The Truth Behind the Probiotics Hype

Probiotic SupplementsProbiotics appear to be the latest trendy ingredient to our favorite healthy foods and one of the latest food secrets to beautiful skin.  But how many of you really know what they’re all about?

Probiotics generally refer to the “good” bacteria that help our bodies run smoothly.   They help balance out the bad bacteria naturally present in our systems.  Sometimes these levels of various bacteria can get out of whack and imbalanced.  We’ll experience respiratory issues, skin problems like eczema, digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation, or the effects of yeast cells gone unchecked, like thrush or yeast infections.

The microorganisms that are probiotics are found naturally in foods such as yogurt, miso, and certain soy products.  The trick is not to cancel out any of the benefits of the probiotics by consuming items overwhelmed with sugar, as is the case with many yogurts.  Kefir is a high-probiotic drink that tastes like a lightly thinned sour yogurt.  It can come pre-flavored or you can add it to smoothies to give your body a probiotic boost.  It comes with one caveat, however.  It’s not recommended to let kefir sit on your teeth for too long because it can be damaging.  So consider drinking it through a straw, chewing some sugarfree gum with xylitol, and/or brushing your teeth after having some to minimize the effects.  Probiotic supplements can be found at any health food store.  Look for items labeled acidophilus or acidophilus combo pills that may likely be refrigerated to keep the microorganisms fresh.

Many private women’s health issues can be managed with upping your probiotic intake.  At the first twinge of a yeast infection, start consuming more probiotic foods or take a supplement and it will likely handle the situation completely.  Of course, if it doesn’t, please check with your doctor for advice.  But it can certainly be a preferable and effective first line of defense before going to messy creams or harsh pills.

It’s always a great idea to watch your probiotics when you’re on antibiotic medications.  Antibiotics are great for killing harmful bacterial infections, but they also wipe out the good bacteria at the same time.  To avoid the accompanying side effects of thrush and upset stomachs, stagger in probiotics between antibiotic doses.  It’s best not to take a probiotic supplement within one hour before or after taking antibiotics to avoid essentially canceling each other out.

With or without the hype, being aware of what you put in to your body will have a noticeable effect on your health and your outside beauty.  In general, probiotic supplements can be a great addition to your arsenal of antiaging secrets to beautiful skin

Written by Sarah Ann of Conway, MI – September 2009

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