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Viruses, which consist of one or more molecules, contain the virus’s genes surrounded by a protein coat. Probiotics is a term that refers to foods or supplements that contain beneficial bacteria that can help with digestion and defend against dangerous bacteria. Probiotics are in foods such as yogurt and other dairy products, miso (soybean paste), tempeh (soybean cake), and some juices and soy drinks. There is evidence that probiotics may help treat diarrhea, vaginal yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammation following colon surgery.
Antibiotics often destroy beneficial bacteria while trying to kill off the ones that are making you sick. Featured Correspondent: Fran TumoloFran had a good life in Brooklyn, NY raising her son Daniel and working in a ladies fashion clothing store. We are journalists and essayists, bloggers and pundits, professional and non-professional writers. Amber Canaan has a medical background as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and pediatric oncology. Probiotics are live bacteria, taken as a supplement or in cultured foods, to replenish the good bacteria that normally live in your intestines. While probiotics are safe for most pregnant women in the first trimester, they may not be safe for everyone. Probiotics are becoming more and more popular, but out of all the available brands how do you choose the best probiotic supplement?
In short, after taking probiotics, they work to restore the perfect 80:20 ratio between good and bad bacteria in your gut. Plenty of times, users start reporting noticeable results in just a few days, but it can take up to 3-4 weeks for the probiotics to fully balance out your gut bacteria. There are several foods that can help you keep your digestive tract full of beneficial bacteria. This is why a probiotics supplement is ideal – you only have to take one capsule per day, without having to always go out and shop for vegetables and dairy products. Your digestive track contains a bacterial landscape that is in a constant flowing state caused by factors such as stress, diet, medication and others – many of which we underestimate. As of recent times, when they have digestive problems, more and more people start turning to probiotics supplement to improve their digestive health and ease the discomfort. Besides improving your digestive system, these tiny and beneficial bacteria have other significant abilities that impact your immune system, improve blood sugar levels, help you make smarter food choices and influence leptin sensitivity – a hormone that regulates your appetite and metabolic rate. Probiotics bring a beneficial contribution to health problems such as constipation, gas, diarrhea, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics stimulate a healthy GI environment and support overall wellness and vitality, with plenty of users reporting an improvement in energy levels. Delivering a considerable improvement in overall health after just 3-4 weeks of usage, it is easy to see why more and more people are taking probiotics. Even if you don’t take probiotics on a daily basis, you should do so while taking antibiotics.
The four leading brands of probiotics we have chosen to feature are gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian-friendly and contain no fillers. Probiotics have no negative side effects and this info should be common sense, as these bacteria naturally occur in the body.
In our review we have selected four leading probiotics brands that check all of the above criteria. Essential Cultures is made by Leaf Origin, a California-based company that prides itself with its excellent customer service.
Whole Body Research Keybiotics contains – as the name suggests – keybiotics, which are super-probiotics. Perfect Biotics by Probiotic America is made in Wisconsin, tested for purity in Utah and distributed from Southern California – where it’s tested again for potency.
This is the perfect supplement for you if you want to improve your digestive health and lose weight in the process. As you can see, all four probiotic supplements are made in the USA, third-party-tested, pure and natural.
Some products have more CFUs than others, some have more unique strains and some contain other ingredients for those who are also looking to lose weight while improving their digestive health. In terms of a dedicated probiotic supplement, Whole Body Research Keybiotics appears to be the most potent one, containing 37.5 billion colony-forming units, but Leaf Origin Essential Cultures and Perfect Biotics are not that far off as they have an extra unique strain. For those looking for a probiotic supplement that is also centered on weight loss, we think BIO X4 is the perfect weight management probiotic solution – albeit coming packed with 39 billion! Probiotics are an ideal choice for anyone suffering from digestive problems – make a smart choice today, whatever the brand may be. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
In general, giving probiotics to your kids is not harmful, but there's not a lot of proof it does much good, either. So far, studies looking at the effects of probiotics on other gut disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, have not consistently shown a benefit. In the end, attempts to change the community of bacteria in kids' tummies, and, consequently, their health, with probiotics may prove futile. Probiotics are food products that contain enough live bacteria to change the composition of the consumer's gut bacteria, and have the potential for health benefits, the AAP says.
