Many people tend to have mixed reactions to probiotics because of a few myths and misconceptions surrounding them.
Today the market is flooded with an endless variety of supplements which can create confusion in consumers.
Probiotics are available in almost every pharmacy and most grocery stores since they have become a popular addition to people’s diets.
However, they are often advertised incorrectly which can result in people receiving incorrect information about them.
1. I Get Enough Probiotics From My Diet
Most people tend to think that certain food items in their diet like yogurt are good sources of probiotics. But this is not always the case.
The bacteria used in the production of yogurt is usually cow bacteria which doesn’t stay in your gut and leaves your body when you excrete.
For yogurt to be classified as probiotic, it must contain clinically tested probiotic strains of live bacteria which are still alive by the expiry date.
Other fermented food items like Sauerkraut and Kombucha are made using live and active bacteria. However, these items usually go through a long shelf life period before they reach consumers and the bacteria will already be dead by then.
If some bacteria do manage to reach your stomach, the acidic environment may prevent them from being fully effective in your body.
For this reason, food items that are considered ‘probiotic’ cannot be trusted to give the same results as probiotic supplements.
2. Probiotics Are Necessary Only If I Am Taking Antibiotics
People who are prescribed antibiotics are usually recommended to pair them with probiotics.
This is because they help prevent conditions like diarrhea, and secondary infections, ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and restore your gut microbiota.
However, the statement that probiotics are only useful if you are taking antibiotics is false.
Several other factors can affect the useful bacteria in your body, some of them being unhealthy eating habits, consumption of alcohol, stress, smoking and certain physical activities.
These lifestyle habits not only affect the bacteria in your gut but the ones in your mouth as well. A lack of helpful bacteria can lead to oral conditions like cavities and plaque buildup.
Taking good quality probiotic supplements can help replenish this bacteria and help improve your dental health.
Their tablets are backed up with clinical research and specially formulated to support the oral microbiome.
3. All Probiotic Supplements Are The Same
This is a very common conception about probiotics which is not true.
Different probiotic supplements will offer different combinations of beneficial bacteria which are strain-specific and disease-specific.
For example, certain probiotic supplements are curated to help treat a certain condition that other probiotic supplements might not be effective in treating.
Some probiotic supplements contain only a single strain of bacteria while others may contain a combination of different strains.
4. Probiotics Should Be Refrigerated
Not all probiotics should be refrigerated.
The manufacturing process will determine whether a certain probiotic product should be refrigerated and if required, it will be specified in the storage instructions.
However, it is recommended to keep all probiotic products in a cool and dry place since many probiotic strains of bacteria cannot tolerate heat.
5. Probiotics Can Help Prevent Colds
There is very little evidence to suggest that probiotics can help in the effective prevention of colds.
Although many people have experienced a reduction in severity and duration of colds while taking probiotics, there are no verified high-quality trials to prove this.
6. Probiotics Which Have More Bacteria Are More Effective
Just because a probiotic product lists a higher number of bacteria compared to other probiotics doesn’t necessarily mean it is more effective.
Certain strains need lower amounts of bacteria to work more effectively.
Probiotic supplements can have several health benefits, but there may be some contraindications. Make sure you research your particular condition to find out which kind of probiotics are best suitable for you. Avoid relying on unverified sources while making a purchase decision.