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Health Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in the digestive tract of human beings and are generally considered to be helpful to the host being.

Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are the main types of microbes used as probiotics. There are also certain yeasts and bacilli which may also be useful in improving the process of digestion.

Health Benefits of ProbioticsProbiotics are normally consumed as components of fermented foods among specially added active live cultures. Probiotics can be found naturally in yogurt and soy yogurt.

They are also available in other forms as dietary supplements.

Prebiotics are nondigestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, they form a symbiotic relationship which promotes the health of the digestive tract. Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, are considered symbiotic because they contain both the live bacteria and the fuel they need to thrive.

Prebiotics are found in whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey and artichokes.

In addition, Prebiotics, just like probiotics, are added to some foods and available as dietary supplements.

Origins Of The Term

The term, probiotic, comes from a combination of the Latin preposition “pro”, which means “for” and the Greek noun “βίος” which means “life”.

Near the start of the 20th century, probiotics were thought to improve the health of the body by promoting intestinal microbial equilibrium.

In effect, if you promote the “good bacteria” they in turn, prevent the minute organisms that cause disease and toxin producing microbes.

That is still the case to day, but there is new evidence that probiotics can also aid in the prevention and management of pathogen-induced diarrhea, urogenital infections, and be effective in managing hypersensitivity in some allergies.

Probiotics Can Help

Today, there are many dietary supplements that contain probiotics.

Probiotics are definitely beneficial to your digestive system, but because of their sugar-converting capability and the lactic acid bacteria that they promote, that are used in the production and processing of many varieties foods that are available in the supermarkets today.

Probiotics promote healthy dietary fiber and they act symbiotically with your protective micro flora. All things considered, they are essential supplements that are required for the normal performance of your colon, small intestine and stomach.

Doctors and dietitians will recommend adding probiotics to your diet after having proscribed a treatment of antibiotics, which will upset the balance of bacteria that are present in your stomach.

Health Benefits of ProbioticsProbiotics are the recommended treatment for strengthening your immune system and combating candidiasis. Candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast-like fungus called candida, “Candida albicans”. It can infect the mouth, stomach, skin, vagina and urinary tract. Close to 75% of women will get a vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime, and 90% of all people with AIDS will develop candida infections.

It is widely recognized that probiotics bring stability to the the bacteria in your body. Toxins and other substances that we ingest, such as alcohol, disrupt this balance, so it is important to maintain the “good” bacteria that your body needs to function properly. In a seemingly never ending cycle, diseases kill the good bacteria in your body and probiotics bring them back.

Probiotics are essential in any attempt to manage lactose intolerance, because they convert lactose into lactic acid. The ability to break down lactose is missing in lactose intolerant patients. This process is a natural function of your digestive system which benefits from the presence of probiotics.

Research studies show that probiotics can facilitate the prevention of cancer in the large intestine, or colon. In laboratory testing with rodents, lactic acid microorganisms have revealed anti-mutagenic properties in the company of probiotics.

Health Benefits of ProbioticsThe research is still ongoing, but the current thinking is that probiotics are effective in controlling the process that causes some cells to mutate into cancer cells in the colon. If probiotics help to slow or stop the progression of colon cancer in rodents, it is thought that they will, in all likely hood, have similar effects on human beings.

Another valuable effect that probiotics may have is the ability lower your serum cholesterol level.

It goes about this by decomposing the bile produced by the gallbladder and restricting its re-absorption. This can be an invaluable tool for those patients trying to lower their cholesterol levels. There are numerous studies that confirm that LAB-fermented dairy foods have decreased cholesterol levels in some people and that LAB-fermented milk tends to decrease blood pressure.

It is important to note that there is no definitive published proof that probiotics meet all of the claims that have been made, but the initial studies show a definite leaning in that direction.

On the other hand, the experiments with probiotic therapies are so encouraging that more and more studies will be conducted, until there is a clear clinical definition of the benefits of probiotics. Maybe the ultimate test will be in how they affect you and your digestive system.

There are millions of people around the world that will vouch for their effectiveness.