Are Probiotics Good For You?
Before going further into the subject if probiotics are good for you, first you have to know what they are, and what are probiotics good for. Many people are unfamiliar with probiotics, but there are studies to show that these supplements may be beneficial in the treatment of various ailments. Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain possible beneficial bacteria.
Certain types of yogurt, for example, contain these microrganisms in therapeutic quantities. This simply means that some foods contain enough of this supplement to be helpful and is measured in quantities where it cannot be overindulged, that is, you can’t have too much of it.
Probiotics are believed to assist the body’s digestive system and are sometimes recommended by physicians. More frequently, however, they are recommended by nutritionists as part of a healthy, well balanced diet program.
History of Probiotics
Probiotics was discovered in the first decade of the twentieth century a Russian scientist, Elie Metchnikoff.
He suggested that the long lives of Bulgarian peasants might be a result of their consumption or fermented microorganisms which positively influenced the microflora of the colon.
This discovery, together with his work in immunology, earned him the 1908 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
This event raised considerable interest in the study of benefits of microorganisms to humans.
In 1974 the term “Probiotic” (pro – for; bio = life) was coined to describe the use of beneficial bacteria to positively influence health.
Probiotics May Help Strengthen The Immune System
Some theories even exist that suggest these dietary supplements may help to strengthen the immune system. While there is no recorded evidence to suggest that these good microbes can replace damaged parts of the body’s digestive tracts, there is proof that it can form temporary associations that may help to produce the same functions while the damaged areas have additional time to recover. By allowing the body with additional recovery time, probiotics may offer both valuable and temporary assistance.
In addition to aiding in digestion and improving the immune system, they are also thought to help prevent constipation, reduce the occurrence of insomnia and may help to reduce stress-related ailments. Stress is believed to be responsible for the onset of many illnesses, which is why research continues in an attempt to find ways to help reduce these ailments. What is one of the main illnesses related to stress? The answer is high blood pressure which, alone, can be extremely dangerous and may lead to other problems if not maintained.
The Gut Immune System
So now that you’ve learned something about probiotics and how they function, you realize now their importance to you’re body. In fact, you may be surprised to know that your digestive system, or the gut, which runs from the stomach to the small and large intestines is also the largest immune system in your body.
You might also be surprised to learn that how you feel and even look every day is tied to your intestines. To maintain good health, your intestines must properly absorb nutrients and help eliminate waste and toxins.
Your intestines, which lie between the stomach and rectum, are part of the Gl tract or digestive system. In the small and large intestines, food is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream, providing your celts and organs with the energy they need to function. Your intestines do this with the help of good bacteria (also called microflora).
These “good bacteria” aid digestion, promote vital nutrient production, maintain pH (acid-base) balance, and prevent proliferation of unwelcome bacteria. From the time of birth your body is inhabited by these good bacteria. Changes in diet, stress and aging and other factors can disrupt this delicate balance.
Lack of good bacteria can lead to:
- Digestion issues
- Poor bowel function and flatulence
- A weakened immune system
- Poor nutrient absorption
- Low level of energy and well-being
Lack of good bacteria is so common that many health professionals recommend the use of probiotic supplements. Probiotics are good bacteria strains that limit the proliferation of unwelcome bacteria in the intestinal tract by crowding them out. It is a natural ways to restore good bacteria whose numbers may have come down to dangerous levels due to a variety of reasons.
Where To Find Probiotics
Certain types of commercial products, namely health foods, contain a specific amount of probiotics. As mentioned previously in this article, such products may include yogurt or sauerkraut.
Probiotic foods and dietary products are the most common forms of the dietary supplements, but tablets and capsules are also sometimes made available. Individuals may ask their physician about various types of foods and the amount of probiotics that each contains.
This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a doctors recommendation .
Prior to beginning any treatment regimen, including one that involves the use of probiotics, an individual who develops an illness of any type should consult a licensed physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.