When I went to my old high school’s career fair, I handed out probiotics. Do you know what probiotics are? I asked that to each student that came up and they didn’t know either. With cold and flu season upon us I thought I would fill you in.
Probiotics are pills that contain bacteria that are good for you, otherwise known as beneficial. Your gut is filled with both good and bad bacteria in a delicate balance to keep you feeling well. When you have a bacterial infection you might be given a course of antibiotics which kill the bad bacteria that are causing the illness, but sometimes they also kill the beneficial bacteria. In this case you will need to re-colonize your gut. Beneficial bacteria can also influence your immune system to help fight infection.
You are ingesting probiotics when you eat yogurt. The bacteria in yogurt is usually Lactobacillus and/or Bifidobacterium. Both of these can also be found in probiotics but at a much higher dose.
I started taking probiotics when I was on a course of antibiotics earlier this year. I also took them at the first onset of a cold and it kicked my cold to the curb in 4 days. Usually my colds last 2 weeks, so this was amazing. I started feeling a cold coming on this week, so I took one probiotic pill Monday morning, another Monday night and again Tuesday night and I’m already feeling so much better.
If you are interested in getting some probiotics you want to make sure you get the kind that are stored in a refrigerator, not off the shelf. They may also be pricey ($12-15) but I feel they are worth the money. I take 1/week when I’m feeling normal and 1/day when I’m under the weather. The kind I take contains Lactobacillus acidophilus at over 20 billion bacteria/pill. This is equal to 10 cups of yogurt. If you have any questions just leave me a comment. Here’s to good health!