Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria.
Probiotics are dietary additions that contain useful bacteria or yeast. These bacteria can confer health benefits if consumed in the right quantities. In India, probiotics have mostly found their way into curd and ice-creams.Probiotic curds in India are marketed by Amul, Nestle and Mother Dairy.
Probiotics and Safety?
- Probiotics comprise of over four hundred different types of bacteria which are beneficial for the gastrointestinal system as they enhance digestive functions. They help reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux which include heartburns, nausea and regurgitation, by improving digestive functions.
- The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults).
- Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
Most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure they’re safe before they’re marketed and that any claims made on the label are true. But there’s no guarantee that the types of bacteria listed on a label are effective for the condition you’re taking them for. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options. As always, let your primary care provider know what you’re doing.
- Probiotics can no longer be considered harmless and should not be given to severely ill patients with organ failure, those on a feeding tube or in intensive care.
- It is also noted that the “good bacteria” commonly found in probiotic yogurt (commonly known as curd in India) and drinks can be fatal for people suffering from severe pancreatitis.
Few Brands available in India?
Ecoflora Capsules marketed by Tablets India Ltd.
Ecoflora & other brands naturally restore disturbed vaginal ecology in a number of vaginal infections involving bacteria , yeast & other pathogens. Ecoflora is the first orally administered uro-genital probiotic that descends the GI-tract & ascends the female genital tract.
Probiotics with ORS
Biors Sachets marketed by Tablets India Ltd.
BIFILAC Capsules / Sachets marketed by Tablets India Ltd.
( Combination of functional pre-biotics with a probiotic )
ViBact Capsules / Sachets marketed by USV
Binifit Capsules / Sachets marketed by Ranbaxy
Becelac PB Capsules marketed by Dr. Reddy's Labs
Vizyl Capsules / Sachets marketed by Unichem
Gutpro Capsules / Sachets marketed by JBCPL
Some people may experience mild stomach upset, diarrhea or flatulence during the first few days of probiotic supplementation. Further, some people may be allergic to or intolerant of certain probiotic supplements, or to the probiotic food in which they are presented. However, in most cases, probiotic food is well tolerated, and at the very least, may provide one with better intestinal health.