Can Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?

Drinking enough water is essential for our survival. But can drinking a lot of water help you lose weight?

You’ve probably heard a lot about the additional benefits of drinking water, including that it may help flush toxins from the body. There are also a lot of studies that show if you drink more water, you might be able to drop a few pounds.

While this may be true, you shouldn’t rely on increasing your water intake alone to meet your weight loss goals. Read on to learn how water can support weight loss.

Staying Hydrated While On A Diet: Can You Bust Fat And Lose Weight By Drinking More Water?

Research indicates that drinking water could have an effect on your metabolism, potentially helping you burn calories.1

Studies show that within about 10 minutes of water consumption, your metabolic rate speeds up.

If you drink water regularly, starting on a water regimen could help you lose up to 30 percent more calories than if you don’t.2

does drinking a lot of water help you lose weight | Probiotic AmericaOne study looked at overweight women who increased their daily water intake by about 34 ounces (one liter) per day for one year.

According to the results, the women lost an average of 4.4 pounds. Participants made no other changes to their lifestyle. They simply drank more water.

Water And Weight: Does Drinking A Lot Of Water Help Curb Your Appetite?

You may already know that fiber in many of the fruits and vegetables in your diet can help you feel full. As a result, you won’t be as likely to overeat during a meal.3

It appears drinking plenty of water could have a similar effect.
Studies show that middle-aged and older people have a better chance of losing weight by drinking a substantial amount of water before each meal they eat. In one study, obese participants lost 44 percent more weight than those who didn’t drink water before each meal.4

Avoid Extra Calories In Drinks Like Soda, Juice, And Other Sweet Beverages

does drinking a lot of water help you lose weight | Probiotic AmericaIt can be really hard to start drinking water if you’re used to sugary drinks or sweetened beverages that are loaded with caffeine.

But sodas aren’t a healthy part of any diet.

Drinking water instead of soda reduces your intake of calories dramatically.

Of course, you still need to follow a low-calorie diet, exercise, and avoid alcohol to be at your healthiest. But substituting water for sugary drinks could help reduce your calorie intake by nearly 10 percent and improve your overall health.5

Daily Water Intake: Are You Drinking Enough Water Every Day?

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, increasing your daily water intake will help you stay hydrated. Proper hydration is important, because if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll run the risk of developing a lot of health issues. Even mild dehydration can lead to problems.6

But how much water should you drink each day?

does drinking a lot of water help you lose weight | Probiotic America

There is no set answer that applies to everyone. The amount of water you need, whether for staying hydrated or avoiding some extra calories can depend.7

If, for instance, you’re very active, you will probably need more water than those who lead a mainly sedentary lifestyle. This is because you are likely losing more water due to sweat and activity.

If you’re an older person, you’ll have to pay closer attention to your water intake than most other people.8

Talk to your doctor about how much water you should be consuming to optimize your health. They can also answer any questions you may have about the impact drinking water may have on weight loss.

Seek Medical Advice To Help Answer Key Questions

What kind of water is best for losing weight? Should you drink distilled water, bottled water, or will plain tap water do the trick?

does drinking a lot of water help you lose weight | Probiotic AmericaIf you do lose weight by drinking water, what do you need to do to keep it off? Will you run the risk of developing water retention if you drink too many liters of water a day?

What if you drank a glass of water 10 times a day? Would that be healthy?

Your doctor will be the best source for answers to these and any other questions you may have about increasing your water intake. Never make any changes to your diet, or make drastic changes in how much water you drink, without first talking to a medical professional.

Learn More:
Colon Cleanse: How Do They Work And Are They Helpful?
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Sauerkraut (And a DIY Recipe!)
9 Easy Solutions to Get Rid of Constipation

Sources
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787524
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14671205
3 https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/021115p14.shtml
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20796216
6 https://www.emedicinehealth.com/dehydration_in_adults/article_em.htm
7 https://www.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/ajpregu.00365.2002
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9039003

Should You Take Probiotics On An Empty Stomach?

Can you take probiotics on an empty stomach? Evidence tends to suggest you shouldn’t. But there are thousands of probiotics products out there.

Whether you take a probiotic in capsule or powder form, the different usage directions can be confusing.

