L. Helveticus Benefits And Side-Effects

L.-HELVETICUS-MICROSCOPE

L. HELVETICUS OVERVIEW
L. Helveticus is a multi-functional rod-shaped probiotic strain that belongs to the family of Lactobacillus bacterium. The probiotic is linked to several potential advantages in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to helping to improve the well-being of the gut, there is also evidence that L. Helveticus bacterium may be helpful for both mental and oral health. 

AT A GLANCE: This post takes a look at what the benefits of L. Helveticus bacterium are and whether there are any side-effects that you need to be concerned about. 

What Are The Benefits Of L. Helveticus?

Many human studies have been conducted to determine what the L. Helveticus strain of bacteria can do. There are many benefits that have already been associated with both food and supplements that contain this bacterium strain. 

Below is a list of potential benefits that you may experience if you decide to use a supplement with this strain of Lactobacillus bacteria:

  • One study found that the use of L. Helveticus could potentially reduce blood pressure levels in people with hypertension. This also reduces damage dealt with the blood vessels and arteries through high blood pressure levels. 
  • There is a study that provided evidence of an improvement in sleep among people who took a supplement that contained L. Helveticus bacterium species. Participants in the study were all elderly patients, but the effects could also be experienced by younger individuals. 
  • When L. Helveticus is combined with B. Longum, there may be a potential reduction in symptoms that are linked to both depression and anxiety mental disorders. 
  • Studies suggest that L. Helveticus could potentially assist in the treatment of infections that affect the gastrointestinal tract. There are various bacterial infections of the gut that may benefit from the use of this probiotic. 
  • The probiotic may also be helpful in people with an upper respiratory illness. Healing time seems to be shorter for people who take a supplement with L. Helveticus, compared to those who only received conventional treatment for these illnesses. 
  • The gastrointestinal tract also benefits from this probiotic. Studies show that L. Helveticus helps to promote a healthier digestive system. Gut balance is improved, along with gut stability. 

Possible Side-Effects Of L. Helveticus

L. Helveticus is a safe probiotic to take. This includes the consumption of the bacteria through dietary supplements. The only concern with the probiotic comes to mind when it is taken with antibiotics or with medication that may alter your immune system. 

Medication like steroids can reduce your immune function. It is advised to avoid L. Helveticus in such scenarios. The probiotic may also become less effective when used alongside an antibiotic drug. 

Conclusion

L. Helviticus is a highly beneficial strain of Lactobacillus bacteria that works in the gut, but also has benefits for other parts of the body. The bacterium can be found in food and is already readily available in a wide variety of probiotic supplements. There are a couple of side-effects that you should take note of too, but these are generally mild and will not pose as a threat to your general well-being. 

References

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Benefits And Side Effects

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is a bacterium species that is often included in scientific studies. This bacterium is part of the Lactobacillus family and plays a role in several digestive functions. An adequate amount of these bacterium species in your gut can lead to several potential benefits. You are able to increase your intake of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus through the use of supplements or by turning to foods that contain the bacteria. 

AT A GLANCE: We explain the benefits you may get from an increase in L. Rhamnosus bacterium species in your gut. We also consider potential side-effects that you could experience. 

What Are The Benefits Of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus?

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is a bacterium essential for the breakdown of lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar that is found in dairy products. The bacteria make a specific enzyme known as lactase. The lactase enzyme is what assists in breaking down lactose sugars. The resulting compound is known as lactic acid. 

We consider a few of the additional benefits that may come with the use of an L. Rhamnosus supplement below:

  • A variety of diarrhea conditions can be effectively treated with a supplement that contains L. Rhamnosus bacterium species. One study shows that bacteria can prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea. This is a very common side-effect in people who need to take antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection. 
  • It has been found that the diversity and number of Lactobacillus bacteria, along with other types, are fewer in people with diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome. One study found that the L. Rhamnosus bacterium species, in particular, seems to be very effective in relieving the symptoms a person may experience due to irritable bowel syndrome. 
  • An imbalance in bacteria may lead to cavities – particularly when there are too many harmful bacteria in the mouth. Studies have also shown that an increase in L. Rhamnosus bacteria in the body could potentially protect against cavities that are generally caused by the presence of bad bacteria. 
  • There is a study that shows the use of a supplement with L. Rhamnosus could potentially reduce appetite and assist in reducing cravings. This may be useful for people who are trying to lose weight. 
  • In one study, it was shown that L. Rhamnosus might be useful in people with reduced insulin sensitivity. 

Possible Side-Effects Of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus does not cause many side-effects. Most people take the supplement without any adverse reactions. There are some who experience abdominal discomfort for a couple of days after they start their first dosage. 

The most common symptoms related to abdominal discomfort is bloating. 

Individuals with a weak immune system, due to the presence of cancer or HIV, might want to avoid the supplement. 

