The word probiotic comes from the Greek word, pro, meaning “promoting”, and biotic, meaning “life”. Probiotics are live organisms that are good for our health. We commonly believe that bacteria will only cause disease to us but in fact our body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are the good or helpful bacteria that keep us healthy. Probiotics does not only serve for better health and stronger immune system, it also improves digestion, alleviates allergy, suppoort women health and mental health issues.
Probiotics can be found in fermented dairy products and fermented foods like yogurts, milk, pickled vegetables and soy products. Probiotics can also be found in health supplements either in capsules or powder form. There are many types of bacteria that can be used as probiotics, common ones are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Saccharmycesis is a type of yeast that acts as probiotic too.
Maintaining the correct balance between good and bad bacteria is important for optimal digestive tract health. Digestive experts agree that the balance should be approximately 85% good bacteria and 15% other bacteria. Dysbiosis, is used to describe imbalance of these probiotics. Dysbiosis can cause a range of diseases such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease as well as obesity or diabetes. So, when the digestive tract is associated with a good balance of bacteria, it can eliminate substances that can damage our body like toxins, harmful bacteria and its waste products. It also regulates the gastrointestinal motility and maintenaning of gut barrier function. Diarrhea is common side effect of taking antibiotics. Antibiotics can negatively affect the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut. Therefore, probiotic can be used to reduce the occurance of diarrhea post antibiotic treatement by balancing the correct ratio of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus casei are the example of probiotic that can reduce diarrhea.
#Serve for stronger immune system
When we have enough good bacteria, our digestive, metabolic and immune system will have optimum function, keeping our body functioning properly and keeping us healthy. There is a close connection between the bacteria in our colon and the immune system because our gut is a main location for immune function. Probiotics boost immune system by improve immune cells such as natural killer cells, IgA-producing cells and T-lymphocytes which are the first line of defense against invaders. They also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. There are several studies found that probiotics prevent colds, flu and upper respiratory infections.
There are strands of probiotic that can reduce the common symptoms of allergies ( such as runny nose or itchy eyes) and the condition of eczema in patients. A research states that taking L.acidophilus for about four months can reduce nasal swelling and other allergic symptoms. Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become inflammed. A study found that women who took probiotics during pregnancy can reduce up to 83% of the risk of developing eczema in their children. Some probiotics also reduce the allergic responses in people who are allergic to dairy or milk.
#Support women health
To women, vagina and urinary tract are similar to the digestive tract, where their health rely on a balance of good and bad bacteria. When the balance is off, infections such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. Studies have found that L. acidophilius can help to prevent vaginal infection because they produce lactic acid, which can prevent harmful bacteria growth. Besides vaginal infections, urinary tract infections are common in women too. Probiotics compliments antibiotics among people who suffer from urinary tract infections. There is an evidence showing that probiotics can help to prevent bad bacteria from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a population of healthy bacteria.