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Troubled by Abdominal Bloating? Probiotics May Help

Taking a daily probiotic supplement may reduce bloating for people with bowel disorders according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Their study was published in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria found in your gut. Maintaining a healthy level of these good bacteria is essential for digestive health and immune system function.

60 adults with bowel disorders but no constipation were recruited for the study. The average age of the participants was 37. 72% were women.

The participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group was given a daily probiotic supplement for eight weeks and the other was given a placebo.

The participants completed questionnaires that asked them to rate relief of their GI sypmptoms. A seven point scale was used, with 7 being substantially worse and 1 being substantially improved.

After 4 weeks, the participants given the probiotics rated their relief from abdominal bloating as 4.10 compared to 6.17 in the placebo group. After 8 weeks, overall bloating symptoms were reduced by 15% among participants given the probiotic supplements.

Previous studies have found that probiotics can be effective at improving digestion, reducing the risk of chronic disease and aiding in weight loss. These benefits are especially apparent among people over the age of 60 because the level of good bacteria in your gut tends to decrease as you age.

To boost probiotic levels in your gut, try consuming more yogurt and cultured milk products. You can also try incorporating a quality probiotic supplement into your diet. Make sure the supplement contains several probiotic strains and is packaged to block light, air, and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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