Let’s take a closer look at how the beneficial bacteria in probiotics work and what may happen when they are taken on an empty stomach.

Beneficial Bacteria: What Are Probiotics And Prebiotics?

You’ve probably heard about the beneficial effects of probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria and other microbes that are meant to support gut health.

probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic AmericaThe gut is made up of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract. These include the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. The gut is also filled with digestive enzymes, which help break down the food you eat.

This area is home to trillions of bacteria, many of which can harm digestive health. Probiotics are GOOD bacteria that can help offset the negative effects of bad bacteria. You’ll find them in supplement form, but there are also many probiotic foods, as you’ll learn later.

Probiotics On Empty Stomach: How Stomach Acid Can Affect Good Bacteria

In addition to bacteria and other microbes, your stomach contains acid. The pH level of stomach acid can vary a great deal. It can sometimes have a pH of 1 or 2, which is very acidic. After a meal, it can get down to that level before quickly moving up to 3 or 4. After digestion, the pH will typically go back to the 4 or 5 level.2

The reason stomach acid is important when it comes to probiotics is that a low pH level can make it hard for probiotic bacteria to do their work.

Many types of bacteria simply can’t survive in that type of acidic environment, even if they come in capsule form with a protective enteric coating.

CFU Probiotics | probiotic America

Certain probiotic strains start to break down when stomach acid is at a pH level of 3. Not all probiotic strains are built alike, however. One strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, has been shown to be resistant to a pH of as low as 2.5.3

Researchers conducting a study tested the resistance of four probiotic strains – Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Bifidobacterium longum – to stomach acid.

They found that the bacteria had a better chance of survival when ingested with a meal. The bacteria also fared well when ingested shortly before a meal.4

Types Of Probiotics: Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Saccharomyces Boulardii, And More

There are a lot of different types of probiotic products, as you learned earlier. The different types of probiotic strains are just as numerous.

Here’s a brief look at some of the most important strains of probiotics.

probiotics on empty stomach | Probiotic AmericaSaccharomyces boulardii – This is actually a type of yeast that can help support normal bowel movements.5
Lactobacillus helveticus – This strain has been shown to help support healthy blood pressure levels.9
Lactobacillus rhamnosus – This is a strain you’ll find in a lot of probiotic products. This important member of the Lactobacillus family helps support digestive health.6
Bifidobacterium – This family of bacteria has several different members, including the powerful bifidobacterium lactis strain. These bacteria may help with bloating and other digestive issues.7

Diet And Probiotics: Fermented Foods And Other Probiotic Foods

The benefits of probiotics are well documented. They’re designed to help support your health and well-being.

If you want to increase your supply of probiotics through food, great sources include sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha (a fermented tea).8

It’s likely that you won’t consume enough of these good bacteria through food alone. If you’re looking to get more probiotics into your diet ask your doctor if taking a supplement is right for you.

probiotic foods | Probiotic America

Learn More:
Cheese Can Improve Gut Health! (find out which types to eat)
How Much Protein Should You Be Eating?
Finding the Best Probiotic Yogurt for Digestion and Gut Health

Sources
1 https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/how-might-probiotics-improve-health
2 https://www.thoughtco.com/ph-of-the-stomach-608195
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1151822/
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22146689
5 http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/science-probiotics
6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4155824/
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3864899/
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23842110

Finding the Best Probiotic Yogurt for Digestion and Gut Health

Are you looking for the best probiotic yogurt out there? Well, it’s smart to do some research on probiotic yogurt – because all yogurt is not created equal.

Let’s take a look at what to look for when shopping for probiotic yogurt, and the benefits of probiotics for your digestive health in general.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotic bacteria are “friendly bacteria” which help to provide certain health benefits when consumed by a host – that host being you.

probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic America

These gut health benefits, researched in-depth across many studies, are accepted by the international medical community and the World Health Organization.1

So, what are these health benefits? Well, the main one involves gut health. Probiotics help boost the good bacteria in your gut, so they outnumber the bad bacteria. This helps to ensure a healthy digestive system.

A Healthy Gut – A Healthy Body

Now, here’s where things get really interesting. Research suggests that body health may actually begin in the gut.2 This means that having healthy gut flora is more important than ever, as it may be affecting a myriad of other health issues.

