All questions answered by probiotic experts Dr Kate Stephens PhD (Food and Microbial Sciences) BSc(Hons) Medical Microbiology and Kerry Beeson BSc (Nut. Med.) Nutritional Therapist.
Can friendly bacteria be taken every day?
The simple answer is yes! Friendly bacteria have been researched for decades and the growing weight of evidence suggests that daily use is both safe and recommended.1,2,3 There’s no known risk of dependency or overdose: the human gut naturally contains trillions of micro-organisms, so the numbers found in supplements are modest by comparison. Friendly bacteria are found naturally in our diets, but not all strains do the same thing, so many people like to use a supplement that’s tailored to their individual needs.
How can I support my immune system naturally?
Various factors affect the health of our immune system. Some of these we can’t control, such as cold, damp weather or stressful events, but there are many things we can easily do to help our immune systems fight off cold, viruses and infections. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, limit alcohol intake, get a good night’s sleep, exercise daily, and wash your hands properly.
Many people also like to use supplements designed specifically to support the immune system, especially during winter months when coughs, colds and flu are especially common.
Which supplements are best for the immune system?
It’s best to choose supplements which contain ingredients which have been extensively researched and found to support the immune system, such as vitamin C, which helps to support a healthy immune system and your body’s resistance to infection. Optibac Immune Support contains 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin C along with one of the world’s most researched bacterial strains, Lactobacillus paracasei CASEI 431®.
Who should not take supplements for immune support?
Older people can be more vulnerable to colds and flu so may choose to take a supplement for extra support, but often have concerns about whether it’s safe for them to take live cultures. However, friendly bacteria supplements are safe to be taken by everyone from birth into old age 1,2.. There are only a few circumstances when live cultures may not be appropriate, such as for adults or children who are immune-compromised – please see our safety information for more details. If you have a serious health condition, you should always speak to your doctor before taking any supplement.
1. Jacobsen et al. (1999). 'Screening of probiotic activities of 47 strains of Lactobacillus spp. by in vitro techniques and evaluation of the colonisation ability of 5 selected strains in humans'. Applied and Environmental Microbiology; 65(11): 4949-4956
2. Doron, S., & Snydman, D. R. (2015). Risk and safety of probiotics. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 60 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), S129–S134. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/civ085
3. Tomasz, B. et al, (2014). Long-term use of probiotics Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium has a prophylactic effect on the occurrence and severity of pouchitis: a randomized prospective study. BioMed research international, 2014, 208064. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/208064
4. Jespersen L. et al., (2015), ‘Effect of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, L. casei 431® on immune response to influenza vaccination and upper respiratory tract infections in healthy adult volunteers: a randomized, double- blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study’. Am.J.Clin.Nutr., 101:1188-1196.