Page 1Group 8Group 7Group 7
Beauty Style Fitness Wellness Living #RealTalk #AgingGracefully
Stay up to date

Get on the List

Unlock our weekly newsletter packed with tips on living authentically, healthfully, and stylishly at every age.Get on the List: The best beauty, fashion, wellness and fitness tips straight to your inbox

Probiotics: Yay or Nay?

The word “probiotic” used to be reserved for offbeat health food shops and alternative holistic practitioners. Now you can barely walk down a supermarket aisle without seeing the term plastered on everything from yogurts to cereals.

On the surface, probiotics might seem like a strange trend. After all, probiotics are straight-up bacteria. No need to down a bottle of disinfectant, though: These are the kinds of bugs you want in your system. Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that colonize our gastrointestinal tract and create a healthy gut.

The Case for Yay

You know what they say: happy gut, happy life! OK, maybe that’s not the saying, but gut health is a cornerstone of overall health and happiness.

Although probiotics are responsible for healthy digestion and the prevention of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), they aren’t just about moving food through your system. Everything from brain health to immune system vitality is strongly impacted by the health of your gut. People have reported probiotics helping with eczema, preventing allergies and colds, and boosting mood — which makes sense, since, 90 percent of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin lives in the gut. Decades of processed food, alcohol, and sugar can wreak havoc on your gut, so it’s important to help replenish your good bacteria by supplementing daily.

The Case for Nay

Here’s the thing. Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which don’t require FDA approval before they hit the shelves. Since FDA regulation of probiotics is so lax, the word “probiotic” can be exploited by marketing managers looking to make a pretty penny off the trend. Just because something says you’re getting probiotics doesn’t mean you’re getting enough strains — or enough of the important strains — to make a difference.

Jury Says

Probiotics are definitely a yay, but the supplements you choose will make all the difference. We’re all for probiotics — if they’re the real deal. Make sure you read labels, looking for at least L. acidophilus, B. longum, or B. bifidum srains in particular. In addition, probiotics are delicate. If you’re buying a supplement in capsule or liquid form, read the label to find out how to properly store your probiotics (dead cells won’t do anything for your bod).

Photo: Ana Maria Tegzes

You Might Also Like

Nutritional Spotlight: Chlorella
Wellness

Nutritional Spotlight: Chlorella

Yet another superfood has emerged to abet our health and longevity. Chlorella,...

read
Can You Really Change Your Life in 40 Days? 
Wellness

Can You Really Change Your Life in 40 Days? 

Several months ago, a friend mentioned that she was doing a 40-day...

read
The Best Wellness Book We’ve Ever Read
Wellness

The Best Wellness Book We’ve Ever Read

Enamored is the word that came to mind when I first read...

read
Jacqueline King Schiller Wants You to Eat More Fish
Wellness

Jacqueline King Schiller Wants You to Eat More Fish

Every summer I look forward to the barbecue season, but this year,...

read
Eat This Now: Island-Style Fish With Pickled Vegetables
Wellness

Eat This Now: Island-Style Fish With Pickled Vegetables

Food blogger Jacqueline King Schiller just released a cookbook with her friend...

read
Is It Normal… to Suddenly Start Skipping Periods?
Wellness

Is It Normal… to Suddenly Start Skipping Periods?

Have you ever wished Judy Blume would write a sequel to Are...

read
Load More
share
To Top