The what's and how's of probiotics

What are probiotics?

Probiotics can simply be defined as stimulating the growth of other organisms that are beneficial to our bodies. Probiotics can be in the form of foods and supplements. Introducing probiotics either from foods or a supplement (after talking to your doctor!) has been shown to have a positive impact on the overall health of the good bacteria within the gut.

How do probiotics help the body?

Probiotics support overall gut health which has a massive impact on our overall health. Probiotics can be especially helpful when you are taking an antibiotic. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad. Probiotics help to restore the good gut bacteria and lessen the chances for symptoms such as diarrhoea and yeast infections.

How do probiotics and an overall healthy gut relate to exercise?

While there are only a few articles that have studied the direct effects of a healthy gut on exercise there are some overall factors that improved gut health impacts.

  1. Maintaining gut health improves overall health.
  2. Reduces inflammation in the intestinal tract.
  3. Improves the bodies immune response.
  4. Healthy gut bacteria can help keep blood sugar regular.
  5. May reduced fatigue and overall tiredness.

Did you know that there are tonnes of foods that contain live bacteria and probiotics?! Amazing right? A good place to start is with probiotic rich yoghurt. Most probiotic rich foods are fermented due to the fact that the good bacterium have a chance to grow during the fermentation process. See list of probiotic rich foods to try below:

  1. Low sugar yogurt
  2. Kefir
  3. Pickled vegetables (not pickled in vinegar)
  4. Kimchi
  5. Miso
  6. Sauerkraut
  7. Cottage Cheese

It is important to read the labels on these foods to see if that particular brand has live cultures of probiotics in them. I have been fooled by this plenty of times.

BOTTOM LINE: Probiotic rich foods can help you digestive system and if you have more issues, such as IBS, a probiotic supplement may be necessary. When it comes to taking any supplement, talk to your doctor!

Like what you hear? Find out more about Wellness Guru Kate and Dietitian Marketplace here

Citations:

  1. Didari T, Mozaffari S, Nikfar S, Abdollahi M. Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2015;21(10):3072-3084. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i10.3072.
  2. Harvie, R., Chanyi, R. M., Burton, J. P., & Schultz, M. (2017). Using the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiome to Personalize Nutrition Advice: Are Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Ready for the Opportunities and Challenges? Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117(12), 1865-1869. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2016.10.020
  3. Michiel Kleerebezem, Oscar P. Kuipers, Eddy J. Smid; Editorial: Lactic acid bacteria—a continuing journey in science and application, FEMS Microbiology Reviews, Volume 41, Issue Supp_1, 1 August 2017, Pages S1–S2, https://doi.org/10.1093/femsre/fux036
  4. Ruan, Y., Sun, J., He, J., Chen, F., Chen, R., & Chen, H. (2015). Effect of Probiotics on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. Plos One,10(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132121
  5. Quigley EMM. Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2013;9(9):560-569.
  6.  Vijaya Kumar B, Vijayendra SVN, Reddy OVS. Trends in dairy and non-dairy probiotic products – a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2015;52(10):6112-6124. doi:10.1007/s13197-015-1795-2.