Good Bacteria: Probiotics Found in Yogurt

Regular yogurt, made from dairy or non-dairy milk, is considered a high protein probiotic food. To be a probiotic food, a food must be fermented in some way – in order to bring forth the friendly bacteria.

Other probiotic foods include fermented foods like:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir-style drinks
  • Kombucha

probiotic foods | Probiotic America

Now, a good probiotic yogurt contains living, beneficial bacteria. How does it get there?

Here’s the brief story of yogurt…

Fermented Milk And Live Active Cultures: How Is Yogurt Made?

To make modern yogurt, naturally high-protein cow’s milk is heated, pasteurized and homogenized, then allowed to cool.

The milk is then introduced to some key yogurt starter cultures – bacterial strains that are known to be exceptionally good for the gut.

Live probiotic strains of bacteria required for fermentation of yogurt are usually Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus may also be included.

This milk and culture mix is then left to ferment.

Lactic acid then forms, which breaks down the milk’s natural sugar proteins.

best probiotic yogurt | Probiotic America

This is what gives yogurt its tart taste. And lactic acid also creates its own friendly bacteria during this process.

Here’s the bad news for yogurt lovers. If your favorite yogurt is heat-treated after the fermentation process, all those good little bacteria are destroyed. They may be listed as an ingredient, but they are no longer live active cultures.4

So, the best probiotic yogurt brands are those that don’t heat-treat their yogurt after fermentation.

Sugar Alert: Plain Yogurt vs Flavored Yogurt

As long as your yogurt contains live and active cultures, you have yourself a solid probiotic yogurt. Dairy-based yogurt is also high in protein (because cow’s milk is high in protein). Until flavors are added. Then, things get a little dicey.

In order to flavor yogurt, immense amounts of sugar are often added.

Even if the label tells you that it’s “real fruit” or “natural flavor”–it will likely be full of added sugar, too.

best probiotic yogurt | Probiotic AmericaBy comparison, plain Greek yogurt is high in protein, low in sugar, and low on added ingredients.

If you find plain Greek yogurt a little boring, try flavoring it yourself. Add some fresh fruit, a dash of vanilla or almond extract, or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.5

Benefits Of Probiotics: Can A Daily Probiotic Supplement Help Digestive Issues?

Getting probiotics from foods like yogurt is always a solid choice, as you’re also getting the benefits of protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, it’s likely that your yogurt isn’t getting you enough probiotics to fully benefit your health. The good news is live active cultures can also be taken as a daily probiotic supplement.

Probiotic supplements (and their live and active cultures) can benefit everyone.

But especially those who may be struggling with digestive issues and need an extra boost to their gut health. They’re also an option for those who may be intolerant of dairy.6

Now, some probiotic supplements are bulked up with filler ingredients which may include lactose milk sugars. So, always read the label properly before making a supplement choice.

CFU Probiotics | probiotic America

Here are some other great bacterial cultures that you may find in a probiotic supplement:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus – This common probiotic strain may help support normal bowel movements.7
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus – Studies have shown that lactobacillus bulgaricus may help support lactose digestion.8
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum – One of the key friendly bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of newborns, this strain may support gut health and normal digestion.9
  • Saccharomyces boulardii – This probiotic may support normal bowel movements.10

Live And Active Cultures At Work

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the different cultures when it comes to choosing the best probiotic yogurt. Try instead to include multiple probiotic foods in your diet each day and talk to your doctor about taking a probiotic supplement.

Finally, if you’re dairy intolerant, there are also non-dairy alternatives that still contain probiotics.

Learn More:
Probiotic Skincare: A New Frontier in the Pursuit of Youthful Skin
CFU Probiotic Supplements: Does Greater CFU Equal Better Gut Health?
12 Probiotic Foods to Help You Feel Great

Sources
1.https://www.nature.com/articles/nrgastro.2014.66
2.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867412001043
3.https://www.umassmed.edu/nutrition/blog/blog-posts/2019/5/the-10-best-prebiotic-foods-for-ibd/
4.https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/yogurt2.htm
5.https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-flavored-yogurt-good-for-you/
6.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325291.php
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17919270
8.https://academic.oup.com/femsle/article/250/2/185/520106
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908950/
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296087/

CFU Probiotic Supplements: Does Greater CFU Equal Better Gut Health?

