by Melissa Chichester
Let’s take a look at three reasons why probiotics are beneficial in your daily supplement routine.
Did you know that approximately 70% of cells in the immune system are located in the digestive tract? There are some factors, such as age and medications, that can impact the balance of healthy intestinal bacteria, and probiotics help encourage this favorable balance.**
Consuming probiotics through supplements and food is one way to keep the digestive tract nourished.**
Foods that contain probiotics include kefir, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, natto (fermented soybeans), and yogurt.
Taking antibiotics can impact the good bacteria living in the digestive tract. Unfortunately, this gastrointestinal distress may lead to many people stopping their antibiotics before they should. Adding a probiotic to your supplement routine or eating probiotic-rich foods are great ways to ensure you are consuming enough beneficial bacteria while taking antibiotics. Researchers believe that probiotics may have the potential to balance digestion after an interruption (like taking antibiotics) to maintain healthy bacteria in the gut.** Probiotics are not intended to serve as a replacement for antibiotic medications, nor should you discontinue taking prescribed medications while supplementing with probiotics.
The good bacteria that live in the digestive system have a lot of responsibilities, including maintaining the healthy functioning of the digestive system and supporting healthy digestion.** The balance of bacteria can impact intestinal biodiversity, including processes involved in energy metabolism, digestion, and immune support. When probiotics are active, they form CFUs, otherwise known as “colony forming units.” This means that the bacteria can divide and form colonies. When looking for a probiotic supplement, you will see numbers like “5 billion CFUs” or “20 billion CFUs.” Daily maintenance of a healthy digestive tract can be served with numbers, like 1-15 billion CFUs, while there are also higher CFUs above 15 billion available for purchase.**