Types of probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms present in food and manufactured as dietary supplements. Probiotic supplements are widely available in the market for use by the general public without a prescription.
Beneficial bacteria offer the host benefits and are found in the gut, mouth, vagina, urinary tract, skin, and lungs of our body.
Different types of beneficial microorganisms have a beneficial action on different sites of the body. The most common genus of bacteria utilized in the manufacture of supplements is Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Bacillus, and Saccharomyces boulardii or Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
1. Bifidobacterium: Studies show that the Bifidobacterium strains reduced the risk of skin and gut infections. Bifidobacterium species are found in the large intestine of the human body.
2. Lactobacillus: Strains of lactobacillus rhamnosus GG are effective in treating diarrhoea and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. Studies also showed that Lactobacillus strains helped people with IBS improve symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence by restoring microbial functionality and improving mucosal barrier function. Lactobacillus is found in the small intestine of the body.
3. Enterococcus: Non-pathogenic Species of Enterococcus faecium has been found to improve immune cell function, cell proliferation, and elevated fat-burning capacity.
4. Bacillus: Species of Bacillus like Bacillus Clausii improve dysbiosis by improving the group of beneficial bacteria and producing Short Chain Fatty acids. A research study concluded that during supplementation with Protein along with Bacillus Coagulans, the probiotic improved protein absorption thus improving muscle health.
5. Saccharomyces boulardii: Research has prompted the use of Saccharomyces boulardii species to reduce the frequency and duration of diarrhoea and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
6. Saccharomyces cerevisiaie: Available scientific research highlights the role of Saccharomyces cerevisiaei strain in the management of IBS and associated abdominal pain.
Commercially manufactured pharmaceutical supplements are in the form of powders, capsules, and liquids. The pharmaceutical-grade supplements undergo testing and clinical trials and maybe more effective compared to supplements sold over the counter and yogurts on supermarket shelves. Choose a probiotic that uses a combination of strains for increased benefit.
Powders: Powders comparatively have a longer shelf life and can be stored easily. Although, it has to be mixed with food or beverages. The addition of hot food or the mixer blending action leads to heat generation which may reduce the number of viable bacteria as temperature plays an important role.
Capsules and Tablets: Benefits of tablets or capsules can last longer as it takes time to absorb within the body. The shelf-life of capsules and tablets is longer. May not be suitable for people who find it difficult to swallow supplements.
Liquids: Liquids are easily digested and absorbed in the body. Liquids are suitable for all ages including the elderly’s and kids who find it difficult for swallowing.