When it comes to the world of probiotics there are many unknowns and complicated phrases that get thrown around. It’s difficult to know what to believe or not so in this blog post we will be looking at 5 of the most popular probiotic facts and myths. Using the information in this guide you will be able to make more informed decisions on what probiotic is a scam or not.
1) Expired Probiotic Supplements Make You Sick
When taking a probiotic capsule supplement, it’s always wise to first check the expiry date on the bottle to make sure you have a genuine supplement from a genuine. If there is no expiry date then that would be a major red flag.
It is however a myth that expired probiotic supplements will make you sick once expired. They do expire but because the ingredient profile in probiotic capsules is mostly just Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria powder this makes it safe.
Once expired, this good bacteria just becomes dead and doesn’t cause any adverse effects. Fermented foods on the other hand will make you sick once expired because of bad bacteria so make sure to not get both probiotic types confused.
If you notice any mold or an unpleasant smell on your Kimchi then definitely throw it in the trash but if you accidentally ate an expired probiotic capsule then don’t panic. It most likely will not affect your digestive system since the probiotic bacteria is dead.
2) Probiotics Will Stop Ketosis
For those on a Keto diet, it’s important to do constant research into what high-carb foods or supplements can kick you out of ketosis. Things like Kimchi are made from Cabbage and if you eat a lot of it then you may have too many carbs for the day but probiotic supplements, on the other hand, are perfect for someone on the keto diet.
If you swallow a powdered Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria probiotic capsule with a glass of water then this won’t kick you out of Ketosis because there are no carbs, sugar or calories. The bacteria will simply pass through your stomach and eventually settle in your intestines. It’s a myth that people on the Keto Diet can’t take probiotic supplements.
3) Higher CFU Counts Are Better
One of the most common mistakes newbies make when choosing a probiotic supplement is looking for a probiotic supplement with the highest CFU or AFU count possible. The CFU stands for colony forming units and is supposed to be a metric to use when checking how strong a probiotic is.
The CFU count isn’t always accurate and can decrease by the time it reaches your house because of things like high heat and the conditions where it was stored. Higher CFU counts do not mean a probiotic supplement is better otherwise they would always be in the hundreds of billions count range. This is a myth.
Instead of going for the highest CFU count possible a better idea is to check what individual strains a supplement has and there read scientific studies for that strain. This will give you a good idea of if the supplement is best for whatever health condition you have.
4) Probiotics Are Made Naturally by the Body
Some people believe that they do not need to take probiotics because their gut will make them naturally by itself. This is a myth and if you eat a western diet daily there is a good chance that your gut won’t be getting the essential probiotic bacteria it needs to function normally.
Before processed became popular and part of a standard American diet, people often ate fermented foods. Today however it’s rare for people to eat foods like Kimchi unless you live in places like South Korea. In Eastern Europe where Kefir milk is often drank. Your body cannot produce probiotic bacteria by itself but you can help it grow existing bacteria by feeding it probiotic fiber.
5) Your Gut and Brain Are Connected
One of the most amazing revelations from studies into probiotics was that the gut is connected to the brain and has a large influence on the way our cognition. It has been shown that in the microbiomes of people suffering from anxiety, they had an imbalance between good / bad bacteria and were lacking important Lactobacillus bacteria.
Because Neurochemicals are sent via the vagus nerve directly to the brain you really are what you eat. Some scientists even claim the gut to work as a second brain and so this is a cool probiotic fact you can share with friends next time you see them. For better cognitive benefits you try adding some Kefir into your morning breakfast.
Closing Probiotic Thoughts
Probiotic bacteria have been well studied in vitro, in animals, humans, and kids the ingredients in probiotic dietary supplements are FDA approved. Taking Probiotic supplements may provide some health benefits over time but for others, nothing may happen.
The stronger a probiotic CFU count is the more likely you are to experience side effects like diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and more. These usually pass after a couple of weeks. You should always talk to your Doctor first if you have any health concerns and never use probiotics as an alternative to prescribed treatments.