Probiotics are what we classify as a therapeutic good rather than a formulated sports food. Probiotics are a supplement that contains good bacteria for our gut health, they work by altering the fecal microbiota (community of bacteria). Probiotics have many positive associations but they also carry negative connotations which can result from a lack of knowledge of when or how to utilise them.
6 Ways Probiotics Can Help You:
- Dental Health
- Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Womens overall health
- Child Eczema
Probiotics contain 3 components: genus, species, strain. It is very similar to a person with a first, middle and last name. When looking for optimal probiotics to use be sure to look for these 3 components which will be listed on the label.
Probiotics should not be considered as the only resource for optimising our gut health. Probiotics should be used when our microbiota has been compromised with bad bacteria and the environment must be balanced out with good bacteria strains. Probiotics need to be considered like houseguests, they come to our GI tract and stay a short time before heading back out the door. Your nutritional requirements must be met and a well balanced, healthy diet must be maintained in order to maintain a healthy gut.
It is advised that following a course of antibiotics that probiotics must not be used for at least 21 days. Antibiotics work by wiping out our gut bacteria which includes both bad and good bacteria. Most people would think taking probiotics following a course of antibiotics or medication will be recommended, which it isn’t however backed by science.
A study with twenty one healthy humans were divided into three groups after a 7 day treatment of antibiotics and were tested; group one - no innervation, group two - one month course of probiotics, group three - faeces transplant. The studies showed that the faeces transplant was the best result. With a one day turn around to the original gut health, followed by the no intervention as gut health was restored in 21 days and lastly the probiotic group gut microbiota was disrupted for up to 5 months.
Overall probiotics are a great supplement but like everything they should only be used in times where required. A high nutrient based diet must be established to ensure optimal health. If the presence of sickness, constipation, dental health decline, IBS, poor mood/mindset or skin irritation like Eczema are evident then probiotics are recommended. Remember that taking probiotics sporadically will not benefit or boost the gut microbiota. Probiotics should be taken for a full course of 30 days or as directed by a health professional.
Allen SJ, Jordan S, Storey M, Thornton CA, Gravenor MB, Garaiova I, Plummer SF, Wang D, Morgan G. Probiotics in the prevention of eczema: a randomised controlled trial. Arch Dis Child. 2014 Nov;99(11):1014-9. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2013-305799. Epub 2014 Jun 19. PMID: 24947281; PMCID: PMC4215350.
Yoon JY, Cha JM, Oh JK, Tan PL, Kim SH, Kwak MS, Jeon JW, Shin HP. Probiotics Ameliorate Stool Consistency in Patients with Chronic Constipation: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Dig Dis Sci. 2018 Oct;63(10):2754-2764. doi: 10.1007/s10620-018-5139-8. Epub 2018 Jun 7. PMID: 29876777.
Chahwan B, Kwan S, Isik A, van Hemert S, Burke C, Roberts L. Gut feelings: A randomised, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial of probiotics for depressive symptoms. J Affect Disord. 2019 Jun 15;253:317-326. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.097. Epub 2019 May 9. PMID: 31078831.
Steenbergen L, Sellaro R, van Hemert S, Bosch JA, Colzato LS. A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. Brain Behav Immun. 2015 Aug;48:258-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.04.003. Epub 2015 Apr 7. PMID: 25862297.