There are a lot of different probiotics products out there, and a lot of different colony-forming units, or CFU probiotics labels. From the low millions to billions of CFUs per dose, you are sure to find a probiotic supplement that is right for you.

Here is some information on CFUs and their association with health benefits.

Probiotic Supplements: Good Bacteria For Your Gut, Stomach, And Intestines

There are many fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and many others, that contain good bacteria. However, for most people, these foods are an incomplete source of probiotics.

This is why a lot of people prefer to get their probiotics through probiotic supplements rather than food.

The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, is home to trillions of bacteria. These microorganisms, also known as the gut flora, make up the gut microbiome.

This is the environment in which all these microbes live. It’s one part of the overall human microbiome.

CFU Probiotics | probiotic AmericaSome microorganisms are beneficial, but others are bad bacteria that can cause serious stomach problems.

Probiotic supplements are designed to provide support to the good microbes. They may also provide other health benefits, such as immune system support. Your immune system helps protect you from developing many types of illnesses.1

How Many CFUs Of A Daily Probiotic Do You Need?

You’ll find a lot of probiotic products that have a wide range of CFUs. The CFU count will let you know much of the good bacteria you’re ingesting. Researchers examined several different dosages for several different strains of bacteria. Most studies have focused on dosages in the 1-20 billion CFU range.

Researchers believe that a dose of at least 5 billion CFUs per day for children, and 10 billion CFUs per day for adults, can provide significant health benefits.2 According to the researchers, there is no evidence that higher dosages will harm a user’s health.

CFU Probiotics | probiotic America

Lactobacillus Strains Of Bacteria And Digestive Health

All complete probiotic products should contain members of the lactobacillus strain of friendly bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria have been associated with several benefits when it comes to the stomach, large intestine, and other parts of the gut.

Here are just a few of these strains to look for:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Bifidobacterium animalis

Seek Medical Advice

Feel free to speak to a doctor if you have any questions about probiotic supplements or any other type of dietary supplement. They will look at your specific medical situation to make sure it will be safe. Your doctor may also be able to recommend what CFU count will be right for your intestinal health.

Learn More:
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Sauerkraut (And a DIY Recipe!)
Cheese Can Improve Gut Health! (find out which types to eat)
Surprising Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs

Sources
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/
2 https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/1101/p1073.html

How Much Protein Should You Be Eating?

“Protein is good for you.”

No doubt, you’ve heard this message for years. Dietary and health experts sing protein’s praises. And various products promote the amount of protein they contain. Countless medical studies have focused on protein. There are even diet plans whose foundations are built on protein.

But what exactly is protein, and why is it good for our bodies? And how much protein should you actually eat?

Let’s answer those questions. First and foremost…

What Does Protein Do?

Well, proteins are frequently referred to as the “building blocks” of the human body. Each protein is made up of a string of amino acids which helps establish its specific function.

How Much Protein | Probiotic AmericaNow, numerous bodily processes are performed by proteins, including the construction of muscles and tendons, the replication of DNA, and the transportation of molecules throughout your body.

Furthermore, many types of protein (often called essential proteins) cannot be produced by the body but must be obtained through foods, beverages, or supplements.

Suggested Levels of Protein

Turns out, how much protein your body needs to function properly depends on a variety of factors, the most important of which is weight.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (established by the federal Food and Nutrition Board, or FNB) calls for the consumption of .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

So, for a person who weighs 145 pounds, the minimum amount of daily protein intake should be 52.2 grams. And according to the FNB, protein should account for at least 10 percent of your calories consumed each day and can comprise up to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake.1

But determining how much protein you need involves more than just stepping onto a scale. You must also take into account your age, activity level, and lifestyle in order to ensure that you are getting enough protein.

How Much Protein | Probiotic America

Protein For Athletes

The second-most important variable to take into account regarding protein consumption is your activity level.

