Sometimes you can find probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus blended in with other products like PNP Supplements has done with its Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate & Colostrum product, which provides 2 billion CFUs with each serving. This reduces the change of upset stomach and supports absorption and utilization.
Probiotics also combat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common digestive condition, easing gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and other symptoms. (6)
PROBIOTICS IMPACT ON WEIGHT LOSS
Another growing area of research on probiotics is weight loss. People who are considered obese have distinctly different gut bacteria from those who are lean. Many scientists have thus come to the conclusion that gut bacteria play a role in determining your body weight. (7)
In one study completed on 210 people with central obesity (excess belly fat), who ingested the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri daily there was an 8.5% loss of belly fat over 12 weeks. (8) When participants ceased to take the probiotic, they gained the belly fat back within a month.
Other studies have seen probiotics helping to lower inflammation, which in turn helps to combat insulin resistance, a major characteristic of type 2 diabetes. (9)
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS
There are many other benefits of probiotics:
Inflammation: Probiotics have seen to lessen inflammation, a principal driver of many diseases
Blood cholesterol: Several probiotics have been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoproteins – also knows as bad cholesterol)
Immune function: Several strains of probiotics could augment immune function, potentially leading to a decreased chance of infections, including the common cold,
This is only a small portion of probiotics’ full benefits, as ongoing studies suggest a whole host of health effects.
ASSOCIATED RISKS OF PROBIOTICS
There are many different types of probiotics available on the market. Some have been well researched, while others have not. One potential risk of probiotics is if someone has an immune system depleted by illness or medication, that probiotics could cause further upset.
Additionally, probiotics are considered to be dietary supplements, not drugs. This means that the FDA does not monitor them. There is little clarity for the consumer over the differences between probiotic supplements.
Given that microbes used as probiotics already occur naturally in the body, probiotic foods and supplements are typically considered to be safe.
There are some people who should take precautions when using probiotics as they may increase the chances of infection. These people comprise those who have: (10)
- A weakened immune system (those undergoing chemotherapy for example).
- A critical illness.
- Recently had surgery
CAN WE GET PROBIOTICS FROM FOOD?