What Do Probiotics Do and Are They Good For You?
Probiotics have become one of the latest health and fitness craze’s to hit the market, and although it’s got all the makings of a fad, this form of microorganisms providing therapy for your body seems like it might be here to stay. The word probiotic actually comes from two words in the Greek language that separately mean promotion, “pro”, and life, “biotic”. This means that through definition of the term itself you can see that these microorganisms should affirm a good life. Well known and long used in parts of the world like Japan and Europe, North America is a little behind on getting involved with this method of regulating your digestive system and helping with a number of health issues.
“Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms naturally found in the human gut.” – Dr. Oz
These organisms are very similar to yeast or bacteria, but are met with more positive enthusiasm because they seem to do a number of beneficial things for the human body. If you’re considering adding them to your diet, you can choose to do so through a supplement or a food source. Don’t think about it as though you’re eating bacteria, think about it as giving your body a little bit more of something that’s already inside of it which will help improve balance and function. There are over five hundred different bacteria already living in your digestive system currently keeping your intestines and immune system running properly.
Reasons To Invite Probiotics Into Your Life
Probiotics are actually made up of two very different strains of bacteria, each offering its own distinct advantages. They are often used to treat intestinal problems such as constipation or diarrhea, but new research has announced that probiotics may also play a part in reducing the symptoms of certain kinds of cancer. They are also reported to remove negative effects of irritable bowel syndrome and more specific cases of diarrhea caused by traveling and drinking new bacteria found in international water supplies, as well as stomach upset due to antibiotics.
“Probiotics may also be useful in unexpected ways. A study published in 2010 suggests that probiotics may lower the risk of common childhood illnesses such as ear infections, strep throat, and colds.” – Web MD
There is much evidence to reinforce most of the claims of success in relieving negative symptoms affiliated with stomach issues, but some claims still require some evidential proof. An example of this is found in the possibility of positive effects on urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and yeast infections.
Just as there are different types of probiotic bacteria to use to your advantage, there are also different foods and methods of ingesting probiotics to gain their benefits.
“The two main types of bacteria considered to be probiotics include strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifodobacterium genera (other genera, such as Escherichia, Enterococcus and Saccharomyces have also been designated probiotics, but to a lesser and more questionable extent).” – How Stuff Works
The most commonly consumed food containing probiotic bacteria is yogurt, which has made quite a buzz in the supermarket with plenty of advertising campaigns to inform you of what probiotics can do not just for your intestines but your waistline as well. There are a few brands out there that are using these cultures in their yogurt products, which give you the ability to eat it as a snack, mix it into a sauce, or add it to a shake for breakfast. Other foods that you can find probiotics in include kimchi, which is a fermented cabbage dish that is commonly found in Korea. Not all of the stores selling kimchi products will list probiotic cultures as an ingredient, so you may need to check the packaging. This is a stronger tasting food, but goes well in spicy dishes and stir fry.
Other Ways That Probiotics Work For You
Probiotics can do more than just assist in curing ailments; they can also help in a preventative fashion. Believe it or not, the Lectobacillus reuteri bacteria kills other, negative forms of bacteria that survive on your teeth and cause them to deteriorate, thus preventing decay, and keeping your pearly whites healthier for longer, among other great feats.
“Allergy-prone mothers with eczema were given probiotics two months before giving birth and during the first two months of breastfeeding. The babies, who were assessed at 6, 12, and 24 months, showed a significant reduction in their risk of developing the no-fun skin inflammation.” – Healthline
As briefly discussed above, the right kind of probiotics can also prevent obesity by reducing fat retention in the stomach region of your body. It’s been noted to help people who have recently lost a large amount of weight to keep it off, rather than bouncing back to their original large size as commonly happens.
New Probiotic Research
Although the current products on the market between foods and supplements usually only introduce one kind of bacteria into the system, there are new research developments underway that are considering the idea that more than one form of probiotic at a time might be beneficial. Due to the large number of naturally occurring bacteria floating around the human stomach, there’s a possibility that better results could be found through more strains of probiotic bacteria as well. This is something that has yet to be determined, and no products have been created with this concept in full swing yet, but it’s something that the market may see in the future if it proves helpful. In the meantime, BioTrust’s Pro-X10 probiotic is a good choice and they have 1 year guarantee so you can try it out.
Probiotics aren’t a miracle cure for just anything, and shouldn’t be used as a replacement for medication that is prescribed by your physician for any ailments that you’re currently treating. You should always consult a doctor when considering making dietary changes for medical reasons, and check packaging and labels to be sure that the cultures in use are the right ones.