Our digestive system is an amazing organ, and housed within it can be over 100 trillion microorganisms (aka bacteria). But don’t worry, a lot of those bacteria are good and can be beneficial to your health. Some scientific research has shown that the good bacteria can aid digestion, nutrient absorption and contribute to immune function. Additional studies and evidence have indicated that some strains of probiotics that are found in our foods can also help certain conditions. These conditions include diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity.
Probiotics are found in different foods like yogurt, kefir, other fermented foods, and supplements. So what is the bottom line? Should you go out today and buy some yogurt or kefir or maybe just grab a supplement?
1. “In the United States, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do.” Meaning they are not regulated by the FDA. Without the guarantee of what you are purchasing – it might just be a waste of money to purchase a supplement.
2. People, who are immune-compromised, may be at a higher risk to have negative side effects from probiotics.
3. Probiotics in supplements can be expensive, around a dollar a day.
Probiotics should not be used as a cure-all. For me I don’t go seeking probiotics, they are just naturally incorporated into my diet. I enjoy and consume yogurt and kefir on a regular basis. It’s great that the products contain probiotics, and I can benefit from them, but I am not actively seeking additional sources or taking a supplement. However, if I had one of the conditions I listed above I would consider incorporating probiotics into my diet more regularly.