Probiotics are basically microorganisms that live in your gut, the female vagina, and even on your skin. Probiotics also refers to the same microorganisms found in certain food and dietary supplements. An imbalance in probiotics for any reason can lead to gastrointestinal issues, yeast infections on the skin and personal areas where the skin is extra moist and in the female vagina. In order to prevent the imbalance of probiotics it is recommended that people supplement them into their diet by either live cultures, found in certain foods, or by daily supplemental pills. Probiotics are said to be safe from age one years old and older for both male and females. Caution should be used if a person suffers from certain medical conditions or if a person is taking certain medications. Although probiotics are said to be safe while on antibiotics; it important to note that using live culture probiotics with certain antibiotics can have serious, even fatal consequences. It is always important if you use medication to consult BOTH your doctor and your pharmacist about any and all over the counter medications, supplements, and live culture foods take you are taking or eating. It is equally important to discuss with your pharmacist and your doctor about the total quantity of probiotics that you are supplementing with. Not only does having too little probiotics in your system cause issues, but having too much probiotics in your system can be equally harmful to your kidneys, your liver, and your pancreas.
Antibiotics can not distinguish good bacteria from the bad bacteria, so antibiotics target all bacteria. Your doctor may prescribe probiotics alongside antibiotics to help replace probiotics in your system that are killed off by the antibiotics. It is important to take your probiotics and antibiotics at least two hours apart to get the full benefit of probiotic supplementation. As your body digests the antibiotic(s) your gut becomes unfriendly to bacteria including your probiotics already in your system. Taking your probiotic supplement two hours after your antibiotic(s) helps to replenish the probiotics in your system to replace the ones that were targeted by the antibiotic(s). This consumption process is extremely important if you are using live culture probiotics/ foods as your probiotics supplement.
So just what are live culture foods? Live culture foods are foods which contain active microorganisms. Although these foods contain probiotics they are not necessarily packed with probiotics, as many believe. Another myth that we need to dispense with is that all fermented foods contain live active probiotics. They really do not. The only fermented foods that contain live culture probiotics are yogurt, natto, Kifer, kombucho, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, pickles, and lassi. The fermentation process of these foods allow probiotics like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish in these foods. It is important to note here that eating fermented foods while on certain antibiotics and if you have certain medical conditions can have serious even deadly consequences; due to the tyramine and histamine levels found in these foods. Kifer even has a specific antibiotic warning on their products pertaining to the use of the antibiotic Linezolid with their products.
***This topic is not meant to be an all encompassing article on probiotics, nor does it replace or is it intended to replace medical advice from your licensed medical professional. If you have specific questions regarding yourself or a family member, please seek the advice of a licensed medical professional.***
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