The term probiotics’ refers to beneficial micro-organisms, normally bacteria, which live in our bodies and assist in the maintenance of health in various ways. These good’ bacteria already live in our bodies but in small numbers and hence cannot maintain a healthy numerical balance. This is because they get eliminated from the body in numerous ways. Our unhealthy living habits such as poor nutrition, stress, pathogens, sleep deprivation have an adverse effect on the beneficial bacteria. Additionally, antibiotics do not discriminate between the good and bad bacteria especially when diarrhea results from using the antibiotics. This results in the ejection of both good and bad bacteria from the intestinal tract.
The best way of ensuring a healthy balance of good bacteria and boost digestive health is to increase consumption of probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir. However, if this is not possible, it is recommended that you take probiotic supplements. The ever-growing probiotic industry markets a wide range of supplements in various forms like powders, tablets, liquids and capsules. There are myriad manufacturers and copious amounts of information regarding these supplements, hence choosing the best supplement for you can be confusing.
There are a few fundamental considerations that you can use to evaluate which are the best probiotic supplements for you
. These are:
1. The particular probiotic strains used
2. The supplement’s delivery system and packaging
3. Expiration date of the supplement
4. Whether a Money-back guarantee is included
There have been a wide variety of alternative treatments for all that ails us over the years, but few have demonstrated the popularity or longevity of the herb known as St. John’s Wort. This plant, which is native to Europe, has been used to treat various illnesses throughout the western world for hundreds of years. The first recorded mention of the plant was in around 290 BC, when a Greek doctor wrote of using it to treat his patients. One of Greece’s most noteworthy herbalists recorded four different subspecies, which he recommended as a treatment for sciatica and as a topical treatment for burns. Others used it to accelerate wound healing, relieve gout, and even exorcise demons.
Today, the plant has fallen out of use in mainstream medicine, but it remains a popular herbal remedy among those interested in alternative or complementary medicine. It is most commonly recommended as a treatment for mild to moderate depression, either on its own (mild) or in conjunction with prescribed antidepressants (moderate). Most of the evidence in favor of St. John’s Wort as a stand-alone treatment for moderate to severe depression is anecdotal, and though there are a handful studies that have demonstrated the drug’s potential, two of the biggest and most well-known experiments found that it did not perform any better than the placebo. It should also be noted that the pharmaceutical drugs in the experiment had the same results– they were equal to the placebo when it came to alleviating depressive symptoms.
In 2009, however, a review of 29 studies suggested that St. John’s Wort was more effective than the placebo, and involved fewer side effects than the standard antidepressant. This means there is no real consensus, at least in the mainstream medical community, as to whether or not the herb is an effective treatment for mild depression.