What Are Probiotics

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

Probiotics are dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria.

Currently there is a huge interest in the use of foods which may exert a positive functional effect on our health. Two of these “Functional Foods” are known as probiotics and prebiotics, both of which have a favourable effect on the “good” bacteria that reside in our gut microflora. These “good” bacteria live naturally in our intestines and are essential to good health having a number of positive effects, primarily helping our digestive systems work efficiently. This concept was first promoted by a Russian scientist in 1907!

The 1908 Nobel Prize-winning scientist Elie Metchnikoff of Pasteur Institute in Paris, provided the first evidence the micro-organisms may be responsible for the health-promoting effects of fermented milks. After observing that bulgarian peasants lived to ripe old ages, Metchnikoff bacame convinced that their health and longevity were linked to microbes in the soured milk they copiously drank. He suggested that disease-causing “bad” bacterium later identified as Lactobacillus bulgaricus,

Probiotics may be found in live yoghurts or specially formulated powders, supplement pills, or probiotic drinks which contain one or more strains of these bacteria. With food processing, pollution, and antibiotic therapy, the numbers of bacteria living naturally in our gut are reduced, and research has shown that active consumption of bacteria increases the size of intestinal colonies, thereby improving digestion of food. Moreover, numerous studies have also shown that with optimal numbers of “good” bacteria, the immune system is improved, increasing our ability to fight disease.

Your gut flora has an incredible power over your immune system, which of course is you body’s natural defence system that keeps you healthy. In other words, the health of your body is largely linked to the health of your gut.

Probiotics has become the new “buzz” word. Your body needs to have a strong, healthy population of “good” bacteria in your gut. These “good” bacteria or “good” bugs do more than just help with digestion. Many things can upset the balance of “good bacteria in our bodies. Medicines, stress, and poor diet are among the factors that will decrease the population of “good” bacteria in our bodies.

Digestive problems however, are the norm for most people. A survey undertaken with 22, 000 people found that 71% had a sub-optimal digestion. It was found the one in four people often experienced indigestion, while one in two experienced flatulence or bloating. Four in five, didn’t have a bowel movement everyday. These are classic signs that all is not quite as it should be in the area of digestion. The “good” bugs have become depleted. This could be because of stress, smoking, antibiotics, the pill, natural aging, depression and much more. The immediate knock on effects are often low energy, poor skin, headaches, foggy thinking and food allergies.

If poor digestion goes unchecked for too long it can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, stomach bugs, candidiasis, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, colitis & diverticulitis, chronic fatigue, diarrhoea and much more.

Probiotics are actual bacteria, live strains of “good” bugs (bacteria), which help our digestive system work efficiently. The good news is that you can build your digestive system with a good probiotic. It is never too late to start.