While shopping at the grocery store, you may have seen foods like milk, cheese and yogurt with probiotics. Many health benefits about probiotics have been advertised, but it is often hard to know what is true. Read on to learn more about probiotics.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are healthy or good bacteria that when eaten in right amount have health benefits. Once in the colon, the bacteria multiply and help to keep a balance between the good and bad bacteria that live there. Probiotics are added to certain foods.
What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?
Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as “food” for probiotics. Eating prebiotics will help the probiotics multiply and remain in your digestive system. Examples of foods with prebiotics are artichokes, bananas, and onions.
What are the health benefits of probiotics?
Research shows that probiotics may help:
* Lessen diarrhea that comes from taking antibiotics
* Improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and
* Improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Some research shows that probiotics may help with lactose intolerance, but more research is needed. Keep in mind that the positive effects of probiotics depend on the type and quantity eaten and will vary from person to person.
What foods have probiotics?
Probiotics are mostly added to foods like:
* Cheese and
Which probiotics should I eat?
The types of probiotics that have been shown to be effective are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Look at the ingredient list on food packages for these probiotics.
How much probiotics should I have?
It is not yet clear how much probiotics will give you health benefits. However, it is suggested that regular, long-term use is needed to keep healthy bacteria in your digestive system. Keep in mind that the positive effects of probiotics vary from person to person.
Are probiotics safe?
Eating foods with probiotics is thought to be safe for most people including pregnant women. If you have a condition or disease or would like to give probiotics to an infant, speak to your doctor or dietitian first.
Probiotic bacteria are often grown using milk protein. Individuals with a milk allergy should avoid foods with probiotics since they may contain milk protein.
Are probiotics regulated in Canada?
Foods with added probiotics are not regulated in Canada. That means that there are no rules for how much probiotics there should be in a food or how to label probiotics on food packaging.
Probiotic supplements are regulated under the Natural Health Products Regulations in Canada. This means that probiotic supplements must meet certain standards to be sold in Canada.
If you want to learn more about Probiotics and Prebiotics from Dr. Oz watch the video below.
Wishing you health and happiness,