Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Probiotic Supplements: 5 FAQs

Once a term known only within the health industry, probiotic supplements, is now commonly read, seen, heard, and discussed across various mediums. Probiotics is generally used to refer to 'friendly' bacteria that are found in our intestinal tracts and help maintain a healthy body.

I eat yogurt, why do I need more probiotics?

Yogurt and other cultured foods, such as kefir, tempeh and sauerkraut are excellent sources of the healthy bacteria, lactobacillus. However, these are not the only foods we eat, and in our fast paced daily lives, it's easy to rely on processed and fast foods. A daily yogurt doesn't provide enough of the probiotics needed when combatting the ill effects of low fiber, high sodium, and high sugar found in many processed foods. These foods disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria needed to maintain a healthy digestive tract, and as some suggest, a healthy immune system. By adding a simple supplement to your daily yogurt regimen, you increase the benefit friendly bacteria bring to your body.

How do probiotics work?

As mentioned above, we all have billions of bacteria living in our digestive tract. Some of these bacteria are friendly, like the ones found in probiotics, and others are not considered beneficial to our health. The ideal ratio of good to bad intestinal bacteria is 85:15. The more friendly bacteria in our bodies, the less room there are for bad bacteria, which can decrease the risk of becoming sick with colds and other common illnesses. Because good bacteria aid in the digestive process, they may also help reduce the occurrences of gas/bloat, slow digestion, acid reflux and general stomach upset. Because they aid in efficient and effective digestion, probiotics are key to absorbing nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

How can probiotics help my immune system?

This may surprise you, but the best defense your body has is your digestive tract! Current research shows that the majority of our immune cells live in our intestines. The more friendly bacteria you have working your first line of defense, the less opportunity there is for bad bacteria to compromise your immune system. Of course, probiotics alone won't keep you healthy. Your diet should minimize at least and ideally be free of fast food, processed food, and foods high in sodium and sugar. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat animal protein, and fiber is complimented by the addition of good for you bacteria found in supplements and cultured or fermented foods.

What is the best way to take probiotics?

Before starting any new diet or change to your current lifestyle, it is always recommended that you talk to your doctor. Once you have the OK from your medical provider that probiotics will not interfere with current medications or conditions, find the supplement that works best for you. It is generally recommended to take them first thing in the morning with water, on an empty stomach, and then at night about two hours after your last meal. When you begin taking your supplements, start slow and allow your body to adjust and then increase your intake.

When should I expect to see results?

Like starting a new exercise routine, a new diet routine takes time to show results. Most people report a decrease in digestive troubles after a few weeks on probiotics. Another common experience is an increase in energy levels within the first month. Overall, expect to see results in digestion, health, energy after 90 days. Here's to your health!

To learn more about probiotic supplements and how they can benefit you, go to InfinityGreens.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alexandra_Kincaid