Studies show that probiotics have therapeutic potential for diseases such as allergies, viral infections, eczema and several other immune response diseases. They have the ability to regulate the functions of intestinal epithelial cells, systemic immune cells and mucosal immune cells.
The evidence from several studies indicates that probiotic microorganisms have high therapeutic potential in conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcohol hepatic steatosis. It also attributes several other benefits to human health. Probiotics have therapeutic effects in the small intestine and colon, and are helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, bacterial infections and various gastrointestinal disorders.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are strains of live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods and cultured milk. Regular consumption of probiotics help to improve. restore and balance gut flora ( gastrointestinal microbiota ).These beneficial bacteria are linked with good health and are under clinical studies for its health benefits.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as live microorganisms that, "when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."
How Probiotics Favorably Act In the Gastro Intestinal Tract
The human gastrointestinal track is a complex ecosystem colonized by different types of microorganisms which include beneficial as well as harmful bacteria. The activity of these microorganisms inside our gastrointestinal track is necessary for an improved health condition.
Beneficial intestinal bacteria helps to prevent infections caused by intestinal pathogens, modulate normal immunological response and produce various nutrients for their host.
The presence of probiotics in the diet is favorable for the intestinal microbiota and they modifies the microbiota in order to achieve, restore and maintain favorable balance in the ecosystem for improved health.
Nobel laureate Ele Metchnikoff postulated that yogurt consuming Bulgarian peasants lived longer lives because of that custom. According to him, the dependence of the intestinal microbes on the food makes it possible to adopt measures to modify the microbiota in our bodies and to replace the harmful microbes by useful microbes.
Probiotics In Food
Most probiotics foods are fermented and the process of fermentation creates probiotics. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.
Many foods are fermented naturally as part of the souring process. Other fermented foods are simply processed with brine, vinegar, or other acids such as lemon juice.
Foods Rich in Probiotics
Below is a helpful list of foods that are naturally loaded with probiotics
- Pao Cai
- Soy sauce
- Vinegar free pickles
Types of Probiotics
There are different types of probiotics and each strain of probiotics perform differently in terms of their health benefits. For example, L. acidophilus has been shown to support healthy digestion and immune function, while B. longum blocks unfriendly bacteria and yeast.
Studies also show the effectiveness of probiotic products on human health. So if you’re not a fan of fermented foods, you can still enjoy the health benefits of probiotics by taking a probiotic supplement. But before starting supplementation, check with your doctor and make sure supplements are right for you.
Probiotic supplements varies in terms of quality and quantity of the bacteria. The types of strains contained in each supplement are different.
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