What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.
In order for a probiotic to successfully balance gut bacteria, it has to survive the stomach acid, so it can reach the targeted area of the gut. The effects of probiotics are strain specific.
Probiotics and IBS
A recent review by the British Dietetic Association in 2016, highlighted specific probiotics that may improve IBS symptoms. Also, some probiotic strains have shown to be effective in managing constipation.
How long should I take Probiotics?
It is recommended that you trial a Probiotic for at least 4 weeks, at the dose recommended by the manufacturer, to see if they help. If you find that taking the probiotic is beneficial, you can continue to take it, but the long-term effects are not known.
Probiotics and the low FODMAP diet
The low FODMAP diet affects the gut microbiota. Some FODMAPs are prebiotics, which are defined as a ‘substrate that is selectively utilised by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit’. FODMAP restriction reduces bifidobacterial and overall bacterial abundance. The significance is unclear but is another reason why the low FODMAP diet should not be followed for more than 6-8 weeks.
To find out more about how probiotics may help overcome your IBS symptoms, book a FREE 15-minute telephone appointment with me https://www.cambridgedietitian.co.uk/contact/