Conclusion

The L. Rhamnosus bacterium probiotic strain is a critical factor in the breakdown of lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products. There are many studies that show the consumption of food and supplements that contain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus can help the human body. Some side-effects may be experienced, but they are generally mild and go away on their own. 

References

Lactobacillus Acidophilus Key Benefits And Side-Effects 

The Lactobacillus family of probiotic strain is often considered the most popular, whether it comes to increasing the intake of healthy bacterium species through food or supplements.

There are several bacteria that fall under the Lactobacillus family. L. Acidophilus is one particular bacteria that holds several potential benefits. 

L. Acidophilus is also called Lactobacillus acidophilus. The bacteria are naturally found in the human body and plays a role in the breakdown process of sugar. This particular bacterium also helps the body process lactose, an ingredient in milk that some people experience intolerance to. 

AT A GLANCE: In this article we take a look at the benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus and the side-effects you should take into consideration. 

What Are The Benefits Of L. Acidophilus?

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a heavily researched strain of Lactobacillus bacteria. There are many studies that show the potential benefits that you may be able to experience if you decide to consume more of this particular bacteria. It is possible to obtain more L. Acidophilus through food. You can also decide to take a supplement that has this particular probiotic strain added to its formula. 

Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits that you may achieve with Acidophilus:

  • The bacteria may help to reduce LDL cholesterol in your body. At the same time, levels of HDL cholesterol might increase. This is good for heart health. The effect may also help to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or suffering from a stroke. Taking an L.Acidophilus supplement for just six weeks already offers a significant improvement in cholesterol levels. 
  • The bacteria have also shown promising results in people with irritable bowel syndrome. One study found that a daily supplement containing L.Acidophilus for just one month helps to provide a significant improvement in bloating among people with irritable bowel syndrome. Improvements may also be seen.
  • There is some evidence that this bacterium strain could assist with weight loss too. 
  • L.Acidophilus could also strengthen the immune system and reduce the severity of symptoms associated with flu. 

Possible Side-Effects Of Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Some people who take a supplement that contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus could potentially experience some side-effects. These side-effects will usually only last for a few days to a week or two. Once the body is accustomed to the bacteria, the side-effects go away, and you will be able to experience the benefits. 

The side-effects that you might experience with Lactobacillus Acidophilus include:

  • Intestinal gas
  • Bloating

If you have one of the following conditions, be sure to speak to your doctor before using a supplement that contains L.Acidophilus:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • A weakened immune system
  • Damaged heart valves

Conclusion

L. Acidophilus, or Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been shown to yield several benefits for the body. It assists with the breakdown of lactose and sugars and may be beneficial for certain digestive problems. The bacterium strain can be found in yogurt, as well as other fermented foods. In addition to considering the health benefits, you also need to take a closer look at the potential side-effects you could experience when increasing your intake of L. Acidophilus. 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26512560
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25954637
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21436726
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22634320
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19651563

B. Infantis Benefits And Side-Effects 

b infantis

B. Infantis is a somewhat complex probiotic strain. It technically belongs to the family of Bifidobacterium, but due to the lactic acid bacterium classification, it is often classified as part of the Lactobacillus family too. The bacteria are naturally present in the human body, but the numbers of these bacteria may decline with age. 

Some evidence points out that taking a supplement that contains B. Infantis may help to provide certain benefits. There are also certain conditions that might improve when a person decides to start taking B. Infantis supplements.  

AT A GLANCE: This post takes a look at the benefits that you may get when you take these probiotic supplements/strains. We will also outline possible side-effects that could develop.

What Are The Benefits Of B. Infantis?

B. Infantis can be found in a variety of foods and is commonly added to probiotic supplements due to the potential benefits that can come with the use of the bacterium. The bacteria have been proven a beneficial option for improving the overall well-being of the microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract. This bacterium is not only good for improving general health, however. There is some evidence that B. Infantis could also be useful in the treatment of certain conditions. 

We outline some of the most important benefits of B. Infantis probiotic strains below:

  • A study that was published in the Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics shows evidence that B. Infantis is effective in the treatment of IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. The study found the probiotic strain can reduce bloating, gas, and abdominal pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. 
  • There is evidence that B. Infantis can effectively reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation associated with several conditions may be reduced. These conditions include psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.  
  • One study explains that the benefits of B. Infantis go beyond adults. This particular probiotic strain may also be beneficial for infants who suffer from certain conditions, including intestinal inflammation – a common problem among infants. 

Possible Side-Effects Of B. Infantis

There are a couple of side-effects that some people experience when they take B. Infantis probiotic supplements. Bloating is one of the most common side-effects. Some people also experience an increase in intestinal gas when they first start using this type of probiotic supplement. 

