Since the beginning of time, humans have benefited from probiotics; they just didn’t know it. By its definition: “the use of specific strains of microorganisms to encourage a healthy proliferation of beneficial microorganisms in humans” we can see that some microorganisms are naturally good for us.
Specific strains of bacteria if used in adequate amounts are great for our health and well-being. They have been found to help adults, infants and even pets overcome certain health difficulties, such as constipation and even diarrhea.
Our medical community has accepted that the most popular forms of probiotic supplements do not have extreme or adverse side effects. But like other forms of medical care, probiotics can have its own set of risks. Taken in the wrong amounts, probiotics can cause issues.
Some possible side effects of probiotic supplementation
1. Bloating or increased gas production in the digestive tract has been found in some cases. The proliferation of beneficial bacteria inside the intestinal tract is what causes this bloating. This bloating which may be uncomfortable, does not pose a threat to one’s health.
2. A small percentage of people (about one in every one million) may become prone to other bacterial issues when probiotics are used.
3. Endocarditis, which is inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium) was reported in one case involving a 53 year-old man who had a past history of rheumatic fever and recent tooth extraction. The inflammation was caused it seems by Lactobacillus case. However, this type of reaction is extremely rare.
4. There have been other remote cases of liver abscesses in individuals taking probiotic supplements. However these were patients with low immune response due to a pre-existing condition of Crohn’s or HIV disease.
5. Individuals with venous catheterizations are also at risk for sepsis if a lactobacilli strain proliferates unchecked.
6. Lactobacilli infection seems to be more common for people with Short Bowel Syndrome. This syndrome is a condition where nutrients are not absorbed fully into the body because the length of the intestine has been reduced from disease and surgery.
7. Those individuals who take anti-rejection medicine because of an organ transplant should not take probiotic supplements.
Probiotics is used medically to aid in digestion. It will stimulate the digestive and immune systems of infants who have not developed beneficial bacteria or flora in their bodies. Once the native bacteria are generated in their young bodies, they become equipped to fend of harmful microorganisms. They will also be able to digest their food more efficiently.
Healthy persons should not really worry about the adverse effects of probiotics because in a healthy person there are not any adverse effects. The exception to this is if you are an individual who is lacto-intolerant. Probiotics are usually added to dairy products such as cheese and skim milk.
If your immune system efficiency has been compromised because of other health issues or surgeries then please speak to your doctor before starting on probiotic supplements. This also applies to individuals who are taking immunosuppressant medication for other medical conditions.
There are several options for taking probiotics available so if one type of supplement does not work for you can try something else. There are milk products and kefir or yeast-derived beverages and even Miso (a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus Kojikin, the most typical Miso being made with soy.