Probiotics What Are They?
They are a form of bacteria that is all around good for us. Your intestine has bacteria that could, if they multiply too quickly, cause illness and disease, however, it also has good bacteria that work on your behalf, destroying harmful pathogens, or the bad bacteria. These beneficial bacteria also manufacture some vitamins, in particular, the vital B-complex vitamins.
They are found naturally in foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, tempeh, kim chi, brewers yeast, and miso (soy bean paste). Human breast milk is also plentiful with them, too, and has actually been used as a treatment for stomach ulcers in adults. If you plan on getting your source from yogurt, make sure it has the “Live Active Culture” seal, as some yogurt manufacturers use a post-fermentation heat treatment which kills off all live cultures, which greatly reduces its benefits as a probiotic.
Generally, probiotics are divided into two main groups: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus acidophilus is probably one of the better-known in the former group. Also included in this group are L. rhamnosus, L. bulgaricus, L. salivarius and others. The Bifidobacterium group includes Bifidobacteria bifidum, B. infantis, and B. longum.
Choosing probiotics can be difficult, as there are now so many who claim to be the best source and the most benefits of probiotics, as they have been growing in popularity. All consumer probiotic products make different types of claims on the labels and advertising and they must be backed up by scientific documentation. However, the FDA does not police the accuracy or degree of substantiation for any such claims, therefore, it is very likely that some probably high number or commercial products publish unsubstantiated claims on their labeling, websites and advertising. There are, however, numerous independent published articles documenting these products that offer false advertising and claim to have more microbes or the types of microbes claimed on their labels. There are guidelines on some frequently asked questions by both consumers and health care professionals here to help you find the best probiotics for you. Remember, the live active cultures are the ones that are of benefit so contact the manufacturer if in doubt. But buyer beware, as Dannon can attest to, after they were sued and eventually paid a $35 million settlement due to the fact that that knowingly misled consumers with its Activia marketing activities. It never had any scientific documentation to back up it’s claims that it was better or had magical digestive benefits after 14 days, and those that bought in to the claims, were socked by retail prices of 30% more for a product that was identical to those of lesser cost. The moral of the story is, do your homework before you fall for any such claims!
Benefits of Probiotics What Makes These Bacteria so Good for You?
They are excellent for digestive problems of all sorts. As noted above, there are benefits to taking these wonders besides just digestive help. This is because an imbalance in bacteria – too many of the bad bacteria versus the good bacteria can cause all sorts of illnesses and troubles down below. There is encouraging evidence as to some of the benefits of probiotics to our digestive and overall health.
* The Immune System – At least half of your immune response takes place in our intestines, or gastrointestinal system. They help your intestines to perform their intended functions. Allergies, the product of a defective immune response, can be improved with probiotic supplementation as well, as mentioned above. It is also good for helping to prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu symptoms. It is also believed to help speed treatment of certain intestinal infections, and help to prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
* Oral health – Bacterial imbalances in the mouth can cause tooth decay, plaque build-up, and gum inflammation and disease. They are becoming part of oral care as studies show their positive effects on oral hygiene and health, and as it turns out, can also help whiten teeth and freshen breath!
* Candida – One of these bacteria’s specialties is the consumption of yeast cells, and the overpopulation of yeast cells can cause localized yeast infections or a whole-body condition known as candidiasis. The symptoms of a candida infection are so varied and numerous that yeast is considered a culprit in a wide range of disorders. The good news is that these bacteria are not only effective, they are very safe to take, so if candida turns out not to be the culprit, there’s no problem.
* Intestinal disorders – Even severe intestinal problems can benefit from supplementation by them. They help to ease the inflammatory bowel disease and other issues caused by such disorders as well as help restore bacterial balance in the stomach. A balanced gastrointestinal system is a healthy, normally functioning one. It can also be used to treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics. It can also help to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
* Prevent and treat eczema in children
* Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
We hope that Benefits of Probiotics Why They Are so Beneficial to Our Health helps you and your loved ones get the benefits of this healthy probiotic bacteria and have gastrointestinal health for life!