In fact, at a conference of scientists and researchers dubbed “Protein Summit 2.0” in 2013, one of the takeaways was that “Because physical activity enhances muscle protein synthesis, the researchers suggest that protein recommendations be linked to physical activity.”2

Though studies on this topic have produced varying results, a good rule of thumb is that athletes who want to build muscle should consume approximately one gram of protein per pound of body weight.3

That amount will help the body synthesize the additional protein into muscle growth and development.

Similarly, endurance athletes like runners, swimmers, or bicyclists also require a higher-than-average daily amount of protein. One study recommends between .5 and .65 grams of protein per pound of body weight.4

Protein For People Trying to Lose Weight

How Much Protein | Probiotic America

On the other hand, many people maintain an active lifestyle because they want to control their weight and/or shed some unwanted pounds. You might assume that weight loss regimens require a reduction in protein intake… but you’d be wrong.

That’s because consuming protein actually increases your metabolic rate, which helps you to burn calories faster. Moreover, protein helps you to feel fuller, and thus reduces your appetite, which can also aid in weight loss.5

Based on the most recent research, allocating between 25 to 30 percent of your daily caloric intake to protein consumption can help facilitate weight loss and lessen the chances that you’ll make poor dietary choices.6,7

Protein For Senior Citizens

Your age is also a factor in how much protein you should eat.

Research suggests that elderly individuals should increase the amount of protein in their diet to a ratio of .45 to .54 grams per pound of body weight.

How Much Protein | Probiotic America

While those suffering from a chronic or acute illness should raise that proportion even higher, to between .54 and .68 grams per pound.

Increased protein intake may help combat age-related conditions like a reduction in bone density (osteoporosis) or muscle mass (sarcopenia).8

Where to Find Protein Naturally

The simplest way to increase the amount of protein you’re getting is to incorporate more protein-heavy foods into your diet.

The most common source is the animal protein found in most meats, such as beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and bacon (though you should monitor the fat content in the meat you choose).

It also means eating more fish, eggs, and dairy products.

For people who have embraced a vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based food lifestyle, finding protein can be a bit more challenging.

A popular path to protein, in this case, is the family of soy-based foods like tofu, tempeh, soybeans, edamame, and soy-based veggie burgers. Other natural sources include quinoa, beans, lentils, whole grains, and nuts.

How Much Protein | Probiotic America

Are Protein Supplements For You?

Finally, for people who require more protein than they can get from foods or beverages, there are plenty of protein supplement products available.

These supplements tend to be available in powdered form (from which you can create protein shakes), protein bars, tablets or capsules. Some of the most common protein supplements are soy, whey, and casein.

How Much Protein | Probiotic AmericaYou can try protein supplements on a temporary basis. If you’re weight training, for example, or if you’ve started a rigorous new fitness regimen, you might consider supplementing your protein intake with a supplement.

The Takeaway

Though there isn’t any hard evidence that suggests consuming too much protein is unhealthy or dangerous, there is a certain level of diminishing returns the higher your protein intake rises.

And if you have any concerns about increasing your protein levels – especially if it’s in conjunction with a new exercise program – then you may want to speak to your physician.

But overall, giving your body more protein can help your body get stronger and operate more efficiently.

Learn More:
Can Probiotics Help Reduce Acid Reflux?
Is Probiotic Yogurt Just A Fad, Or Is It Truly Beneficial?
The Dirty Dozen List: Foods You Should Buy Organic

Sources
1 https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/8/2/266/4558082
2 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/101/6/1317S.full
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19927027/
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7550257
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18448177
6 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/41.abstract
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847729
8 http://www.jamda.com/article/S1525-8610(13)00326-5/abstract

Cheese Can Improve Gut Health! (find out which types to eat)

Last Updated: June 7th, 2019

Cheese lovers, rejoice! Now you can celebrate the taste, andaccording to new studies—also celebrate its health-boosting nutrients. You see, cheese isn’t just good for building strong bones, like we were taught in school as a kid. Certain types of cheese are chock-full of friendly bacteria, or probiotics, which keeps your microbiome happy and healthy. 1

Continue reading “Cheese Can Improve Gut Health! (find out which types to eat)”

Colon Cleanse: How Do They Work And Are They Helpful?

