Probiotics are “live bacteria” living in a healthy person’s intestine that provide positive health effects when proper amounts are taken. They produce lactic acid, which favors the growth of beneficial bacteria and discourages the growth of harmful bacteria.
Probiotics are recommended to help with your digestive health. They can be found in the form of a dietary supplement or taken from foods such as yogurt.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Apart from improving the overall health of your digestive system, probiotics can help reduce systemic inflammation which is a major cause of many health complications.
Scientific research has proved that these bacteria can also alleviate signs of depression and anxiety in individuals with clinical depression. There is also evidence that links probiotics to improved skin health.
In addition, they help with the following conditions:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics
Types of Probiotics
Many different types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. Each one of them offers specific health benefits, but most of them come from two main groups.
- Lactobacillus: This is perhaps the most common type of probiotics. It is the one that you will find in fermented foods and some supplements.
- Bifidobacterium: You can find this type of probiotics in a wide range of dairy products. Bifidobacterium helps to ease severe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How Do They Work?
Probiotics keeps you healthy in the following ways:
- Probiotics replace your “good” bacteria which are lost when you take medication such as antibiotics.
- Taking probiotics will help you balance “good” and “bad” bacteria and hence promotes a healthy gut.