Maybe you have heard of the benefits of probiotics — but when it comes to finding the best probiotics for women over 50, where do you start? Similar to finding the best multivitamins to complement your diet, it’s important to identify a probiotic that’s specifically targeted to your nutritional needs. Before we do that, let’s break down the science behind probiotics.
What are probiotics?
According to the National Institute of Health, probiotics are live microorganisms (or bacteria) that are intended to have health benefits. Aside from supplements, these wonderful bacterial organisms can be found naturally in food items like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. Now we know what you’re thinking — bacteria? But isn’t bacteria a bad thing? Well, not exactly. Our bodies are covered in bacteria, most of it good, some of it bad. Probiotics are the good guys, improving immune function, protecting against the risk of infection, and aiding nutrient absorption by keeping the gut and digestive system healthy. This is vital to the body as we get older.
Do you really need probiotics?
You eat your vegetables, stay active, and find yourself keeping up an, ahem, regular schedule, so do you really need probiotics? The answer is yes! While there is still much debate surrounding the subject of their importance, Harvard Health says, "They won't hurt and they can help." Everyone could benefit from probiotics on a bad stomach day, but those suffering from disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, chronic UTIs, or even asthma may find probiotics extremely helpful. Consistently introducing healthy bacteria to a compromised immune system (which is found mainly in the gut) could be the solution you've been searching for.
So, what are the best probiotics for women over 50?
The best probiotics for women over 50 are going to be specific to each woman's needs — and whether they're stomach-related issues, like diarrhea and leaky gut, or general health issues, like urinary tract health or weight loss, there's a probiotic out there for you. The best place to start is to figure out the type of probiotics you want to add to your diet. According to the American Nutrition Association, "the recommended daily intake for probiotic supplements can range from 1 billion CFU, (or colony forming units) to 100 billion CFU per day." If you find your gut (and overall) health to be pretty good, then a low number of CFUs can be all you need. However, since our immune systems weaken as we age, a higher number is needed to stay healthy and see significant results, so anything ranging from the 25 to 50 billion CFU count is a great place to start.
Remember, as with any supplement, it's important to consult your doctor before adding a probiotic to your daily vitamin regimen. However, if you're ready to pick something up or simply want to educate yourself on what's out there, there is no harm in reading on. Keep scrolling for 12 options for the best probiotic for women over 50 on the market today.