One dictionary defines Probiotics as a substance that promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. They contain microorganisms or bacteria that bring benefits to the host organism. The concept of using bacteria for good health is as old as time. Its popularity began 5000 years earlier.
Centuries earlier, people fermented milk products and they contained probiotics. In Persia, people believed that Abraham of the Old Testament owed his longevity to fermented milk. Even French King Francis I was cured after consuming yogurt in 1500s.
The theory behind probiotics is that the human body is host to many microorganisms and bacteria called gut flora, which are necessary for health. Probiotics plays an important role in nutrition especially since the microbial populations have been modified by the use of antibiotics and other substances, which are designed to eliminate germs and diseases.
In 2002, probiotics were defined as ‘live microorganisms that when consumed in sufficient amounts would convey health benefit to the host’. Simply put, when eaten in adequate amount, they can benefit your intestines.
Considered as beneficial bacteria, a probiotic can boost your immune system by regulating lymphocytes and antibodies, protect your heart and prevent constipation, especially in the elderly. This can be done by regulating the intestinal transit time, with the consumption of the live microorganism.
There are studies conducted across the world showing probiotics improves the availability of nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper and phosphorous. In addition, pediatric research studies discovered that some strains like the Lactobacillus GG in Culturelle capsules can help in reducing the rate of acute diarrhea and shedding of rotavirus. Babies who drink formula containing the live microorganisms are reported to have 25% reduction in diaper rash.
If you have been suffering from lactose intolerance, drinking probiotics supplements or consuming probiotics products like yogurt may help improve your condition. Yogurt contains bacterial strain which produce lactase enzymes. Thus, children who have intestinal infection and adults who have lactose intolerance can tolerate yogurt because of the active culture present.
The Probiotics Acidophilus are known to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestine and colon to decrease the conversion of bile into cancer-causing substances. Although the microorganisms are present all throughout the human body, they particularly thrive in the intestine. If the presence of bad bacteria is threatened or balanced by the presence of good bacteria, you can be assured of having a healthy digestive system.
However, if the bad bacteria are invading your intestines, health problems are likely to occur. That is why many people are including probiotics-such as the lactobacilli-in their diet. The live microorganisms can restore the balance of bacteria in your intestinal tract.
Yogurt and sauerkraut are just among the many foods containing the good bacteria. On the other hand, you can also benefit from prebiotic. The prebiotic which is a substance that cannot be digested can make their way into your digestive system and thus promote the growth of good bacteria.
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