Though they’re such important products, probiotic supplements still generate a lot of controversy due to misinformation. People believe numerous widespread myths about the beneficial bacteria.
Taking a little bit of time to check the facts, however, will paint a completely different picture.
Are you making your first steps in the world of probiotics? If so, the following list of common myths will shed a lot of light on common questionable beliefs.
#1 Probiotic Supplements Are All The Same
This belief is incredibly wrong. The effectiveness of probiotic supplements depends on two main things – the bacterial strains included in the formula and the colony forming units (CFU) count.
A probiotic that’s good for addressing your specific problem features the bacterial strains that can help you overcome the issue. In addition, the supplement will have a high CFU.
On this basis, some probiotic supplements are much more potent than others. Probiotics America is one such product. The product brings together 15 bacterial strains and it has a CFU count of 30 billion – way above the recommended minimum.
#2 You Don’t Need A Supplement – Enough Probiotics Can Be Obtained From Food
So many people believe that consuming one plain yogurt every single day will give them all of the beneficial bacteria that their body needs to be healthy. Unfortunately, this belief is misguided.
For a start, yogurt isn’t even the best source of probiotics. Foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso soup tend to contain a much more diversified bacterial culture (you can read more about top probiotic foods here).
Another problem, however, arises from the way in which these foods have been manufactured. Thermal processing destroys beneficial bacteria.
Thus, many traditional foods that are known for being a source of probiotics may end up being free from anything beneficial. When opting for commercially-manufactured foods, you’re accepting the risk of having all the beneficial bacteria killed due to heating and pasteurization.
#3 Some Bacteria Are Better Than Others
This isn’t a myth per se, it’s more of a misguided belief.
Some bacteria aren’t better than others. This is so because each strain has its specific purpose and method of functioning.
Some probiotic bacteria combat diarrhea. Others are ideal for overcoming problems like yeast infections. Some bacteria improving the functioning of the urinary tract and keep it clean, others reduce the accumulation of cholesterol plaque in the blood vessels.
Thus, some probiotics aren’t better than others. They’re all different. When buying probiotics, it’s important to go through the label and understand what each of the bacterial types does.
#4 It’s Not A Good Idea To Take Probiotics While Taking Antibiotics
Most people believe in this myth and the explanation is logical. Antibiotics kill all kind of bacteria – both good and bad. Thus, many people believe that taking probiotics while being treated with an antibiotic is a complete waste of money.
Taking probiotics during the treatment is one of the essentials for reducing the side effects linked to an antibiotic treatment. People that take probiotics reduce the serious GI distress that’s often experienced while the antibiotic treatment is taking place.
There are some probiotic supplements that have been especially formulated to be taken with an antibiotic. You may want to talk to your doctor about such supplements.
Together, you can choose the best product that will make your treatment more effective and less harsh on the stomach.
#5 Probiotic Supplements That Have More Strains Of Bacteria Are Better
Bigger is always better, right?
This isn’t necessarily the case in the world of probiotic supplements.
A bigger number of bacterial strains isn’t going to make one type of supplement better for you than another. Choosing the right supplement is all about understanding the functioning of the bacteria and the way in which they’ll affect your body.
Some people see positive results by taking probiotics that contain just a few bacterial strains. This is so because the supplement contains the right types of bacteria that will address the specific problem.
Generally, a bigger number of bacterial strains will be better if you want to improve your overall health. If you’re trying to address a specific health issue, however, you may want to dedicate some time to identifying the right supplement on the basis of probiotic characteristics.