Probiotics & Prebiotics [The Definitive Guide]
Let’s talk about one of the most important dietary supplements: Probiotics!
They have gained relevance among health-conscious individuals, and those who are concerned with the quality and health benefits they can provide.
But, what are probiotics? What are the health benefits? Where can I get the best probiotics? How do I choose a potency?
What are Probiotics?
When we think about the composition of our bodies, we usually think about cells; our bodies are made of trillions of cells, each with their own structure and function.
These cells all work together to carry out all the basic functions necessary for us to survive.
But there are more than cells inside our bodies. The human body is inhabited by millions of bacteria.
Scientists estimate that the number of bacteria and other microbes in our body exceeds the number of human cells by about 10 times!
Where are all these 100 trillion bacterial cells? They live on the skin, the nose, the throat, the mouth, the vagina, and especially in the gut.
Altogether, these tiny living organisms are called human microbiota.
When we hear the word bacteria, we usually relate it to disease, something harmful to our health.
But that's not always the case. In simple terms, there are two types of bacteria in our bodies: good and bad.
Most of the bacteria in our bodies are beneficial and do not cause disease. They actually play essential roles in our wellbeing.
Finally, here is where the term 'probiotics' comes in!
Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when ingested, provide numerous health benefits.
They’re usually bacteria, but certain types of yeasts can also function as probiotics.
They are incredibly important to our health and they may be able to help prevent and treat some illnesses.
Etymology of Probiotics
The term probiotic is derived from the Latin preposition “pro,” which means “for” and the Greek adjective βιωτικός (biōtikos), meaning 'fit for life, lively', the latter deriving from the noun βίος (bios), meaning 'life'.
Probiotics are also known as "friendly, good, or healthy bacteria." Why?
Let's review some of the beneficial effects attributed to probiotics.
Should I Take Probiotic Supplements?
Why supplement with probiotics?
A healthy gut in many other cultures contains five pounds of probiotics, but in the United States, the amount is less than half that.
Probiotic supplements have become so popular that they fill entire aisles in grocery stores.
Many expensive and low potency probiotic products exist on the market.
With so many options, how can you choose the best probiotic?
Remedy's Nutrition® Probiotic collection provides four high-potency, live-culture supplements to suit individual needs.
To match our potencies, you could spend $350 or more for Probiotics at CVS®, Walgreens®, or GNC®!
At Remedy's Nutrition®, you pay much less for billions more live cultures in EACH CAPSULE, for a savings of more than $350!
For example, one bottle of Remedy's 35 Billion Probiotic equals 870 bottles of some of our competitors' products. And much, much more for our 50 and 100 Billion Probiotic options.
How is it possible?
One bottle of our probiotic contains 30 capsules, and EACH CAPSULE contains 35 billion cultures: this totals 1,500,000,000,000 (1.5 trillion) probiotic content in each bottle!
Our Probiotic Collection features:
- 35 Billion [Maintenance]
- 50 Billion [Colon Health]
- 50 Billion [Women's Health]
- 100 Billion [Intense Colon Health]
Which Probiotic should you choose 35, 50, or 100 Billion?
- 35 Billion [Maintenance] is more for everyday regulatory digestive assistance. It is more gentle in its absorption into the system and contains an assortment of the acidophilus and bifidobacterium strains that benefit our absorption of nutrition and disposal of waste. If you are looking to support already proper immune function and you move your bowels almost every time you eat, 35 Billion [Maintenance] is a good potency for you.
- 50 Billion [Colon Health] is useful for individuals who are older, have a more depleted gut-flora of the large intestine and/or have taken a short course of antibiotics. It is more potent than the 35 Billion, and contains more specific probiotics for the large Intestine.
- 50 Billion [Women's Health] has a similar diversity to the 35 Billion probiotics but also contains two unique probiotic strains for the urinary tract and vaginal health. So if you are female and suffer from frequent urinary infections, you may want to use the 50 Billion [Women’s Health] as it contains specific cultures that support the urinary tract and vaginal health.
- 100 Billion [Intense Colon Health] is for individuals with acute or chronic gut conditions, or those who have taken longer or repeated courses of antibiotics. It contains the widest variety of probiotics. 100 Billion often can increase the regularity of bowel movements in a short time for those who suffer from occasional constipation.
All four of these probiotics also contain ‘prebiotics’, which promote the growth of our body's naturally occurring gut-flora and can support nutrient absorption, immune health, and digestive discomfort relief.
Still have questions? Contact us anytime, and we'll help you decide which is best for you.
Remedy's Probiotic Guarantee:
- Our probiotics will contain the full potency until the expiration date on the label.
- You will see benefits (like more frequent and complete bowel emptying, in a matter of days!)
