Probiotics: Expert insight on what this good bacteria can do for you

(BPT) - A common misconception is that all bacteria are bad; however, there are thousands of different strains of bacteria, both good and bad, and many of the good bacteria can actually support health and wellness. The digestive system is an example of where “good bacteria” can make a difference.

"Inside your digestive system live trillions of bacteria that make up your gut microbiome," says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, registered dietitian and leading women's health expert. "Factors like diet, changes in routine, and stress can all disrupt the natural balance of good bacteria in the microbiome. Because stress levels may be at an all-time high for people right now, there’s no better time to take care of your digestive system than with a trustworthy and reliable probiotic supplement. That’s why I recommend taking Align Probiotic supplement daily to nourish your digestive health with good bacteria to help you feel your best.”

Probiotics are live, good bacteria that deliver a known health benefit. Probiotics may be present in some foods — such as kefir or yogurt — but many people choose to take a probiotic supplement to ensure they are getting the right good bacteria in the right amount to support their gut health. However, not all probiotic supplements are the same, and finding a good option can be confusing.

Gut health is being researched more now than ever before and is considered a key to overall health. Beckerman shares top information everyone should understand about probiotics to help them choose the right one for them to support their gut health, including:

Different probiotic strains do different things

In order to be effective, the human body depends on the specific strain the probiotic contains, not the number of strains. It’s important to know that you’re choosing the probiotic strain that can deliver the health results you’re looking for. More of one strain or more variety of strains does not necessarily mean there are additional benefits. Just like different medications give different health benefits to your body, the same is true for probiotic strains.

For example, Align Digestive Support Probiotic contains a unique strain of beneficial bacteria developed by gastroenterologists: Bifidobacterium 35624TM. This strain helps your body with a number of things to support digestive health*, including helping to soothe occasional abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating*. Align is the #1 doctor and gastroenterologist recommended probiotic brand, and doctors recommended it twice as much as any other probiotic supplement.

Probiotic supplements are different than probiotics in foods

Live probiotics in foods vary depending on many factors, from the type of food to how it was processed and more. Many foods have live bacterial cultures, but that doesn’t mean they have probiotics. Probiotics contain specific strains with a known health benefit when taken in the proper amount. That means if you’re looking for a probiotic in foods, there’s a lot of guess work involved. Probiotic supplements, on the other hand, provide a controlled, specified amount of specific probiotics strains, so there’s no guessing.

Align Probiotic supplements are formulated with an effective level of good bacteria, something that is not true for some other products, including most yogurts.

Consistency is key with probiotic supplements

Everyone wants instant gratification. However, like most things that support your health, consistency is key for lasting benefits — similar to brushing your teeth or exercising. Probiotics are meant to be taken daily to help you achieve better health over the long term. The amount of time it takes a probiotic to work is different for each person, as it depends on the unique combination of bacteria in your gut and the specific strain of the probiotic supplement you’re taking. Most experts agree that if you stick with a probiotic supplement daily, you’ll know in about a month if you’re getting the health benefits you’re seeking. Remember, you’re adding a lot more good bacteria to your gut, so the feeling of some slight bloating or discomfort is normal when you first start taking a probiotic as your body adjusts. But stick with it — this is just the start of a journey to better digestive health.

To learn more and order online, visit www.alignprobiotics.com.

‡Among Doctors who recommended a brand of probiotic in ProVoice 2013-2019 surveys.

‡Among gastroenterologists who recommended a brand of probiotic in ProVoice 2008-2019 surveys.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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