False: Even though people suffering from IBS or diarrhoea sing their praises, doctors are now prescribing probiotics for other digestive problems, obesity, gynaecological issues, dermatological treatments and even behavioural problems.
False: Probiotics are not limited to yoghurt, but are also found in fermented milk, fermented cabbage, sauerkraut and brewer's yeast. You can also buy probiotics in pill form at your local chemists.
True: Probiotics can be killed off by cooking. They are also killed whilst they travel between our stomach and guts, meaning we need to take them in a sufficient quantity. What's more, our stomach acid can kill up to 90% of bacteria.
True: Bearing in mind that our intestines are home to 100,000 billion bacteria, large doses of probiotics are needed if they are to have any beneficial effect. Probiotic supplements generally contain between 1 and 10 billion good bacteria, but whatever you choose, a daily pill will usually give you all you need.
False: There are a number of varieties, each with their own targeted action. It all depends on the condition you wish to treat. Your local GP will be able to advise you on which one to choose.
True and false: You'll probably need more than one dose to cure a bout of diarrhoea. They really need to be taken over time if they're to have any effect on our intestinal flora. In other words, probiotics are a long-term treatment option.
True: The probiotics present in our digestive systems feed on prebiotics. Prebiotics are essential if probiotics are to survive. Some supplements contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
True: Each probiotic is derived from a bacteria that has a specific function. Some treat IBS, others treat tummy bugs or counteract digestive problems caused by antibiotics. Others give the immune system a boost or are used to treat eczema.
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