Health Tips

3 Reasons to Take A Probiotic Supplement

Probiotics… I see that buzz word on every container of yogurt at the grocery store.   But what is it? A bacteria you say? Why would I want to eat bacteria? Oh – these are health promoting bacteria?

Source: Microsoft Images

Probiotics, when translated, literally means Ã…”for life.  They are living microorganisms ” Ã…”friendly  or Ã…”good  bacteria that, when consumed in sufficient numbers, can provide health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition. Our digestive system contains approximately 85% “good” bacteria, and 15% “bad” bacteria. The “good” bacteria that live in your gut   can be taken in either capsule or yogurt form. These are called probiotics because they’re health-promoting bacteria. Processing ” including pasteurization and sterilization ” effectively destroys both good and bad bacteria. Processed foods are also often high in sugar, which nourishes harmful bacteria in your gut.   As well, that delicate balance of good and bad bacteria can be disrupted by disease, stress, poor diet, or medications like antibiotics, which is why a probiotic supplement may be necessary.

Taking a probiotic supplement is good for you for 3 reasons:

  1. They keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check:
    Probiotics aid in the alleviation of many common symptoms related to the overgrowth of unfriendly microorganisms. These include diarrhea, urinary tract infection, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and intestinal tract infections. Probiotics are considered safe. They simply facilitate a reintroduction into the body, of microorganisms which are like those already present in the gut.
  2. They aid digestion and nutrient absorption:
    Friendly bacteria function within the digestive system by aiding in the breakdown and absorption of food and nutrients. When there is an over abundance of Bad bacteria, not as many nutrients from the food can be absorbed (ie: when you have diarrhea). It is therefore important to do what it takes to protect the body’s bacterial balance.
  3. Contribute to immune function:
    Since your immune system is your body’s first line of defense, this means that your digestive system can greatly influence your overall health.   Friendly bacteria function within the immune system by protecting against unfriendly, disease-causing flora.

As you know, I’m a proud Swiss Natural Ambassador so I was offered the Swiss Natural Probiotic Age for Adults probiotic capsule (they also make a special capsule for kids called Swiss Natural Probiotic Kids).   I began taking these on a regular basis when I was put on antibiotics for my kidney infection – normally antibiotics give me the (ahem) runs, but not this time, so I’ve been taking them ever since.

Question: Do you take a probiotic supplement? Why or why not?

PS – Swiss Natural is currently running a giveaway for a 5-star culinary trip to New York, San Francisco or New Orleans! ENTER NOW! Good Luck!

Disclosure: I’m a Swiss Natural Ambassador, and was compensated to write this post.

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  • Yellow Haired Girl
    April 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I do! The multivitamin I take every morning actually has a probiotic in it … so that’s super easy. But I eat enough yogurt for a family of 6, so I think I’d be good either way 🙂

    • Janice
      April 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      That’s a heck of a lot of yogurt 🙂 we’re a family of only 5 and we eat 24 individual sized containers a week! You have one healthy gut – great job!!

  • Kodjo
    April 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Probiotics are indeed extremely important. It still shocks me many people don’t know what they are! Get your knowledge on, people!

    • Janice
      April 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      I gotta admit that until this campaign I had no idea that probiotics could be taken as a supplement and that they were so beneficial – I am officially converted.

      • Kodjo
        April 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Absolutely! 🙂

  • Paul
    April 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I have a friend who has to take antibiotics a few times every year due to health problems. Antibiotics can really mess up the digestive system, and she swears that probiotic supplements help get her back on track quicker.

  • Nicole Rivera
    April 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    in Nov 2008 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is now in remission, so I’ve always had a tender tummy, but in April 2009 I got antibiotic associated colitis.

    This was, by far, the worst I have ever felt in my life. Essentially, due to an antibiotic I took for a sinus infection, my system was overrun by the bad bacteria – those I commonly refer to as my “tummy gremlins”. I was not taking a proviotic at the time. I hate yogurt, so I thought that was my only option!

    After my month long battle with the colitis, which included probiotic supplements I have sworn by them. I take one pill per day and if I am taking an antibiotic, I take it three times a day. I carry them around in my pocketbook and tell people about them all of them time.

    A number of people in my family have come back to me saying how much better they feel now that they take them too!

    I have even gone so far as to sharing them with my dogs! My beagle, Buffy, was having the worst stomach problems (throwing up NIGHTLY) the vet told me to give her over the counter Pepcid. It helped a little. I decided to see what would happen if I gave her a probiotic. I open one capsule and sprinkle it over her food. She’s not throwing up anymore. I think she had the tummy gremlins.

    Here’s how I think about the whole thing and how I explain it to people:
    Tummy gremlins = evil army
    Pepcid, pepto, etc = a fortress to protect your body from the army
    Probiotic = good army
    The only way to defeat the evil army is to get some good guys in there to fight the battle for you! (Also, sugar and processed foods feed only the evil army… That’s something to think about when choosing what to eat next!)

    • Janice
      April 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Wow Nicole! Thanks so much for sharing your story. My FIL has Crohn’s, I wonder if he’s considered taking a probiotic? I’ll suggest it to him.

  • Amanda B.
    April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I should jump on this bandwagon. Great post!

    • Janice
      April 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Yes – your gut will thank you 🙂

  • oma
    April 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Is it also present in fruit flavoured yogurt? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Janice
      April 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Yes, however a supplement (like the Swiss Natural) have multiple strains of probiotics specially adjusted for your (ahem) age 😉

      • oma
        April 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

        Gee thanks for reminding me of my age! NOT!! Love you anyways.

  • oma
    April 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Is it also in fruit flavoured yogurt or just plain yogurt?

  • oma
    April 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Oops only meant to comment once – didn’t think the 1st comment took. Sorry ’bout that! Love you!

    • Janice
      April 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      I love you too 🙂

  • Kris
    April 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Hmmmmm – been thinking about this actually – but haven’t wanted to do any research – ha! Yep… been thinking about it due to my (ahem) digestion 🙂

  • Miz
    April 18, 2012 at 6:02 am

    I TOTALLY MOCKED PROBIOTICS.
    Until I tried them.
    then I got it 🙂

  • Amber K
    April 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I not only take a probiotic supplement but I also add cultured coconut milk to my smoothies. It has probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics don’t seem to get as much buzz, but I still try and get some of those too.

  • Ruth Stewart
    April 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Yeah probiotics are great, I really like to take them when I have had to take antibiotics. Because antibiotics wipe out the good and the bad bacteria, it is really important to make sure your gut has lots of good bacteria in it, so the baddies don’t take over.

    Great post, thanks.

  • kaylie
    April 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I have been taking probiotics since I was 15 and had shingles. It has helped me SO much! I hardly get sick or ever feel run down!

  • Runtothefinish
    April 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I have thought about taking one, but really just haven’t. I’m already doing krill oil, allergy meds and a multi, so I keep thinking that’s plenty of pills 🙂

  • Doug
    April 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    There is also some research indicating that healthy intestinal flora (thank you probiotics) helps reduce allergy symptoms thanks to a maximized immune system

    achoooo

  • Gina Love 17
    March 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I have been taking the Lady Soma Probiotics for about 1 year now and I can’t belive the difference it makes in my digestive health! My OB/GYM reccomended Lady Soma. I have had stomach/instestinal problems my whole life and I have diagnosed with IBS. since taking the probiotics I have seen alot of improvement.