Many of you must be aware that probiotics are supposed to be good for your health but few know what exactly probiotics are. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health. They are particularly beneficial for the digestive system. Often bacteria are linked with the onset of several diseases. However, there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are considered as good and helpful bacteria. They effectively cleanse the gut and keep the intestinal flora healthy.
Usually, probiotics are consumed through fermented foods that contain live cultures, like yoghurt. Probiotic supplements are also available in the market in the form of probiotic softgels, capsules, tablets, etc. Although there are many probiotic strains, the most common ones are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacterial strains. Probiotics are naturally present in our body. However, they can also be ingested through foods and supplements.
How do Probiotics Work?
When you consume antibiotics, your body loses some good bacteria as well. Probiotics replace the good bacteria in the gut. Probiotics lower the amount of bad bacteria in the gut, which can cause harmful infections and diseases. Probiotics also maintain a balance between good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract, and help in the normal functioning of the digestive system.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Human body has enormous amount of bacteria living in the digestive tract that help in the breakdown and absorption of food consumed by us. This good bacteria is often destroyed when we consume antibiotics drugs that are supposed to kill diseasecausing bacteria in the body. These drugs also kill some of the good bacteria that help in digestion. Research says that around 30% of the people who are on antibiotics suffer from gastrointestinal problems. For this reason, doctors prescribe probiotic supplements or advise to consume probiotic foods.
Scientists have found out more benefits of probiotics. They have been proven to be effective for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome as well. They provide relief from various symptoms of IBS, like diarrhoea, abdominal pain, constipation and bloating. Probiotics stick to the adherence sites on the inner lining of the intestinal wall and leave no space for the harmful bacteria to affect the intestinal flora. This way, they greatly help in maintain the overall digestive health.
Probiotics have also proved to be helpful for people having urinary tract infections. They can be consumed along with the UTI antibiotics to prevent the effect of bad microbes. Probiotics work by sticking to the adherence sites of the urinary tract, leaving no space for bad microbes to affect the tract.
Like the digestive tract, a balance between good and bad bacteria is necessary in the vagina to prevent the occurrence of infections. If anything affects that balance, it causes bacterial and yeast infections in the vagina. Probiotics may prevent the infections from occurring.
Pregnant women are more likely to get vaginal infections. Bacterial infection in the vagina may cause preterm labour and thus consuming probiotics helps in maintaining the maternal health.
Probiotic foods and supplements contain good bacteria that enhance the immune health and protect you from several harmful infections. Probiotics keep your intestinal flora healthy and boost your immunity. They also protect you from getting prone to seasonal allergies.
Recently probiotics have gained a lot of popularity among healthconscious people. The numerous health benefits of probiotic supplements and foods have made more and more people go for probiotics. Also, many manufacturers have made these strains available in easy to consume forms in the market.