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    Recent research has shown many benefits of probiotics. Should I be taking a probiotic?

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    Should you be taking a probiotic?
    In a healthy body, there are trillions of microorganisms. Many of them are beneficial to your health. A great majority of them reside in your gut. Probiotics are live organism that when ingested and survive the digestive system can benefit you in various ways.(1) The immune system, skin conditions, and digestion support are just a few ways you could benefit from a probiotic. For example a study was currently done concerning constipation and it was found that regular ingestion of probiotic microorganism helped elevate the symptoms.(2) Currently studies have shown they may even affect the biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.(3)
    There are two groups of probiotic bacteria: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Each group has different species and each species has different strains. Each strain has different benefits.1 It is important to identify what your desired benefit is to know which strain to look for.
    There are many manufacturers of probiotics and it’s important to do your research and know the strain that is needed for your desired benefit, the length of time to receive that benefit, and availability of the product. There are a plethora of products available at your neighborhood grocery store. You should also consider the cost of continual consumption of the product you choose because to benefit from them they must be consistently ingested or the benefits will stop shortly after you stop taking them.(1) These are just a few considerations in deciding if a probiotic might benefit you.
    To decide whether you could benefit from probiotic and what specific species you need to get that desired benefit go to

    1. Probiotics: What they are and what they can do for you. American Gastroenterological Association web site. Published Aug. 2008. Revised 2013. Accessed March 6, 2015.

    2. Favretto D, Pontin B, Moreira T. Effect of the consumption of a cheese enriched with probiotic organisms in improving symptoms of constipation. Arg Gastroenterol. 2013 JulSep;50(3):196-201.

    3. Dirienzo D. Effect of probiotics on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease: implications for heart-healthy diets. Nutrition Review;2014; 72(1):18-29.



    Thank you for your response and all of your research. I agree that it is important to research what strains would be the most beneficial to you and will give you the health benefits that you are looking for and finding the strains that have the best combinations of strains to get you your desired results. (1) I also found the information from very useful. Buying Probiotic supplements from brands that are well known and trusted is a good idea to help achieve maximum benefits, as well as looking for ones that have large amounts of bacterias in them. It is also important to store your probiotics correctly in order to make sure they stay alive so you can reap all the many great benefits they have to offer.

    1.Chapman C, Gibson G, Rowland I. Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains? European Journal of Nutrition. January 2011;50(1):1-17.

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