What is Probiotics?
Posted by Mike Miryala on
Probiotics have been used for centuries to optimize the health of the gastrointestinal tract and other organ systems.
The term comes from the Greek language, which translates to:
Pro: to promote
According to medical experts, probiotics are living microorganisms that reside within the intestinal flora and offer health benefits to the host when consumed adequately.
In the past few years, probiotic supplements gained massive popularity due to their health benefits and the millions of dollars spent on advertising campaigns to persuade the public.
Most people have the same reaction when they first hear about probiotics. It is challenging to believe that adding live microorganisms to your intestines helps you become healthier. After all, we take antibiotics to destroy these microbes, so why would you consume these microorganisms willingly?
In this article, we will answer this question and see who benefits from probiotics the most.
When should you start taking probiotic supplements?
Probiotic supplementation is recommended when one of the following causes is disrupting the balance of your gut microbiome:
Internal digestive milieu
The gut has several microorganisms that live in a symbiotic relationship with the gastrointestinal tract.
This environment has specific characteristics (e.g., water availability, carbohydrates, PH, coexisting medical conditions) that could potentially disrupt the equilibrium.
Consequently, the types of food you consume play a significant role in determining whether your gut flora will be healthy or not.
For instance, the frequent consumption of carbohydrate rich meals may precipitate the overgrowth of some bacterial species, kicking the gut flora out of symbiosis.
Researchers found that the rates of self-medication have skyrocketed over the past few years. More specifically, people are taking antibiotics whenever they feel sick regardless of the actual sensitivity of the culprit pathogen.
To make matters worse, people opt for broad-spectrum antibiotics to heal their infection, which inadvertently leads to the eradication of healthy bacteria and fungi in the gut.
As a result, the competition that once halted certain microbes (e.g., opportunistic pathogens) from growing disproportionally is no longer present, resulting in recurrent digestive infections.
To correct this problem, you need to:
Take probiotic supplements
Immunosuppression refers to the suboptimal function of your immune system, which predisposes you to gut flora dysbiosis.
Generally speaking, the immune system acts as the regulator of your gut’s physiological balance, destroying all germs that attempt to overgrow.
Unfortunately, immunosuppression makes this process inefficient, leading to the rise of opportunistic infections and symptoms of indigestion.
The causes of immunosuppression vary from benign conditions to more serious pathologies:
Chemotherapy (cancer therapy)
Acquired or inherited immune disorders
The benefits of taking probiotic supplements
Probiotic supplementation has positive effects on numerous organ systems, including the gastrointestinal tract, brain, cardiovascular system, liver, and more.
By far, the most notable health benefits are seen in the digestive tract, so let’s see what it entails:
Regular consumption of probiotics assists your body to restore gut microbiome symbiosis, which subsequently leads to the following health benefits:
Optimized gastrointestinal motility (i.e., peristalsis)
Cleansing of the small intestines and colon from metabolites and waste products
Decreased risk of digestive infections (e.g., E.coli, Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella)
Decreased risk of digestive diseases (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
In summary, probiotics optimize the function of your digestive tract and alleviate unwanted symptoms of indigestion (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, gas).
As researchers conduct more clinical trials, they keep unveiling new findings that confirm the impactful effects of probiotic intake on other physiological functions (e.g., cognition, metabolism, immunity).
According to one study, researchers noted that a balanced gut microbiome decreases the general risk of infectious and inflammatory pathologies in the entire body.
Key points to keep in mind when buying a probiotic supplement
It can be confusing to choose the right probiotic supplement for yourself due to the overwhelming amount of information and the new terminology.
To make it easier for you, here are the primary properties you should be on the look for before making a purchase:
Multiple strains present (e.g., Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria)
Balanced formula (low ratio between strains)
Colony-forming units (CFU) between 15 billion and 50 billion
Shelf stability (protection against ambient air and humidity)
The good news is that you can order our own probiotic supplement from the comfort of your home, using this link (insert link of sales page).
Taking probiotics supplementation offers several health benefits to the body, especially for individuals with unbalanced gut microbiomes and dysbiosis.
Hopefully, you found this article informative and beneficial, but if you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.