Probiotics: make your tummy happy with good bacteria
We know that so me bacteria can be bad for you, but bacteria are actually a normal part of your body. Probiotics can help you make sure you have all the good bacteria you need.
Probiotics are microorganisms like bacteria or yeast that are helpful in promoting digestive health. Lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria, yeasts like Saccharomyces boulardii are used extensively as probiotics.
Probiotics typically live in your gut and are nothing to worry about. Your body is naturally able to differentiate between healthy and harmless bacteria. A probiotic will improve the bacteria’s health in your gut. This helps to prevent harmful bacteria from infecting your digestive tract by crowding them out and prevent them from causing any symptoms.
Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures; such as in yogurt, dahi or as dietary supplements and is also found in soy foods.
Other benefits of Probiotics:
- Probiotics help your gut crowd out bad bacteria by increasing good bacteria. This has been shown to reduce the duration of diarrhoea and the symptoms of lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome
- Probiotics are often encouraged during antibiotic treatment. When you take antibiotics all of your bacteria is destroyed both good and bad. If you take probiotics you can replace the good bacteria while still eliminating the bug that is making you sick
- Probiotics directly modulates the immune system and show positive effects in allergies with improvement in mild allergic diseases like atopic dermatitis and rhinitis
- Metabolic syndrome is a group of metabolic abnormalities, increases an individual’s risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This syndrome is influenced by digestive health as well. Probiotics have been indirectly linked to improvement in disease like obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
- A few studies have shown that certain strains of probiotic bacteria may prevent viral respiratory tract infections (common cold and influenza), alleviate complaints and/or shorten the duration of the disease
- The consumption of probiotics may be beneficial in preventing the onset of cancer, but also in the treatment of existing tumors. However, evidence from human studies is still limited