Probiotics can be a tricky thing to break down. Probiotics provide us with healthy bacteria needed within our bodies, specifically our guts. Good gut health really is one of the most crucial factors in promoting our overall health. Our guts are connected to our hormones, our digestion, our skin, our stress, our weight, and many other health-related factors. Maintaining this balance of good bacteria in our guts helps to promote some of these factors. However, that balance is very easily thrown off in today’s climate through the use of things like antibiotics. Thus, supplementing with probiotics is very important in maintaining this essential balance. As is the case with most supplements though, not all probiotics are made equal.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are essentially strains of healthy bacteria that are found in some foods as well as in capsule form. Probiotics help to restore and aid in fixing an imbalance in gut bacteria that can arise as a result of medications, antibiotics, or diet. Having an imbalance in your gut bacteria often contributes to many conditions like diabetes, poor digestion, acne, weakened immune response, weight control, and many others. Some bacterial strains are more common than others, and many have been researched for decades concerning their efficacy.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Probiotics?
Probiotics are essential in order to maintain proper gut health. Gut health is commonly known for its importance in promoting good digestion, however, it is also involved in many other bodily functions. Some of the benefits of taking probiotics include:
- Proper digestion
- Weight loss and weight regulation
- Healthy skin
- Proper absorption of nutrients and vitamins
- Treatment of diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, acne, Crohn’s Disease, and many others
- Boosting the immune system
- Regulating hormonal health
Different Forms Of Probiotics
There are many forms of probiotics. They are commonly found in foods and beverages that have been fermented, like certain dairy products, kombuchas, yeast products, and certain dairy-free products. There are different healthy bacteria strains, so some probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods may contain one or more different strains. Some of the common healthy strains used in supplemental form are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bacillus coagulans. Probiotic strains are also often found in supplement forms within capsules. Most of these capsules are daily supplements that can be implemented in your everyday life.
Do Probiotics Actually Work?
There are many studies that prove the efficacy of probiotic supplements. From maintaining good digestive health to boosting your immune system, many of the research concerning probiotic shows their wide-ranging effects on the whole body. However, research also shows that its efficacy may not be the same for everyone. Underlying health conditions, as well as the type of probiotic you consume, can impact how effective the probiotic really is within your body. This is why it’s important to consult your doctor and choose the probiotic supplement that is right for you. There are many brands online and in drug stores that claim to be the best probiotic, but it’s important to read reviews made by real people to see how the majority of people react to the probiotic.
Are Probiotics Right For Me?
Probiotics can be very beneficial in the maintenance and promotion of your overall health, but as with any supplement, it is important to consult with your doctor especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions. Often times, it takes some experimenting to see how your body reacts to probiotics. It is common to have some bloating and gas after starting the use of probiotics, however, if continual gastrointestinal aggravation occurs, you may need to consult a doctor.
Probiotics are especially important if you have an imbalance of bacteria in your gut. For example, it is actively recommended to take a probiotic supplement after the use of an antibiotic so as to restore your gut flora to a normal balance.
Best Probiotic Supplements
There are many probiotic supplements currently on the market, but not all of them are created equal. It’s important to look for probiotic supplements with effective and research-proven strains as well as a balanced ratio of these strains. It’s also important for them to have at least 1 billion CFU (colony forming units, a term used to measure the strains of healthy bacteria). Some of the most effective probiotic supplements and brands are below.
One of our favorite picks for probiotic supplements is Seed. Seed provides a daily synbiotic, which is a combination of both a probiotic and prebiotic. Seed states that it uses strains of bacteria that provide benefits to things like digestive health, heart health, gut immune function, reproductive health, and oxidative stress. It is also allergen free and has formulas specific to males and females.GET THE BEST PRICE ON SEED
1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum
Another of our top picks for probiotic supplements is 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum. This supplement is designed to promote optimal digestive health by benefiting and maintaining normal microbial balance. It includes 51 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), 11 probiotic strains, and uses a delayed-release capsule for better delivery to the intestines. Additionally, 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly, preservative-free, and non-GMO.GET UP TO 30% OFF 1MD COMPLETE PROBIOTICS PLATINUM
Gundry MD Bio Complete 3
Gundry MD Bio Complete 3 is made by health and wellness company Gundry MD. They produce a variety of supplements, including Total Restore, Gundry MD Primal Plants, and Gundry MD Vital Reds. Bio Complete 3 is an all-in-one prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic supplement designed to neutralize the effects of “leaky gut”. Its formula includes 3 ingredients – tributyrin, sunfiber, and bacillus coagulans. The benefits of Gundry MD Bio Complete 3 include support for fighting muscle and joint aches, combatting food cravings, reducing gas and bloating, and boosting energy.GET THE BEST PRICE ON GUNDRY MD BIO COMPLETE 3
Align is one of the more common drugstore probiotics. Each capsule contains 1 billion CFU of Bifidobacterium Infantis 35624. This pure strain probiotic is only offered by this brand as no other probiotic supplement contains it. Align is more affordable than other brands and they offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. The only downside to this product is that its capsule contains milk, a common allergen.GET THE BEST PRICE ON ALIGN PROBIOTIC
Culturelle is also a drugstore-friendly product and definitely affordable. This probiotic contains the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, and at a count of 10 billion CFU which is pretty reasonable. This specific bacterial strain is also one of the more reliable strains in terms of promoting healthy digestion. It is allergen-free as well.GET THE BEST PRICE ON CULTURELLE PROBIOTICS
Alternatives To Taking Probiotics
Fortunately, probiotics can actually be found in many of the foods we eat. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are all sources of healthy bacteria. You can also find healthy bacteria in yogurt, certain cheeses, kefir, and many dairy-free yogurts and cheeses. The nutrition label on these foods will often include the healthy bacterial strains present in the foods.
Incorporating a daily probiotic into your routine extends beyond just digestive health. The benefits of taking a probiotic are far-reaching as they can help promote your immune system, heal ailments like IBS, acne, and Crohn’s disease, and they can even help with weight management. A lot of our health is tied into our digestive system, which stems from maintaining this proper balance within our gut flora. Our guts are very sensitive, so this gut flora is very easily thrown off through the use of antibiotics, diet, and medications. Using a probiotic to remedy some of those issues is especially important. Not all probiotics are effective though, so it’s important to read reviews of a product before you try it in order to find the one that fits you best. Finding the right probiotic supplement for you, as well as incorporating foods rich in probiotics, will boost your overall health and provide you with a healthy homeostatic state within your body.