Do probiotics help an upset stomach? (and if so, which ones?)
Trillions of bacteria live inside us; in fact, the bacteria in our gut is essential to help us digest our food. However, eating foods our bodies aren't used to, or consuming something that's 'gone off' can often result in a stomach upset. Having an upset stomach is uncomfortable at the best of times: it's exhausting, debilitating, not to mention painful and can completely disrupt everyday life. This short article should help to shed some light on the subject and hopefully help a few people in the process.
Upset Stomach - IBS & diarrhoea
In layman's terms, S. boulardii is thought to attach itself to the bad bacteria and slowly remove it from your system. This may help to reduce IBS and diarrhoea symptoms by up to 24 hours, allowing you to get back on your feet quicker. For more information on Saccharomyces boulardii, click here.
Whether you're going away to a familiar destination, returning home to see family or backpacking to distant lands to explore uncharted territory, holidays are invariably a memorable experience. However, sometimes these new experiences can also produce some nasty and uncomfortable stomach-related side effects.
Normally, our gut is exposed to a certain type of bacteria in everyday life and our immune system is accustomed to this. However, when we visit different countries, our bodies become exposed to very different types of bacteria that we may not have encountered previously, usually by consuming the food and drinking water. Consequently, our body goes into a 'defence mode' which causes stomach upsets, sickness, diarrhoea, and general discomfort. Trying the local cuisine in countries such as Thailand, India, Egypt or Cambodia which could include eating frog, snake, silk worms or even scorpion (certainly not for the faint-hearted) may also lead to diarrhoea or sickness, often referred to as "Travellers' Diarrhoea". Even drinking the water in some exotic counties can cause illness.
Saccharomyces boulardii also happens to be a probiotic that helps ease the effects of “traveller’s diarrhoea”, clinically researched3 to support gut health in those that travel abroad to exotic locations. S.boulardii, as mentioned above, works differently from other probiotics specifically because of its unique transient qualities. This means that it can pass through the system without binding to the gut wall. It works by adhering itself to harmful bacteria and gently removing those unwelcome pathogens from the system.
Consequently, when travelling abroad, it’s also considered a good idea to take other types of probiotics alongside Saccharomyces boulardii in an effort to battle bad bacteria in two ways. Live cultures, like L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus are thought to possess qualities that allows the natural bacteria to line the interior of the gut wall, creating a barrier and fortifying the gut's natural defences. These properties can be a particular aid against so-called “Delhi Belly”.
Whether you're experiencing stomach discomfort at home, or in a hostel in Mumbai, you are now aware that certain strains of probiotics may help to ease associated symptoms.
See more related articles below:
Classification of Saccharomyces boulardii
Exploring probiotics, friendly bacteria and PCOS