What are the benefits of taking quality Probiotics?
When administered in adequate doses, good, quality Probiotics confer a health benefit to the host as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization.
The two common general benefits often associated with probiotics are supporting a healthy digestive tract and boosting our immune system.
Supporting a healthy digestive tract
Our bodies, especially our gut, is populated by millions of bacteria.
The kind of bacteria in our bodies ('good' or 'bad') depends on many factors: the kind of food we put in, our age, the environment we are exposed to, the medications we take, and our genetic makeup.
The reality is that we are constantly exposed to foreign antigens.
Probiotics may help to regulate our ‘ecosystem’, so they are critically important to good health.
Probiotic bacteria colonize the digestive tract with adequate amounts and types of beneficial bacteria, helping us to keep it healthy.
This normalizes bowel function. Good bacteria can also stick to the walls of the digestive tract and form a protective layer.
We have to agree with the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who nearly 2500 years ago, claimed that “all disease begins in the gut”.
Many of the common digestive issues can be linked with anxiety, depression, recurrent infections, and even auto-immune conditions.
That's why we can say that a healthy digestive system improves our mental health and immune response.
Boosting the Immune System
The immune system and the gut microbiota work together regulating one another and cooperating to support each other.
The importance of this interaction is clearly seen by the fact that 80% of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut.
Probiotics exert different levels of immune-regulatory effects.
Studies suggest that probiotic bacteria give your immune system a boost and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, increasing your body’s defenses against allergies, infections, and other conditions.
Also, probiotics have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, a well-known risk factor for many diseases.
Some probiotics also promote the production of natural antibodies, boost immune cells, reduce the risk of respiratory illness, as well as urinary tract infections in women.
Other specific conditions probiotics treat are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics
Also, some research shows probiotics are useful for problems in other areas of your body.
For example, many people say probiotics have helped with:
- Skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis, or eczema
- Urinary and vaginal health
- Prevention of allergies and respiratory tract infections, like the common cold or influenza
- Oral health
The Importance of Prebiotics
Prebiotics are naturally occurring, non-digestible food components (types of carbs, mostly fiber) that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
In other words, prebiotics act like fertilizers, they are "good" bacteria promoters.
Some prebiotic foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains such as bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, beans, and whole-grain foods.
So even though prebiotics sound similar to probiotics, they play different roles in our health.
Probiotics are the healthy, good bacteria and prebiotics are what feed and nourish them.
So we can say that both work together synergistically.
Without prebiotic fuel, the good bacteria in our gut suffer.
In other words, probiotics are worthless without prebiotics.
Probiotics from Food
Probiotics can be supplied through foods prepared by bacterial fermentation.
The following is a list of the most common fermented foods.
They are very easy to add to your everyday diet!
- Yogurt: bacterial fermentation of milk. All yogurts have live and active cultures, but not all have additional probiotic bacteria. Look for those with probiotic strains, since these can survive into the intestine and impact the gut health and immune functions
- Cheese: cheeses that contain probiotics are either aged or made from raw, unpasteurized milk. A short list of probiotic-rich cheeses includes aged, traditional cheddars, Gouda, Parmesan, Swiss and Alpine cheeses like Gruyère.
- Kefir: fermented milk drink made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture.
- Buttermilk: fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. But nowadays we can find cultured buttermilk in the market. This is made from bacteria cultures added to pasteurized low-fat or skim milk, which is left to ferment for 12 to 14 hours at a low temperature. Salt, stabilizers, and sugar may also be added.
- Miso: Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients.
- Tempeh: Indonesian soy product, made from fermented soybeans. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form.
- Kimchi: Korean food manufactured by fermenting vegetables with probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) Normally, cabbage is the main ingredient, but it can also be made from other vegetables. It's flavored with seasonings, such as red chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallion, and salt.
- Kombucha: fermented drink made with green or black tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast.
- Sauerkraut: shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. When buying it, make sure you choose the unpasteurized kind. Why? Because during the pasteurization process, which is used to treat most supermarket brands, the good active bacteria is killed.
- Pickles: quick pickles made in vinegar will not hold as much beneficial bacteria potential as fermented pickles. So when shopping for pickles, go for naturally fermented pickles, where vinegar wasn't used in the pickling process. Instead, a sea salt and water solution feeds the growth of good bacteria, providing your body with a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria
The mentioned above are easy foods to incorporate into your daily life.
But since there are many different strains of probiotics, and each of them affects you differently, please increase your probiotic intake slowly, and be aware of any side effects, both positive and negative.
Probiotics are types of "friendly, good, or healthy bacteria" that have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
They can be incorporated in our everyday life through foods and supplements.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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