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HerbSprout Microbiome Blog -


Herbsprout is a webblog and podcast dedicated to sharing the health benefits of herbs, food, innovations related to our gut microbiome. Herbsprout seeks to bridge the vast chasm dividing the mainstream medical community, alternative medicine, and Asian medicine, especially of China (TCM), India (Ayurveda), and Japan (eJim & Kampo).

Benefits and Risks of taking probiotics

It is scientifically confirmed that microbes help us digest food, fight harmful bacteria, and regulate the immune system. But sometimes an imbalance of microbes occurs, leading to diarrhea and other health problems, so one should exercise caution when consuming Probiotic supplements. A January 20, 2020 article by Medical News Today warns that online misinformation about probiotics is common. It has become a $40 billion business and yet there remains a lack of scientific evidence to support the health benefits of certain probiotics, or their potential side effects. The article states that only "35% of online sites referenced scientific literature, only 25% listed potential side effects." (see article, ).

An August 20, 2019 report by Harvard University cautions the use of probiotic supplements, since they are not categorized as a drug by the FDA and do not undergo the same monitoring. The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics (among a potential 3,000 or so) are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. These can be obtained by taking supplements or foods that have naturally live cultures in them such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi and pickels. But it does not necessarily mean these foods or the supplements have the adequate amount of the key probiotics you might need that are unique to you. Symptoms may arise such as experiencing loose stool, but this should not be of major concern and should disappear in short order.

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