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What are probiotics?

Probiotics are gut-friendly bacterias or yeasts that exert several health benefits when ingested. We all have both good and bad bacterias in the body. When the harmful bacterias outgrow good ones, the chances of infection rises. While good bacterias or probiotics eliminate toxins and help maintain overall health. The term "probiotic" meaning is "for life".

These live micro-organisms exhibit various health beneficial properties such as preventing bowel diseases, improving the immune system, lactose intolerance and intestinal microbial balance and managing blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Although there are hundreds of different bacteria species, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotic bacterial strains have been observed to benefit the most. 

Curd, yoghurt, kimchi, kefir, natto, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha are examples of some fermented probiotic foods. Due to their health-boosting properties, probiotic supplements are also readily available in the market in syrups, capsules, tablets and powder form. 


Probiotics: Benefits & Uses

Here are some reasons why one must include probiotics in the daily diet.

  1. Bowel health: Probiotics are known to help maintain a healthy gut barrier and intestinal health and prevent the entry of toxins that otherwise can cause inflammation and increased risk of leaky gut and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 
  2. Digestive health: If you experience common indigestion issues like bloating, constipation, gas formation, acidity, etc., frequently, try including a probiotic supplement in your meals to strengthen your digestive system.
  3. Immune health: The majority of our immune cells reside in our gut; hence it is vital to have a healthy gut for the smooth functioning of immune cells. Probiotics promote healthy immune health by exerting an anti-inflammatory effect and suppressing the levels of inflammation-causing cytokines.
  4. Better metabolic health: Probiotics also impact our blood cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Diet rich in probiotics is associated with a better biochemical profile and reduced risk of heart diseases, hypertension and diabetes.
  5. Brain health: There have been increasing evidence showing that probiotics can significantly influence the interaction between the gut and the brain, affect brain function, and modulate behaviour. People who regularly include probiotics in their diet are less likely to suffer from anxiety, stress and depression.


How do probiotics work?

The primary role of probiotics is to sustain a healthy gut balance that is achieved by a number of actions performed by probiotics.

  1. Help in better digestion of food.
  2. Keep a check on detrimental bacterias.
  3. Help keep a solid intestinal barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from entering the blood that we may have consumed through food or drinks.
  4. Support better breakdown and absorption of medicines.


How to choose the right probiotic for you?

One can include probiotics in the diet through probiotic-rich foods or supplements. Before you opt for any probiotic capsules or tablets, these are some points to consider.

  1. It is essential to determine why to opt for probiotics as the effectiveness may be specific to the strain and the condition. Different brands may have distinct doses and uses; hence, it is important to analyze individual body needs and their compatibility with probiotics. 
  2. Opt for a brand with multiple beneficial strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. 
  3. One should preferably opt for probiotics that contain at least 1 million CFUs (Colony Forming Units) per gram, which is the research-based minimum amount needed to exert positive effects on the body.
  4. Always opt for a trusted and certified brand as manufacturing processes, the shelf life, and the formulation type can significantly affect probiotic supplement effectiveness. 
  5. The product must be free from harmful fillers or additives.
  6. If you are allergic to lactose, opt for dairy-free probiotics.


How to use probiotics?

It is advisable to read the pack's dosage and recommended usage instructions as some probiotic manufacturers suggest taking the supplements on an empty stomach. In contrast, others advise taking it with food. However, consistency is more critical than timing; therefore, one should prefer taking a probiotic supplement at the same time each day. 


Where to buy probiotics?

You can shop online at Nutrabay to avail the best probiotics in India. Products sold on Nutrabay are 100% authentic with a guaranteed hassle-free buying online experience, secure online payment options and cash on delivery. 


Which is the best probiotic supplement?

  1. Nutrabay Wellness Pre & Probiotic Digestive Support - 50 Billion CFUs: It contains a potent blend of 50 Billion CFUs of multiple bacterial strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. and a prebiotic - polydextrose. Prebiotic presence promotes the development of good bacteria in the gut and works against foul bacteria. The product is without any harmful additives and fillers. Since these probiotic capsules do not require refrigeration, it is a good option if you often travel and do not need to worry about storing probiotic supplements in the fridge.
  2. Nutrabay Wellness Pre & Probiotic Digestive Support - 25 Billion CFUs: This is the best probiotic supplement in India containing natural probiotics. Each serving of these prebiotic and probiotic capsules includes a blend of 10 probiotic strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium to support immune and digestive health and formulated to deliver a potency of at least 25 billion CFUs. In addition, it is enriched with polydextrose - a prebiotic food for probiotics to keep them alive not only in the container but also after we consume them. 


Is the probiotic supplement safe to use?

Prebiotic and probiotic capsules or drinks are generally considered safe for adults and children. However, if you are on antibiotics or recently underwent surgery, it is advisable to consult your physician before starting the product. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between prebiotic and probiotic?

Probiotics are live microbes or bacteria like Lactobacillus or Streptococcus found in foods and supplements, while prebiotics is fibre on which probiotics feed, resulting in increased growth. Examples of foods rich in prebiotic fibre are oats, berries, bananas, garlic, onion and legumes.


2. Prebiotic vs probiotic: which is better?

Both pre and probiotics act synergistically in the body to help maintain an ideal balance between good and bad gut bacteria and overall vitality. Including them in our diet is essential as both are equally crucial. 


3. Are there any probiotic side effects?

Although probiotics are safe and valuable for our health, some people might experience these symptoms on taking bacteria-based probiotic supplements:

  • Constipation
  • Increased thirst.
  • Bloating.
  • Headache.
  • Trigger allergy or intolerance.


4. What is the ideal probiotic supplement dosage?

Studies support an intake of at least 1-10 billion CFUs of probiotics per day to enjoy the health benefits. However, the dosage might vary from brand to brand. Remember, the key is to take probiotics consistently to maintain the probiotics in your gut. It is not intended to be a quick fix. Discuss options with your doctor before you begin taking a probiotic supplement during any medical condition. 


5. Which is the best time to take probiotics?

The best time to take a probiotic is either first thing in the morning before eating breakfast or before sleeping at night.

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