Probiotics: Good Bacteria for Your Digestive Health

You most likely have heard of probiotics. They have, after all, soared in popularity over the last few years. Between 2007 and 2012 alone, the use of probiotics quadrupled among US adults.

But what exactly are probiotics? And how do you know if you could benefit from them?

What are probiotics?

"Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit." 1 In general, probiotics are similar to the beneficial bacteria that live naturally in your digestive tract. When taken daily, probiotics can help support digestive and immune health. You may think of bacteria as something harmful to your body. But it's important to have a balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract, which can be negatively impacted from factors such as diet and travel. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria your body may need to support good digestive health.

Probiotics can be found in some foods, such as yogurt and cheese, as well as dietary supplements. There are numerous probiotic supplements on the market that contain a variety of bacteria. The two most common types of bacteria found in probiotics belong to the groups known as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Phillips'® Colon Health® Probiotic Capsules contain 3 types of good bacteria, from both groups, to help defend against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating.

Benefits of probiotics

As with other types of supplements, scientists are still discovering the full potential of probiotics. However, when taken regularly, it is believed that they help support digestive health by helping maintain the balance of beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Having a natural balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract can help defend against occasional digestive issues. In addition, probiotics play an important role in supporting immune health, since 70% of the body's immune system is found in the digestive tract.

Choosing a probiotic

Now that you have a better understanding of probiotics, there are also important things to consider when selecting one.

  • Probiotics contain different types of bacteria
    The two most common types of bacteria found in probiotics belong to the groups known as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, both of which are in Phillips'® Colon Health®.
  • Expiration dates are preferred over manufactured dates or "best by" dates
    Probiotics are live microorganisms. That means they should be alive when you take them. To make sure you are getting the amount of live bacteria as stated on the package, choose a probiotic that has an expiration date as opposed to a manufactured date or "best by" date.
  • The reputation of the company counts
    It is important to select a probiotic from a trusted, responsible company. Phillips'® has been in the digestive health business for over 140 years, and we stand behind the benefits and safety of our products.

Source: 1.World Health Organization, 2001

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