Probiotics are healthy live bacteria that help maintain the balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Another group of probiotics called Bifidobacteria has been found beneficial and helpful with those that suffer from IBS.

It has been suggested that probiotics be used to treat problems in the stomach and intestines. But only certain types of bacteria or yeast (called strains) have been shown to work in the digestive tract.

Many people use probiotics to prevent diarrhea, gas and cramping caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the *good* bacteria along with the bacteria that cause illness or infections. Adding a probiotic to your daily intake can help replace the loss of beneficial bacteria and maintain a healthy digestive system.

If you are not taking a daily probiotic now, when you go looking for one you may become overwhelmed at the amount of different brands and types that are available. They come in all sorts of forms from tablets to capsules to pearls. As always it is a personal choice which form you choose. Through Sacramento Life Force In-Home Health Care’s personal research we’ve found the pearl form probiotics are more effective as the soft gel shell protects the live probiotics from the heat, moisture, air and stomach acid. Because they withstand stomach acid, they release their live probiotics into the intestines where they are needed most. Most probiotics require refrigeration as that are *live*, but pearl form probiotics are bubble packed and can be taken on the go. When looking for the right probiotic Sacramento Life Force suggests looking for one that includes both acidophilus and Bifidobacteria. As always consult your doctor prior to taking any OTC supplements.

Until next time… Chris!

Photo Credit: Bob Blaylock

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