Probiotics are live microorganisms that are consumed for the better balance of good bacteria in the gut. Even though probiotics is not an alien concept to us, many people are yet to try and realize their benefits and if you’re one among them and you wonder what does a probiotic do, this article will help you understand more about probiotics. The good bacteria that you add to your body with the help of probiotics are very similar to the good bacteria that are already living in your gut. Probiotics help in maintaining the balance of these good bacteria which are essential for the good health of your body.
There are natural food items that contain good bacteria like yogurt, some cheeses, and some pickled vegetables which you may be already having. However, the number and quality of good bacteria are much higher in probiotic drinks and pills. If you have any doubts regarding them, you can always talk to your doctor about it before you start consuming them. The FDA approves probiotic supplements as food items and not clinical drugs or medicine. So, you don’t really have to worry about any side-effects or troubles when you consume these.
Why are probiotic supplements necessary? Your body already has 100 trillion microorganisms of more than 500 different species, according to Harvard Medical School. The balance of these microorganisms is different in different people. It’s almost like your fingerprint which means that it’s unique. Sometimes, this balance gets disrupted after an antibiotic course since you fell ill. Probiotic supplements help in the restoration of the balance of good bacteria in your body. Even if you haven’t fallen sick, regular intake of probiotic supplements help in the strengthening of your immunity and the betterment of your digestive system. The benefits of probiotics include prevention of diarrhea, better digestion, easing vaginal infections, prevention of urinary infections, and betterment of skin issues.
There are different types of probiotics that are beneficial to the human body even though not everyone’s body will respond the same way to a particular type of probiotic supplement. The results vary from person to person since all of our biometric systems are different. There are two main species of bacteria that are used to make the majority of the probiotics. The first one is bifidobacteria which is used in supplements and food items. They help in the fortification of the immune system and curb the growth of harmful bacteria inside the digestive tract. They also break down lactose into nutrients that the body can absorb.
Lactobacillus is the second type of bacteria species that is used to make probiotic supplements. You find them natural in the mouth, small intestine, and the vagina. These bacteria break down lactose or the sugar in milk and produce lactic acid. Lactic acid helps in curbing the growth of bad bacteria. They also help to improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and minerals.
The next thing that needs to be understood about probiotic bacteria is about their subtypes. Strains of good bacteria that come under the category of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus are usually mentioned in the label of the probiotic supplement. The name of the species of the bacteria is mentioned as B or L (for bifidobacteria and lactobacillus) along with the name of the strain. This will help the buyers understand which exactly the good bacteria that the particular probiotic supplement contains are. B. animals, B. breve, B. lactis, B. longum, L. acidophilus, and L, reuteri are the most common types of good bacteria names that you will find on the labels of probiotic supplements. You can research more on it or consult a doctor in order to find out which is the one that’s most beneficial for you and your family.