How To Choose A Good Probiotic?


kefirSo you have heard about the many benefits of probiotics but don’t know which one is good for you? This article will help you choose the probiotic that will work for you. As we already know that probiotics are the “good bacteria” which can create havoc to the pathogens by producing antibiotics and antibodies. It also regulates the immune system, thereby providing protection to the host. There is an expansion of the market of probiotics owing to its many advantages in life-style related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is important to note here that the heart-diseases are the leading cause of mortality in the world. It would thus be an interesting quest to know how well the probiotics prove to be an advantage for the patients with such diseases. The methods that can prove beneficial in determining the effective probiotics is detailed as follows:

1. Gather the Information-Internet:

In this information age, there is enormous supply of knowledge through internet. Depend on the government sites (sites that end with .gov) as they are an excellent source of unbiased information about the probiotic, you plan to choose. Getting the information can be a tedious task and may involve some man-hours, but it is worth it.

www.medline.com is an excellent reference point for the information related to drugs.

2. Combating The Image Issue:

The many advantages of the probiotics are masked by its image. “Probiotics are living bacteria”, this statement haunts many of us. How can we take bacteria? The patients often inquire. However most of us fail to understand that in fact our body is a reservoir of many bacteria and they perform useful functions just staying in there. The many companies involved in production and marketing of probiotics are trying to present a friendly image to combat such questions that haunt the patients.

3. Advancement In The Delivery Systems:

Benefits of probiotics are many. With the advancement in the delivery systems, we can now be assured that the effective dose of the probiotics is delivered on the target. This segment deals with some of the successful delivery systems.

Combination of probiotics and enzymes: We know that this combination can be lethal to the pathogens that inhabit the body during infection. The balance between good and bad bacteria can thus be restored by the administering this combine. Stability of the product is an issue in such cases. Hence, both probiotics and enzymes are presented as a powder in the bottle. Desired amount of water can then be added and administered to the patient.

Administering multiple probiotics in a capsule: Trenev trio is a capsule that combines Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus bulgaricus in one capsule. This provides for the superstrains with high efficacy and a successful delivery system (capsule). Such methods ensure survival and growth of the probiotics in the gut.

According to a 2013 study published in Obesity (Silver Spring), it was found that the in diet-induced obesity, multi-strain probiotics have proven more beneficial than the single-strain ones. They are effective in fighting with the accumulation of fat and the metabolic changes that is associated with diet-induced obesity.

  • Use of matrix for protection of the probiotics: In this method a polysaccharide weave (PW) protects the probiotics of high strain from the intestinal juices. Thus, it retains the efficacy of the probiotics. According to a recent study published in Crit Rev Food Sci Nut, the authors argued that the viability of the good bacteria can be ensured with the use of encapsulation with biopolymers such as alginate, gelatin, and other cellulose derivatives.
  • Enteric coated protection system: In this method, the probiotics are coated with materials that protect it from being digested by the saliva, stomach acids and other gastric secretions. Thus, it bypasses the stomach barriers and reaches the target without reducing in numbers. It is therefore very effective in making the targeted delivery of the probiotics.

Some probiotics such as Bifidobacterium lactis enhances the levels of indigenous probiotics by conditioning the GIT making it favorable for the growth of other probiotics or act as a prebiotic that feeds on probiotics. By either way, it helps resistance against bad bacteria such as E.Coli and other bacteria.

Use of probiotics in alleviating many of the symptoms related to GIT diseases has now become established. While choosing a probiotic for use, you must do your thorough research. Lots of information about the different products is available over internet. It helps to safeguard the patients and instill confidence in him about the product he is using.

References

1.    Yoo SR, Kim YJ, Park DY, Jung UJ, Jeon SM, Ahn YT, Huh CS. Probiotics L. plantarum and L. curvatus in Combination Alter Hepatic Lipid Metabolism and Suppress Diet-Induced Obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Mar 20
2.    Huq T, Khan A, Khan RA, Riedl B, Lacroix M. Encapsulation of probiotic bacteria in biopolymeric system. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(9):909-16
Photo Credit – Healing and Eating @ Creative Commons – http://www.flickr.com/photos/healingandeating/

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