So begins my next multi-part look at a powerful natural supplement. This one is actually made up of many different ones, and is unique in its capacity outside the realm of vitamins, minerals, herbs and the like. But it’s commonplace now and everybody knows they should get more probiotics. Well, first off, let’s look at exactly what these are.
Probiotics means “for life” in Latin and Greek. They are live microorganisms that are given to people in order to exert a beneficial effect. Normally, hundreds of bacteria reside in your gastrointestinal tract — a virtual swimming pool. Probiotics, fast becoming a valuable and popular supplement, typically contain types of the bacteria already in your body. In particular, this means “lactobacilli” and “bifidobacteria,” which produce lactate and fatty acids. For centuries, bacteria producing lactic acid have been used to preserve food (e.g. sauerkraut).
Nowadays, probiotics are quite familiar to the public as “bioyogurt” and dietary supplements. The purpose of this e-series is to give you the most up-to-date look at the health benefits of probiotics. And believe me, there are a few.
There are many ways that probiotics exert their health benefits, including the following:
— Restore a normal balance of bacteria in the colon, which lowers the risk of diarrhea associated with antibiotics
— Help stop “bad bacteria” from growing in your gut
— Stimulate the chemical mucin, which improves the environment in the gut
— Stimulate your immune system, boosting the body’s ability to fight infection
— Reduce the immunoglobulin, IgE-mediated diseases, such as asthma
— Restore normal flora of the vagina and urinary tract
— Improve lactose digestion, which is often problematic for the intestines