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May 12, 2022 4 min read

Knowing that probioticsare live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits to the host, probiotic-basedsupplements are usually used to improve the composition of the gut microbiota,aimed at the improvement of not only the intestinal health, but also that of other organs and systems.

With this in mind, the human being usually goes through certain situations that merit the consumption of probiotics to prevent the imbalance of the gastrointestinal system, the immune system, as well as other related ones.

You suffer from constant gastrointestinal symptoms.

One of the main reasons to start consuming probiotics is to suffer from ongoing gastrointestinal conditions including stomach heaviness, gastroesophageal reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and food intolerances. Any of these symptoms can be a sign that your gut needs an extra boost to get better.

You are or were on antibiotics.

Many infectious pathologies require the use of antibiotics, sometimes for long periods of time. Knowing that these drugs not only affect pathogenic microorganisms, but are also capable of affecting those beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines, the use of antibiotics would produce a sweep of all that healthy intestinal microbiota, which must be recovered by supplementation.

You suffered from food poisoning.

As with the use of antibiotics, having suffered from food poisoning could lead to a sweep of all those beneficial bacteria that inhabit the intestine. The subsequent imbalance could settle for a long period of time, favoring the appearance of related intestinal symptomatology. In this case, repopulating this beneficial population of microorganisms should be considered a priority.

You get sick and feel tired all the time.

Although they may seem unrelated, the truth is that suffering from constant infections, especially colds, and feeling tired and fatigued all the time may be due to the presence of an imbalance at an intestinal level. Studies have proven the connections between the intestinal microbiota and the immune system, which would explain the symptoms that appear in people with poor quality microbiota.

Your emotions are affected.

Due to the close link discovered between the intestinal microbiota and the nervous system, known as the brain-gut axis, the symptoms of emotional distress that some people may suffer from could be due to an imbalance in this microbiota. If it is considered that a great part of serotonin, or the happiness hormone, is produced in the intestine through the microorganisms that live there, having this system affected could be detrimental to the mental development of the individual.

How to choose the right probiotic?

Certainly, the probiotic supplement to choose will depend on multiple factors, including:

The presence of prebiotics and/orpostbiotics in its composition.
The bacterial strains recommended for each case.
The accreditations from relevant health organizations.
The demonstration of the benefits of the supplement for a certain condition.
The concentration and viability of the supplemented microorganisms.

However, to make sure that a probiotic supplement, as with others, is the right one for each case, it will be best to consult with a health professional or an expert in the field, in order to take full advantage of the very good benefits that can be obtained with its consumption.




Scientific references.

(Barrea et al., 2021;Bron et al., 2017;Dinan &Cryan, 2017; Frei et al., 2015; Lee & Dixit, 2020;Markowiak &Śliżewska, 2017;Osadchiy et al., 2019; Terry & Margolis, 2017; Wang et al., 2021; Zhou & Foster, 2015)

Barrea, L., Muscogiuri, G., Frias-Toral, E., Laudisio, D., Pugliese, G., Castellucci, B., Garcia-Velasquez, E., Savastano, S., & Colao, A. (2021).Nutrition and immune system: From the Mediterranean diet to dietary supplementary through the microbiota.Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition,61(18), 3066–3090. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2020.1792826

Bron, P. A.,Kleerebezem, M.,Brummer, R.-J.,Cani, P. D.,Mercenier, A., MacDonald, T. T., Garcia-Ródenas, C. L., & Wells, J. M. (2017). Can probiotics modulate human disease by impacting intestinal barrier function?The British Journal of Nutrition,117(1), 93–107. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114516004037

Dinan, T. G., &Cryan, J. F. (2017). Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis and Mental Health.Psychosomatic Medicine,79(8), 920–926. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000519

Frei, R.,Akdis, M., &O’Mahony, L. (2015). Prebiotics, probiotics,synbiotics, and the immune system: Experimental data and clinical evidence.Current Opinion in Gastroenterology,31(2), 153–158. https://doi.org/10.1097/MOG.0000000000000151

Lee, A. H., & Dixit, V. D. (2020). Dietary Regulation of Immunity.Immunity,53(3), 510–523. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2020.08.013

Markowiak, P., &Śliżewska, K. (2017). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, andSynbiotics on Human Health.Nutrients,9(9), 1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091021

Osadchiy, V., Martin, C. R., & Mayer, E. A. (2019). The Gut–Brain Axis and the Microbiome: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications.Clinical Gastroenterology andHepatology : The Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association,17(2), 322–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2018.10.002

Terry, N., & Margolis, K. G. (2017). Serotonergic Mechanisms Regulating the GI Tract: Experimental Evidence and Therapeutic Relevance.Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology,239, 319–342. https://doi.org/10.1007/164_2016_103

Wang, X., Zhang, P., & Zhang, X. (2021). Probiotics Regulate Gut Microbiota: An Effective Method to Improve Immunity.Molecules,26(19), 6076. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26196076

Zhou, L., & Foster, J. A. (2015).Psychobiotics and the gut–brain axis: In the pursuit of happiness.NeuropsychiatricDisease andTreatment,11, 715–723. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S61997

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