What is the truth about probiotics and your gut? True or false

Heather Campbell
 min read

What is the truth about probiotics and your gut? Test your knowledge!

What is the truth about probiotics and your gut? True or falseToday, we hear more and more about probiotics in our health magazines. Indeed, probiotics are the latest trend.

As a general rule, probiotics are living bacteria that can influence your physical and mental well-being. They are found in our daily food, are essential for more than our digestion, are not responsible for weight gain, and must be ingested in the right amounts to be effective.

Read on to find out more about these probiotics before adopting them, we’ll discuss what is true and what these microorganisms do to our bodies.

What is the truth about probiotics and your gut? Introduction

Probiotics are living bacteria that, when consumed in sufficient quantities, can positively influence health.

Good for the intestinal flora, the transit, and the immune system, these bacteria are both popular and mostly unknown to the public.

Adopting a good use of probiotics can lead to a good balance of our digestive flora. These microorganisms can also prevent or cure many ailments.

True or false?

This article will answer a “true or false” question about probiotics.

Probiotics are found in many foods

True.

Indeed, it is possible to naturally find probiotics in our daily diet.

They are found in many kinds of foods but especially in:

  • Yogurt
  • Fermented milk
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Fermented cabbage or sauerkraut
  • Kombucha, etc.

Consuming probiotics has no contraindications and is not useless, but it is more a matter of comfort than of care.

Indeed, when we ingest probiotics, we want them to stay alive to act on the intestinal flora.

If you want to treat a disease, you won’t get better just by eating yogurt.

However, pharmaceutical forms allow for better control of what is consumed and ensure the bacteria are still effective once they reach the colon.

Related post: Diet and gut microbiota: Nutrition that supports a healthy gut

Probiotics are only useful for digestive disorders

False.

Basically, research on probiotics has been conducted in the field of gastroenterology. But later studies were conducted in other areas, such as gynecology and allergology.

Concerning the digestive sphere, probiotics are part of the treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Indeed, they are effective in the case of inflammation occurring in ulcerative colitis.

From a gynecological point of view, probiotics also have interested researchers, specifically on bacterial vaginosis, an infection that corresponds to the imbalance of the vaginal microbiota.

It appears that antibiotic treatment of vaginosis is more effective when combined with probiotics.

The field of action of probiotics is the vast repercussions of the imbalance of our digestive or vaginal flora.

Indeed, this imbalance can be involved locally (at the intestinal or gynecological level) and more widely in allergies, obesity, and behavioral disorders.

The use and consumption of adequate probiotics could restore the lost balance.

All probiotics are equal

False.

There are many strains (sort of subspecies) of probiotics, and they are far from the same.

Everything will depend on the pathology that we are trying to treat. For example, in digestive cancers and functional colopathies, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are the most effective probiotics.

For vaginal bacterial infections, Lactobacillus rhamnosus is best, while for acute gastroenteritis in infants, Saccharomyces boulardii yeast is favored.

Concerning the prevention of recurrence of infectious diarrhea, we will choose the Saccharomyces boulardii bacteria.

These examples show that each probiotic will be effective depending on the disease you wish to treat. However, some strains can sometimes be used in combination with each other.

A health professional must prescribe the right strain of probiotics for the right patient who will know the benefits of this strain on the patient’s body.

Probiotics are only taken orally

False.

Generally, we only know about oral probiotics, but it is also possible to take them vaginally!

In fact, the vaginal route is preferred for certain gynecological disorders because we know exactly what we are administering and where it will end up.

While the oral route, there is a possibility of loss because, even with specially dedicated forms, some millions of bacteria will die during the passage through the stomach and intestine.

Therefore, some kinds of ovules can contain probiotics and help fight against vaginosis, vaginitis, and other vaginal infections.

Another way is fecal transplantation. However, this pathway is still in the research stage and is not yet frequently used. It is studied to fight against Clostridium difficile infections (a bacterium that causes diarrhea).

The goal would be to transplant some of the intestinal microbiota of a donor not contaminated by the bacteria to a contaminated recipient. Consequently, the flora of the first will colonize that of the second and evacuate the bad bacteria.

It is necessary to consume it in large quantities

True.

It is essential to mention that our intestinal microbiota contains billions of bacteria. If we want to affect our intestinal flora, it is not a few hundred yeasts or bacteria that will change the situation.

Indeed, a critical minimum concentration of bacteria is required per capsule for them to have an effect on the organism.

A minimum of 1 to 12 billion bacteria (CFU, colony-forming units) per capsule is required by mouth. Vaginally, it would be between 200 million and 1 billion.

It is possible to put these hundreds of millions of bacteria in a single capsule so there is no need to take 10 per day to obtain a favorable effect.

They are fattening

False.

Some probiotics may affect liver metabolism, but they do not make you fat at all!

When you stop, you no longer have an effect

True and False.

Regarding irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the benefits obtained from the consumption of probiotics disappear as soon as the intake is stopped.

As soon as you find the right strain to relieve symptoms such as pain, diarrhea, or constipation, you should continue to consume it.

But it will depend on the original problem and the imbalance of the flora. The issue is resolved if the balance is restored and the associated symptoms disappear.

Sometimes the imbalance is too great or is caused by an external factor, such as a hormonal factor in the case of a gynecological disorder.

The cause must be addressed, or the imbalance will reappear. In all cases, sufficient treatment times of approximately two to three months are required.

Good to know: This imbalance of the gut flora is also known as gut dysbiosis, read more about it in our other article How to heal gut dysbiosis? Dietary tips for natural healing

What is the truth about probiotics and your gut? Conclusion

Probiotics are microorganisms that help our intestinal microbiota stay healthy.

They are not only recommended in case of digestive disorders but also in case of gynecological ailments.

It is possible to consume them either through foods rich in probiotics, such as dairy products, or in capsules. In the latter case, it is advisable to ask a health professional for the exact dosage.

The truth about probiotics and your gut is that they play an essential role in maintaining the balance of our intestinal flora so they must be a constant in our lives.

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More