The pros and cons of probiotic supplements usage

The pros and cons of probiotic supplements usage

Probiotic supplements are still under hot debate

However hot the debate may be, there is one thing that cannot possibly change and that is the fact that, in the case of probiotics usage, the benefits clearly outweigh the downsides. So why is there so much fuss about the topic? Well, it is because, just like any other naturalistic approach, it is bound to raise some eyebrows, regardless of the efficiency and the safety of the method.

It is how people work, whenever something new and apparently revolutionary is being released on the market. However, probiotic supplements are neither new nor that revolutionary. The affections they are meant to treat are usually linked to the digestive system, but that is not always the case.

It is all reduced to the balance between the good and the bad bacteria and what people usually fail to understand is that our immune system strongly depends on our gut bacteria in order to perform at high peaks. Over 70% of our immune system is located in the digestive tract, which goes to say that it plays a major role in defining its state.

In the most cases, whenever there is a problem with the immune system, you first check the digestive tract and whether you have any bacterial imbalance that is causing all of the problems. Only after you have established that there is no problem in that regard, may you proceed in looking for other causes.

Now, regarding the probiotic supplements, why is there such a vicious debate on the topic?

Probiotic supplements versus natural probiotic sources

By natural, we mean those acquired from food. In essence, there is no need to use probiotic supplements in an imperative way. If you lack the money or simply the trust to resource to them, you can simply choose to get your fill on good bacteria from different food sources. For instance, pickles and yogurts.

However, the debate is not as easy as you may think. Good bacteria coming from regular food sources are hard to come by, despite what the actual claims are. Yogurt manufacturers have flooded the market with those so-called probiotic sources, aiming to restore your intestinal flora, but things are not quite as sparkling as they intend to make them appear.

There is a difference between the bacterial content in food and that present in probiotic supplements. First of all, the level of bacteria is significantly lower in ailments and the strains are not so diverse either. Then there is the second problem, which involves the state of the bacterial mass. If the bacteria are not alive when entering the body, then it is mostly of no use. And, as you may have guessed, only probiotic supplements contain live bacteria or at least a lot more than the regular food sources.

So why is there even a debate on the subject, you might ask? The problem with probiotic supplements is that they are not always necessary, as the body can cope with bacterial refill from its food and it does not need the plus coming from professional products.

Even more, it is not a wise move to exaggerate with the consumption of probiotic supplements, because they may end up having the opposite result. The keyword is balanced and it is easier to lose it while consuming probiotic supplements than eating your daily food.

Of course, that could be easily avoided, simply by having a measure to relate to, which is not something you can find in all people, hence the unnecessary debate.

Do probiotic supplements work the same for everyone?

Here is the catch. They do not. Aside from the fact that some skeptics claim that probiotics cannot even live in the acidity of the digestive system and that they vanish immediately after entering, a claim which has been refuted a while ago, there is another claim stating that there are differences in how probiotics affect us.

And that one is true. First of all, you should know that the probiotic supplements only manifest results among those who have various digestive problems. They have no effect on healthy individuals unless they tend to consume a lot, which will have the opposite reaction. Then there is the fact that they have different effects, depending on each organism in particular.

Although not varying that much, there are differences between each organism and the way it responds to external factors, including probiotics. And the differences do not stop here. Not only that probiotics behave different on different people, but the strains contained within them are also important.

A case for probiotic supplements

We will not go over the differences between the supplements and food sourced probiotics, because we have already done that. However, there is an interesting finding you need to know about, adding up to the equation. It turns out that probiotics coming from food sources can be contaminated with debilitating agents that can either render them useless or make them vulnerable to the acidic environment of the digestive system.

Unlike those, the probiotic supplements only contain hardened strains, highly adaptable and resilient, which will have no problem thriving in the hostile environments. It is what completes the case once and for all, proving that these professional products are far better than any other natural source.

As a final word, feel free to use probiotics whenever your body needs them, but do not consider them as a panacea, because they are not. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) rates them as belonging to the food category, not drugs. Which is another way of saying they are not meant to cure or prevent anything? But neither are bananas, yet you cannot deny their positive impact on one’s life.