There's some evidence probiotics may stave off infections of pathogens that cause diarrhea. And a study of the use of probiotics in day cares found about seven children, statistically, would have to take probiotics to prevent one case of rotavirus, a virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Other studies suggest taking probiotics may help the immune system of young kids develop in a healthy way, and prevent certain allergies, eczema or asthma. By the time the kids were 2 years old, 23 percent of those treated with probiotics had developed eczema, while 46 percent of those given a placebo had. Probiotics have also not proved to be beneficial in treating irritable bowel syndrome, chronic ulcerative colitis, infantile colic or Crohn's disease, or preventing human cancers, the AAP says. In healthy, full-term babies, high doses of probiotics don't appear to cause any ill effects, the AAP says. However, probiotics may pose risks to some children, including preterm babies, children with weakened immune systems and those with catheters or other medical devices inside them. More research is needed to determine the long-term effects of probiotics on children, the AAP says. Pass it on: Probiotics don't pose much of a risk to kids, but they don't benefit them much, either. Home About Live Cultures Live Cultures About Live Cultures Live Cultures What are Probiotics?
Many people find the idea of taking a supplement containing bacteria slightly out of their comfort zone and the question 'are probiotics safe?' is often asked.
An increasing amount of research is being carried out on probiotics, and more precisely on the balance of our gut bacteria and the importance of the different strains of bacteria. It might be interesting to outline the differences in the types of research as there are several. Generally speaking, the more researched a microorganism is, the more reassured one can be in regards to its safety.
The genus, species and strain of the microorganism (e.g Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®) is important. At the end of the day, the safest probiotic for you is going to be the one that is most tailored for your needs. Yes – it is safe to do so, as long as, if suffering from a serious health condition, you have checked with your doctor first. Melaena is the medical term for blood in the stool which has come from relatively high up in the digestive tract.
Someone who has had major surgery may find their immune system is compromised, leading to a higher risk of an infection entering through the site of the open wound. Patients in the ICU are severely unwell and their immune system will be under severe pressure.


Severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individuals do not have the ability to mount an appropriate response to any microbe that they come in contact with microbes, even those that are normally neutral or considered beneficial.
A Central Venous Catheter is a tube into a vein in the neck, chest or groin, to deliver nutrients or medications to a patient, or to take regular blood samples. These are examples where caution should be used when taking probiotics, however, in general probiotics are a safe supplement that are now widely believed to be a positive approach to optimal digestion, immunity, skin health, among many other aspects of our health. There is also data to support the benefits of probiotics in reducing bladder-cancer recurrence, shortening the duration of intestinal infections and preventing eczema. A variety of factors including stress, antibiotics and sickness can decrease these beneficial bacteria. Individuals who are at risk of developing this type of infection include those with compromised immune systems from chronic illness such as HIV and cancer. Pregnancy causes many changes within the digestive system, including nausea and constipation, which can begin in the early stages.
Before you add probiotics or any supplement to your regimen during pregnancy, talk to your midwife or obstetrician regarding safety concerns. Supplements ScoreCard is here with a comprehensive article detailing everything you need to know about probiotics. Our bodies contain both good and bad bacteria, but in order to have a healthy gut you need to have the right balance between those two types of bacteria. In the span of a few days you will experience having more regular bowel movements, reduced indigestion, improved energy levels and better sleep quality. This is why it is essential to maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in our guts to improve our health and quality of life. Even if you don’t display obvious health problems, helping to balance out your gut flora will be a worthwhile step to take in improving your overall health. Medications, diseases, dieting or even the environment are things that can negatively affect your digestive health and probiotics help to maintain an ideal balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. These live bacteria have also been known to help with skin problems (eczema), urinary and vaginal health, colds, allergies and weight loss by boosting metabolism. Antibiotics kill bacteria that’s causing health concerns, but sometimes the good bacteria in your gut ends up being collateral damage.
If children under the age of 12 want to take probiotics, they should do it every other day, not every day, as the probiotics contain a large number of CFU. When you choose a particular brand of probiotics, make sure you use it every day to ensure you are helping your digestive tract and its volatile environment.
It’s true Nucific BIO X4 only contains 5 unique strains, but it makes up in the digestive health department with 3 digestive enzymes that help you get the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods you consume.
We have also selected the brands that come with a full 90-day money back guarantee so that for whatever reason you are not fully satisfied with the product you can get your money back.
CFUs and only 5 unique strains – as it also contains digestive enzymes, Caralluma Fimbriata (suppresses appetite, helps burn fat) and EGCG (boosts metabolism). Some studies show probiotics might be beneficial in treating and preventing diarrhea, but the effects are modest, experts say. And a study published last week in the journal Pediatrics found no evidence that probiotics provide any relief for kids with constipation.
In a 2005 study of about 200 infants between the ages of 4 months and 10 months, researchers gave probiotics to babies over a 12-week period.
