Anna Beazel, RPh - Forest Meadows Location Inside Buehler's Fresh Foods Market

Have a "Pro" take care of it!

After the holiday eating frenzy, your digestive system needs a little help so it doesn't feel too bloated and full! Probiotics are a digestive systems best friend. We've seen the word "probiotic" in many places now but let's have one of your Ritzman pharmacists break down probiotics and the many "pros" they can have on your digestive system and overall health.

Q: First off, what is a probiotic?

A: Probiotics (meaning "life") refer to the good bacteria (live microbial organisms) that improve flora in the intestinal tract.  A supplemental probiotic, often found in food-based, yogurt cultures can renew the normal, friendly flora that can be destroyed due to a number of factors including stress, poor diet, and taking antibiotics. 


Q: How will a probiotic help me after all of the holiday indulging I've been doing?

A: During the holiday season, we often over-indulge, rush around, and spend a lot of time in close proximity to friends and family.  Although we enjoy this time of year, our immune system and digestive tract can take the brunt of this change in pace because the good bacteria in our gut is being depleted. Probiotics will help to improve the healthy balance of good, naturally occurring bacteria over bad bacteria.  This will help the bloating, gas, and sickness that can occur this time of year.


Q: Are they safe for my kids to take too?

A: Yes - probiotics are safe for children to take! There are various manufacturers that make probiotics for kids so check with your pharmacist to determine which would be best for your child.  Probiotics can help support a child's immune system and also promote digestion and regularity.


Q: They help with regulating my digestive system…do probiotics have other functions?

A: Probiotics have various other functions that can support overall health and wellness. They help strengthen the immune system, which can aid your body in fighting off and preventing against infections. By ensuring the healthy balance off good bacteria, probiotics can also maintain a healthy mouth, prevent and treat certain skin conditions like eczema, promote health in the urinary and vaginal tracts and prevent allergies (especially in children).


Q: How often can I take probiotics? Can I take them every day?

A: Probiotics can be taken throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.  The usual dose is once a day, so that you can continually upkeep the natural balance of good bacteria in your gut.  It is important to always take a probiotic as instructed on the label.  If you do happen to get sick, remember to separate taking a probiotic from an antibiotic by 1-2 hours, either before or after your dose.  This timing is so important to ensure that your antibiotic does not wipe out the good bacteria that you just added by taking a probiotic!