Posted by on September 9, 2013 - 3:08pm

You might have noticed “probiotics” listed on the label of your yogurt. Maybe you’ve seen probiotic pills on store shelves next to vitamins or other supplements.

Probiotics are live microbes, such as bacteria, similar to those found naturally in the human body. We tend to think of microbes as harmful, but certain kinds are good for us and help the body to function properly.

Probiotics are found in some foods or are taken by mouth as dietary supplements. Probiotics also come in other products, such as creams.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any health claims for probiotics. Although some products have shown promise, there’s little evidence to support specific uses of probiotics for most conditions.

Some evidence suggests that probiotics may relieve diarrhea, ease irritable bowel syndrome and reduce symptoms of atopic eczema, an itchy skin condition usually seen in infants. Probiotics generally have few side effects, but there’s little data about their long-term safety.

Talk with your health care provider before taking probiotics for a health condition. These products contain different types of bacteria, and their effects on the body can vary from person to person. Probiotics might cause serious side effects in people with underlying health conditions. To learn more, visit NIH’s Probiotics Web page.

Source:   National Institutes of Health

Posted by on June 13, 2013 - 10:10am

Don't watch what you eat, instead, THINK about it. Recent studies in an article in Gastroenterology (June) has shown that probiotics, often found in yogurt, can actually affect brain activity. Yogurt in the US has now grown to place 20 and 21st in the top 50 most eaten and recommended "snack foods", but how much do we really know about the affects of eating it, other than how many calories there are.

The study was only observed in women, 36  to be exact with no history of gastrointestinal or psychiatric symptoms. These women were given fMRI'S before and after the 4 week study period. During this period 12 women ate the fermented yogurt (containing probiotics), 11 ate nonfermented, and 13 were not given specifics. After several tasks to study results, the study showed that women in the probiotic group did show more differences in emotion and sensation response.

Simply because the results showed changes in brain activity does NOT mean probiotics are harmful. So do not be alarmed! The study did not show a positive or negative correlation with brain activity and future studies are in the plans. The affects in brain activity were also due to the constant exposure to probiotics. With this new first in its field discovery the study hopes to perhaps some day bring treatment options to neurological and mental diseases one snack at a time!

To learn nutritional and dietary information about yogurt click here