The human body consists of both good and bad bacteria. Keeping a good balance in our gut means better immunity for disease. Probiotics are the ‘good’ bacteria that live in your gut.
Not all probiotics are the same. There are many strains and types. For example;
Lactobacillus. The most common probiotic. It’s found in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Bifidobacterium. This probiotic can be found in dairy products. This one can help IBS and support and help other conditions.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast, a type of fungus. It’s used as an agent for preventing and treating several gastrointestinal conditions. It appears to also help fight diarrhea. (2)
Research has been promising for these friendly critters. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of
- irritable bowel syndrome
- ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- H. pylori (the cause of ulcers)
- vaginal infections
- urinary tract infections
- recurrence of bladder cancer
- infection of the digestive tract caused by Clostridium difficile
- pouchitis (a possible side effect of surgery that removes the colon)
- eczema in children. (1)
So you can see good health, good immunity all lye’s within your gut. Some research even suggests taking probiotics can help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight as the body is balanced and working at its best. If you have been on antibiotics, Doctor’s may suggest you take a probiotic supplement to increase good bacteria since the antibiotics kill them off.
You can take probiotics in a tablet form or via food. However ensure your food is of good quality and natural. Check supplement tablets are of a high standard and don’t contain fillers. The more you pay the higher the quality and better absorbed is the norm.
In order to make the most of absorption, remember to include prebiotics. Kind of like the food for probiotics you could say. These substances come from types of carbs (mostly fibre) that humans can’t digest. The beneficial bacteria in your gut eat this fibre.
So for us, prebiotics are easier to take in the sense they come from food such as;
- beans, legumes
See how those foods like garlic and onion are those that ward off colds for example, yes thats right, once digested the chemicals within help fight disease, keeping our immunities up to the forces of nature.
Before taking probiotics, always check with your doctor or pharmacist as to what is best for you and in relation to any conditions you may have. Some people can have allergies and/or other issues. Most people are fine but it’s always best to check first.
So I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow, do you?
(1) Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School (Aug, 2018)
(2) Web MD (2018)