What Are Probiotics And Why Do I Need Them?
Most people have probably heard of the term probiotics, but do you know what they actually are?
Probiotics are actually live organisms that can help out our guts. They help improve our overall digestive health and immune systems. Probiotics also help improve our mineral absorption from supplements and food, as well as helping us with our digestive problems.
Yes, sounds gross to want to ingest live organisms in our body, but doctors will support the fact that in order to maintain the integrity of the lining of the digestive tract, you need to maintain normal flora to prevent pathogenic bacteria from giving us infections. In other words, probiotics can help balance good and bacteria in your digestive tract.
Over 400 species of bacteria are found within a normal digestive tract, and the majority of them are in your colon. When these are out of balance and your immune system isn’t preforming as it should, you’re susceptible to colds, flu, allergic reactions and auto immune disorders.
Who Will Benefit from Probiotics?
Anybody can benefit from taking probiotics as part of their daily regimen. Your digestive health is essential to your overall health, so why wouldn’t you do something to benefit your body?
People who have taken antibiotics frequent will really benefit, because the good bacteria in your body have most likely been killed off when using antibiotics.
Of course, people with continual digestive issues will benefit as well. Probiotics can help decrease diarrhea associated with a variety of causes, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, prevent infection and might improve lactose intolerance.
For people with autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and eczema, it can help you manage your disorder by keeping the gastrointestinal tract healthy.
Before starting any supplement or change in diet, make sure to consult your doctor. Especially if you have serious infections or compromised immune systems, and taking probiotics might not help.
Where Can I Get Probiotics?
Aside from supplements, you can get probiotics in food. Live culture dairy is an obvious choice, such as kefir, sour cream and yogurt. Don’t forget that fermented foods such as miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut also contain live cultures. Some people like to drink kombucha, which is a fermented tea.
That being said, most commercial dairy doesn’t contain as much significant organisms as you need to benefit from them.
Different types of probiotics include:
Bifidobacteria – Helps with treating irritable bowel syndrome, reduce dental cavities, help lower cholesterol, and ulcerative colitis.
Lactobacillus acidophilus - Helps to prevent and treat irritable bowel syndrome, canker sores, lactose intolerance, eczema, and respiratory infections.
Streptococcus thermophiles – Helps with preventing lactose intolerance.
Saccharomyces boulardii – Helps patients with Crohn’s disease. It can also help treat acne, reduce side effects of bacteria responsible for ulcers, and to prevent antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
No matter who you are, you can benefit from taking probiotics. Take it as part of an overall healthy diet and you might enjoy a higher standard of life.