Is It Necessary to Take Probiotic Supplements? You must have often heard about probiotics, aka good bacteria that are found naturally in food or drinks, right? In addition, there are probiotic supplements that are claimed to be beneficial to health. The question is, do we need to take probiotic supplements every day?
Probiotics as supplements are available in the form of food, drinks, capsules or pills, powder, or liquid. You can get it in supermarkets and pharmacies.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms in the gut. The normal human digestive tract contains around 400 types of probiotic bacteria which can reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and improve the health of the digestive system.
Probiotics are recommended for people suffering from chronic yeast infections, constipation, diarrhea, as well as gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections. Probiotics are also believed to be able to boost the immune system and control weight.
Reasons why you need to take probiotic supplements
The necessity of taking probiotic supplements is actually still being debated. Some medical experts said it was not a problem, but some did not agree because they felt that the benefits did not outweigh the disadvantages. So, when viewed from the positive side, what are the benefits of taking probiotic supplements?
1. Benefits of Probiotics
Research conducted by ISRN Nutrition entitled Health Benefits of Probiotics: A Review stated that probiotic supplements are good for digestive health, strengthening the immune system and reducing the frequency of colds in a year, losing weight, and reducing the risk of cancer.
2. Clearer Dosage
The dosage and type of probiotics in food are unknown, in contrast to the clearly stated supplements. According to the Harvard Health Publishing website, the general dose of probiotics for adults is 5-10 billion CFU (colony-forming units, a unit for estimating the number of living bacteria in a sample). You can take one dose of probiotics per day.
3. Preventing the Adverse Effects of Antibiotics
Probiotics are often taken with antibiotics. What is the reason? Antibiotics are often needed to fight infection. However, what is killed is not only bad bacteria, but also good bacteria. The bad bacteria then take over and occupy the intestines. Some people also experience diarrhea after taking antibiotics.
Probiotics play a role in adding good bacteria back to the intestines and fighting bad bacteria so that a balance in the intestinal microbiome arises. Adding probiotics can make you heal faster and prevent diarrhea.
Where can we find probiotics? And how much do you need to consume?
You can consume probiotics from fermented food products such as yogurt, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, pickles, and also kimchi. Yogurt contains high levels of lactobacillus and acidophilus which increase the levels of good bacteria in your body. Apart from food, you can also find probiotics in supplements. Probiotic supplements are currently available in various types of preparations. Starting from capsules, syrup, to powder.
Most commonly used may be recommended in doses of around 1 billion to 15 billion CFU (colony forming units) per day. However, in packaged yogurt and similar products it is rare to include the CFU number. Consumer Reports noted in 2011 that most yogurt products contain CFU ranging from 90 billion to 500 billion per serving. Meanwhile, probiotic supplements generally offer 20 to 70 billion CFU.
In general, taking probiotic supplements is safe for our bodies. If you experience health conditions except those mentioned above, you can try taking probiotic supplements. Who knows your condition will improve. It’s better to combine your probiotic supplements with prebiotics. You may experience diarrhea a few days after taking probiotics. However, you can reduce the symptoms by taking the supplement after meals.