Certain probiotic strains even have the ability to produce immunoglobulins and anti-microbial factors to directly support the immune system in fighting bacteria and viruses. “For example, secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA) is an essential component of the body’s immune response. Certain probiotic formulations, such as Omni-Biotic Balance have shown in clinical studies to increase SIgA levels,” she added.
Having the right bacteria and the right amounts of these bacteria in our gut can help make us stronger against stomach bugs. “Certain probiotic strains have the ability to inhibit pathogens or produce antiviral substances and send messages to the immune system to attack these bad bacteria and viruses,” she notes. To be fair, myself and my daughter (who also takes a daily probiotic in the form of Baba West’s brilliant Kidskalm Biotic Sachets 1-12 Years), have touch wood never picked up a stomach bug).
What are the signs you need a probiotic?
Generally, many turn to probiotics when their gut health or immune system has been negatively impacted by illness, food quality, stress and medications such as antibiotics. “Some people like to take them as a part of their recovery regime, whereas others prefer daily use,” shares Rhian Stephenson, founder of Artah.
“It’s really about how you want to feel and what your lifestyle looks like as a whole,» says Rhian. «Often, individuals fine that their immunity and digestion is just better when they’re supporting themselves with probiotics. ” However, make sure to consult a professional about any potential health issues before deciding to take probiotics.
What should I look out for when buying a probiotic?
According to Ara Katz, co-founder and co-CEO of Seed, there are several elements to look out for when choosing a probiotic. «The microbes in a probiotic must be alive, but also in an adequate number when administered», she explains.
Rhian notes that you should also make sure to avoid probiotic supplements that contain bulking agents and sweeteners, as they’ve been shown to have a negative effect on the microbiome.
How often should I take probiotics?
While some probiotic products recommend that you take them with a meal, Ara notes that it may be more beneficial to do so on an empty stomach, ideally 15-45 minutes before a meal, or 2-3 hours after eating one.
“Stomach acid is potentially harmful to [live microorganisms], and as you might expect, having food in your stomach means more stomach acid and bile is released, making it a more challenging environment to pass through,” she says. “However, we also acknowledge that each person is unique, and what’s ideal for probiotic survival may not be ideal for your needs. ”
You should also bear in mind that depending on your body, it may take some time to adjust to probiotics. It’s not uncommon to experience side effects such as feeling bloated, a mildly upset stomach or passing gas. However, if side effects persist, please make sure to speak to a healthcare professional before continuing to take your probiotic supplements.