Probiotic vs multi-probiotic supplements
Throughout our lives, we are conditioned to believe that bacteria is a bad thing, and the presence of bacteria is almost always going to cause issues with our health. After all, antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed drug in hospitals across the world, which says a lot about bacteria in general!
While that’s not necessarily false – there are many bacteria that can cause significant health issues if left untreated for too long – bacteria isn’t all bad. There are tons of bacteria that live in our bodies and our guts that are actually critical to our health, and, when those critical bacteria are out of balance, it can lead to a host of gut and other health issues.
You’ve probably heard of probiotics, whether from your healthcare provider, your favorite social media influencer, or even in the yogurt aisle of the grocery store. But what actually are probiotics and why are they so beneficial to our health?
Probiotics are microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) that live in your gut and help aid in effective digestion. While these “healthy” bacteria already live in our gut, there are a few situations in which the balance of good and bad bacteria is thrown off, and you must rebalance the preexisting probiotics from an external source, like food (yogurt, for example) or supplements. Taking antibiotics is a big cause of this imbalance, which is why doctors often recommend a probiotic supplement for patients taking antibiotics.
There are many specific strains of bacteria that are classified as probiotics, but they all fall into several main categories: Lactobacillus (the most common category) and Bifidobacterium, are the two major ones.
When a probiotic supplement contains multiple strains of probiotics, we call it a multi-probiotic, and these types of supplements can be especially effective at promoting gut health and providing a few other benefits along the way because they introduce several strains that can work in tandem.
How do I know when I need multi-probiotics?
Since probiotics exist naturally in the body already, multi-probiotic supplements are considered generally safe for most individuals, but not everyone needs to take them regularly. There are a few situations where adding a multi-probiotic to your diet may help alleviate any symptoms you’re experiencing or boost your health, including:
- A recent round of antibiotics
- Consistent upset stomach or bloating
- Frequently getting sick
- Irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease
- Unexplained, general health symptoms (fatigue, brain fog, or poo mood)
- For women, vaginal infections (like yeast infections or BV)
If you’re unsure whether you need to start taking a multi-probiotic, contact a healthcare professional (like the team at 10X Health), and they can set up some comprehensive testing to identify the root cause of your gut issues and work with you on a multi-probiotic regimen that will target your specific concerns and goals.
The benefits of multi-probiotics
It’s important to remember that every person’s gut is completely different, so the benefits of multi-probiotics will vary depending on the person, the dose, and the specific bacterial strains included in the supplement. But, there are some common benefits that most people seek out when starting a multi-probiotic.
Multi-probiotics provide the most benefits to gut health and relieving symptoms related to gut issues, like IBS or IBD. Taking a multi-probiotic can also improve digestive function in general, making it easier for your gut to digest food and turn it into necessary nutrients.
Outside of improving gut health, multi-probiotics have been found to improve symptoms of:
- Skin issues
- Seasonal allergies
- Vaginal infections
- Type-2 diabetes or sugar cravings
- High cholesterol
- Mental health conditions (anxiety, depression, etc.)
If you’re struggling with gut health issues or are looking for more effective ways to lose weight, the 10X Health team is well-equipped to help you understand the state of your gut health and provide actionable recommendations to help you on your journey to optimal health. Contact us today!