Probiotics (Beneficial Microorganisms)
Bacteria that Improves Digestion
Probiotics is a term that refers to tiny living microorganisms (bacteria, viruses or yeasts) that are similar to the microorganisms found in the human gut. These microorganisms do not cause harm to the body, but on the contrary, they help promote good digestion and maintain a healthy immune system
People usually use probiotics products to prevent illnesses and support general well-being. Some foods and dietary supplements may already contain probiotics or they can be added during their preparation. A variety of foods, including yogurt, miso, tempeh, fermented and unfermented milk, and soy beverages are some of the foods which contain probiotics.
Diseases of the Digestive Tract
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Helpful and Harmful Bacteria
The human body, normally has equal amounts of helpful or good bacteria and harmful or bad bacteria. Maintaining a balance between these two types of bacteria is necessary for optimal health. Diet, age and genetics determines the composition of the bacteria in the human body. An imbalance may lead to diseases of the digestive tract, such as irritable bowel syndrome celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and Chron´s disease. Other diseases, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes and obesity may arise, as well.
What Do Probiotics Do for Your Body?
Probiotics are believed to protect the human body in two ways; first, they keep the balance of bad and good bacteria in our digestive tract. A lifestyle that is constantly under stress, lacks sleep, prescription drugs over use and the environment all have an effect in the amount of bacteria in our bodies and can shift the balance favoring the bad bacteria in our system.
Probiotics Promotes the Absorption of Nutrients
The human body is host to an infinite number of bacteria. Some bacteria live in the gastrointestinal tract (the gut). it is believed that the cells composing these bacteria could outnumber the cells of a human adult. Although bacteria is always thought of as harmful, actually many bacteria help the human body stay in optimal shape. Probiotics are essential to maintain an optimum immune system, and to protect against harmful microorganism which could cause disease. They also help to absorb food and nutrients properly in the human body.
The use of probiotics has proved to be effective in disorders, such as irritable bowel, diarrhea, syndrome, gastritis, vaginal infections, colitis, skin infections, and ulcers. Probiotic fermented foods and supplements are recommended to treat diseases of the digestive tract.
The most common types of probiotic found as over-the-counter supplements are lactobacillus GG, lactobacillus bulgaricus, bifidobacterium (contained in breast milk), and lactobacillus acidophilus. They can be found at most grocery or health food stores as dietary complements in tablet, capsule, and powder form, and in food, such as fermented and unfermented milk, tempeh, yogurt, juices, and soy beverages.
Thorough Cleansing Before Using Probiotics
The ingestion of probiotics could generate side effects, including intestinal gas, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. These effects may last for a few days and are usually originated by the cleansing process the body is going through.
It is recommended to practice a thorough cleansing of the digestive tract before initiating the ingestion of probiotic supplements. Individuals taking medications should consult a heath care practitioner before using probiotics. If you are seriously thinking on starting probiotic supplementation, you should discuss the risks and benefits with your health care provider.
Useful Information About Probiotics
- Maintaining the balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines with a good diet may promote overall health
- Scientific studies have shown that probiotic supplements positively affect the microbial flora in the intestines, leading to a much better functioning of the immune system
- The connection between the use of probiotics and its effects on the immune system help prevent illnesses
- The most common type of bacteria is lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli), which are added as live cultures to certain fermented foods, including yogurt
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