In extremely rare cases, allergic reactions have been noted. This may lead to a rash, itching, swelling of the throat and face, breathing difficulties, and dizziness. People are also advised to look out for side-effects like a persistent cough, chills, and a high fever when they take probiotic supplements with B. Infantis bacterium species. 

Conclusion

There are many probiotic strains that can offer you health benefits. B. Infantis has been shown to help improve the balance of your gut flora. This is a lactic acid bacterium that can help with the digestion of lactose, found in dairy products. There are many other benefits to be taken into consideration too. At the same time, also take note of the possible side-effects you should expect when taking a probiotic supplement with B. Infantis. 

References

The Top Probiotic Strains (Benefits & Side Effects) 

Probiotics help to improve your gut microbiome. This is the good bacteria that live in your gut and help your digestive system function normally. The healthy gut microbiome has been linked to a number of potential health benefits. At the same time, increasing your intake of probiotics does come with some potential adverse effects. 

While it is possible to get probiotics from food sources, many people prefer to opt for supplements that can give their body an adequate amount of these beneficial bacterium species. There are many supplements to choose from when you prefer to get your probiotics from a pill. The significant variety of these products can make it hard to know which one to choose. 

We take a closer look at the variety of probiotic strains that may be included in these supplements. We also consider what the benefits and potential side-effects of these strains are. This will help you determine which strains are the most important for you, and ensure you know what to expect when taking these supplements. 

What Are The Best Probiotic Strains?

There are more than 500 species of bacteria found in your gastrointestinal tract. Even though the diversity may seem limited, consider the fact that there may be billions of each bacterium species living in your digestive system. Each of the good bacterium species provides specific benefits for your gut or the rest of your body. 

We will take a closer look at the primary strains that you should look for when buying a probiotic supplement. We will also look at the benefits that these offer you and the potential side-effects that you could experience.

Bifidobacterium

When you look at these products, Bifidobacterium is often one of the bacterium strains that you are going to find mentioned on the ingredient list. This is because this particular strain of bacteria tends to have several potential health benefits. 

There are actually quite a few different bacterium species that fall within the Bifidobacterium family. The most popular of this family would be Bifidobacterium bifidum. This probiotic strain is often referred to as B. bifidum as well. There are several health benefits that have been associated with the consumption of this particular strain, in fact. 

The use of a supplement that contains the B. bifidum bacteria strain may provide the following benefits:

  • Treatment for constipation
  • May help to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Could assist in the treatment of ulcerative colitis
  • May also be helpful in relieving some types of diarrhea
  • Could help to improve intestinal bacteria balance following chemotherapy

B. bifidum may also be helpful in a condition known as necrotizing enterocolitis. This is an infection that affects the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. It is caused by bacteria that are considered harmful. The good bacteria may help to improve the control over the bad bacteria in your gut. 

Individuals with an infection caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, also called H. pylori, might also benefit from using a probiotic supplement that contains B. bifidum in particular. 

Scientific Studies About The Benefits Of Bifidobacterium

It is always useful to consider scientific studies and research conducted on a probiotic strain before making a decision regarding the specific supplement to buy. There are several studies that have been conducted in order to show the potential benefits that Bifidobacterium species could potentially offer the human body. 

Researchers at the Akdeniz University School of Medicine conducted a study to determine the efficacy of Bifidobacterium species in people with irritable bowel syndrome. The study utilized a specific strain of this bacteria, known as Bifidobacterium lactis B94. 

The participants in the study were divided into three groups. Each group received a specific supplement or combination of supplements. The following supplements were provided:

  • Group 1: Daily supplement with inulin and Bifidobacterium lactis B94
  • Group 2: Daily probiotic supplement with Bifidobacterium lactis B94
  • Group 3: Daily supplement with the prebiotic inulin

All participants in the study had previously been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of IBS was active in all participants at the time of the study. A total of 71 patients participated in this study. 

The use of the probiotic supplement yielded the following results:

  • Participants experienced an improvement in belching-abdominal fullness
  • There was a reduction in bloating following the consumption of a meal

When probiotics and prebiotics were combined, additional improvements were identified. Participants also experienced a reduction in mucus present in their feces. There was also an improvement in constipation symptoms among these participants. 

In one review paper, researchers also found several Bifidobacterium strains that could potentially be useful in improving brain function. The review looked at 38 studies that were previously conducted. This included studies performed on both human and animal subjects. 

Subjects of these studies reported signs of these conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Poor memory function
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

It was found that several species within the Bifidobacterium family may help to improve symptoms associated with these particular conditions. The specific Bifidobacterium strains mentioned in the study included the following:

  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium infantis

Bifidobacterium Side-Effects

The use of supplements that contain Bifidobacterium may also lead to certain side-effects. It is important to realize what to expect and the specific side-effects that could develop when you turn to these supplements. 