And if probiotics are, in fact, beneficial for kids, researchers will need to establish how much kids should take and how long they should take it in order to reap the most benefit. Probiotics, or also known as ‘live cultures’, ‘gut bacteria’, ‘healthy bacteria’, 'gut flora', are natural substances; organisms which are found in all of us. Problems arise when the non-beneficial bacteria outweigh the beneficial bacteria – this is called dysbiosis. The body constantly tries to obtain a state of homeostasis (defined as ‘the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements’). For example, probiotics have been shown to affect weight, with an increasing level of evidence linking a healthy balance of friendly bacteria with a healthy body weight and appetite. This is partly because the names are real tongue twisters and may mean little to most people, and also because it is a real unknown to most as to which strain is the one you are looking for for your particular needs and symptoms. Clinical trials are predominantly carried out in order to test the efficacy of the probiotic.
In-vitro research describes where a product or microorganism has been tested for something in a petri dish, or in a test tube. In-vitro tests give a good assessment for the efficacy of a product or strain, however the more human trials a product has been assessed in, the better. Many products list only the genius and species, but different strains provide different benefits and therefore a reputable company will list these with the entire name.
If you have constipation and you are taking a probiotic intended for those with diarrhoea, whilst it should not have any particularly negative effects, this is possibly not the best option. Of course when it comes to safety, if you are allergic to certain foods and ingredients, check the allergens by reading the packaging, and contacting the company if in doubt. GRAS is a regulation that comes under the Federal food, drugs and cosmetics Act in the USA, and denotes when a ‘substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use’.
Naturally they ingest it from their mother as they pass through the birth canal, however, more babies are born by caesarean sections now.
As you get older taste and smell changes, mastication of food can become a little more tricky, additionally stomach acid and digestive enzymes start to decline. In fact they can help support the mum’s immune and digestive system and therefore ultimately her absorption of nutrients and the health of her baby. Our body naturally needs these bacteria, yet there is a constant onslaught of factors which may attack our microbiome. Whilst many probiotic manufacturers do not list any contraindications, perhaps as the risk is generally very low for natural supplements such as live cultures, we prefer to err on the side of caution and list any possible contraindications in terms of particular health conditions. By the time the blood is excreted it has formed a back, tar-like colour and an unpleasant smell.
If you have had pancreatitis in the past then it is best to consult with your doctor as to whether probiotics can be taken. At this time it’s not advisable to give probiotics, as all efforts need to be focused instead on the body regaining strength.
There may in fact be a benefit in taking probiotics for patients with severe immunosuppression, but there is also believed to be a possible risk in these circumstances. There is a fair risk of an infection developing in the area where the catheter is inserted into the body, so these patients are carefully monitored for this.
More information is needed on the safety of use in older people, young children, and people with compromised immune systems.
Canaan has a degree in science from the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences and owns her own wellness consulting business. When this happens, your body is at increased risk of developing illnesses, such as yeast infections, which are common during pregnancy. When such conditions are absent, however, taking probiotics during the first trimester is regarded as safe.
Probiotics have been shown to help regulate digestion and elimination and may be able to prevent some of these symptoms from occurring during the first trimester.
If your medical provider agrees, she may be able to recommend specific probiotics supplements to you. Probiotics help establish that ideal intestinal flora ratio of 80:20 between good and bad bacteria so that your digestive and immune system function properly.
When the harmful bacteria grows and starts to be more present than the beneficial bacteria, the balance is lost and you start developing digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion, gas, bloating and low energy levels.
However, to get the same beneficial effects of probiotics from food as you get from supplements, you would have to consume a lot of those beneficial bacteria rich foods every day. This is why a third of all people who take antibiotics end up suffering a case of diarrhea.
The manufacturers of the products use the purest and highest quality ingredients without adding synthetic ingredients.
A common range is somewhere between 15 – 25 million units, but some supplements are more potent than that.


Each strain in a probiotic supplement comes with unique properties that help improve your digestive health and even other health-related issues. A plus is when a product is third-party tested by an independent lab and if the product is made in the USA. And rest assured, all of these supplements have been verified so that you won’t get enrolled in one of those auto-shipping products.
Greer was the lead researcher for the American Academy of Pediatrics that addressed the issue. However, these promising results have yet to be validated in further studies, according to the AAP report, which came out in December.
The digestive tract is home to trillions of microorganisms; some of these are beneficial, some are harmful, and some are neutral. This balance is very finely tuned and can be upset by antibiotics, being born via Caesarean, excessive cleanliness, what you eat and drink, consumption of sugar and processed meats, among other things. It ensures that the body stays at the right temperature, that the body is brought back to a relaxed state after a stressed state, and that the blood is at the right pH level among other things.
Probiotics have also been shown to strengthen our response to stress, anxiety and depression. So make sure you are looking at a probiotic which has ideally, been tested in people like you. All of the species in the OptiBac Probiotics range are on the list of substances which are considered to be safe. A wide variety of biological agents such as bacterial and fungal species or viruses used for plant protection purposes may be authorised in the European Union for use in the food or such like. Very young children may also be given antibiotics at a young age, as well as at times being kept possibly overly clean.
