Probiotics

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What are probiotics?

 Probiotics are thought to be live microorganisms, similar to useful microorganisms that are located in people’s gut. Also identified as “good and friendly bacteria”, probiotics are readily available in specific foods and dietary supplements. Consequently, they can be utilized as CAM or complementary & alternative medicine.

 When employed as CAM within the human body, probiotics can treat various illnesses and they can support people’s general wellbeing. However, their use is limited because ongoing studies are still held in order to find out more about the benefits and purpose of probiotics. Over the years, scientists have tried to come to an agreement and build a general structure of probiotics. Hence, the World Health Organization, as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization have come to the conclusion that probiotics are known to be “live microorganisms which confer health benefits to its host when they’re administered in adequate dosages”.

 Probiotics are generally found in:

  • dietary supplements (tablets, capsules, powders)
  • yogurt
  • unfermented
  • fermented milk
  • tempeh
  • soy beverages
  • miso

  The majority of probiotics are in fact bacteria found in the gut, particularly in breastfed children who are therefore naturally protected by certain diseases. Generally speaking, probiotics are split into 2 major groups: Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Every group comes with specific strains; therefore, we distinguish:

  •  Lactobacillus            acidophilus
  • casei
  • plantarum
  • rhamnosus
  • helveticus
  • reuteri
  • salvarius
  •  Bifidobacterium       bifidum
  • infantins
  • longum
  • breve
  • animalis

Some other common probiotics like Saccharomyces boulardii are actually yeasts which are generally different from bacteria. There are numerous reasons to use probiotics for health purposes. To begin with, people should be well aware that the world is a place filled with live microorganisms. The same rule applies to people’s bodies. There are live microorganisms in the gut, within the skin and within additional orifices. For the proper growth of the immune system, friendly bacteria are elementary because they protect the body against detrimental microorganisms that might want to attack it.

 Individuals usually use probiotics to counterbalance side effects like cramping, gas or diarrhea that might occur when taking certain antibiotics. Others make use of probiotics to ease additional conditions like lactose intolerance for example, which is an illness triggered by the lack of a certain enzyme necessary to digest main sugars found in milk.

 When it comes to treating some other diseases with probiotics, studies are still being held. Parasites, yeasts and fungi, also known as “unfriendly” bacteria, are seriously damaging the body. For this matter, probiotics are supposed to help people suffering from:

  • Infectious diarrhea
  • IBS or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Vaginal infections
  • Respiratory and stomach infections
  • Skin infections
  • Tooth decay

Generally speaking, chronic ailments begin with the digestive system. Reduced gastrointestinal health usually leads to several illnesses that affect people’s vigor. Probiotics are bacteria that act like balancing agents against pathogenic, non-friendly, gut-bacteria like E.coli and Candida. The moment our bodies lack “the good guys” from the system, a number of diseases triggered by the lack of bacteria emerge. Thus, people might end up suffering from sluggishness, stomach upset, irritability and headaches.

Out of all probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus is probably the strongest one. Several studies have proven that the bacterium has the ability to create its own natural antibiotic within the body. Therefore, the new antibiotic formed will boost people’s ability to generate antimicrobial action adjacent to the pathogens present in the food consumed. Because of unhealthy lifestyles, stress and detrimental diets, people have the tendency to destroy their natural quantities of probiotics. That’s why, the best alternative is to take probiotic supplements when necessary.

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