Last Updated May 31st, 2019

It’s rare that anyone openly admits it, but a satisfying bowel movement feels great. However, sometimes it’s not so satisfying – and you might find that you need a bit of help. These days, colon cleanses are the answer for a lot of people.

Continue reading “Colon Cleanse: How Do They Work And Are They Helpful?”

5 Ways Arginine Can Improve Your Health

Have you ever heard of l-arginine? If not, you’ve likely heard of amino acids — and l-arginine just happens to be an amino acid you can get through either your diet or supplements.

There’s solid scientific evidence showing it could help your health in many different ways.

Here’s some information on how this amino acid works, and why you need more of it in your body.

How it Works

First, your body converts l-arginine into nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels relax. This, in turn, makes it easier for blood to circulate throughout the body.1

You can get l-arginine from many high-protein foods (such as dairy products and fish) as well as from arginine supplements. And, as long as you can sustain a good supply of l-arginine, your body should continue to have an ample supply of nitric oxide as well.

Health Benefits

Why is this important? Well, as you’ll see, this mighty amino acid is associated with a wide range of health benefits.

Here are just five of the most important.

1. Cardiovascular Health

There is evidence that l-arginine could help people who suffer from angina – a condition that leads to severe chest pain. There is also evidence that taking arginine supplements could help lower blood pressure in healthy people and also in those suffering from a condition known as pulmonary hypertension. This is a form of high blood pressure that affects the right side of the heart as well as lung arteries.

2. Reducing Inflammation

L-arginine helps reduce inflammation as well as the amount of ammonia in the blood.3 This is very important because ammonia is a contributing factor to not only inflammation but also cell death.4

3. Increasing Exercise Efficiency

L-arginine supplements might also play a key role in the production of human growth hormone, or HGH. If you have an HGH deficiency, you might be susceptible to an increase in body fat as well as a decrease in muscle mass. You may also be at risk for bone weakness.

According to research, l-arginine supplementation can increase HGH levels by 100 percent, even while your body’s at rest. It can also raise levels by up to 500 percent during exercise. This is important because HGH helps support a healthy body weight and strong muscles.6

Arginine Supplements | Probiotic America

4. Supporting Immune System Health

This powerful amino acid helps boost the strength of T cells, which are key to helping support a strong immune system. T cells help fight harmful viruses and bacteria. According to one study, when the level of l-arginine is increased, it can help re-energize T cells and also help them live longer.7

5. Boosting Reproductive Health in Men and Women

Researchers studied the effect of l-arginine on erectile difficulties. A group of 40 men participated. By the end of the three-month study, more than 90 percent of the participants who received arginine supplements in combination with pine bark extract showed substantial improvement in their conditions.8

According to the results of another study, the combination of l-arginine with several herbs helped to improve pregnancy rates in women who were having trouble conceiving.9

The Bottom Line

So you can see there’s a substantial amount of evidence suggesting that l-arginine may provide major benefits to the body.

However, you should never start taking amino acid supplements without first having a detailed discussion with your doctor. He or she will let you know if it will be safe for you to do so after looking at your medical history, as well as any medications you may be taking.

And, if you do receive permission from your doctor, talk to her about how much of the amino acid you need to get each day.

 

Learn More:
Eat Your Way to 100: 4 Longevity-Boosting Superfoods to Try Now
How Stress is Destroying Your Microbiome (+ 3 stress-busting tips)
Get Better Abs… By Doing Less, More Effectively (4 tips!)


Sources
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22112350
3.http://www.amjmed.com/article/0002-9343(57)90295-4/abstract
4.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00353945
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18090659
7.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161013125949.htm
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12851125
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15134155

Can Probiotics Help Reduce Acid Reflux?

The churning, burning feelings associated with acid reflux can be miserable. And getting rid of the problem can be challenging.

Acid reflux can be caused by everything from eating spicy foods to stress to pregnancy. There are many medications designed to soothe the stomach and relieve symptoms, but a lot of people are concerned about their potential side effects. If you are one of them, you might be looking at other options, such as probiotics.

So, are probiotics for acid reflux the answer?

Here’s some information on the symptoms of acid reflux and the connection between probiotics and your digestive system.

