Home Digestive Health 6 Most Common Types of Probiotics

6 Most Common Types of Probiotics

Written by Jane Summerfield

Probiotics are aplenty today; they are used all over the world to protect against bad gut bacteria in the gut.

There is much scientific evidence that suggests that food and diseases containing live bad bacteria can be treated and even prevented.

People all over the world consume good bacteria, called probiotics, in the form of fermented foods like yogurt, cheese, kefir, etc.

They kill off the bad bacteria. In Japan and other countries, you get probiotic beverages – it’s big business.

About Probiotics

Probiotics are healthy bacteria. When consumed in the right quantities, they benefit your health.

The gut has good and bad bacteria.

The good bacteria do more than just keep the bad bacteria in check. It multiplies so often that the unhealthy kind doesn’t have space to grow. 

It’s called equilibrium to have a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut 

For instance, if you had food poisoning, probiotics would prove effective in helping against food poisoning.

And if you have developed diarrhea, then probiotics also have the ability to prevent or reduce it.

Often when people take antibiotics for serious illnesses, the balance between good and bad bacteria can become totally out of sync.

Researchers found that when you take probiotics you can effectively reduce 42% of diarrhea caused by the use of antibiotics.

Even though probiotics are aplenty, there are different types, and each one meets a need

 Probiotics are live bacteria that are good bacteria. Good bacteria benefit how the body functions. It’s what keeps the body healthy.

When one hears the word, probiotics, one thinks of gut health. You could say that health starts in the gut.

That’s why it is essential to take good care of the digestive tract – feed it the right foods so that it can function at its best.

Some of the top supplements that do just that for the gut are probiotics and prebiotics supplements.

Did you know that the gut actually accounts for 70% of the body’s immune system? [1]

That’s very good to know when you are trying to boost your overall health and immunity.

By incorporating probiotics and prebiotics in your life, either by eating them or with the aid of supplements, you are going to positively affect the immune system response.  

That’s what huge role probiotics and prebiotics play in the health of your digestive system.

It is hard to believe that in the bowel, there are around 100 trillion microorganisms from over 500 different species.

That’s according to the Harvard Medical School.

Research published by the American College of Gastroenterology indicates that particular species of probiotics may:

  • Aid digestion
  • Prevent diarrhea
  • Ease vaginal infections
  • Prevent autoimmune diseases
  • Ease skin ailments
  • Fend off urinary infections

 Remember, not everyone responds in the same way to the same probiotic. Today, probiotics get plenty of attention.

That’s because they appear in so many marketing campaigns for yogurt. Yogurts often are labeled with the words “live and active cultures” on them.

That’s to let you know or believe that you are getting the real deal of probiotics in your yogurt.

And yogurt is a massive probiotic food [2].

Probiotics can also be found in other fermented dairy products like kefir, cheeses, and some pickled veggies.

Also Read: 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum

6 Types Of Probiotics And Health Benefits

1) Bifidobacterium

 This genus of bacteria you will find commonly used in supplements and foods. Bifidobacteria support the immune system.

The growth of bad bacteria is also limited in the intestine. It helps to break down lactose into nutrients for the body to use.

Can you believe that there are around 30 species of bifidobacteria? – And that bifidobacterium already makes its appearance in the intestinal tract just days after a baby is born?

This is particularly in babies who are breastfed.

Used for…

  • Particularly good for people who suffer from IBS symptoms like pain, discomfort, distension, and bloating.
  • Used to treat bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. It also helps with the condition, pouchitis, which can often develop after surgery for ulcerative colitis.
  • Treats skin conditions in infants known as atopic eczema, yeast infections, flu, colds, breast pain, hepatitis, mumps, Lyme disease, and cancer.

2) Lactobacillus 

Lactobacillus bacteria produce lactic acid.

This helps to control the bad bacteria population. Lactobacillus bacteria are found naturally in the small intestine, mouth, and vagina.

One study from 2016 showed that participants who took lactobacillus supplementation had significant reductions in lactose intolerance symptoms such as vomiting and cramping [3].

Used for…

  • Also used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Research is starting to show that problems with the natural gut microbiota can play a role in the development of IBS. There are studies that show that when lactobacillus is consumed, IBS can improve.
  • Yeast infections: Candida, as it is also known, can cause painful skin and itching. Vaginal yeast infections are common and over-the-counter or prescription remedies can take several days before they work.
  • May be able to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Studies from 2013 show that those with ulcerative colitis who used lactobacillus experienced higher rates of symptom-free periods [4].

3) Saccharomyces boulardii

 This probiotic is a type of fungus. It was once identified as being a unique species of yeast.

