The gut holds billions of good bacteria that help support good digestion and immune health. These bacteria are acquired during birth naturally, however, over time certain factors including stress, diet, and the use of antibiotics can reduce the number of good bacteria in your gut and produce unwanted symptoms. To compensate for this, many people turn to probiotic supplements to help replace the good bacteria in their guts. However, with so many probiotics on the market, how do you know which one is the right one for you?
The first step to finding the right probiotic, is to reading labels and finding the product that is specifically formulated to address the symptoms you are experiencing. It is advised that the product you use is a multiple-species product, as opposed to a single-species product. A multiple-species product contain many strains of bacteria that can support overall wellness. The number of probiotics in a supplement is known as the colony forming units, or CFUs, and it is recommended that the product you choose contains at least 10^9 (1 billion) CFUs per dose. If you are taking probiotics and antibiotics at the same, separate the two doses by at least two hours so the probiotics are not destroyed and they can remain effective. If using probiotics to treat and ongoing issue, try a new probiotic for about three to four weeks to see if symptoms improve. If the symptoms do not improve, then try switching to another product. As always, before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor about which one is right for you and follow all the instructions provided on the products carefully to ensure optimum results. Stay consistent when you find the probiotic that is right for you, and youwill feel the difference.
McCulloch, Marsha. “Probiotic Primer.” Environmental Nutrition 38 (May 2015): 1. Print.