Probiotics – Good for Your Gut

So you’ve seen the advertisement, grocery shelves are loaded with fortified yoghourts but what exactly are probiotics? Should you be taking them?

Pro=for life,biotics=bacteria, so essentially they are live bacteria that are good for life. The body has more bacteria in it than cells.In fact 10 x the amount. They are live non-toxic bacteria beneficial to human health and play a crucial role in  not only the gastro-intestinal system but overall health as well. There is research linking probiotics to improvements in digestion, nutrient absorption, intestinal repair, and immune health. They have also been linked to prevention of diseases and cancer, and increasing overall cardio vascular health.

Fermented foods are part of most cultures lifestyles; such as yoghourt,sauerkraut,miso,and tempeh.

Probiotics ferment dietary substances such as fiber that our bodies can’t normally digest. They act as a natural detoxification system for our bodies and can regulate and help with constipation..They stimulate and fortify the the body’s own natural defenses so are part of a good immune strengthening strategy. Hence they have been found to help reduce respiratory infections and treat and prevent travellers diarrhoea. They are useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Also many women will get yeast infections  or diarrhea when prescribed an antibiotic, taking a supplement of probiotics can help prevent or reduce symptoms of diarrhoea, or yeast infections.

So what can reduce our natural host bacteria? Antibiotics, many chronic diseases,constipation,oral contraceptives,travel,aging,diet and food poisoning.

So how can you add probiotics to your diet? What supplements are available? adding fermented foods such as yoghurt are a good idea ,use organic and non sweetened when possible, or make your own. Supplements commonly contain popular species such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.Make sure when buying supplements to look for guaranteed potency throughout the shelf life, human strains and exact species. Clinical research as well with that particular brand. There are now many strains available with different indications check with your health care provider for your specific concerns.

There are many benefits of probiotics and they play a crucial role in your health make sure you are getting enough.