Physicians have frequently recommended Probiotics in the past when patients took an antibiotic and struggled with side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, or yeast infections. It seems more recently though, probiotics have become the “It” supplement. I’ve seen probiotics added to protein bars, chocolate bars, juice, and even breakfast burritos. Unfortunately, the amounts found in these products are likely not enough to make much of a difference in your health.
As a dietitian, I frequently recommend that clients take a probiotic to support their gut health, immune health, and to reduce cravings. Sure, you can pick one up at your local grocery store or big box mart, but how do you know if what you are getting is doing you any good? There are few things to take notice of when purchasing a probiotic. First, how many live organisms are in 1 capsule. You can typically find this on the front of the label, but sometimes it’s on the back. More isn’t always better, but I typically recommend people look for a supplement with 20-50 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units). Next, check out what kinds of bacteria are used. I always recommend choosing a probiotic with bifidobacterium and acidophilus. These are two of the most prevalent bacteria found in the body, and each works differently. Finally, if your probiotic is not considered pharmaceutical grade, meaning only health care practitioners (doctors, chiropractors, dietitians) can sell them, check to see that your product is 3rd party tested. This helps guarantee that what you think you are purchasing is what you actually get.
Ortho Biotic Supplements
There are two probiotics by Orthomolecular that I frequently recommend to clients. The first is Ortho-Biotic. This 20 billion CFU probiotic is great for people who just want to keep their gut healthy and their immune system working well. It has a nice blend of 6 different bacteria and an additional 2 billion CFUs of Saccharomyces boulardii, a type of beneficial yeast. Yes, we have both yeast and bacteria in our bodies, and we need both of them in balance to keep us healthy. Many clients find that taking this supplement daily helps keep their bowels regular and over time reduces their chances of catching every cold that goes around the office.
The second supplement is Ortho-Biotic 100, and as its name implies it contains 100 billion CFUs. It also has a similar blend of 6 different bacteria, but no Saccharomyces. Being that it is a much higher dose of bacteria, I typically recommend this product for people who dislike taking supplements daily, and only want to take something 1-2x week. It can also work well when taken daily for people with chronic constipation, or who have recently taken an antibiotic and are struggling with diarrhea, heartburn, yeast overgrowth, or constipation as a side effect.
To purchase either of these products stop into the Odom Health and Wellness, Minnetonka location. If you have questions about your gut health, consider setting up an appointment with the Odom dietitian by calling the office at 952-224-1919.