Potential side-effects that you could experience if you take Bifidobacterium supplements include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating

Lactobacillus

Another popular strain of probiotics found in supplements would be Lactobacillus. Similar to Bifidobacterium, this is also an entire family of good bacteria. There are several bacterium species that fall within the Lactobacillus family, and they can provide your body with several potential benefits. 

This is a gram-positive type of bacteria that is part of the lactic acid group of bacteria. 

There are several reasons why people might want to turn to Lactobacillus supplements in order to benefit their health. Some of the conditions and benefits that may be experienced when you take a supplement with this family of bacterium species include:

  • It may help to treat and even sometimes prevent the development of diarrhea
  • The bacteria might be helpful in people with irritable bowel syndrome
  • Symptoms associated with colic in small children could be improved with this supplement
  • Inflammatory bowel disease could also benefit from Lactobacillus supplements
  • The product may also be useful for treating constipation and stomach pain
  • Lactobacillus may also be useful in preventing diarrhea when using antibiotics

Lactobacillus may be able to help the body absorb nutrients more effectively from the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, the use of these supplements could also potentially assist in the process of breaking down food. 

Scientific Studies About The Benefits Of Lactobacillus

There are various studies on Lactobacillus bacterium strains. Recognizing the evidence of the benefits that these products may bring you is important. This can help you realize when it would be appropriate to opt for a probiotic supplement that contains Lactobacillus bacterium strains. 

Studies have noted that the Lactobacillus family is quite large. Since there are different species, it should be noted that they do not all provide the same benefits. We will consider a few studies below and mention the specific species of interest in each. 

The use of Lactobacillus supplements may help to increase HDL cholesterol in the body. At the same time, LDL cholesterol might be lowered. This means good cholesterol increase while there is a decline in bad cholesterol. Lactobacillus strains of good bacteria seem to be most effective with this particular benefit when compared to other strains of probiotics. 

Studies also show that Lactobacillus may help to reduce diarrhea that is caused by certain health conditions. The same applies to cases where a person is asked to take antibiotics as a treatment for a bacterial infection. 

The Lactobacillus acidophilus strain of bacterium may be very useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms associated with this condition may be reduced with a supplement that contains this particular strain of the Lactobacillus family. 

Some evidence also suggests that Lactobacillus strains, particularly lactobacilli, may be helpful in women who frequently experience vaginal infections. 

Lactobacillus Side-Effects

There are also certain side-effects of Lactobacillus bacteria that you need to take note of. These side-effects can sometimes make you feel uncomfortable while taking the supplements. It should be noted, however, that the majority of these side-effects are temporary and should improve after taking the supplements for a couple of days. 

The most common side-effects people experience with Lactobacillus supplements include bloating and intestinal gas. It is also generally advised that people with a damaged heart valve should avoid taking Lactobacillus supplements. 

Saccharomyces

While this is not the most common probiotic strain, it is one that you should also consider. Saccharomyces is found in a variety of probiotic supplements due to the potential benefits that these microorganisms may offer your body. 

First of all, it should be noted that Saccharomyces are not bacteria. Instead, this is a healthy type of yeast that lives in your body.

Supplements that contain Saccharomyces are often used to assist in the treatment of these conditions:

  • Diarrhea
  • Chron’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Sometimes, these supplements are also used to assist in the treatment of:

  • Yeast infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Canker sores
  • Acne

Scientific Studies About The Benefits Of Saccharomyces

There is a number of scientific studies that prove the usefulness of Saccharomyces probiotic supplements. 

A study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that Saccharomyces supplements may be highly effective at treating diarrhea caused by antibiotics. The same study found that these supplements are useful for treating and preventing traveler’s diarrhea. 

Another study found that Saccharomyces can also be useful in reducing the effects of ulcerative colitis in the body. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory effects also seem to help reduce the side-effects of inflammatory bowel disease. 

Saccharomyces Side-Effects

Saccharomyces supplements are generally considered safe. There are a few side-effects to take note of. In most cases, people tend to complain about constipation and bloating when they first take supplements that contain these probiotics. Gas may also develop during the first few days when you start taking Saccharomyces supplements. 

How Should You Choose The Right Probiotic Supplement?

We looked at some of the best probiotic strains that you should consider opting for if you want to use these supplements to improve your gut flora. Now that you have a better idea of the benefits and possible side-effects, you are likely looking for a supplement that can give you access to these strains. 

The first thing to consider when looking at probiotic supplements is what you expect from these products. There are different strains, and some of them work for specific functions. Consider which of these functions you wish to achieve with the use of a probiotic supplement:

  • Improve digestive health
  • Treat diarrhea
  • Lose weight
  • Improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

What you expect from a probiotic supplement should play a role in the process of deciding on a product to buy. 

You also need to consider factors like the brand that manufactures the supplement. Not all brands are equal – always take some time to research a brand. Find a product and brand that has appropriate evidence behind them that shows evidence that the supplements are effective. 

