Thank you for your question. Probiotics have been a big buzz word for some time now, and they are indeed very important for good health. There are many factors that determine the need for probiotics and they may vary from person to person.
We have billions of beneficial bacteria which live in our colon and are essential for a healthy digestive tract. They prevent pathogenic (bad) bacteria and yeasts like Candida from getting a foothold and thriving. They also have active metabolic functions such as synthesizing Vitamin K and certain B vitamins, metabolizing bile acids and xenobiotics (foreign chemical substances), and the absorption of short-chain fatty acids to name a few. Dysbiosis occurs when the normal balance of gut bacteria is disturbed by antibiotic use, stress, poor diet, excessive alcohol use etc. Dysbiosis can lead to conditions such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Candida, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease and leaky gut syndrome.
All of these conditions can become very debilitating and cause significant impairment of health.
Should you be taking a probiotic every day? Not necessarily.
Good probiotics contain strains of bacteria which colonize in the gut, meaning that they multiply and thrive in the colon. Taking a course of probiotics for a period of time can rebalance your gut flora. However, we are bombarded by negative influences on our gut bacteria on a daily basis. Antibiotics in meat, regular alcohol use and stress may deplete the beneficial bacteria very quickly.
Modern life-style has caused an increased need for regular probiotic supplementation, and regular courses of probiotic supplementation is essential for maintaining a healthy gut. Choosing the right probiotic can be very daunting as there are hundreds of brands out there. Buy from a reputable company with good credentials and research to back up their products and claims. If you are uncertain consult with a health professional who has knowledge on the subject.
There may be times when certain strains of bacteria are more beneficial for specific types of conditions, and other strains may actually be detrimental. A good Functional Medicine practitioner or Integrative doctor will be able to guide you to choose the correct probiotic for your condition. All the doctors at Health Renewal has extensive knowledge on the subject and will be able to give you excellent advice on choosing the correct probiotic for you.