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What is a Probiotic, anyway?
Posted by Gina on 1/10/2011 to Probiotic

What is a Probiotic, anyway?Lately, it is hard to turn on the TV without hearing about how good probiotics are for you. You might be wondering, though, what is a probiotic, anyway? 

Probiotics consist of several strains of bacteria with highly technical sounding names like lactobacillus acidophilus. The term probiotic is simply the collective name of these bacteria. The opposite of antibiotics, which are intended to kill bacteria whether good or bad, probiotics are commonly known as the “good bacteria” that line the intestinal tract and have been shown to support gut health. On the surface, that may not seem like much, but since scientific research has found 80% of the immune system to be in the GI tract, probiotics can be very useful in maintaining immune health. Not only that, but double-blind trials have shown that they can help with many types of diarrhea, including those related to travel, infections, and antibiotic use, as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It has also been shown to control symptoms of ulcerative colitis. 

Anyone who has tried the yeast-free eating program recommended by the Hotze Health & Wellness Center – or the Hotze Challenge, as one of my friends refers to it – has no doubt heard of this “friendly bacteria.” With a program like this, a prescription or supplement is taken to kill off the yeast, also known as candida, and the probiotic is taken to replace the good bacteria. Therefore, it is often considered a necessity for anyone attempting to clear this “candida overgrowth” from her system. 

However, it isn’t just for the diet. Personally, I swear by my probiotic, as I believe it plays a huge role in keeping my immune system strong and healthy. It is a key supplement in my daily regimen all year long, yeast-free or not. And I’m not alone. Studies have shown that probiotics may even help prevent colds and improve immunity.  

If you have heard of probiotic bacteria, you probably know that it is found in yogurt. However, since most yogurts contain sugar, you may prefer it in supplement form. It can be purchased as a capsule, liquid, tablet, or powder. 

So there you have it – a supplement that may help keep your stomach happy and your body healthy. What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you got started?

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