Did you know that some types of germs are good for your health? No? Well, they are. Probiotics are a group of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live naturally in your body. They form a community of microorganisms, or microbes, in the body that works together to keep it healthy.
For years, microbes were thought to be nasty little critters that needed to be kept out of the body, but recent research is beginning to show just how important beneficial microbes are to general body function. Here is all you need to know about probiotics.
Probiotics are most common in the large intestines, but they are also found in the mouth, urinary tract, vagina, skin, and lungs.
Probiotics help the body to balance the number of microbes in the body. Since they depend more or less on the same space and nutrients as harmful microbes, they outcompete them, effectively depriving them of these resources and keeping their numbers low. This is why when the beneficial microbes reduce, the harmful microbes increase in number and you get sick.
Here are some other specific ways probiotics help us stay healthy:
Probiotics improve the health of the digestive system by controlling the population of harmful bacteria. Limited studies have shown that probiotics can reduce antibiotic-related diarrhea by 60%.
When you take antibiotics, they eliminate both harmful and beneficial bacteria. This compromises the role of probiotic microbes. This is why you sometimes get diarrhea as a side effect when taking antibiotics.
Controlled trials have also found that treatment with the probiotic Lactobacillus can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in children and infants. Probiotic microbes in the large intestine also slow down digestion to further break down partly digested material. This softens the stool and effectively reduces constipation.
Other gut disorders being studied for treatment with probiotics include irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.
The urogenital tract is a delicately balanced system, and a slight disruption of that balance quickly leads to an infection. The friendly Lactobacillus strains in the vaginal tract make the environment too acidic for harmful microbes to survive.
However, factors like the use of antibiotics, birth control pills, and even stress harm the probiotic microbes and lead to bacterial or yeast infection.
Yogurt, which contains Lactobacillus strains, is a common home remedy for urinary tract infections. It is either ingested or applied directly to the vaginal area. This is still a home remedy, though, and studies are going on to establish the effectiveness of probiotics over conventional treatments for urinary tract infections.
We all have probiotic microbes in our bodies. However, their numbers can decrease due to:
You can increase the number of probiotics by ingesting them in different ways. Fermented foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt are good sources of probiotic bacteria. However, you might not have access to these all the time.
You can still take supplements in form of capsules and even powders that you mix into drinks and other recipes.
Check out these amazing supplements with probiotic and other benefits.
This is a combination of 5 probiotic microbial strains, prebiotics, and probiotic fermented foods. The prebiotics is high fiber foods that provide a medium for transporting the probiotic strains to their destination in the large intestine.
Sometimes the environment in the stomach is too acidic for friendly bacteria to survive, and they need to be protected on their way to the large intestine. The wholefoods also promote digestion by helping to move food along the digestive tract.
This is a tasty mix of organic rolled wholegrain cornflakes and oats, fresh dates, nuts, rustic apples, fruits, and seeds. The highly fibrous muesli is easy to digest and provides food for probiotics in the gut.
This supplement powder contains 15 different probiotic strains including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. It also contains Soil Based Organism (SBO) strains.
Soil-based probiotics are more resistant to the harsh stomach environment than the common probiotic strains which sometimes die in the acidic conditions. This ensures that they get to the large intestine intact and alive. This combination also suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.
The probiotic strains promote vitamin production and strengthen the immune system in addition to breaking down food and maintaining a healthy gut environment.
Five different prebiotic foods in this supplement help to provide protection and food for the live strains. Additional benefits of this prebiotics include:
This supplement contains only one wholefood ingredient concentrated with nutrients and health benefits for the whole body. It consists of high quality micronized protein powder made by sprouting organic brown rice and digesting it with a natural enzyme to produce the raw supplement which is 80% protein. Some benefits of this protein powder include:
The world is waking up to the power of probioticsin maintaining good health and fighting infections. They are a natural and simple way of helping the body fight its own battles. Don't get left behind; check out the probiotic products discussed in this post and take your pick.