Do not overlook the importance of considering the price of the probiotic supplement too. Pricing can vary a lot. You do not want to overpay on these products. Instead, find one that gives you the right strains, an appropriate number of the bacterium, at an affordable price tag. 

Conclusion

Probiotic supplements help to increase the diversity of good bacteria that live in your gut. These supplements also add more of these beneficial bacteria to give you the health benefits associated with balanced gut flora. We looked at the top probiotic strains you should consider if you want to improve your gut health with these supplements. Consider the benefits and side-effects of each strain, and opt for a probiotic supplement that gives you the strains based on your own needs. 

References

Probiotics And Antibiotics: The Complete Guide

There are both good and bad bacteria in the human body. Sometimes, the bad bacteria find an opportunity to grow – leading to the development of a bacterial infection. Various parts of a person’s body can be affected by a bacterial infection. While most infections caused by bacteria are acute and tend to resolve with the right medication, there are cases where these infections can become chronic. 

The Imperial College in London released a scientific publication that explains bacterial infections causes a global burden. It is estimated that infections cause more than 700,000 people to die each year. Within the next few decades, the paper also estimates that this rate will go up to about 10 million people dying from infections each year. One study also explains that among chronic bacterial infections, bronchiectasis seems to be the most commonly noted illness. 

Antibiotics are the preferred treatment method for bacterial infections. These drugs can be taken as a pill or provided to the patient through an injection or intravenous administration. While effective, antibiotics kill good bacteria too, which calls for the use of probiotics. We consider if probiotics are useful in cases where a person consumed antibiotics and some factors to take into account. 

What Are Antibiotics And Why Are They Used?

Antibiotics are pharmaceutical drugs that can be provided to patients with a bacterial infection. These drugs are provided with a doctor’s prescription. There are different types of antibiotics on the market. Some of these antibiotics are used as an initial defense against bacterial infection, as they are able to target various types of bacterium species. Other antibiotic drugs rather target more specific strains of bacteria – this is useful in cases where a patient does not seem to respond well to a broad-spectrum antibiotic. 

Penicillin was the first antibiotic to be developed. Alexander Fleming was the doctor who discovered penicillin. At the time, this was a natural extract that was able to assist in fighting against bacterial infection. The discovery was first made in 1928. Today, pharmaceutical companies create synthetic drugs that mimic the behavior of the natural penicillin that Alexander Fleming initially identified. 

Antibiotic medication provided to a patient with a bacterial infection works in one of two ways:

  • They reduce the rate at which bacteria grow in the patient’s body, thus giving the immune system a better chance at fighting off the bacteria. 
  • Other antibiotics rather work by killing the bacteria that have grown in the patient’s body. 

One particularly important factor that needs to be noted is that antibiotics are only effective at fighting against bacterial infections. When a patient suffers an infection caused by a virus or fungi, then antibiotics will not be able to assist in the treatment of the infection. 

Antibiotics And Gut Flora

The idea behind antibiotics is to help kill the bacteria that is causing a patient to suffer from an infection. In some cases, bacterial growth is rather stunted. There is one particular problem that comes into play here – and that is the fact that antibiotic drugs are not able to distinguish between the good and bad bacteria that are present in the human body. 

Most people realize already that there are several species of bacteria that are considered essential to the survival of the human body. When there is a decline in these “good” bacteria, it makes the immune system weaker. The digestive function also tends to suffer when there are insufficient good bacteria in the gut. 

Since antibiotics cannot tell good and bad bacteria apart, these drugs destroy all of the bacterium species that it finds. What this means is that good bacteria will also be destroyed by antibiotics. 

Studies show that antibiotics are highly effective in treating bacterial infections. With the fact that antibiotics also destroy the good bacteria in mind, however, there is some concern regarding the well-being of the digestive tract, as well as several other areas of the human body. Patients do need to remember that the good bacteria in their bodies does not only help improve gut health and function. These bacteria have been linked to many other systems of the body – including the immune system. 

One study looked at the impact of gut flora on the general well-being of the human body. In this study, researchers explain that poor maintenance of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can have several implications for a person’s health. In particular, the study links poor diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut to conditions and diseases like:

  • Obesity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer

With this in mind, the use of antibiotics and the effects that these drugs may have on the microbiome can increase the risk of these diseases in the patient. This becomes especially concerning issue when looking at the continued use of antibiotics in cases of chronic bacterial infections. The concern is also raised when stronger antibiotics are needed – which is becoming more frequent today due to the rising prevalence of antibiotic resistance found in the general population. 

When antibiotics are used, and the good bacteria are destroyed in the process, it may leave the patient vulnerable. Since the good bacteria are not present in their bodies, it means the patient may experience a weakened immune system. The patient will then be more likely to experience common illnesses, such as an infection with the influenza virus – leading to the flu. 

