When we hear about bacteria, the next word we think of is harmful. But what if you get to know, some bacterias are proved to be beneficial for human health?
What Are Probiotics – Interesting right? Our body is a home for innumerable good and bad bacterias. The main motive is to create a balance between them to lead a healthy life. Here’s when probiotics come into play as they are responsible for maintaining this balance. Let’s see where do we find it, how they help us, and why we should include them.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are defined as ‘live organisms’ which when consumed in an adequate amount intend to give health benefits to the host. They are mainly known for their beneficial effects in improving intestinal health by keeping your gut healthy. Probiotics may contain various microorganisms like live bacteria and yeast that are good for us, especially our digestive system. The most common bacteria found in probiotics are:
Lactobacillus – The most common probiotic which you may found in yoghurt and fermented foods and
Bifidobacterium – This is found in dairy products and may give relief from the symptoms of IBS.
Saccharomyces boulardii – This is a yeast found in probiotics that helps in easing the symptoms of diarrhoea.
How do they work?
While some of the researchers are still going to know exactly how probiotics help the human body, some of the well-known things are:
They help to maintain the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in a body. Think of when you get sick, the bad bacteria enter your body and multiply. You lose the ‘good bacteria in your body especially after taking antibiotics, probiotics can help to replace them thus making balance in your body. Good bacteria promote health by assisting your immune function and controlling inflammation.
Certain good bacterias in probiotics may also help in
- breakdown and absorption of medications
- formation of vitamins
- keeping bad bacteria in control
- supporting gut line cells to prevent bad bacteria from entering into the bloodstream
Probiotics assistance in health and diseases
- Probiotics help to stabilize good bacteria in your digestive system
They are live organisms that can restore the natural balance of gut bacteria whenever an imbalance is created due to illness, poor diet, medications, and more.
- Probiotics may help in certain diseases
Some common conditions they may help in are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Diarrhoea is caused by viruses or parasites
- Diarrhoea caused by intake of antibiotics
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Skin conditions like eczema
- Urinary and vaginal health
- Prevention of allergies and cold
- Oral health
Probiotics help in improving mental health conditions
Many studies have shown the linkage of gut health to mood and mental health. Studies have also shown that taking probiotic supplements can improve some mental health. It is observed that supplementing with strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium for 1-2 months can improve anxiety, depression, OCD, and memory.
Promotes the health of your heart
Probiotics help in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure thus keeping your heart healthy. The studies and reviews found that eating a probiotic yoghurt for about 2-8 weeks helps in reducing total 4% cholesterol and 5% LDL
Probiotics may help in immune-boosting
As of now, we are aware that probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut thus giving your immune system a boost. Also, it has been observed that probiotics aids in the boosting of immune cells like IgA producing cells, T lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and natural antibodies.
Probiotics may help you lose weight
Probiotics may help you lose weight and belly fat through numerous different mechanisms. They give you a sense of fullness for a long time, burn your calories, and store less fat. Probiotics also intercept the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine.
Where do we find it?
Here’s a list of super healthy probiotic foods that you should add to your diet:
- Yoghurt ( Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus)
- Traditional buttermilk
- Fermented foods
- You can also consume probiotic supplements as tablets, capsules, and powders that contain bacteria in the dried form
Probiotic supplements are a wonderful innovation in the world of human health. But for some people, it may not work as wondrously as expected because the unique gene makeup, age, health, and diet all affect how probiotics work. Sometimes when the dose isn’t correct or you aren’t taking it correctly may also affect the serviceability of probiotics. Though probiotics are generally considered safe for people with serious health conditions may have some risks linked to the use of probiotics supplements. So it’s always a good idea to ask your health expert before turning to probiotic supplements.
Also read: Discover, what is plant-based diet?