Acid Reflux – The Basics

Acid reflux is, in a nutshell, a condition that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux, it can lead to a burning feeling not only in the stomach, but also the chest and even the mouth and throat.1

It’s similar to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), but the symptoms associated with GERD are usually more severe. They include difficulty swallowing, a significant amount of burning in the chest, and coughing.

There are powerful drugs available to treat both acid reflux and GERD, both prescription and over-the-counter. However, many of these medications have been linked to potentially serious side effects. These include nutrient deficiencies (specifically vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium), weight gain, and an increased risk of bone fractures.3

How a Probiotic Supplement May Help

probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic AmericaIf you’re suffering from acid reflux or GERD, you might be interested in trying more natural methods to find relief. And probiotics, which are available in supplement form as well as through food, could be an option.

Before you try a probiotic to address any digestive issues you are facing, however, it’s important that you know what they are.

Probiotics are “good” microbes, such as bacteria and yeast. Your gastrointestinal tract, also known as your “gut,” is filled with trillions of microbes. Many of them are bad for you, but many others are beneficial. Probiotics provide reinforcements to those beneficial microbes.4

When your digestive system works properly, and your stomach acid is in check, you typically won’t have major stomach issues. One of the reasons why is that there’s a proper balance between good and bad microbes in your gut. But when something throws off that balance, and the “bad guys” outnumber the “good guys,” you might experience stomach issues.

Many foods naturally contain probiotics, including sourdough bread, fermented milk, and sauerkraut. However, it can be difficult to get an ample supply of probiotics in your digestive system through food alone.

There are many types of supplements available that can help make sure you have enough beneficial probiotics in your stomach, as well as the rest of  your digestive system.probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic America

What the Research Suggests

There is some evidence that one of the contributing factors to acid reflux may be an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut.6 There’s actually a name for this problem – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Because probiotics are designed to increase the number of beneficial microbes and the gut and inhibit the development of harmful ones, they may play a role in helping to stop the development of SIBO as well.7

Research on how probiotics for acid reflux may help is still in its early stages. However, early results are promising.

probiotics for acid reflux | Probiotic America

People with acid reflux normally experience regurgitation of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. This, in turn, leads to the sour taste that patients often report.8

According to one study, supplementation with a strain of probiotic bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 resulted in a substantial decrease in regurgitation among infants.9

Acid Reflux – When to Get Medical Help

There are some instances where someone with acid reflux will need to get medical help for severe symptoms. Here are a few warning signs that you’ll need to see a doctor ASAP:

Stomach cramping

People with acid reflux will usually experience cramping in the stomach every once in a while. But if the cramps don’t go away, or if you pass black stools, seek medical attention immediately. There’s a chance you’ve developed bleeding in the intestines, or some sort of damage has occurred in your stomach.10

Severe coughing

If you can’t seem to shake your cough, get to a doctor. It can actually be a sign you have a severe case of GERD.11 Your doctor can confirm this, and help you determine the best course of action.

Unexpected weight loss

Acid reflux, and the resulting stomach acid, may make it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs from the food you eat. Over time, that could lead to not only weight loss, but also a weakening of the immune system.12

Chest pain

Obviously, any sort of chest pain will need to be checked out immediately. You might think it’s normal to have some chest discomfort if you have acid reflux, but always get medical attention to make sure it’s not something more serious.13

Wrapping it Up

Fortunately, acid reflux can typically be controlled. And you might want to see if probiotics for acid reflux can help you to find relief. Whether you plan on getting probiotics from food or supplements, talk to your doctor first about your options. Here’s to you finding relief!

Learn More About the Benefits of Probiotics:
Probiotic Skincare: A New Frontier in the Pursuit of Youthful Skin
9 Gut-Friendly Foods That Supercharge Your Health
12 Awesome Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus (including weight loss!)


Sources
1.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315066.php
3.https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/combating-acid-reflux-may-bring-host-of-ills
4.https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-benefits-of-probiotics
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752184
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12038039
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975977/ 9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21114493
10.https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/emergency-symptoms#call-your-doctor
11.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315888.php
12.https://www.asge.org/home/for-patients/patient-information/understanding-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease
13.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15851-gerd-non-cardiac-chest-pain

Is Probiotic Yogurt Just A Fad, Or Is It Truly Beneficial?