Now it is thought that it is a strain of cerevisiae (baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast). 

It is called a “probiotic,” making it a friendly organism. It helps to fight off “bad” organisms that cause disease. 

Used for… 

  • It is used for preventing and treating diarrhea caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in adults and children. It is also used to prevent diarrhea and treat it when it is a result of using antibiotics.
  • It is used for general digestion problems that include IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Lyme disease, and more.
  • Some people use this probiotic for lactose intolerance, urinary tract infections (UTIs), high cholesterol levels, vaginal yeast infections, fever blisters, hives, canker sores, and acne.
  • It helps with the serious intestinal disease that can occur in premature infants (necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC). Research has shown that when infants are given Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth, it can prevent NEC.

4) Streptococcus thermophilus

Streptococcus thermophilus is a type of probiotic bacteria. It belongs to a group of bacteria called lactic acid bacteria, which is found in fermented foods like cheese and yogurt.

These are “friendly” bacteria, living normally in the digestive, genital, and urinary systems without causing disease.

Streptococcus thermophilus is often used to produce fermented dairy foods like yogurt and is also used in dietary supplements.

Used for…

  • This probiotic is taken by mouth, usually. It treats and also prevents constipation, diabetes, and diarrhea, as well as a lot of other conditions.
  • This probiotic strain can even protect against small intestine irritation, reduce gut inflammation, combat antibiotic-induced diarrhea, and prevent chronic gastritis.
  • Studies have established that Streptococcus thermophiles have the ability to “survive its passage through the GI tract, and transiently colonize while ingested.”
  • Questions often swirl around exactly which probiotic would be able to survive the acidic pH of the stomach which is a very inhospitable environment – it is Streptococcus thermophiles that win hands down.
  • It reduces lactose intolerance. So it’s very useful for those who struggle to digest dairy.
  • It also encourages the growth of other probiotics. This is why it is so common as a starter culture for yogurts. Actually, this probiotic works alongside other probiotics, helping them to survive their travel through the gastric region.
  • It helps to eradicate H. Pylori. Eradication rates were higher in those who took the probiotic before their antibiotic course and not after.

5) Enterococcus faecium

 This probiotic is normally found in the intestinal tract of animals and humans. It is a gram-positive lactic acid bacteria.

It belongs to the genus Enterococcus. E. faecium has for a long time been recognized for its probiotic benefits.

It is widely used around the world.

One of the major benefits of this probiotic is that it is very well and uniquely suited to flourish in the gut.

It promotes a balanced gut environment – It competes for resources that harmful organisms would consume and use to flourish.

This is a ‘multitasking’ probiotic and is often found in human probiotic supplements.

Enterococci is an important bacteria, but there are a few types of these bacteria that can cause infections in humans

 That includes Enterococcus faecium. Often these infections can be hard to treat because there are some ordinary doses of antibiotics that won’t be strong enough to treat them.

Every year in the USA, enterococci cause thousands of urinary tract infections, wound infections, etc.

Researchers know that enterococci can survive in many conditions and environments.

Used for…

  • Enterococcus faecium has been studied in detail as a treatment for diarrhea. Its effectiveness has been attributed to the fact that it is a commensal of the intestine. It has a short lag phase as well as a short generation time of only around 20 minutes [5].

6) Leuconostoc

Leuconostoc is often found in the wild.

It’s part of the natural microflora of farming fields. It is found commonly on plants, particularly leafy vegetables, and sugar cane.

But they are also to be found in wine and dairy products, being used in the food industry as starter cultures in the production of food.

Studies show that Leuconostoc spp. is not part of the normal human flora [6].

Used for

  • Leuconostoc has been used extensively in human history for food processing. It has also been used for the ingestion of foods that contain live bacteria, dead bacteria, and metabolites of these microorganisms.

Conclusion

Each and every person has their own unique gut microbiome – it’s the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

So the best probiotic for your guy might be different from the right choice for someone else.

In order for you to get the most benefits out of probiotics, you will need to find the right strain that will be targeted to your specific symptoms.

Researchers are still busy identifying all the probiotic strains out there, and there could be around 8,000 of them!

The probiotics market is showing rapid growth because of their amazing health benefits as well as consumer perception of them.

]The thought behind taking probiotics after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that antibiotics have destroyed.

Probiotics are known to re-boot the system and we have given you six that can make a huge difference to your gut.

 It is important to remember probiotics have different effects on different people. Each comes with its own individual benefits.

You could start off with a natural approach if you want to start adding probiotics to your diet, like taking yogurt – Because literally, the greatest wealth is your health.

 References

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