Where Probiotics Fits Into The Picture

Now that we have looked at how the use of antibiotics affects bacteria throughout the body, it is obvious that there is a need to maintain the good bacteria in the gut while using these drugs. This is why many people tend to opt for probiotics as a way to potentially counteract the effects of antibiotics on the gut flora. 

Probiotics refer to the good kind of bacteria that should ideally thrive in the gastrointestinal tract of every single person. The term really describes these bacteria that are found in certain foods. While probiotics are readily available in foods, there are also many supplements that can help a person get more good bacteria into their gut. 

The use o probiotics may help to improve the diversity and number of healthy bacteria that are living in a person’s gut. Due to the content of probiotics, there is a common thought that using these products while on antibiotics may help to eliminate the risk of good bacteria being destroyed. 

It is true that probiotics might be a good idea during and even after antibiotics. Unfortunately, things are not as simple as it seems, however. 

First of all, it is important to take into account the fact that probiotics contain the same good bacteria that are already present in a person’s gastrointestinal tract. When taking the probiotic supplement or obtaining the probiotics from foods like yogurt, the diversity of bacteria in the individual’s gut may improve. There may also be an increase in the number of bacterial microorganisms that are thriving in the gut of that person. 

When the person is taking antibiotics, it means the chemicals that are present in these drugs will continue to drive down the numbers of good bacteria in the gut. Even when a probiotic supplement is used, the antibiotics will still continue to kill the beneficial bacteria – including the new ones that the probiotics added to the person’s gut. 

This does not mean that probiotics should not be used, however. By taking probiotics, it might be possible for a person to at least ensure there are more good bacteria in their gut. This could mean that a larger diversity of these bacteria will be present in the digestive tract after the course of antibiotics has been finished – particularly compared to taking antibiotics without any type of probiotic supplement. 

When combining the two, a smart strategy will be needed. The person needs to ensure they are able actually to gain an advantage while taking a probiotic supplement. This way, the effects of the antibiotics on the gut flora could be reduced – and the person may not experience the harsh side-effects that antibiotics cause when too many good bacteria are destroyed. 

Using Probiotics With Antibiotics

It is possible to use probiotics with antibiotics, but there are a couple of things that patients do need to understand before they combine these two. 

First of all, it is important for a person to understand that taking antibiotics and probiotics at the same time would yield the good bacteria found in the probiotic supplement useless. When the probiotic supplement is taken at the same time the patient takes the antibiotic drug, the chemicals of the antibiotics will simply kill off all the good bacteria that are added to the person’s gut with probiotics. 

Thus, to fully benefit from probiotics, a person should set up a schedule to help them take both pills at appropriate times. 

The patient should first consider when they need to take the antibiotics. The doctor will usually prescribe a specific number of doses per day – these drugs will generally be taken over the course of a few days. 

The first step is to decide on specific times to take the antibiotics. The person should consider the number of doses per day – and then try to take each dose at the same time every day. 

A common example of daily doses for antibiotics is three times each day. When there is a need to take the antibiotics three times each day, then a possible schedule could be:

  • Dose 1 at 7.30 am
  • Dose 2 at 12.30 pm
  • Dose 3 at 8.00pm

With this type of schedule, there will be gaps of several hours between each dose. The person could decide to take the probiotic supplement either in the morning or in the afternoon. The dosage of the probiotics should preferably be done between doses one and two, or between dose two and three. 

The probiotics could, for example, be taken at about 10.00 am. This will allow the antibiotics to get to work and ensure by the time the probiotic supplement is taken; the bacteria will not all be destroyed by the antibiotics immediately. 

In addition to taking a probiotic supplement, a person on antibiotics should also consider adding some additional probiotic-rich foods to their diet. Since the antibiotics are actively destroying both good and bad bacteria, this additional increase in probiotics could be beneficial. 

Some of the best probiotic foods that can help to add more good bacteria to the digestive tract include:

  • Yogurt
  • Tempeh
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Pickles
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Kimchi

When the course of antibiotics is done, many people think that they can stop using the probiotics too. Sure, there will not be more antibiotics that cause good bacteria to be destroyed; the use of these drugs will still have a continued effect on the gut flora of the individual. 

For this reason, a person who has finished their antibiotics should consider continuing to use the probiotic supplements. They could also prefer to consume foods with probiotics instead. This will help to restore a better balance of healthy bacteria after the antibiotics were able to treat the bacterial infection that the patient suffered from effectively. 

The dose of probiotics could be lowered after the antibiotics are finished, of course. Taking too many probiotics at this time could lead to unpleasant side-effects, such as bloating, gas, and headaches. 

Conclusion

The use of antibiotics is crucial in cases of bacterial infection. These drugs are able to assist in the treatment of the infection and help to reduce the risk of complications. Antibiotics do kill off both good and bad bacteria, causing the gut microbiome to suffer. Using probiotics might help to restore good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, but it is important to carefully consider the timing of doses and use the most appropriate sources of probiotics. 

