I often refer to weight loss and a “magic pill” when referencing fad diets and workouts. I also mention to people that being healthy takes time and effort and there isn’t this “magic pill.” There is a magic pill however that I do believe in and think that everyone should take one- a Probiotic.
What exactly is a probiotic? Probiotics are microorganisms found in our digestive system that aids is digestion, help boost the immune system, destroy disease-causing microorganisms, and produce vitamins. In fact, there is plenty of research that supports the effectiveness of probiotics in the prevention or treatment of:
Digestive disorders such as diarrhea caused by infections, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease
Allergic disorders such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) and allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health problems
Colic in infants
The common cold
Prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birth weight infants
Think of probiotics as a maintenance pill that supports your health. A pretty good start to “being healthy”.
It doesn’t stop there. There are several different organisms that aid your body. Many over the counter products, including foods, only support 1 or 2 species of microorganisms.The predominant and most important bacteria that reside in the small intestine, are the Lactobacillus (8) species. These species are responsible for producing lactase, the enzyme required to break down lactose (the sugar in milk). They also collectively ferment carbohydrates in the gut, producing lactic acid as result of this process. Lactic acid helps create an acidic environment in the digestive tract, which discourages many unwanted microorganisms. It also increases absorption of minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, and iron.
However, there is also the biftidobacterium (3), bacillus (1), and the streptococcus (2) species. So without getting to technical or scientific on you, my goal is to help you realize that the probiotics you choose should have several billions of microorganisms all ranging from the 4 types of species. Make sure you check your product before investing! You may find a great list of the species and their purpose here: https://www.drdavidwilliams.com/probiotic-strains/
So yes! I believe in a magic pill! I have taken one daily for years and recommend all clients to take one as well. We have felt great benefits from probiotics and can actually tell a difference when we stop taking them.