We all like to do what we can in order to keep ourselves fit and healthy, and it is human nature to look for the easiest way to do that. So when advertisers tell us of the next health miracle, a lot of people jump at it. One of these products is known as Activia, which is basically a yoghurt.
It is not any old kind of yoghurt though, as it contains probiotics. Consuming this kind of product on a regular basis is supposed to help with the digestive system, and some people are now asking; ‘Is Activia good for IBS?’
The human stomach contains billions of bacteria, along with digestive enzymes and acid.
All of this helps to break down the food and drink that we consume into smaller parts that can be absorbed and used by our body. Without all of this in our stomachs, then food would just pass straight through us.
This is exactly what happens with people who have an imbalance in the stomach of one form or another. If the digestive system is missing some bacteria or enzymes, then some of the food will not be processed, and will be discarded as waste.
This can cause health problems, as the body will then become short on certain nutrients. Yoghurts that contain probiotics are supposed to help to ensure that the bacterial balance in the stomach is maintained.
One problem with this is that the stomach contains a lot of different kinds of bacteria, while probiotics only usually contain one, or at most, just a few. That is not to say that they are a waste of time taking though, however, research has shown that for normal healthy people, they will not show much improved in health, if any.
Now, when it comes to people who have health problems then it may be a slightly different story. Take someone who has to go on a course of antibiotics. These antibiotics target most bacteria, they are not selective. This means that someone who needs to take this kind of medication will have their natural stomach bacteria wiped out, or at best, decimated.
This means that until it recovers, the digestive mechanism will not be working properly. This is not good, as when a person is ill, it is essential that they get all the nutrients available in what they are consuming.
Under these circumstances, it is advisable to take probiotics during the illness, and for about a week after it has cleared up. When it comes to something like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the research is not so clear, and contains a lot of mixed results.
The main problem is that IBS is a catch all phrase. Whenever someone has a digestive problem, and there is no proper diagnosis, then it is often labelled as IBS, and the patient is told to try and manage it.
In some cases this can mean keeping notes on when the IBS occurs, and what was eaten prior to it. By doing this over a period of time, it may be that a food type shows up often as a possible cause. So by then cutting out that food, it may help relieve the IBS.
Under the above circumstances, taking a probiotic would not cause any problems or side effects, so consuming it for about a month as a trial will do no harm at all. The worst outcome is that it does nothing, and then in that case you have only wasted a little bit of money. If it does give some relief to the IBS then it is well worth the money, and consumption should continue on a regular basis.
People that have IBS can suffer from things such as wind, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and many other symptoms. For most people it is annoying, and only happens occasionally. For the unlucky few, it can have a massive effect on their lives.
If probiotics do not help physically, but make someone feel much better mentally, then that also means they are having a positive effect, although this is more down to the placebo effect. So if you do suffer from IBS, then it is worth trying something like Activia.