What Are Probiotics and What Are Probiotic Benefits?

If you’re on some sort of health kick or are being forced to learn more about health topics because your own health is lacking, then I’m sure you’ve come across the topic of probiotics.

Probiotics are a thing that is going to greatly help your health, particularly in your gut.

But what exactly are probiotics? What are they good for? Do they have any side effects that you should be worried about?

These questions will be answered and you’ll have a much better understanding of probiotics and how they will affect your health.

What Are Probiotics?

what are probiotics

This is probably the most important question right now. What are probiotics? You may have been told that you need to take more or incorporate more probiotics into your diet.

However, it’s a little hard to add something to your body when you have no idea what it is.

Simply put, probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you. When ingested, they will live in your gut and help you with everyday tasks such as digestion.

Your gut is full of both good and bad bacteria and they all contribute to your gut health in some way or another. Having probiotics is going to add more of the good bacteria to your system.

When you’re adding the good bacteria, your gut health is going to begin to thrive in a way that it may not have ever done before.

Types of Probiotics

There are many different kinds of bacteria that live in your gut. In fact, there are millions upon millions of bacteria that call your gut home.

All of them serve a different purpose for your body, but they can all be placed in two different categories, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

These are the two categories of bacteria that your doctor will talk to you about if you ask them. They both serve a different general purpose when it comes to your gut health and overall health.


Lactobacillus is the most common of the probiotics. This is the type of probiotic that you’ll find in fermented foods. Foods like yogurt contain this type of probiotic.

For the people that might be lactose intolerant, this is the type of probiotic you want to look at having more of.

These bacteria are going to help your stomach digest lactose a little better. It may not fully fix your lactose intolerance but it certainly will help. Lactobacillus will also help if you’re beginning to experience something like diarrhea.


This probiotic is one that can be found in some dairy products. It’s very beneficial because it’s been known to ease the symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

You need to be careful with dairy products though. Most dairy-type products have lactose in them so people that are lactose intolerant need to be careful.

Yes, you’ll be providing yourself with one good bacteria, but you’ll be doing some harm because your gut can’t handle lactose very well.

There needs to be some sort of balance with the good bacteria you provide your body. You don’t want to give it too much of one or the other. Yes, finding the right balance can be difficult, but when you do, you’re going to be thankful and your gut will love every second of it.

What Are Probiotics Benefits?

what are probiotics

There have already been a few things mentioned as to what probiotics are good for.

Taking probiotics helps with your gut health. In particular, they help send food through your gut. They allow your body to digest food easier by helping the muscles in your digestive contract in a way that it should at all times.

It can be very easy for your digestive muscles to get out of whack when your bad bacteria are thriving.

Because probiotics help your gut health so much, this means that it’s going to help your overall health in ways you may not have even imagined.

For example, poor gut health can lead to skin conditions like eczema, urinary tract problems, bowel issues, and even have an effect on your oral health.

Taking probiotics will allow you to improve all of these conditions if you happen to have them. They can also help prevent anything like this from happening.

The best way to avoid any of the conditions caused by poor gut health is to take probiotics responsibly because it’s possible to overdo it.

Probiotics Side Effects

Yes, probiotics are good and you should take them if you want to improve your gut health. However, it’s possible to have too much of something good and not everything is perfect, so there are going to be some side effects to probiotics as well.

You could experience some serious unpleasant digestive issues. You could have much more gas than usual or even become constipated due to probiotics.

It’s possible that you could experience more headaches from probiotics as well. Probiotic-rich foods contain amines, which are substances that can cause a trigger in your central nervous system that will lead to more headaches.

Some probiotics could be a problem for people with food intolerances. This means that some probiotics are only in foods that people will have a reaction to if they are consumed. This is why reading food labels is so important.

One of the biggest things to look out for when it comes to probiotics is when you already have a weak immune system or at least one that has been seriously compromised. When this is the case, probiotics can increase your risk of infection.

Some probiotics can enter your bloodstream and this is when the problems start to occur. However, this typically only happens when you already have something wrong with your gut and it’s severely compromised.

It can be slightly difficult to tell whether or not an infection is due to probiotics or from an issue that existed beforehand.

Probiotics Can Be the Best Or Worst

When you take probiotics, they are supposed to help you. They are supposed to help your gut health and, in turn, your overall health.

Take probiotics the right way and you will never have anything to worry about. You will have the probiotics in your system and they will do exactly what they’re supposed to do.

If you happen to take probiotics in excess, you could start to experience a number of problems. Too much of something good could easily lead to something bad. You don’t want this to happen.

There are few feelings worse than knowing you’re taking something that will help your health but taking too much of it and having it harm your health in the end.

There are some people out there that really need to pay attention to probiotics no matter what kind of health they are in. Some probiotics are going to harm you even though they are supposed to help simply because of the food they are in. Everyone’s body is different and will react to everything a different way.

The best thing you can do is read the labels on everything before you consume them if you have any type of concerns about the probiotics. It’s a simple thing to do. However, you’ll be surprised by how many people actually overlook this and neglect the labels altogether.