Probiotic Supplements – Uncover The Real Benefits Of Good Bacteria
Most people don't think about it, but we live in a world where there is constant hoard of invisible harmful microbes around us. The best way to protect ourselves in this world is to arm our selves with research and information regarding powerful "good" bacteria. In other words, consider taking probiotic supplements.
New products containing probiotics are hitting the market place at a fast and furious pace according to current market researchers. Companies want to latch onto the rising population of people who are becoming more and more health conscious. The industry has, at least, tripled from 1994 to 2003. The grocery stores, pharmacies, and health food stores are providing numerous foods and supplements containing them.
So, what are probiotics and just what do they do? They are live microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, and viruses not unlike the bacteria that can be found in the human intestinal system. Research to date seems to indicate that there are real health benefits from ingesting these bacteria. They are sometimes called "good bacteria" or "friendly bacteria." Consumers usually obtain them in the form of dietary supplements in pills, capsules, and powders.
There has been much debate on exactly how to define probiotics. The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has determined that "probiotics are live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host".
These microorganisms are used to support the general health and to treat some illnesses. There is not a great deal of evidence that would support the use of these bacteria; however, more research may change all of that very soon. Interestingly, these organisms are found most frequently in breast fed infants. This may be why infants are immune to many diseases for the first few months of their lives.
Historically, there are probiotic foods that come from ancient time, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products. They were especially prevalent in Egypt and Asia.
The health benefits of these microorganisms is being researched by many institutions both inside the United States and in other parts of the world. The interest is growing among medical professionals about the use of probiotics in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). To date there is only one strain of this bacteria "Bifid bacterium infantis" that has show to be successful in treating IBS and its debilitating symptoms of bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
These microorganisms live in the digestive tract and are safe for most people. But, they are sold without FDA approval because prior approval of supplements is not required by the FDA. Therefore, you should always check with your health care provider before adding any supplement to your daily regime. This is true especially if you are already taking any traditional medications.
Now that you know and understand, that any dietary supplement can cause side effects or allergic reactions. Be sure to do your research before adding them to your daily routine. Also, remember there is no standard for the manufacturing process for these supplements so the effectiveness may differ from brand to brand. Even with these cautions, the benefits of these supplements far outweigh the possible risks. Probiotic supplements may be the best thing you can add to your lifestyle especially if you or a loved one are suffering from intestinal problems, including irritable bowel syndrome.