The probiotic industry has a dirty secret: It creates a billion-dollar business based on return science.
If you are wondering, "do I need probiotics"? Consider the following: Probiotics – the healthy bacteria that are labeled in most yogurt products – are added to everything from popcorn to muffin.
In accordance with a report by Grand View Research, the market for probiotic supplements is expected to reach $ 7 billion over the next 7 years.
Here's the thing: This business is built on a little science … and a lot novel.
"There are many products that carry the word" probiotics "in the United States, but they are not all formulated or studied responsibly for health benefits," says Mary Ellen Sanders, Ph.D. International Scientific Society of Probiotics and Prebiotics.
The science is that probiotics are good for you – but only if you have a condition that requires their use.
This is not something that you will want to hear if your wardrobe and fridge are full of probiotic infusions.
"The benefits of probiotics in food – especially foods that are is not fermented dairy products – are questionable, at best, "he says Sira Dorin, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Pathologist in Infectious Diseases at the Tufts University Medical School.
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to food, many probiotic supplements fail to keep the promise on their label.
Unless you have a specific condition that has been shown to benefit probiotics, you probably do not need them.
"There is no indication that it is necessary to take probiotics to be healthy," Sanders adds.
The next point may be even more important:
"You do not do it need probiotics if you are healthy, "says Sanders.
The Hype (and Mythology) of Probiotics
Probiotics are living microorganisms that feed healthy bacteria into the intestine. Most people treat probiotics the same way they will be a multivitamin.
Theoretically, the benefit of a multivitamin is that it helps to deal with deficiencies in your diet. So if you have a good multivitamin (that's it a completely different story), and if you do not have a great diet, then it could offer you some benefits.
Here's the thing:
Probiotics do not function like multivitamins.
While multivitamins can have a benefit for anyone because they help support shortcomings, probiotics are actually designed to help treat, improve or resolve malfunction.
You need probiotics if your microbial (ie bowel health) bothers you. This means that taking probiotics can be very helpful if you suffer from a condition like irritable bowel disease.
But if not, then the use of probiotics may not be as good as you expected.
Probiotic-Gut's relationship: It's complicated
Maybe you're wondering:
How does a billion dollar business build on something as glittering as "maybe that's good for you?"
It all starts with the extremely complex nature of your bowel.
It is so complicated that science takes much more time to understand it. "The human germicide can have up to 200 trillion micro-organisms and up to thousands of species," says Doron.
This is a very biological soil to cover, so probiotics are a field that scientists are trying to understand.
"There are many things that we think are happening, but we do not know how all this works," says Doron.
Three reasons why what you see on probiotic labels does not necessarily reflect what it will do for your body:
- Different probiotics may work differently (again, there are hundreds of different types)
- Each probiotic may have more than one result
- Not all respond in the same way to a particular executive
Researchers are currently trying to figure out the potential benefits of hypothetical promise.
One theory is that when probiotics reach your intestines they digest available carbohydrates and produce short chain fatty acids. These acids are then burned and other beneficial microbes in your bowel, in turn, produce more fatty acids.
Why do you care?
Because short chain fatty acids are known to create a healthy germicide and improve the health of the colon.
Another theory is that when certain probiotics reach the small intestine, they interact with the immune cells that cover your organs. This can lead to a positive response to the immune system, such as a reduced incidence of respiratory tract infections or improved response to vaccines.
Sanders says some studies suggest that probiotics improve the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract, so you'll hear probiotics recommended for some digestive problems.
But, at this point, all of this is hypothetical. Probiotics may be amazing, but – in healthy people – we do not know if the benefits have been expanded.
So … What do probiotics really do?
Probiotics help people with specific conditions where bowel dysfunction is a problem. Consider it as one of the best natural remedies if you suffer from:
In addition, some research suggests taking specific probiotics can support immune health and possibly reduce the risk or the duration of the common cold.
But every benefit is specific to the probiotic strain, and even the transfer of good executives is still a work in progress. This is because we still do not know whether good strains that we can create in supplement – or foods like yogurt – can survive in the environment in your stomach and then have a positive effect on your gut.
"Any probiotic, even a combined product, is just a small drop in the bucket," explains Doron. "In our group's research, we saw that when the subjects received a probiotic containing lactobacillus, we could not detect either a change in the abundance of lactobacilli" in their intestines.
What if I'm healthy? Will I get a probiotic help me?
Always consult your doctor if you have an immune disorder or a serious underlying disease before taking a probiotic.
If you are generally healthy then there are not many disadvantages. If you get a supplement, give it a month, trust yourself and see how your body responds. It is likely that you will feel better – but you know that studies show that the positive effects you will experience could be a placebo effect.
"This is worth it if you feel better, but it's also expensive," says Doron.
If you are healthy, curious and okay with paying extra money, do not hesitate to try a supplement. As mentioned, it could have benefits for immunity and the creation of more short-chain fatty acids to help the intestine. But only time will tell if this happens to people without health problems.
If I have a health condition, what should I do?
First, skip the fortified foods. And skip the microbiome tests that will help you understand which probiotics you should eat.
"At this point, a person can not look at his microbe and come to conclusions about his health," says Doron. "There are even more questions than answers."
Your best bet is to consult a doctor who understands your condition and is also well experienced in probiotics. Doron suggests researching academic medical centers and examining doctors' profiles in the area you need.
"Control [for doctors whose] interests include issues like probiotics and microbicides, says Doron. "The sector is still young and even for world experts there are more questions than answers when it comes to handling the human microbe for health purposes. But there are certainly doctors in a variety of areas interested in this field of research or doing research and using the knowledge they have acquired in their medical practice ".
Remember, you are trying to correct a malfunction, which is the real benefit for probiotic health.
Follow your doctor's recommendation until the pressure and dose. The stem will be a long name and will often include a number such as L. acidophilus NCFB 1748.
The "dose" is the large number on the label, like 10 billion, showing the colonies or CFUs. The higher is not necessarily better, follow the advice of your doctor.
Avoid products that list the CFU "at construction time".
"This is a red flag," says Sanders. The numbers of live microbes decrease over time, so you want to know CFU at the end of life.
The front of the box will usually say the total number of CFUs. the side label can list the CFU for each strain. Look for what your doctor recommends. And if the product is a refrigerator in the store, keep it in the fridge at home to make sure you do not kill more CFUs.
The last thing you need to look for is any stamping from a third party control program to make sure that what contains the probiotic what the label says.
Currently, ISAPP is working with the USP in a verification program, USP tags (usually a good quality mark) are not yet available. However, you can find it NSF International, which is legitimate. However, note that statements such as "guaranteed quality" do not mean that they have been audited by third parties.
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