Probiotics, also referred to as good bacteria, contribute toward health and maintain a healthy digestive system.
Our body is full of bacteria, which is both good and bad, and while we often think of bacteria only as something bad, there are some bacteria that are good, like these, helping keep the gut healthy.
Probiotics are found in the body naturally and also occur in some foods or you can also get them as a supplement.
Only in the past decade has research conducted on probiotics shed light on its benefits.
The term was first coined in 1965 by researchers Lilly and Stilwell; however, sales of probiotic foods touched its peak from 2010 to 2012, increasing by as much as 79 percent.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Much of the research carried out has focused on how probiotics contribute to gut health.
They help replace the good bacteria in the body when you lose it, through antibiotics for instance.
They keep the level of bad bacteria low so that infections and other problems are kept at bay.
Probiotics also help maintain a balance between good and bad bacteria, allowing the body to function normally.
Furthermore, probiotics have been found to help treat a number of gastrointestinal disorders.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes may also be prevented by probiotics, although more research in this area is needed.
There is no denying the fact that probiotics help improve our overall health.
Our digestive tract has almost 400 types of probiotic bacteria that help reduce the harmful bacteria, thus helping to reduce inflammation and infections in the digestive tract.
The largest group of probiotic bacteria is found in yogurt called the Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Other foods also contain probiotics such as miso soup, bread, pickles, sauerkraut, and sourdough.
The Importance of Probiotics
Poor digestive health can affect us financially.
Each year, 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases that result in more than $100 billion in medical expenses.
A primary cause of preventable deaths in children older than 5 years is diarrhea.
A Cochrane review in 2010 examined 63 trials for probiotics in which 8,014 people suffered from diarrhea.
Should You Supplement?
If you don’t eat or drink fermented food regularly you probably should be supplementing.
People who took probiotics fell sick for 25 hours less, findings reported, as well as the risk of diarrhea lasting more than four days reduced by 59 percent.
While more research is needed, adding probiotics to your wellness routine may be beneficial after all.
They help fight bad bacteria as well as protects against urinary tract infections and irritable bowel syndrome among other things.
There is also encouraging evidence that supports the intake of probiotics to prevent and speed recovery from flu and colds and treat intestinal infections.
What Brand Should You Take
There are many different brands of probiotics you can select from.
You can find several good ones on Amazon or check out the Isagenix Daily Digestive Health System (read more about it here) since it combines both probiotics and enzymes.
Do you take probiotics regularly?