Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to health. Taking probiotics can help build and restore healthy bacteria in the intestines and support digestive health. Probiotics can quickly treat some minor problems. For example, someone with mild diarrhea may see their symptoms disappear within a few days. For general digestive health, it may take a few weeks of regular use before a person notices the effects.
It can be very beneficial to continue using probiotics over time. Because it takes time for these healthy bacteria to grow and be beneficial to the body.
- 1 Definition of probiotics
- 2 How fast do they act?
- 3 The most common types of probiotics
- 4 How to use probiotics
- 5 Probiotic supplements
- 6 Health benefits of probiotics
- 7 Probiotics: fast and long-lasting action
- 8 Sourceshttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-018-0135-9
Definition of probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that can be described as “good” or “friendly”. Most probiotics contain microbes that grow in the body in areas such as the small intestine and the colon. Taking these probiotics can contribute to a healthy gut because they allow microbes to establish themselves in the body. These microbes are not harmful and instead play useful roles in the body, such as helping with digestion.
A digestive system that lacks these helpful bacteria, or has an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, is in a state of imbalance called dysbiosis. This can lead to digestive system symptoms and increase the risk of other problems.
How fast do they act?
The speed of action of probiotics depends on several factors. A 2018 study showed that probiotic strain type, health status, product formula, product quality, and dose are all important factors for effectiveness.
Some may recommend probiotics for targeted therapy to treat acute symptoms, such as traveler’s diarrhea. In these cases, the effects can be seen as early as a few days later. For example, older research suggests that in combination with rehydration therapy, probiotic treatment can help reduce the duration and frequency of diarrhea by 2 days.
For more chronic illnesses, dysbiosis, or general immune health, it may take weeks of continued use to see the effects of probiotics.
For example, a study published in Nutrients indicates that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may experience great benefit from taking probiotics for 8 weeks or longer. A 2018 study also shows that people who consumed a high-dose probiotic drink for 12 weeks had significantly fewer upper respiratory infections than a placebo group.
Continued use of the right probiotics may offer the best chance of reducing symptoms and improving overall gut health.
The most common types of probiotics
Probiotics contain a variety of microorganisms. The two most common types belong to groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Common strains of Lactobacillus include:
Lactobacillus (L) salivarius
Some common strains of Bifidobacterium include:
Bifidobacterium (B) bifidum
How to use probiotics
Probiotics are usually added to certain foods or are available as supplements.
Eat probiotic foods
Some foods may naturally contain probiotics. Fermented foods and dairy products are common sources of probiotics. Among these are:
– Greek yogurt
– the sauerkraut
– lacto-fermented vegetables
– fermented soy products, including tempeh, miso and natto
Supplements are a simple way to introduce large amounts of healthy microbes into the body. However, it is important to follow the instructions and take the right dosage.
Health benefits of probiotics
Probiotics can have several benefits due to their interaction with the body. Although they can affect many systems and organs, the primary benefits of using probiotics focus on supporting gut flora and digestive health.
A study published in Medicine notes that they may play a role in several digestive issues, such as:
– traveler’s diarrhea
– diarrhea due to antibiotics
– irritable bowel syndrome
– Crohn’s disease
– ulcerative colitis
Another 2018 study highlights the benefits of taking probiotics on:
– overall intestinal bacteria
– the health of the immune system
– vaginal health
It is important to note that these effects persist as long as the person is taking probiotics.
Probiotics: fast and long-lasting action
Probiotics are live microbes that can positively influence the body. They may help improve markers of digestive health, reduce symptoms of certain digestive disorders, and improve the immune system.
For short-term symptom relief, such as reducing diarrhea, some probiotics may work in just a few days. For chronic conditions or general immune health, it may be more beneficial to take probiotics for weeks or months at a time.
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