If you’re eating yogurt because you’ve heard it is beneficial for your digestive tract, be careful. While there are brands that contain live probiotic strains of beneficial bacteria, there are a lot of others that don’t. Plus, many brands are very high in sugar, which cancels out the benefits of probiotics.

That means you’ll want to do a little research first, to make sure the brand you buy is worth the money – whether it’s frozen yogurt, or other kinds of yogurt dairy products.

Here’s some information to help you make the best choice possible.

What Are Probiotics?

Before you get that frozen yogurt, it’s important that you have an idea of what probiotics are in the first place — they’re the bacteria that actually turn milk into yogurt… but they’re so much more.

There are trillions of microbes in the gut – and a lot of them are actually good for you. They help ensure your digestive tract works as it should. But there are a lot of bad ones as well. When there’s an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut, you’ll be more susceptible to digestive issues.1

Beneficial Bacterial Strains

Probiotic Yogurt | Probiotic America

When looking for probiotic yogurt to support your digestive tract, you’ll want to make sure whatever brand you choose contains beneficial bacteria cultures. There are several different strains associated with digestive health.

Look closely at the labeling of the products you’re considering, to see if they contain one or more of the following:

Bifidobacterium animalis lactis (B. animalis lactis)

This bacteria strain has been associated with a wide variety of health benefits. For example, research indicates that it can help strengthen the immune system.2 It may also help reduce the risk of respiratory issues in some instances.3

Bifidobacterium lactis (B. lactis)

B. lactis has been shown to help ease digestive issues, such as constipation.4

Lactobacillus casei (L. casei)

Studies show that L. casei may help prevent diarrhea.5 There is also evidence that the strain can help reduce the severity of symptoms in certain serious digestive conditions.6

Lactobacillus casei Shirota (L. casei Shirota)

This form of the L. casei strain has also been shown to reduce constipation.7 It may also play a role in strengthening the immune system in people who suffer from allergies.8

What to Avoid

Try to steer clear of yogurt with added sugar. Many types of low-fat yogurt have added sugar to provide more flavoring. Too much sugar in your diet could lead to certain health problems.9

Also, you might actually be better off buying probiotic yogurt that’s not low fat. The reason is that yogurt, and many other dairy products, contain a type of beneficial fat known as conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. Research shows that CLA may play a role in reducing your risk for heart problems.10

It’s important to note that many manufacturers are trying to take advantage of the fact that yogurt is considered to be a healthy food. They might sell yogurt, but if it doesn’t contain live cultures, it won’t provide you any probiotic benefits.

Look for products that have a seal that says “Live & Active Cultures”. These products not only contain beneficial bacteria, but they contain significant numbers of them.11

What Other Dairy Products Contain Probiotics?

If you like to expand your food horizons beyond probiotic yogurt, here are some other options that contain beneficial bacterial strains:

Kefir

Probiotic Yogurt | Probiotic America

This fermented dairy product is similar to a probiotic yogurt, but it has a unique, tart flavor. It’s typically higher in probiotics than the yogurt you’ll find on your grocery store shelves.12 You might be able to find it at your local supermarket, but there’s a better chance you’ll find kefir at your nearest health food store.

Cheese

There are several types of cheese that also contain probiotic strains. These include cheddar and mozzarella.1314

Milk

You will probably be able to find probiotic-enriched milk at your local health food store. For example, there are brands of milk fortified with the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain of good bacteria. This strain has been associated with helping to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.15

Wrapping it Up

Eating frozen yogurt, or other types of this popular dairy product, may help support the health of your digestive tract. But you should never introduce a new type of food to your dietary regimen without talking to your doctor first. They will let you know whether it will be safe for you to do so.

 

Learn More About Probiotics:
NEWS: Probiotics May Provide Help with Allergies
Best Probiotic Foods to Improve Your Gut Health
Probiotic Skincare: A New Frontier in the Pursuit of Youthful Skin


Sources
1.https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21899798
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20863419
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19296845
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11220983
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15932981
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14631461
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18510694
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23493538
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22296934
11.http://aboutyogurt.com/index.asp?bid=29
12.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28222814
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24905221
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22981567
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25954637