References

http://bsac.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BSAC-SC2018-Day1-DavidMcIntosh.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463080/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2896384/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385025/

The 5 Little Known Side Effects Of Probiotics

Even though the term “bacteria” often makes people think of illnesses and infections, there are many species of bacteria that are essential to the survival of the human body. When the number of bad bacteria grows larger than the number of good bacteria species in the body, then you should be concerned. When you keep your good bacteria numbers up, you are at a lower risk of infection and other complications. 

To maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the body, probiotics are essential. These are the good bacteria that thrive in your gut and helps with the absorption of nutrients, as well as ensures your digestive tract can function properly. There are different ways to obtain probiotics – from both food and supplements. 

While increasing your intake of probiotics has many benefits, there are also potential side-effects that many people tend to overlook. We shed some light on these side-effects that some people may experience when they increase the number of probiotics they obtain – and look at some effective ways to cope with these adverse effects. 

Why Do People Take Probiotics?

To understand why people are increasingly opting for getting more probiotics into their lives, we should really start by considering what they do. Essentially, probiotics contain live microorganisms. While the majority of these microorganisms are the good bacteria that need to thrive in the gut, there are sometimes other types of microorganisms too. The goal is to bring about a better balance in the gut flora – also known as the gastrointestinal microbiome. 

The main goal is to ensure the number of good bacteria in the gut becomes more than the bad bacterium species that are present in the digestive system. This essentially helps to keep harmful bacteria in check and helps to reduce the risk of these “bad” microorganisms from taking over and causing sickness. 

Many studies have been conducted to help the population understand exactly what probiotics can – and can’t – do for them. Some of the possible benefits that you may experience when you increase your intake of probiotics include:

  • Digestive health may improve due to the balance of good bacteria in your gut
  • You may experience a reduction in diarrhea
  • Probiotics may also effectively prevent the development of diarrhea, especially in cases where you are required to take antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection
  • Heart health could also be improved with the use of certain probiotic strains
  • There is also evidence that certain probiotic strains may be beneficial for certain types of mental health diseases, including depression
  • There may be an improvement in symptoms associated with allergies
  • Some people also experience an improvement in symptoms caused by a skin condition known as eczema

Side-Effects Linked To An Increase In Probiotics

Most people tend to focus on the benefits they could experience if they start increasing the number of probiotics they consume. Probiotics can come from both fermented foods, as well in the form of a pill that is taken by mouth. 

Even though probiotics are critical to your health, there are also some side-effects that you could experience. The unfortunate fact is that most publications that focus on probiotics fail to mention the specific five side-effects that we will take a look at today. 

The good news, however, is that these side-effects are generally considered temporary. If you are unfortunate enough to experience these adverse effects, then you should be able to find that they go away on their own as your body gets more accustomed to the higher concentration of good bacteria in your gut. 

Let’s take a look at the five little known side-effects associated with probiotics. 

1. Headaches

The first side-effect of probiotics that we want to mention here is headaches. This is a relatively common adverse effect that people tend to experience when they decide to increase the probiotics they consume in their daily meals suddenly. 

It should be noted that this particular side-effect will not be present in all cases, as it really depends on the sources of probiotics that you decide to consume. 

One study published in the Journal of Frontiers in Microbiology looked at how the use of probiotics affected certain chemicals that are naturally found in the human body. Researchers behind this study found that there is an increase in tryptamine and antihistamine among people who consume fermented foods that are rich in protein. 

The reason behind this is due to the production of biogenic amines. This only happens when you use high-protein foods that were fermented to increase your probiotic intake. 

These amines seem to have an impact on the central nervous system in the human body. The result is a change in blood flow. When blood flow changes due to this particular mechanism of action, you may experience headaches. In some cases, it may also lead to migraines. 

With this in mind, it might be a good idea to switch to fermented foods that are not rich in protein. This means the foods will not produce amines, leading to a lower risk of experiencing headaches as a potential side-effect. You can also choose to use a dietary supplement instead. 

2. Bloating

Bloating is another very common adverse effect that many people tend to experience when they first start taking probiotics. In fact, gastrointestinal side-effects, with a primary focus on bloating, is actually considered one of the most common side-effects that people suffer during the initial weeks with probiotics. 

There is a name for the bloating that occurs as a side-effect after you start using probiotics. The adverse effect is known as a Herxheimer Reaction. 

What happens is your gastrointestinal tract needs to get used to the increase in good bacteria that you are introducing into your body. This also means that your gut needs to work overtime and harder than usual. The result is usually bloating as a complication of this effect that the probiotics have in your gut. 

