefully I can help answer your questions by sharing what I know about them.
Anyone that lives a more natural lifestyle, using foods, herbs and supplements to support good health, has known about the probiotic benefits for a long time.
In fact, a form of probiotics has been around since ancient times. They are called cultured or fermented foods and they are
foods that contain probiotics.
Ancient peoples didn't have to think about how to take probiotics, they were just eaten daily for good health. Making
foods that contain probiotics
foods that contain probiotics is really quite simple. Some of the more common cultured foods still being eaten today are:
Cultured dairy products:kefircheeseyogurt, I'm talking about yogurt that is made from raw or cultured milk, not the commercially prepared ones that are cooked,loaded with sugar and have some bacteria added back in.
Cultured dairy is pretty easy to make at home.
Pickled vegetablessauerkrautpickles (cucumbers)kimchi
Fermented beverageskombuchawater kefir
Fermented meat and fish
Sourdough bread products
Fermented or cultured foods are raw, not cooked foods. The active cultures can't survive over 105 degrees. I have made fermented cucumbers (which were like dill pickles, but healthier), beets and carrots. It was pretty easy and they were tasty too. This is the best solution when wondering how to take probiotics.
What Are Probiotics
Before we discuss more details on how to take probiotics, lets talk about what they are and why you should take them. Probiotics are micro-organisms made up of bacteria and fungus, sometimes call the friendly flora. We have 400-500 different strains of bacteria and fungus in our body and our intestines are home to about 3-4 pounds of micro-organisms. When this friendly flora lives in harmony in our body it benefits us in many ways.
Creates a protective lining that coats the intestines prohibiting “unfriendly microbes” from setting up residence on your intestinal lining.Keeps infectious organisms in check by competing for foodProduces chemicals that keep harmful microbes at bayStimulates the immune systemKeeps yeast (candida) in check.Prevents diarrhea when travelingCan help correct and prevent constipation or diarrheaReduces the risk of inflammatory bowel disorderHelps end stage digestion of fats and proteinsHelps to make vitamins the body needs like B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and biotin.Detoxifies certain poisons in the digestive tract such as ammonia, cholesterol, and excess hormones.Most of the energy of the intestinal mucosa is produced as a result of the bacterial fermentation process.
That's a pretty long list of probiotic benefits!
Unfortunately there are things that can disrupt that balance of gut flora:
AntibioticsCorticosteroids (prednisone) from the pharmacyBirth Control PillsNSAIDS, ibuprophen, aspirin, ASA, indomethacinChlorine in water
Other Probiotic Distrupters
Heavily cooked meatsRefined sugars, High Fructose Corn SyrupRefined grainsHydrogenated fats and oilsStress
Who Needs Probiotics
It is believed that 70-90% of our immune system comes from our gut. So in order to stay healthy, we need a healthy gut, to have a healthy gut, you need probiotics. But the people who are most at risk and really need probiotics are:
Anyone with skin problemsPeople, especially kids with food or respiratory allergies.People who have yeast issues of any kind, like athlete's foot, jock itch, vaginal yeast infection, nail fungus and dandruff.Anyone with a weakened immune system, frequent colds, infections and congestion.People who travel for protection from food and water.Anyone with inflammatory bowel disorders and constipation.Infants and children to reduce incidence of infection. (especially c-section babies who didn't pick up any of Mom's flora when passing through the birth canal.
How To Take Probiotics
Antibiotics kill both the bad baceria and the good bacteria in your body. So it's very important to re-establish the good bacteria with probiotics. You can take them while you are on antibiotics, but make sure you take them about 2-3 hours apart so the antibiotic doesn't kill off your probiotics.
Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach so they are not bombarded and killed off by the acids in the stomach while attempting to digest food. It's best to take them right before bed while your stomach is empty. If you take them upon rising, wait 20 minutes or so before eating or drinking.
You basically have two choices on how to take probiotics. You can either eat fermented foods everyday or you can take a supplement.
Probiotic supplements will vary based on the different manufacturers so always look for a high quality source. For more information on
probiotic pills click here.
The two most common strains found in probiotics are Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidophilus Longum.
Other strains found included: Lcasei, L rhamnosus, B. bifidus, L brevis, L bulgaricus, L plantarum, B. infantis, L salivarius. Many will also contain prebiotics which are food for the probiotics.
In addition to learning how to take probiotics, you should also be aware of how to store them. Heat will destroy the active strains so it's wise to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. However, if you're traveling and don't have the ability to keep them in the refrigerator, take them anyway. Some live probiotics are better than none at all.
Always take probiotics: after colonicswhile taking antibioticswhile doing a cleanse
I use Nature's Sunshine brand of probiotics and I alternate between the Probiotic 11 and Bifidophilus Flora Force.
If your probiotic bottle says to take with meals it is because the FDA requires that be put on all supplements.
If you want information on the Natures Sunshine brand, just hit the "Contact Us" button on the navigation bar (on the left side of page) and tell us which supplement you're interested in.
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