7 Common Myths About Probiotics (Busted By Science)

By Alexa Sooter | 22 October 2019 607 views
common myths about probiotics

Learn The Scientific Truth About These Common Probiotic Myths

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Over the last few years, some new words have entered the public idea of what belongs in a healthy lifestyle. Antioxidants, CrossFit, HIIT training.

It seems like every day there is something new you are supposed to add to your lifestyle. But more than we hear about these, there is one particular addition that seems to be everywhere: probiotics.

But for all that probiotics seem to be everywhere, few of us seem to know what they are. Or, for that matter, what they are supposed to do.

They appear on food labels and more and more commonly in our cosmetics. But if you are like me, you probably want to know more about these microorganisms before you rush out to stock up your pantry.

What Are Probiotics?

The short answer is that probiotics are living bacteria cultures… tiny microorganisms similar to the bacteria that already live in our gut.

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This is the basis of what is supposed to make them so helpful. As more and more studies are finding, our gut health greatly affects the rest of our health.

And probiotics have become a common way for people to improve their gut health by adding “good” bacteria.

What Are The Myths & Claims About Probiotics?

People do the same thing with just about every new discovery. They dig into the wildest possible outcomes and act as if those are guarantees.

Probiotics, unfortunately, got the same treatment. But the truth is that, by and large, scientists still aren’t sure of everything probiotics can do… or all the benefits they might have

But that has not stopped people from making some wild claims or misunderstanding how to use probiotics. Here are some common myths and misunderstandings about probiotics… plus the scientific truth!

Myth #1: Probiotics Only Help With Digestive Issues 

Yes, probiotics can help get your digestive system back on track. Like I said, probiotics are essentially good bacteria. They help counteract the bad bacteria… and those bad bacteria can lead to digestive issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and lots of other unpleasant things.

So when you add more good bacteria to your gut by using probiotics… you certainly can help your digestion and avoid those issues!

But that is far from everything probiotics can do. In research, probiotics have been shown to boost your immune system, help you lose weight (!), benefit your mental health, reduce the severity of allergies, and improve your skin.

So don’t put probiotics in the “digestive-only” corner – because there’s so much they can do for you!

Myth #2: Probiotics Can Cure Cancer

Cancer is scary. It’s one of those diagnoses that can shatter a person’s whole world.

And that’s probably why so many myths spring up about cures. Unfortunately, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

Probiotics can help support your immune system, yes. But that doesn’t mean they will supercharge your body and wipe out cancer cells.

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For now, those battling cancer will have to rely on other treatment methods. And who knows – maybe future research will show that probiotics can play a part in treatment or prevention. But that future day isn’t today.

Myth #3: Probiotics Can Cure IBS Or Crohn’s 

Probiotics DO promote healthy gut bacteria. Some people take this to mean that probiotics are the key to curing or at least managing – all gut-related health concerns.

Studies have found them to be little help, however. Some people might find minor relief by adding probiotics to their diet. But they’re not a guaranteed cure by any means.

Myth #4: Probiotics Can Reverse The Effects Of PCOS 

Gut health and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are closely linked. That much is a given.

And some studies show that probiotics can help alleviate certain PCOS symptoms.

But, as someone with PCOS, I am sad to report that there is no cure yet. And reversing the effects of the condition have more to do with your overall insulin and androgen levels than they do with a single supplement.

Probiotics can support your efforts… but they cannot carry them alone.

Myth #5: All Probiotics Are The Same

Probiotics are bacteria. And, like all bacteria, they come in several different strains.

I’ll go into more detail further on in this article (so keep reading!)… but the exact strain of probiotic you use is very important.

If you plan on adding probiotics to your daily diet, make sure you read up on the most effective strains, like those mentioned below.

Myth #6: Probiotics Only Come In Supplements

If you’re a fan of fermented food, you’re in luck. You might already be getting a good dose of probiotics!

Fermented foods like kefir, tempeh, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and fermented soybean paste are all natural sources of probiotics.

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Supplements are certainly helpful and can make sure you get the exact strain you want. But there are many, many food-based sources for probiotics.

All of these myths and unsupported claims about probiotics might seem discouraging.

If you are a fan of probiotics, however, there is good news! Probiotics might not work miracles… but they do have some very important effects and benefits.

And, for some people, these effects can bring about huge changes.

What Do Probiotics Actually Do?

There are some things we know for certain that probiotics are capable of doing.

The first and perhaps most important is that they can help heal an unhealthy gut. Probiotics aren’t going to cure you of a gut-related condition, unfortunately.

But if your body’s digestive bacteria has been thrown off by illness or surgery, probiotics can help get it back on track.

And though probiotics might not cure gut conditions, there is some evidence that it can help reduce certain symptoms. Several symptoms of IBS seem to fade when you consume probiotics, for example.

And probiotics seemed to have a similarly beneficial effect as Metformin in people with PCOS, according to at least one study.

There is also some evidence that probiotics can help reduce the symptoms of certain allergic reactions… as well as improve the clarity of your skin, according to the United States’ National Institute of Health.

And, unless you have a compromised immune system or suffer from glaucoma, probiotics seem to carry little, if any, risk.

The Importance Of Probiotic Strains & Labeling

Probiotics are live bacterial cultures. And, like any bacteria, there are several different strains of probiotics.

Two specific strains seem to be the most helpful: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These names might seem like a mouthful, but if you want the benefits of probiotics… they are something you should become familiar with.

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Before you buy any probiotic product, be sure that the strain used inside is listed clearly on the label. Without that key piece of information, you have no idea if the product contains a helpful form of bacteria.

Both of these strains have several substrains. And scientists are still piecing together which substrains work best for which situations.

But so long as you are taking in some form of these two probiotics variations, you can be fairly confident you will receive some of the benefits.

The Takeaway

Probiotics, if labeled and sold properly, can be very helpful. They can help balance your gut health… and, if you have a few specific conditions, may even improve your day to day life.

You can get probiotics from supplements or from any number of delicious fermented foods

Just be wary of products that promise too much or do not list what strain they use.

And keep an eye on the research. Probiotics are still new to our understanding of what makes us healthy. There is no telling where the research will go!

 

7 Common Myths About Probiotics (Busted By Science)

Probiotic Myth #7: Busted By Science!

Another damaging myth about probiotics?

“All probiotics help you lose weight.”

Uh… no.

That’s like saying “all food is good for you.”

Sure, you need food to live…

But there are plenty of foods out there that are NOT GOOD for you at all!

Same exact thing with probiotics:

Some are GREAT for you… and WILL help you lose weight…

But others are just as bad for you as that “bad gut bacteria” that you hear so much about… and can actually lead to weight gain.

The problem is… in many store-bought brands… you don’t know what all the different strains will do to your body.

That’s because the science behind probiotics is a little newer… and doctors and nutritionists who aren’t on the cutting edge of it often frankly don’t know what they’re talking about.

So we consulted with Dr. Steven Masley.

Dr. Masley has been studying probiotics for over a decade… and pinning down exactly what certain probiotic strains do in his weight loss practice in Florida…

He recommends four probiotic strains in particular that have been proven to help you lose weight.

Each of these strains has a study backing it up that scientifically proves it can help you lose weight… and keep the weight off…

And combined, these 4 strains act as a “megastrain” that Dr. Masley gives to all of his clients in his exclusive weight loss practice in Florida.

To see this exact “probiotic megastrain” that Dr. Masley recommends to lose weight… burn fat… and keep the weight off… check out this exclusive web episode Dr. Masley did recently:

Click Here To See Dr. Masley Explain Which Probiotics You Need For Max Fat Burn & Weight Loss (And Where To Get Them)