What Probiotic Bacteria Can Do For You and How To Choose
October 8, 2012 | By Sarah Ryder

Remember playing cops and robbers? There's always a team of bad guys challenging the good guys.

Probiotic bacteria, also referred to as good bacteria, can be beneficial in many different ways.* Probiotic bacteria naturally exist in your body, but can sometimes be threatened by an overgrowth of bad bacteria, usually coming from contaminated water and processed food.

A daily regimen of probiotics can help restore and maintain natural levels of good bacteria to maintain proper balance for optimum health.*

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotic bacteria are a family of microorganisms beneficial to the host they live in.* Bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria are the most common types of microorganisms used as probiotics. Certain yeasts can also fall into the probiotic family.

When a person consumes probiotics, they are raising the level of good bacteria naturally existing in his or her body, the host.*

Probiotics are available through food sources and dietary supplements.

Probiotic food sources can include:

  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Certain yogurts
  • Miso
  • Fermented cabbage and other probiotic fermented foods

While certain food can be a great source for probiotics, a dietary supplement can include a higher amount of probiotics, creating quicker results.* Probiotic supplements can include prebiotics to help maintain levels of good bacteria.*

Prebiotics act as nutrition for probiotics, helping them grow and colonize. Prebiotics come from carbohydrate fibers called oligosaccharides, naturally found in certain fruits, legumes and whole grains.

What Can Probiotic Bacteria Do for You?

Probiotics are most commonly known for alleviating digestive discomforts such as occasional diarrhea or constipation.*

Probiotics also:

  • Can replenish good bacteria lost after taking antibiotics.*
  • Help nourish natural defenses.*
  • Have been known to reduce symptoms related to occasional indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux.*
  • Support vaginal and urinary health.*

Choosing The Right Probiotic Bacteria Supplements

Since there are many probiotic supplements on the market, you should be looking for certain characteristics when deciding among products.

Indicators of a good probiotic supplement can include:

  • High amount of colony forming units (CFUs): 10 billion or higher
  • At least two different bacteria strains, but not more than 10.
  • Inclusion of a prebiotic, such as inulin.
  • Use of good manufacturing practices (GMP).
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • Once a day dosage.

You're on the right track to finding the right probiotic by doing your research. It's always a good idea to go with a company accredited by the Better Business Bureau with positive customer reviews.

The content material of this article or webpage is for educational and consumer information purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.

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