3 Things to Know About Probiotics for Students in a Nutrition Diploma Program

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If you’re considering sport and nutrition training, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and research that affect nutrition. One nutrition-related topic that is extremely popular right now is probiotics, which are a type of bacteria found in yogurt, fermented foods, and other products.

Here’s a quick look at what they are and the benefits they can offer.

Probiotics Are a Type of Bacteria, and Are Divided into Two Main Categories

While we often think of bacteria as a bad thing, the truth is that there is both good bacteria and bad bacteria. Healthy bacteria, like probiotics, are needed to help improve and restore gut flora, which is a complex system of microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts. This makes probiotics good bacteria.

While there are many different types of probiotics, most are classified into two main categories. The first category is lactobacillus, which is the most common form of probiotic. Lactobacillus is found in yogurt and fermented foods. The other category is bifidobacteria, which is also found in fermented foods, including yogurt and cheese.

Yogurt and other fermented products are popular sources of probiotics

Yogurt and other fermented products are popular sources of probiotics

Pros with Sport and Nutrition Training Use Probiotics to Treat a Range of Health Conditions

Probiotics are mainly used to promote digestive health, especially in cases where good bacteria in the gut may have been killed off. For example, when people take antibiotics, the antibiotic ends up killing both the good bacteria and the bad bacteria in the digestive system. People use probiotics to replace the good bacteria that has been killed off, which in turn can help alleviate some common digestive health conditions, including diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics are used to improve gut health and to treat a number of digestive health conditions

Probiotics are used to improve gut health and to treat a number of digestive health conditions

However, if you’re undergoing sport and nutrition training you should be aware that probiotics are used to improve health in other parts of the body and not just the digestive system. In fact, research suggests that probiotics can help to improve immune function and reduce respiratory-tract infections in adults.

Experts Are Still Researching How Priobiotics Help Improve Health

While it is generally accepted that probiotics have health benefits, students studying a nutrition diploma program should be wary of exaggerated claims about their potential benefits. Scientists are still uncertain about how probiotics function in the body and a lot of research still needs to be done into them.

You should also keep in mind that probiotic supplements aren’t regulated in the same way that drugs and other pharmaceuticals are. Rather, probiotics are considered to be a food item, which means that any health claims made for a specific probiotic product isn’t necessarily backed up by rigorous clinical tests.

That being said, ongoing research is showing that there are definite health benefits to probiotics. So while you should maintain a healthy skepticism towards probiotic products that make wildly ambitious health claims, you can still safely include probiotics as part of a healthy and nutritious diet plan.

Are you interested in starting a new career?

Contact the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences to learn about our nutritionist training in Ontario.