Probiotics Effect Health in Positive Ways But Are There Side Effects?

You are looking to supplement your diet with probiotics but want to check whether there are any side effects first? This is a wise decision as so much of what we consume today has effects on our bodies.

What are probiotics?

Before we answer the question of probiotics side effects, we need to understand what probiotic bacteria is and its role in normal body function. It is with this understanding that we have the context we need to answer the question effectively.

Probiotics are living microorganisms (typically in the form of bacteria) that are similar to those found naturally in the human gut. They are often referred to as “good bacteria” because of the positive role they play in the process of digestion. They can be found in many foods or can be acquired from health shops as a dietary supplement. Many alternative health practitioners recommend probiotics as complementary medicine.

Probiotics are often consumed to treat and prevent certain ailments and to promote good overall health and well being. These include such illnesses as infectious diarrhea, excessive gas, stomach bloating, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease), infections in female body regions, skin infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach and respiratory infections and tooth decay – amongst others.

Probiotics should not be confused with prebiotics (no digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in people’s colons). However, a when probiotics and prebiotics are combined in one’s diet, together, their relationship is complementary.

A quick note on Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used to kill “bad bacteria” but their use does not discriminate so they also kill the “good bacteria”. So many people use probiotics to counteract the negative effect of antibiotics. Essentially they are used to replace probiotics after a course of antibiotics has been completed.

So, what are the side effects?

Historically, people have consumed live microorganisms without too many side effects. There have not been sufficient studies undertaken to comprehensively test probiotics effects on the body. However, they are generally considered to be safe.

Probiotics effects some people adversely and when it happens, it tend to be mild and digestive related e.g. excess gas or bloating). More serious probiotics effects have been identified in a few people. Some experts hypothesize that probiotics could cause infections in people with underlying health conditions. They could also over stimulate the immune system. Overall though, there is little evidence of any significant side effects in most people. If you experience these symptoms after taking a probiotic supplement, we suggest you stop taking them and consult your doctor.

Where to find good quality probiotic supplements

Probiotics can be found naturally in some foods or they can be taken as dietary supplements. There are many places where reviews have been conducted on different probiotics supplements in the market. Check out the links below for more information on this.