City life can take its toll on our bodies. Packed schedules, poor eating habits and spiking stress levels often lead to problems like inflammation, bloating and gastric pains. Although not life-threatening, these reduce our quality of life. And left unmitigated, they may develop into more serious medical complications. Instead of seeking over-the-counter medication as a first resort, consider using probiotics to restore your gut health.
What are probiotics and why are they important?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can assist in restoring gut flora. These flora (or microbiota) are essential to gastrointestinal health, and therefore also the body’s metabolic and immune systems. Probiotics belong to a group of what is considered “good” bacteria. The two most common forms, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, are known to assist with gut conditions like diarrhoea, lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.
Where can one get probiotics?
Certain foods naturally contain probiotics, like unpasteurised yoghurt, tempeh and miso. Probiotics also come in the form of nutritional supplements. Swisse offers two kinds of probiotic supplements: one for daily digestive health and another tailored specifically for boosting the immune system. As with any health supplement, purity is a top concern. Swisse’s probiotic products feature no added lactose, yeast, egg, soy, artificial colouring or flavour.
Are there differences between probiotics?
Aside from the specific strains of probiotics, formulations can be steered towards specific functions and demographics. Swisse’s Ultibiotic Daily Immune Probiotic is designed to strengthen one’s immunity while also providing relief for nasal congestion, while the Daily Digestive Probiotic is geared towards maintaining a healthy digestive system and addressing issues such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea. Of the two, the former is useful to people who are prone to catching the flu bug while the latter benefits those who frequently suffer irritable bowel syndrome.
How much should I get?
The count of probiotic strains is measured by colony-forming units (CFU), which is its ability to help gut flora proliferate. The industry standard is at least 1 billion CFUs in a single serving to be considered effective. Swisse’s probiotic supplements fall within this range (going up to 35 billion CFUs). For those receiving medication such as antibiotics, taking a quality probiotic supplement can help to counter the former’s depletive effect on gut bacteria.
When it comes to restoring gut health, using probiotics to support a healthy nutrition plan results in more holistic benefits as opposed to simply relying on pills wholesale. Micronutrients and prebiotics work with probiotics to help gut microbiota flourish. Think of them as parts of a larger equation. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong with Swisse’s probiotic offerings if you happen to be in the market for a quality supplement. Swisse’s Daily Immune Probiotic and Daily Digestive Probiotic are available at Watsons and Guardian outlets, as well as online at Lazada.