Probiotics & The Microbiome

Probiotics & The Microbiome


What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are believed to be good for our health, particularly our gut health. Our gut consists of our microbiome, which is essentially an ecosystem of many organisms including bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and fungi. Stress, infections, travel, and exposure to new bacteria can all lead to imbalances in our gut microbiome. Probiotics can be taken to help restore this balance. Many people also choose to take probiotics for some of the potential benefits that have been associated with them, although some of these are yet to be proven.

Probiotics & Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent some types of bacterial infections. They work by killing bacteria or stopping them from growing. However, antibiotics usually cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria and can therefore have a negative impact on ‘good’ bacterial colonies in our gut. Antibiotics are categorized into 2 groups: Narrow Spectrum Antibiotics & Broad Spectrum Antibiotic.

Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are those that only have a limited range of bacterial species that they can inhibit or kill.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics target many types of bacteria

Since antibiotics can kill off good bacteria, individuals may experience symptoms such as diarrhoea, thrush, and in some cases digestive issues. To help restore the good bacteria in the body, it is often recommended to take a probiotic. Some probiotics can be taken whilst you are on an antibiotic course, while others are taken after you are finished. The pharmacist at your local Allcare Pharmacy can help recommend a suitable probiotic for you. *Always read the directions on the probiotic product.

Probiotics formulated to be taken during your course of antibiotics include:

- Optibac for those on Antibiotics shop here .

Probiotics & Gut Health

As previously stated, Probiotics can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut which includes the stomach and intestines. The gut plays a vital role in maintaining the normal function of the immune system and reducing inflammation and is therefore important to keep healthy. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, one high in plant-based foods which are high in fibre is ideal. A probiotic can also be taken to supplement your diet and can be quite beneficial to those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Often probiotics can help reduce the symptoms associated with this condition.

Recommended probiotics for IBS / gut health include:

- Alflorex – contains the unique 35624 culture shop here .

- AYA Digestive Bio shop here .

- Proven Acidophilus Digestive enzymes shop here .

Probiotics with added vitamins & minerals

- AYA Ultimate One a Day shop here .

- Alflorex Dual Action shop here .

- ProVen Probiotic Total Immune & Energy shop here .

Probiotics formulated for Babies & Children

- Optibac 0-12 Babies & Children shop here .

- ProVen Probiotic For Toddlers shop here .

- ProVen Probiotic Lactobacillus & Bifidus for Breast Fed Babies shop here .

- AYA Crunchy Bio shop here .

For more information on probiotics, or for help choosing one that is suitable for you, visit local Allcare Pharmacy and chat with the pharmacist.