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Tasty ways to get your probiotics

Written By | Feb 7, 2017

SAN DIEGO, February 7, 2017– Have you ever wondered what probiotics really are? Probiotics are “friendly” microorganisms which are similar to those naturally living in the human body. You can find them in many of the foods we love to eat, from yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup and even dark chocolate according to

(image via wikimedia)

The trillions of friendly bacteria which exist in and on the human body are those bacteria our bodies depend on to help digest our food, produce some vitamins we depend on, maintain the health of our skin, inhibit the growth of bacterial pathogens, and numerous other tasks in the human microbiome. The word “probiotic” is derived from the Latin “pro,” meaning for, and “biota,” meaning life.

Probiotic literally means “for life.”

According to Harvard Health Publications, probiotics are widely found in foods and beverages consumed by Northern Europeans and Japanese.
Consuming foods containing probiotics has historically been less of a priority in the United States, though it is now gaining in popularity.

Foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, fermented cheeses and vegetables are some of the more widely known and consumed foods containing probiotics.

While there is a growing variety of foods that naturally contain probiotics, supplementation might be necessary to ensure the appropriate mix of intestinal flora to provide adequate prevention of certain diseases and boost immune response. They may also help reestablish healthy intestinal flora after a course of antibiotics.

(image via wikimedia)

The American Gastroenterological Association says that probiotics are potentially helpful for addressing some of the following health disorders:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Maintaining oral health
  • Promoting urinary tract health

It is difficult to determine which dosage of probiotics is right to take, but many experts suggest that an average adult take 15-20 billion bacterial cells each day as an aide to hindering specific disease processes, and as a preventive measure for fostering overall good health.

The Healthy Home Economist suggests that a combination of the more popular bacterial strains could be most helpful if contained in a daily supplement:

  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Bifidobacterium strains
  • Lactobacillus strains
  • Streptoccocus thermophilus
  • Lactoccoccus bacteria

When taken for the first time, probiotic supplements may cause temporary symptoms such as bloating or headaches as they replace harmful gut bacteria with health-promoting microorganisms.

Discuss the possible need for including probiotics in a daily healthcare regime with a qualified healthcare professional.

Choosing a probiotic supplement might at first seem daunting. Selecting well-known brands from a Whole Foods Market, General Nutrition Store (GNC), the Vitamin Shoppe, and other reputable dealers will go a long way towards helping you make a good decision.

It may also be advisable to choose a probiotic supplement which requires no refrigeration.

Carefully check expiration dates on any probiotic supplement container. Thoroughly read labels for method of human absorption, while also paying attention to disclosures for known allergens, dosages and the number of microorganisms to be consumed.

Which probiotic supplements are ranked the highest? has ranked their choice for the Top Five probiotics, which were scientifically tested for quality and value.

Highest Quality (“A” Ranking):

  • Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care
  • NOW Foods Probiotic 10
  • Healthy Origins Probiotic
  • Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics
  • Nutrition NOW PB8

Best value:

  • Nutrition NOW PB8
  • TruNature Digestive Probiotic
  • NOW Foods Probiotic 10
  • Healthy Origins Probiotic
  • Jarrow Formulas, Jarro-Dophilus EPS

Eating naturally probiotic-rich foods is always ideal, but may not always be realistic for optimal consumption of helpful microorganisms. Hence, probiotic supplements taken daily via supplements containing billions of bacterial cells could help ensure digestive health.

For building a healthy immune system and for disease prevention, a daily probiotic just might go a long way towards helping achieve such goals.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.