What Are Probiotics?
First of all, probiotics are friendly and useful microorganism of different varieties that live in the digestive system that enhance digestion and helps to absorb nutrients at optimal levels.
Our gut has a favourable environment for probiotics, mainly these microorganisms are bacteria and fungi and are collectively known as the microbiome. These probiotics are harmless and provides plenty of health benefits for us. Probiotics and good bacteria do not only live in your gut, but there is plenty of probiotics living on the surface of your skin.
Types of probiotics?
Probiotics are classified according to their type and benefits they deliver. Here are the most common types of probiotics.
–Most common bacteria and you find this easily in yoghurt and all forms of the fermented food. Lactobacillus mainly helps in cases of AID (Antibiotic Induced Diarrhea) and in people who cannot digest lactose (sugar
part in milk) – lactose intolerant.
- Bifidobacterium – It is also a commonly found bacteria in dairy products like yoghurt and cheese. It is famous for its clinically proven effects in easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Saccharomyces boulardii – it is a type of fungi, (yeast variety) helps in diarrhoea and other digestive problems.
10 Primary Benefits of Probiotics
1. It restores the balance of the friendly bacteria in the gut
Bacterial imbalance in the gut will happen due to the existence of more bad bacteria than good bacteria. This occurs naturally as a result of digestive diseases, poor diet or antibiotics. Prebiotics restores this balance if taken it outside in sufficient amounts. Simply from supplementation or adequate amounts of fermented foods and dairy products.
2. Probiotics can treat and help
prevention of diarrhoea
Use of probiotics has been shown to directly reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated
diarrhoea by restoring the balance among bacteria in the gut.
Furthermore, supplementation with probiotics slow down the effects of infectious diarrhoea, with best results demonstrated in children. However, the effects of probiotics are dependent on the type and dosage of probiotics used.
3. Probiotics supplements can ease the
symptoms of digestive disorders
Digestive conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s
disease have been shown to be well controlled by probiotics supplementation.
Specifically Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains have the ability to reduce and ease the symptoms
of these conditions with considerable efficacy.
4. Probiotics can boost the immune system
of the body
Probiotics stimulate the production of natural antibodies inside the body and prevent the activity of
Furthermore, they also boost the T lymphocytes and IgA-producing cells which are important in the prevention of mild respiratory infections like common cold and urinary tract infections, especially among middle-aged women.
5. Most importantly it can help to reduce extra body weight and fat.
Probiotics have the ability to absorb dietary fat inside the small intestine of the gut and assist in excretion through faecal matter.
Additionally, probiotics supplementation or eating plenty of probiotic foods, increases the feeling of fullness, which reduces the intake of other foods in-between main meals. It is a cause of indirect weight loss through dietary control. However, some dietary products containing Lactobacillus acidophilus can lead to weight gain
and you should be careful when choosing the best probiotics for your need.
6. Can reduce the reoccurrence of genital-urinary infections
Recurrence of urinary conditions such as urinary infections (UTI), bacterial vaginosis, vaginal infections, bladder cancers and bladder stones can be reduced by frequent intake of probiotics.
Some of the best probiotics can help prevent bad bacteria (pathogenic bacteria) from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a population of healthy bacteria (Probiotics) on the tract’s adherence sites.
7. Probiotics may also have a special role in maternal health
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vaginal infections and probiotics have been demonstrated to play a role in reducing the reoccurrence of these conditions.
And bacterial vaginosis has been indicated as a contributing factor to pre-term labour, making probiotics a potential benefit for fetal health.
8. Probiotics use can improve mental health conditions
There has been remarkable research and advances in use of probiotics to ameliorate mental health conditions like depression, stress, anxiety, autism, memory loss due to ageing and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
This is a new upcoming area of medicine, where use of probiotics and fecal transplants have demonstrated beneficial effects in mental health conditions.
9. Probiotic supplements help to improve heart health.
Use of probiotics can reduce the LDL (bad cholesterol) in blood and help in decreasing blood pressure.
Additionally, probiotics have been shown to break down bile in the gut (biochemical fluid in gut helps in fat digestion) and prevent it from reabsorbing into the bloodstream.
10. Probiotics can reduce the chances of some allergic conditions and eczema.
This is more so especially in newborn infants and children below 5 years. It is also beneficial for eczema in pre-pregnant mother and locating mothers. Furthermore, probiotics reduce the inflammatory responses triggered by milk and dairy product allergies.