These shifts can lead to changes in the gut bacteria, and alongside antibiotic therapy, the microbiota in an elderly person can be impaired leading to all sorts of potential digestive issues. Her bacteria will also be passed on to the child if having a vaginal birth and there has been research to show that some strains of healthy bacteria can be found in breast milk2. The short answer is yes it is, and in fact many doctors are now advocating a probiotic supplement to support a patient’s digestive system and immunity whilst on a course of antibiotics.
As mentioned above, antibiotics, illness, stress, diet, excess alcohol consumption, anti-bacterial washes and soaps, ageing, and foreign travel are some of these. It is different from red blood in the stool or on the toilet paper, as this is fresh blood coming from a tear on the anus or piles. Additionally for those who have had abdominal or heart surgery, it is overall best to wait until wounds have healed following surgery before taking probiotics, unless advised otherwise by a doctor. If you are otherwise fairly healthy then it will probably fine to take them, but it’s best to check at your next GP appointment. Since probiotics boost the immune system it might seem like a good idea to take them at this time, but when the immune system is under such pressure it’s advisable not to give probiotics, as they might challenge the body, instead of working with it. Due to currently insufficient clinical evidence around this area, at OptiBac Probiotics we do not recommend probiotics for individuals who are severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed.
To be prudent, we recommend that those with a CVC consult their doctor before taking probiotics.
Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy is generally considered safe, even in the first trimester, although it is always best to check with your doctor first. Preventing such issues can eliminate the need for other medications that may carry greater risk to the mother or baby. Probiotics work to counteract the bad bacteria in your GI tract and balance out the intestinal flora to promote a healthy digestive system. It’s also worth noting that some say yogurt is not a great choice since the live bacteria in it are destroyed by the heat used to kill the bad bacteria while processing the dairy. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that probiotic supplementation can reduce the risk of developing diarrhea after antibiotic use by 42 per cent.
To prove this, all four products are third-party tested to ensure potency, quality and purity. When considering whether probiotics are safe or not it might be useful to remember that the term 'probiotics' describes the beneficial microorganisms which, amongst other actions, help to crowd out harmful bacteria in order to keep us healthy.
Interestingly, generally speaking it’s the diversity and balance of your bacteria that enhance health.
When any of these systems become unbalanced it causes the body stress, and at times illness. If you are concerned about the safety of probiotics, choosing a well researched brand which has undergone clinical trials is probably your safest bet! In-vivo research describes a trial that is performed on living organisms – so this would include both animal and human trials.
A certificate of QPS is where a ‘substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use’. It is safe for an elderly person to take probiotics and may even help prevent some digestive impairments mentioned as well as support immunity in the elderly.
Breast milk from a mother with a healthy microbiota will also be more supportive from an immune point of view. You may find you like to take one daily because it feels supportive or you may prefer to take them when you feel under stress or at certain times of the year. Melaena may be a sign of ill-health in the upper digestive tract, and so it must be investigated medically.
Effects of seven potential probiotic strains on specific immune responses in healthy adults: a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial.
However, whole milk and whole-milk products showed themselves to be protective against these conditions.
This is important because more than 70% of the body's immune defences are thought to be based in the gut. As 70% of the immune system lies in the gut, taking probiotics has been shown to boost the immune system. However, if any of the below contraindications are present then advice should be taken from the doctor.
At OptiBac Probiotics, most of the supplements are suitable for pregnant and breast feeding mums. This particular product in our range is best taken with breakfast, and can even be taken at the same time as the antibiotic.
Once the cause of the melaena has been found it’s best to check with the doctor if probiotics can be taken. It is believed by the authors that nutrient components or additives in the low-fat yoghurt may be the cause. However, if you have an over active immune system, such as allergies, probiotics can help down-regulate that to a normal response level. These are the most highly sought after trials as they most accurately indicate the effect of something on an actual human being. However, it is advisable to give one appropriate for their age; this should have specific types for infants and children, and may be at a lower dose. In order to be prudent we recommend avoiding ‘For daily immunity’ due to the antioxidant present, and we also advise you to consult your doctor before taking Saccharomyces boulardii. All of these forms of probiotics are considered safe during the first trimester, though you should always check with your doctor for approval. It is detrimental to health when they become imbalanced, with pathogenic bacteria outweighing our beneficial ones. We therefore take probiotics in order to address this and help rebalance our healthy bacteria. Only in exceptional situations where probiotics have perhaps not been quite so well researched, or a person is extremely unwell is it advised to be cautious with them (see the examples below).
After all bacteria outnumbers our body cells 10 to 1!* Adding in a few billion more from a well researched and trialled brand shouldn't make a huge difference!




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