The word “probiotic” consists of “pro”, which means supporting and “biotic”, which pertains to life. You my wonder what are probiotics? There are live microorganisms, fungi, bacteria and yeasts, which are believed to improve the health of the people. These are a very necessary component of the digestive tract. As a matter of fact, there are many people who still have not known anything about probiotics, but actually it is very essential to human nutrition. In most cases, probiotics are in the form of bacteria and can be found naturally in the human gut. The human gut is a segment of the gastrointestinal tract. Home to over 500 bacterial species, it is a long tube that begins in your mouth, and ends at the anus.
These probiotics are living within the body, and create a living colony, which is called a biofilm, and they have a symbiotic relationship with the body, which means that the body can benefit from probiotics and the probiotics from the body. These are good bacteria that will help in preventing and improve certain conditions, particularly those conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract. These different species of bacteria will form a bioreactor that helps the body in many ways, such as forming the immune system, providing nutrients into the body and facilitating digestion. Included in the nutrients that are made by the bioreactor are vitamin K, B vitamins, folate, and other short-chain fatty acids. The byproducts of the bacteria found in the human gut are where a maximum of 10% of your daily energy needs can be derived.
However, because of antibiotics and toxins present in the body, the biofilm is destroyed. This will result to a damaged symbiotic relationship, and you will no longer benefit from these probiotics. Diseases will eventually develop, usually starts with symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, bloating and many more. Other symptoms that may occur are allergies, loss of energy, depression, and brain fog. These should not be ignored at all because they may result in worse conditions in the future. It is suggested that as soon as you experience this, you will consult your doctor.
Homeostatic Probiotic Organisms
Homeostatic probiotic organisms are soil-based organisms, which do not live in the digestive tract, but are used to protect the body from pathogens. Eventually, these probiotic organisms are cleansed from the body. Some of these organisms live in soil and attach to vegetables naturally. Because of preservation methods and food processing, there are a lot of soil organisms missing from the people’s diets, which is not a good thing at all.
Examples of Probiotics
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus – this probiotic can be found in soft cheeses and yogurts. A Bulgarian doctor Stamen Grigorov was the person who discovered it. It can help in converting lactose into lactic acid, as well as other sugars.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei – both of them can also convert lactose into lactic acid.
- Streptococcus thermophilus – these bacteria are used in making cheese and yogurts. Moreover, they help the Lactobacillus bulgaricus in making nutrients.
- Bifidobacteria – aside from making lactic acid, it also makes short-chain fatty acids that are absorbed and eventually metabolized by the body.
- Leuconostoc – this is commonly used in food processing.
- Enterococcus faecium – normally, this is found in the intestinal tract of both human beings and animals.
How to choose a probiotic
There are many things that need to be considered in choosing a probiotic. The reason for this is because the applications of these good bacteria have a very big range. Microbiologists say that it is not good to assume that one strain of probiotic also applies to a different strain, even though they have the same species. Let us take, for example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Lactobacillus is the genus, rhamnosus is the species, and GG is the strain. There may be different probiotic properties to Lactobacillus rhamnosus with a different strain. The documentation of the type of bacteria, that is, genus, species and strain, purity, which is the presence of ineffective bacteria, potency, which is the viable bacteria in every dose, and the extent of research, must be provided for any strain being used in a product. The product manufacturer must be able to provide all of this very important information so that choosing a probiotic will not be difficult at all.
In addition to that, you can also contact experts if you have some clarifications, or if you need more information. They know more than you do when it comes to this matter, and for sure, they will be able to help you.
Where to buy probiotics
Probiotics come in various forms. You do not only get it through dairy products. Other than that, there are still many products wherein you can get live probiotic cultures. You can also have it from soy, rice, miso, Brewer’s yeast, micro algae, sauerkraut, and many more. Of course, you should not forget to check the label and look through the label if there is “live and active cultures”. Rest assured that these are really effective given that they contain the right amount of organisms that the body needs. It only depends on you which of the various forms you want to take in order to get probiotics. It is all about preference.
Probiotics can be charged with the help of prebiotics. What are prebiotics? These are helpful in nourishing the probiotics so that they can stay healthy even with the presence of bad bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics go hand-in-hand. You can find prebiotics in bananas, honey, onions, garlic and whole grains. If possible, try to get 2-4 servings of foods with prebiotics a day.
Furthermore, there are also some people who prefer to take probiotic supplements. As long as it contains the necessary ingredients, then it is fine. Also, doctors recommend that these probiotic-rich food and supplements should be taken for at least 2 weeks. After that, you can already experience a difference.
As much as possible, you should take products with probiotics because even though they are bacteria, they are still good for the body. You are able to fight the occurrence of illnesses with these and you are also able to resist microbial infection.