10 Things You Need to Know About Probiotics


What’s in a probiotic?

Here are some fast facts on probiotics and how they can work for you, and especially your child.

• Probiotics are alive. They are living microscopic organisms which take the form of bacteria and other organisms such as yeasts. They are similar to the good bacteria that’s already in your body, especially your gut, and are found to be food for your health and digestion.

• There are many different types of probiotic bacteria. Each group has different species, which have different strains, and provide different benefits for your body, the most recognizable being either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.

• Bacillus subtilis has a strain that has been shown to support the immune system and the gut.

• Lactobacillus sporogenes produces only lactic acid, and helps keeps intestinal flora well-balanced.

• Clostridium butryicum produces butyric acid, which acts as enzymes in the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates.

• Probiotics produce B vitamins that help you digest better, and ward off anemia caused by Vitamin B6 and B12.

• Probiotics also help maintain healthy skin and a healthy nervous system.

• Probiotics are usually used for treatment of bowel diseases and discomfort such as irritable bowel syndrome or loose bowel movement especially for infants and young children.

• Recent studies have also shown its effectiveness in helping the treatment of urinary tract infections.

• Probiotics should be stored according to packaging instructions. Take note of expiration and use-by dates, or the probiotics in the product may expire and may no longer be effective.

Ask your Doctor about Probiotics, to see if probiotics are right for you based on your medical history.

“Probiotics: Some evidence of their effectiveness,” Gregor Reid PHD and Jo-Anne Hammond MD, Canadian Family Physician, November 2005