Probiotics:What You Need to Know

All the facts you need to know about these good bacteria and what they do.

Illustration of the digestive tract

Your digestive tract is a busy place where different bacteria move through and interact with one another. We may think of bacteria as harmful, but many bacteria are good and may provide benefits for digestive health.

Probiotics are naturally present in fermented foods and in certain dairy products such as yogurt. They can be added to food products and are available as dietary supplements. 1

It can be difficult to understand all the available information on probiotics and why people choose to take them as a supplement, so here are some common questions to help you decide if a probiotic supplement is right for you.

 

Illustration of a properly balanced digestive tract
Illustration of a properly balanced digestive tract

What are Probiotics and What do They do?

Probiotics naturally exist within your body to help keep you healthy. 1, 3 These good bacteria may help digest food, eliminate harmful bacteria cells and help support digestive health.2 Now imagine if you could manually add to your supply of cultures by consuming probiotic supplements. Probiotic supplements increase your supply of good bacteria because these cultures are the same strains of the natural good bacteria found inside your digestive tract.

What are Some Sources of Probiotics?

If you’re a fan of dairy, probiotics may already be part of your regular diet. They’re frequently found in cultured dairy products. Probiotics are also found in fermented foods, which use yeast and bacteria to convert sugars into acids and promote the growth of microbial cultures. Common fermented foods containing probiotics include:1

Coral icon of a bowl of yogurt

Yogurt

Yellow illustration of a block of cheese

Cheeses

Red icon of a jar of fermented kombucha

Kombucha

Blue icon of a bowl of sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

Purple icon of a bowl of miso soup

Miso

Red icon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Green icon of a pickle

Pickle

Orange icon of a bowl of kimchi

Kimchi

There are also probiotic supplements (capsules, powders, liquids and other forms) available.1 Benefiber Prebiotic Fiber + Probiotic Gummies combines prebiotic fiber with probiotics to promote gut health.**

Are There Different Kinds of Probiotics?

Scientists are still discovering new bacteria every day, so there are countless strains of probiotics out there. A common strain is Bacillus coagulans – also referred to as LactoSpore®*. LactoSpore® is known for its ability to survive the harsh acidic conditions of the digestive tract before delivering its benefits in the intestines.3 You can find this strain in Benefiber + Probiotic Gummies, a supplement that helps to add & nourish the good bacteria in your gut.**

Illustration of bacillus coagulans probiotic in a petri dish

Bacillus Coagulans

Illustration of Lactobacillus probiotic in a petri dish

Lactobacillus

Illustration of purple bifidobacterium in a petri dish

Bifidobacterium

Other common strains of probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium – both found in yogurt and other fermented dairy.4 Some studies suggest that these strains may help regular bowel movements, reduce constipation, and potentially ease other digestive issues.5, 6

Green illustration of good bacteria found in Benefiber + Probiotic Gummies

What Happens if I Combine Probiotics With Prebiotic Fiber?

Prebiotic fiber helps probiotics flourish and promotes their growth. Combing these two let’s you get the most out of your probiotics. Benefiber + Probiotic Gummies are an easy way to supplement your diet with both of these. It provides prebiotic fiber in the form of inulin, a non-viscous soluble fiber made from chicory root.7 Inulin can also be found in foods like leeks, asparagus, onions, garlic, oats, and soybeans. Similar to probiotics, the main benefit of prebiotic fiber is to help support digestive health.7

Illustration of Benefiber Prebiotic Fiber + Probiotic Gummies combined with a healthy balanced diet

Are There Side Effects When Taking Probiotic Supplements?

Probiotic supplements are generally safe when used as directed, but you may want to consider some possible side effects. When first taking a probiotic supplement, your gut may not be used to the change in bacteria, which may lead to some unpleasant symptoms like gas, bloating, or diarrhea.8 Additionally, anyone with a food allergy or intolerance should be sure to read the full list of ingredients and check with their healthcare provider.

If you maintain a healthy balanced diet, probiotic supplements may help support your overall gut health. But it’s always helpful to talk to a healthcare provider before deciding if you can benefit from probiotic supplements and which type best fits your digestive needs.

Bike Icon

4. Find reasons to move.

The more you exercise, the more calories you'll burn. Go for a walk, ride a bike or just stand up and stretch as often as possible—every move matters!

Steps Icon

5. And speaking of motion, take the stairs.

If you're in the habit of riding the elevator, take the stairs instead. Even a few short flights will get your heart rate up and blood flowing.

Bottles of Water

6. Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of water and you'll be less likely to reach for unhealthy beverages. Make it easy: Carry a refillable water bottle everywhere you go.

Shiny Apple Icon

7. Opt for apples.

The average apple includes four grams of fiber—and because fiber is filling, this fruit is the perfect healthy snack.8

Nuts Icon

8. Snack on nuts.

Almonds, pecans, and macadamia nuts are all healthy picks, as are Brazil nuts, cashews, and pistachios. A single handful between meals should be enough to stave off hunger.

ZZZ Pillow

9. Get to bed early.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a good night's sleep can help promote cardiovascular health. Aim to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours a night.9

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Benefiber Prebiotic Fiber + Probiotics Gummies
Benefiber Prebiotic Fiber + Probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics in one delicious gummy.

Benefiber®, the expert in prebiotic fiber, now has a product that includes both prebiotic fiber AND probiotics—all in a single gummy. Benefiber® Prebiotic Fiber + Probiotics Gummies have the dual benefit of helping to optimize digestive health by adding to, and nourishing, your existing healthy gut bacteria.*

Learn More

*LactoSpore® is a registered trademark of Sabinsa Corporation

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Use as directed.

Show ReferencesHide References

  1. "U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans." Encyclopedia of School Health 2015-2020 8 (2015): 20. U.S. Department of Health, Dec. 2015. Web. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf.
  2. "Feel Full on Fewer Calories." WebMD. 20 Jan. 2017. Web. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20044318.
  3. "Fiber Up, Slim Down." American Heart Association. Sept. 2014. Web.https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/WeightManagement/LosingWeight/Fiber-Up-Slim-Down_UCM_322704_Article.jsp.
  4. Ma Y, Olendzki BC, Wang J, Persuitte GM, Li W, Fang H, et al. Single-Component Versus Multicomponent Dietary Goals for the Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:248-257. doi: 10.7326/M14-0611.
  5. "High-fiber Foods." Mayo Clinic. 8 Oct. 2015. Web. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948.
  6. Zeratsky, Katherine. "Breakfast: How Does It Help Weight Control?" Mayo Clinic. 18 Feb. 2015. Web.http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/food-and-nutrition/faq-20058449.
  7. Zelman, Kathleen M. "Slow Down, You Eat Too Fast." WebMD. 2004. Web.http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/slow-down-you-eat-too-fast#1.
  8. "Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Apples, Raw, with Skin." United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service, Web. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2122?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=09003&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=.
  9. "Why Is Sleep Important?" National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why.

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