Kristi Lopez

By

College: Pharmacy

Understanding Probiotics and Who May Benefit from Taking Them

Published: Apr 7, 2014

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2014) -- From yogurts to powders and capsules, probiotic supplements have become an increasingly popular product advertised to boost your immune system and improve digestive health. But with all supplements and over-the-counter products, caution and care should be taken before adding probiotics to your daily routine.

 

Probiotics are living microscopic organisms or bacteria, found naturally in the human body. Probiotic supplements are made to be similar to the microorganisms that are referred to as the “good bacteria"  found in the gut.

 

Although more strong scientific evidence to support specific uses of probiotics for most conditions is still needed, some studies suggest that probiotics may be helpful in:

·         boosting your immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies to certain vaccines;

·         producing substances that prevent infection and control inflammation;

·         preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut lining and growing;

·         and aid in strengthening the mucus in your intestine and help it act as a barrier against infection.

 

Some of the most common digestive issues where probiotics may be beneficial include:

 

·         Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)  -- Bifidobacterium infantis, Sacchromyces boulardii, Lactobacillus plantarum and combination probiotics may help regulate how often people with IBS have bowel movements and may help relieve bloating from gas.

 

·         Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - Some studies suggest that probiotics may help reduce inflammation and delay the next bout of disease.  E. coli Nissle, and a mixture of several strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus may be most beneficial.

 

·         Infectious diarrhea -- Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus may help shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea. 

 

·         Antibiotic–related diarrhea such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff )- There is evidence that taking probiotics when you first start taking an antibiotic may help prevent antibiotic –related diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus may also help treat C. diff and prevent it from reoccurring.

 

Other potential uses for probiotics include maintaining a healthy mouth, preventing and treating certain skin conditions like eczema.

 

Although probiotics appear safe for most people, you should talk to your physician before adding them to your diet and make sure your pharmacist is aware that you are taking them if you take other prescribed or over-the-counter medications. Studies suggest that probiotics usually have few side effects. However, data on safety, particularly long-term safety, are limited, and the risk of serious side effects may be greater in people who have underlying health conditions.

 

In addition, probiotics are considered dietary supplements and therefore the health benefits claimed by manufacturers of probiotics are not FDA regulated or FDA approved. This means they are not standardized, and are made in different ways by different companies with different additives and reading the label is very important.   

 

Aimee Adams, Pharm.D., is a UK HealthCare clinical pharmacist

 

This column appeared in the April 6, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

adams_aimee__1.jpg
September
 
 
 
 
1
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
LGBTQ* and Friends Employee Picnic
Thu
2
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Fri
3
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sat
4
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
5
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
6
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Tue
7
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
UK Women's Club Volleyball - Open Gym
From The Streets to The Stage With Monti Washington
Wed
8
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
#IAMACCEPTANCE Let's Talk Mental Health with Hakeem Rahim
Thu
9
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
2016 New Chinese Students Welcome Party
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training
Fri
10
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
11
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Whipping In The Kitchen
Sun
12
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
13
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UKWC Welcome Coffee
Tue
14
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Greek Park Pictures
Wed
15
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Thu
16
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
A Day of Rising Strong
Fri
17
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
18
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sun
19
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
20
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Cuban Heritage Festival
Tue
21
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 50% Refund
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Wed
22
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
TGIT with SAB
Thu
23
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Fri
24
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
25
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Sun
26
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Let's Talk!
Empower: People of Color Support Group
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Mon
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UK Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair
Banned Books--A short history
Tue
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Cats Got The Vote
Business Internship & Career Fair
Women In Technology Gala event for UK undergraduate women
NSE (National Student Exchange) Information Session
Wed
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Yoga at Commonwealth Stadium
Thu
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Indonesia Focus Conference
Indonesia Focus Conference
Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture
Fri
 
Sep 29
Let's Talk! 09/29/2016

Thu, 09/29/2016

Repeats every 7 days until Tue Dec 20 2016 .
Mon, 10/03/2016

Reset Page