5 Key Benefits of Taking Probiotics <br />and Prebiotics | 1MD

5 Key Benefits of Taking Probiotics
and Prebiotics


Understanding the Power of Probiotics

The name itself is a perfect description: probiotic comes from the Greek words pro, meaning “promoting,” and biotic, meaning “living organism.” That’s actually essential, because that’s exactly what probiotics do. Probiotics come in a variety
of strains, so it’s important to look for products containing at least 10 variations.

Here are 5 simple ways your entire body will benefit from daily use of probiotics:

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Probiotics are healthy bacteria that line the digestive tract. They promote the balance of both good and bad bacteria, and help with the repopulation of the former, which can become lost over time. Research suggests that they may aid in digestion as well as other functions.1

Though you’ve hosted probiotics in your body since birth, it’s important to continue ingesting supplements and fermented foods to help maintain them. A typical rule of thumb is to take at least one billion colony-forming units (CFUs) every day, but if possible, try to look for probiotics that contain between 40-50 billion CFUs or more.2


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The Importance of Adding Prebiotics to Probiotics

Probiotics benefit from the help that prebiotics provide. These added nondigestible carbohydrates act as food
for the probiotics and other good bacteria in your stomach. They provide all of the nutrients that help keep probiotics in optimal condition. This is why it’s crucial
to choose a supplement that includes added prebiotics in its ingredients list.

The Truth About Probiotics in Our Food

  1. Unfortunately, most modern foods no longer contain the beneficial probiotics that our ancestors enjoyed. The use of pesticides, antibiotics, and refrigeration all contribute toward the destruction of probiotics before they even have a chance to work.
  2. Another important fact to note is that while certain food products—most notably yogurt—promise to help regulate your digestive system with probiotics, they may not contain the variety of strains or quantity of prebiotics that a supplement might offer.
  3. A lack of probiotics may create certain effects that spread outside the digestive microbiome. Your gut hosts 80% of your immune cells, which suggests that the quality of stomach bacteria may be connected to the quality of immune system responses.
  4. A high-quality probiotic supplement with multiple strains is absolutely essential to maintaining the recommended daily CFUs your body needs. The sooner you can include a natural probiotic supplement in your daily diet, the better for your health.

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Citations
  1. Medicine Net. http://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/page14.htm
  2. Livestrong.com. http://www.livestrong.com/article/367869-recommended-dosage-for-probiotics/
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. G Vighi,* F Marcucci,‡ L Sensi,‡ G Di Cara,‡ and  F Frati. PMC251535. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

 *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.