What can probiotics do for you?
- Gut flora and digestion: A high-quality probiotic can contribute to the balance of the gut flora. The good intestinal bacteria it contains ensure that harmful yeasts, fungi, and bacteria cannot spread in the intestine. The bacteria it contains help protect against so-called dysbiosis and can be used to support diarrhoea or constipation, for example.
- Stimulate the immune system: A functioning immune system protects us from cough, runny nose, and other infections. The gut is an important part of the immune system, so probiotics can activate the body's defences. The bifido and lactobacteria can also contribute to immune modulation and mitigate excessive immune reactions such as coughing and runny nose when pollen is in the air.
- Diet: Studies show that overweight people often have an imbalance in the intestinal flora. Consequently, taking probiotics during a diet can make sense.
- Mouth and teeth: Probiotic bacteria not only play a role in the intestines, but they are also important for preventing oral cavities in teeth. A lactic acid bacteria cure can contribute to oral and dental health and thus prevent tooth discoloration, tartar, and tooth loss.
Buying probiotics - what should you pay attention to?
With the large selection of probiotics products, it is not easy to find the right means to build up the intestinal flora. We will tell you what to look for when buying lactic acid bacteria:
- Products and dosage forms
- Ingredients and dosage
- Intake and tolerance
- Additives and allergens
- Price-performance ratio
- Satisfaction guarantee
Products and dosage forms
Probiotics are mainly offered in the form of capsules or powders. Here you can read more about the main advantages and disadvantages of these dosage forms.
- Probiotics capsules
These contain a standardised amount of intestinal bacteria. Lactobacteria and similar are protected from gastric acid by an enteric coating and thus reach the intestine undamaged. Taking the capsules with water works quickly and easily, so that the probiotics capsules are also great for on the go.
- Probiotics powder
A high-quality probiotic powder also contains a standardised amount of bacteria. Protection from gastric acid is only partially guaranteed due to the lack of a capsule shell. In contrast to the capsules, the powders usually require an activation time and can only be taken thereafter.
Ingredients and dosage
Several billion bacteria of different genera and species live in the intestine. The composition of the individual products differs significantly so that it is worthwhile to take a closer look at the ingredients. Most probiotics for children and adults contain not only one bacterial strain, but various lactic acid bacteria. These include, for example, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plantarum and the Bifidobacterium longum. Some preparations also contain prebiotics, such as inulin. Food such as high-fibre vegetables and whole grains serve as food for the intestinal bacteria. They can support the increase of good bacteria.
In contrast to vitamins or minerals, there is no official daily requirement for the probiotic bacteria and thus no binding recommendations for taking probiotics. The dose depends, on the one hand, on the content of bacteria and, on the other hand, on one's own state of health. Anyone who has had to take antibiotics or has damaged their intestinal flora through poor nutrition may have an increased need. Even people who suffer from autoimmune diseases or allergies often show abnormalities in the intestinal flora. Treatment with a probiotic dietary supplement can also be useful here.
Intake and tolerance
Probiotics are generally well tolerated. Occasionally, side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, or constipation can occur when taking the drug. However, these complaints are mostly due to an excessive dosage. If these symptoms occur, you should lower the dose of the intestinal flora capsules.
Additives and allergens
If possible, try to buy probiotics without additives and fillers. These include, for example, dyes or preservatives. A high-quality food supplement is also free from allergens such as gluten, yeast, and soy. Lactic acid bacteria have nothing to do with milk in the actual sense, so the corresponding preparations are also suitable for people with lactose intolerance.
However, lactobacilli, in particular, are cultivated with the help of milk products. So, most probiotics are not vegan, but vegetarian.
The dosage of the intestinal bacteria, the composition of the dietary supplement and the quality of the bacterial strains used have a direct influence on the price. There are products that appear cheap at first glance. However, these often contain fewer and lower-dose bacteria. In order to achieve an effect similar to that of more expensive products, you would have to take a much higher dose. This quickly puts the price difference into perspective. If you buy intestinal bacteria from a provider that offers a bulk discount, you can save even more.
Probiotics are safe and generally well tolerated. Nevertheless, intolerances can occur in rare cases despite good product quality. It is an advantage if you buy your probiotics from a dealer that offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Questions and answers about buying probiotics
These questions and answers about probiotics are for sure interesting for you too.
Which probiotics are recommended?
You can quickly identify a good product. A high-quality probiotic contains at least 5 to 10 billion colony-forming bacterial units per dosage unit. Since each bacterial strain in the intestine takes on different tasks, as many different large and small intestine-specific microorganisms as possible should be contained. Prebiotics such as inulin can also help the bacteria to colonise.
How long should you take probiotics?
In principle, you should always take probiotics over a period of at least 3 months. Above all, a damaged intestinal flora simply needs a certain regeneration time. If the intake time is too short, the desired success usually does not appear.
When should I take a probiotic?
An intact intestinal flora is a basic requirement for health and well-being. Probiotic supplements are suitable for all people who want to actively do something for their body. Various medications such as antibiotics can damage the intestinal flora. After taking such medication, a lactic acid bacteria treatment can be useful.
Probiotics - how to take?
With capsules, the time of intake is not important, since the capsule shell protects against premature decomposition by the stomach acid. Powder or tablets without an enteric coating should be taken on an empty stomach. Quick access to the stomach is particularly important here, so that the bacteria survive the stomach acid even without protection and reach their destination undamaged.
Where can you buy probiotics?
You can find the largest selection of high-quality nutritional supplements on the Internet. You can also get probiotics at the pharmacy. Drugstores, health food stores, or even supermarkets also offer probiotic preparations.