The best solution here would be to consider drinking a lot of water during the day – especially for the first couple of weeks once you start your daily dose of probiotics. Avoiding sugary foods and alcoholic beverages can also be helpful. An anti-inflammatory diet may also be a helpful way of reducing the bloating that you may experience. 

If you feel exceptionally bloated, then stop wearing skinny jeans for a week or two. Instead, try some pants that are made from stretchy material. This will help ease the pressure that your clothes may put on your abdomen. 

3. Gas

Gas and bloating actually go hand-in-hand when looking at the little known side-effects that probiotics can cause. When you experience an increase in gas as a side-effect of probiotics, then it will generally form part of the Herxheimer Reaction that we mentioned earlier. This also means that gas is one of the more common adverse events that people do tend to experience if they are still new to the increase in probiotics in their daily lives. 

The development of gas can be linked directly to the fact that good bacteria causes your digestive system to work overtime. Due to this overactive digestive system, there will generally be an increase in gas accumulation in your gastrointestinal tract. 

The good news is that the increase in gas will generally not last for long. Expect the side-effect to clear up in just a few days – in some cases; it may take a week or two, however. Drink lots of water and increase your exercise routine to help clear this side-effect faster. 

4. Diarrhea

You may have heard that probiotics are highly effective at treating diarrhea. This is most often the case when you are told to take a daily dose of antibiotics to help fight against an infection that you have developed. For this reason, diarrhea as a side-effect of probiotics may come as somewhat of a surprise to you. Still, it is an adverse effect that you need to take note of. 

Note that not everyone will experience diarrhea when they decide to take probiotics. Furthermore, diarrhea will usually only last for a couple of days. This is just a side-effect caused by the healthy bacteria going to work – which means your gut is still adapting to the presence of these microorganisms. 

The best way to counteract diarrhea as a side-effect to probiotics is to get the timing right. Avoid taking your probiotic supplement with food. Instead, take the pill on an empty stomach – perhaps right after you get up in the morning. 

5. Allergies

This is another side-effect that can cause some confusion. We previously mentioned that probiotics seem to be a good natural treatment for allergic conditions – including general allergies and even eczema. 

What you may not know is that your allergy symptoms could actually worsen for a few days when you just start to increase your probiotic intake. 

This is generally because the probiotics may cause an increase in the production of histamine in your body. The histamine, in turn, may cause you to experience itchiness in your eyes. Your nose may also be runny for a couple of days. Some people may also experience shortness of breath. 

If you do find that probiotics are causing a more significant increase in your allergy symptoms, then consider the source of the good bacteria you are using. Kombucha, kimchi, yogurt, and similar fermented foods are more likely to cause this side-effect. You may want to consume foods that contain other strains of probiotics to reduce the risk of suffering from worse allergy symptoms. 

How You Can Cope With These Side-Effects

Now that you know about the side-effects that may occur with probiotics, you at least understand what you should expect. As we did mention previously, you will find that these adverse effects start early on after you decide to take a daily dose of probiotics. The side-effects will also start relatively quickly after you decide to implement more probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet. 

These side-effects are mostly temporary. Most people will still be able to increase their intake of probiotics without experiencing side-effects. If you do develop side-effects, then coping with these events does not mean giving up on the probiotics. You simply need to wait it out – your body should be allowed some time to adapt to the new bacteria that are introduced into its gastrointestinal tract. 

There are also certain strategies that you can use to minimize these adverse effects. 

First off, consider the fact that many of these side-effects are more prominent in people who decide to increase their probiotic intake through fermented foods. Certain fermentation processes can cause these side-effects to develop. Thus, deciding on a high quality probiotic dietary supplement is one way to reduce the impact of the adverse effects associated with the good bacteria. 

You should also get the timing of your probiotics right. If you decide to take a supplement, try to drink it without food. When you take your supplement on an empty stomach, there may be a reduced risk of experiencing diarrhea, for example. If you drink adequate amounts of water with the supplement, but still take it on an empty stomach, you are also less likely to find that the product makes you feel bloated. 

Another important strategy is to watch what you eat during the first few weeks once you have started to increase your probiotic intake. Eating a diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding unhealthy foods, such as those drenched in sugar and hydrogenated oils, can help to make you feel more comfortable. This means less bloating and a reduced chance of feeling gassy. 

Conclusion

The use of probiotics has become very popular, especially among people who are more concerned with their general health. It is possible to get probiotics from both fermented foods and in the form of a dietary supplement. While most people are able to tolerate the addition of good bacteria species to their gastrointestinal tract well, there are some who may experience adverse side-effects. 

We looked at five of the little known side-effects that some might experience when they decide to take probiotics. We also considered effective ways to counteract these side-effects and improve your experience when you decide to start relying on probiotic supplements and fermented foods. 

References

https://www.webmd.com/diet/qa/why-do-people-take-probiotics

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4435245/?report=classic#

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27699780