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Which Probiotic Is Right For You?

Probiotics do more than just promote good gut health

 

Research has identified numerous health benefits associated with probiotics including:

  • Enhanced immune system function.
  • Reduced inflammation and allergies.
  • Lowered cholesterol.
  • Improved glycemic control in diabetes.
  • Dental cavity prevention.
  • Increased resilience to stress.
  • Improved mood.
  • Better digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Increased resistance to urinary tract infections.

 

How to find the right probiotics for your specific health needs

 

It’s important to understand there are hundreds of different probiotic strains available, and some are more effective than others when it comes to addressing certain health issues.  For example clinical trials found that the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri B-54. probiotic strains showed the most therapeutic benefit for urinary tract infections, while other strains offered little to no benefit.

Most probiotic products available at the supermarket or local chemist will contain about 2-3 strains of probiotics, typically from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.  While these guys offer great digestive benefits they may not be as effective for specific health complaints.

The below table highlights some common health issues and the probiotic strains that have demonstrated the most benefit in reducing symptoms in clinical trials.

Health Condition Suggested Probiotic Strain
Anxiety Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175.
Atopic Eczema Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12, Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-003.
Bacterial Gastroenteritis (Gastro) Lactobacillus planatarum 299v
Viral Gastroenteritis (Gastro) Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus reuteri MM53.
Bacterial Vaginosis Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Lactobacillus casei Shirota, Lactobacilus paracasei F19, Bifidobacterium lactisi Bb12, and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFB1748.
Constipation Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 (Women) Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 (elderly), Lactobacillus casei Shirota.
Crohn’s Disease Saccharomyces cerevisiae and boulardii Biocodex.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Lactobacillus reuteri MM53
Giardia Infection Saccharomyces cerevisiae and boulardii Biocodex
High Cholesterol Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and Bacilus coagulans
IBS Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL-20, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Lc705.
Prevent Dental Cavities Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12
Urinary Tract infection Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri B-54.

 

Tips for getting the most benefit from your probiotics

 

After buying your probiotics there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the maximum health benefits.

Firstly its important to check the number of live bacteria provided in each capsule to ensure you’re getting a therapeutic dose.  As an example, a clinical trial studying the effectiveness of probiotics in reducing blood glucose found that a daily dose of 1×107 CFU live bacteria was required to achieve a significant reduction.

Creating the ideal environment for your probiotics is also important to ensure they survive and thrive once they’ve entered your system.   Prebiotic foods such as apples with the skin on, fresh asparagus, leeks, onions, garlic, bananas, sweet potato, radishes, and flaxseeds typically pass into your small intestine undigested where they provide a perfect source of nutrition for your good bacteria.

Have more questions about probiotics?  Leave a comment or contact us via the contact page.

Would you like personalised health advice?  Book in with our Naturopath Carly by contacting our clinic or book online.

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