Everyone seems to be talking about ‘good bacteria’ these days. We’ve heard of probiotic foods, beverages and even mattresses (what?!). In the midst of all this, very little makes sense.
In trying to navigate this mess, here are some myths that NEED to be debunked.
Myth no. 1:
All probiotics are equal.
The efficacy of a probiotic depends upon several factors, the number and quality of strains used, the quantity of cfus(colony forming units or viable bacterial cells) and the mode of delivery.
It is important that the probiotic you choose has a variety of high quality strains, over 5 billion cfus and is delivered in a manner that allows the contents to reach the colon (ideally via a capsule). Foods and beverages that claim to be probiotics often fail to have an impact on your gut health due to the fact that they are digested by stomach acid.
Myth no. 2:
You can get dependent on probiotics.
Your gut naturally contains several colonies of good bacteria. Probiotics help to improve the often disbalanced state that exists within. Of all the studies conducted on the topic, there is no evidence stating that long term usage can lead to addiction. Probiotic supplements are perfectly safe to consume when adequately researched and licensed!
Myth no. 3:
Healthy people should not consume probiotics.
Your gut microflora is often referred to as a 2nd brain and its functioning regulates that of various other systems. Just the way we consume multivitamins, a healthy diet or protein supplements, probiotics are important in the maintenance of optimal health.
Myth no. 4:
Probiotics can replace medication.
While supplements can aid in prevention of diseases and frequent infections, they cannot cure them. Individuals suffering major symptoms must consult physicians. Most probiotics do not interfere with medication but when in doubt, it’s always best to ask professionals.