2Types of probiotics
Many types of beneficial bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all give different benefits, but most come from two different groups. Ask your physician about which might best help you. Following are some types of probiotics:
Lactobacillus is the most common probiotic. It is found in yoghurt and many other fermented foods. Different strains of lactobacillus can help treat diarrhoea and may help individuals who are unable to digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Bifidobacterium is present in some dairy products. It may help to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some other gut conditions.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast present in probiotics. It is used to treat diarrhoea and other digestive problems.
Many probiotics also contain mixtures of two or more separate strains of yeast or bacteria. These products may also contain prebiotics___a compound that the probiotics can feed on. A formula which contains both prebiotics and probiotics is called a “synbiotic.”
Products most often contain Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus species, although many other species also exist. Different types of strains of the same species of probiotics may act in different ways, as proven by some research.
Some people use probiotics for improving everyday health. While using a probiotic for specific health problems, people should consult a healthcare professional about the best strategy. This is because various clinical trials revealed that different probiotics and their dosages are beneficial for different situations and conditions.
Common strains of probiotics
Probiotic strains are usually the genetic subtypes of species. Each probiotic strain produces a different effect on the body. You can easily see the probiotic strain names on the supplement and food labels, along with the species name. For example, the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species are often abbreviated as L. and B. written with the individual strain name, for example, acidophilus. This provides you with the probiotic L. acidophilus. This is how the name is written on food or supplement labels.
Following are the six most common strains of probiotics that you can easily find on food and supplement labels.
- animalis: This strain is present in Dannon yoghurt’s Activia product. It helps fight food-borne bacteria and aids in digestion. It also boosts your immune system.
- breve: This strain usually lives in the vagina and digestive tract. In these places, it fights off infection-causing yeast or bacteria. It breaks down plant fibre so they can be digested easily. It also ferments sugar, thus helping your body absorb nutrients.
- lactis: It is derived from raw milk. It serves as a starter for
- longum: This strain is present in your gastrointestinal tract. It helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates and can also act as an antioxidant.
- acidophilus: This strain is found in the vagina and the small intestine. It helps fight off vaginal bacteria and also helps in digestion. You can find it in fermented soy products and yoghurt, such as miso.
- reuteri: This strain is found in the mouth and intestine. One study revealed that it degrades the oral bacteria that lead to tooth decay. It’s also thought to be beneficial for the digestive system.