Older people can take probiotics to supplement their naturally lower levels of friendly bacteria, and you may wish to recommend probiotic supplements to older customers.

Levels of good bacteria, particularly Bifidobacteria in the large intestine, have been found to plummet by as much as 1,000 fold in individuals from 55 to 60 years old and onwards. This imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is thought to largely contribute to older people's greater sensitivity to infections of the stomach and intestines. At an older age we can be more susceptible to health conditions including IBD, IBS, bloating, diarrhoea and indigestion; all of which originate in the gut. Supporting the body's balance of good bacteria can help maintain healthy digestion, a strong immune system, and overall vitality - especially in the elderly. OptiBac Probiotics are natural supplements which do not interfere with medications. If on a course of antibiotics, one should wait one hour before taking the probiotics.

For older customers we recommend 'For every day' (For daily wellbeing) which has appropriately higher levels of Bifidobacteria probiotics, or For daily immunity which contains vitamin C for additional immune support. Both of these are priced at just over £10 for one month. For a premium probiotic see For every day EXTRA Strength (For daily wellbeing EXTRA Strength) which contains 20 billion probiotics per daily dose, including L. acidophilus NCFM®;a strain tested1 in particular to result improve immune markers including PGE2 and IgA.

Note: Probiotics are not recommended for those with serious medical conditions eg. those who are severely immunosuppressed, have pancreatitis, are in the ICU, have melaena, have a central venous catheter, infants with short bowel syndrome, or to patients with open wounds following major surgery; unless under a doctor's care. Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before taking Saccharomyces boulardii or 'For travelling abroad'. To read more about the contraindications, you may wish to read 'When should I not take probiotics?'

1. Ouwehand AC, et al. (2009) Influence of a combination of L. acidophilus NCFM® and lactitol on healthy elderly: intestinal and immune parameters. J Nutr. Feb; 101(3):367-75.