Ample research on the brain-gut axis and the immense effect that your gut microbiome has on your overall health has been conducted over the last decade. Thanks to the internet and easy access to all this new information, you already know about the importance of having a happy gut and that probiotics have many health benefits for your physical and mental well-being.
Unfortunately, this has also opened up avenues for misinformation. There are plenty of myths surrounding the topic of probiotics—about what they can do, how well they work, and whether or not you should supplement your diet with them. Here are a few of the most common myths about probiotics—de-bunked and de-mystified.
Myth #1: All probiotics are the same.
False. Probiotics are essentially live microorganisms that are beneficial for the functioning and health of your body. There are many different species, and each species consists of genetic subtypes or strains. (1) Two of the most common species of probiotics are Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Specific strains of these species are found in certain foods and are added to probiotic supplements. These strains are identified on the food or supplement label. Generally, Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus are abbreviated as B. and L. and are then followed by the name of the strain. For example, L. acidophilus indicates the acidophilus strain of Lactobacillus bacteria.
Each strain has a different effect on your health. While L. acidophilus is known to aid digestion and boost vaginal health, B. longum serves to efficiently break down carbohydrates and acts as an antioxidant. Some probiotic strains aid weight loss, while a few others help you gain weight.
Myth #2: If your probiotic supplements are not refrigerated, all the bacteria are dead.
Probiotic bacteria are quite fragile. (2) When exposed to air, high temperatures, or moisture, these bacteria can die quickly. Owing to this, most probiotic companies insist that you refrigerate your probiotics. However, this does not ensure the quality of bacteria that you will finally consume. It is quite likely that most of the bacteria are already dead way before the product reaches your home—during transportation or storage.
All is not lost because there are some probiotic supplements that are designed with your convenience in mind. LoveBug’s probiotic supplements do not need to be refrigerated at all, making them travel-friendly and easy to store anywhere you need them. These non-GMO supplements are made without any yeast, gluten, sugar, lactose, soy, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavors.
Myth #3: You cannot take probiotics while on antibiotics.
Not true! In fact, you absolutely should take probiotics if you are on prescription antibiotics. Antibiotics are powerful drugs designed to fight bacterial infections. As such, antibiotics kill bacteria. Unfortunately, they kill all kinds of bacteria, which means that while the harmful bacteria in your body are targeted, the good bacteria also suffer an untimely death.
This is one of the main reasons why diarrhea and stomach aches are a couple of the most common side effects of antibiotics. This is where probiotics can step in to help. Taking probiotic supplements can help balance the effect of antibiotics on your good gut bacteria. Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been seen to be especially effective at battling diarrhea caused by antibiotic consumption. Here’s the Skinny, Colds SUCK, Labor of Love, Little Ones, and all our Tiny Tummies infant supplements have this thoroughly researched, beneficial strain in them.
Myth #4: You only need probiotics if you have digestive issues.
Probiotics are definitely great for those with a troubled digestive system. Streptococcus thermophilus, for example, works to decrease the symptoms and occurrence of digestive issues including leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diarrhea and is a good strain for those with lactose intolerance as it helps with dairy digestion.
But quality probiotic supplements offer a whole host of other benefits, too. Your gut microbiome is part of the gut-brain axis. Probiotics have the unique ability to interact with your brain, which is why your gut is known as the second brain of your body. Research shows that probiotics support your immune system, weight loss, combat acne and other skin conditions, and even help your mood and mental clarity. It is likely that the use of probiotics may have many more benefits as research on many strains is still underway.
So, if you want to take probiotics only to support your digestive health, feel free to do so. But remember, that probiotics actually support your overall health in a variety of other ways, too.
Myth #5: You should not take probiotics while pregnant.
False. In fact, taking probiotics while you are pregnant is highly recommended, as they can help an expectant mother handle common pregnancy-related issues like constipation, boost immunity, and help you pass on a robust gut microbiota to your baby. Research shows babies are first exposed to their mother’s microbiome in the placenta. During vaginal birth, the baby picks up healthier colonizing bacteria from the birth canal. Babies born via C-sections miss out on these beneficial colonizers.
Some strains of probiotics like B. infantis are particularly effective when it comes to meeting the health needs of expectant mothers. LoveBug’s Labor of Love probiotics have a specialized blend of eight premium strains that are designed to foster better health in mothers both before and after delivery.
BONUS – Myth #6: High CFUs always indicates better quality.
CFUs (or colony forming units) is a system of measurement to indicate the number of viable (or living) bacteria present within a probiotic product or supplement. Some supplements boast of 100 billion CFUs, but those high numbers don’t mean much if adequate amounts of these beneficial bacteria are unable to survive the journey through your stomach acids to reach the target area (your gut). This is where a good delivery system is key. LoveBug Probiotics have you covered with their patented BIO-tract® technology that releases the live bacteria in a gradual manner and with adequate protection. This gives LoveBug probiotic tablets 15x more survivability than other capsules on the market. This means our digestive health probiotic, Here’s the Skinny, has 10 billion CFUs, but it’s comparable to a 150 billion CFU capsule!
Support Your Health with Probiotics
Probiotics support your quest for sustained good health for the rest of your life. LoveBug Probiotics are specifically designed to meet your needs depending on your goal and stage of life, each supplement with a proprietary blend of carefully selected strains. From expectant mothers and infants to kids, adults, and the elderly, everyone can draw benefits from these high quality, effective supplements.
Now that we’ve debunked these probiotic myths and you know a little bit more about when to take probiotics and what to look for in a supplement, there’s nothing standing in your way of taking advantage of all the beneficial effects that they can have on your gut health and beyond.
- Aureli, Paolo, Lucio Capurso, Anna Maria Castellazzi, Mario Clerici, Marcello Giovannini, Lorenzo Morelli, Andrea Poli, et al. “Probiotics and health: An evidence-based review.” Pharmacological Research 63, no. 5 (2011): 366-376. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2011.02.006.
- Tripathi, M.K. and S.K. Giri. “Probiotic functional foods: Survival of probiotics during processing and storage.” Journal of Functional Foods 9, (2014): 225-241. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2014.04.030.