Many people choose to supplement their diets with probiotics. They are a part of a normal and healthy human body. Sometimes we lose our probiotics cultures – e.g. by using antibiotics – and we need to replenish them.
However, before you go rush out and buy a new supplement, it’s important that you understand more about this type of dietary add-on. Below, you will find helpful information that will allow you to make the correct decisions when buying your probiotics.
Probiotics: What Are They?
Probiotics have several different names – good bacteria, friendly bacteria, body fauna, and gut flora. They are a type of microorganism. Though they tend to be bacterial, they can be fungal, too.
We all have probiotics living inside us. In fact, we have between 400 trillion and 700 trillion living inside us at any one time. If probiotics were people, that would be enough to populate 100,000 earths!
Some people find that utterly freaky, but it's actually a good thing. ‘Pro’ is positive, and so too is ‘friendly’, and that should tell you something about probiotics: they’re good for us.
Probiotics: What Do They Do?
Probiotics play many and varied roles through the human body. However, the majority can be found in the gut, here, they’re responsible for a range of bodily functions, including:
•Helping to break food down in to chunks that the body can process more easily
•Consuming and neutralising problem by-products, such as sulphur (if you have egg-smelling flatulence, it’s often because your probiotics are out of balance, and the sulphur consuming ones are in too few numbers).
•Acting as catalysts to make our food more nutritious.
In other areas of the body they help to reduce infections by keeping bad bacteria in check, for instance, they fight off cold infections, fungal infections, and bacterial infections.
They’re very nice, aren’t they? Some might even say friendly!
Where Do We Get Our Probiotics?
We get our probiotics from many different sources, these include:
1.From our mothers during gestation: here, the bacteria pass through the placenta – some scientists also think that there could be bacteria in the womb.
2.The discovery that bacteria are present during gestation is relatively new. Before that, we assumed that babies had their first exposure during natural birth. The natural birth is extremely important because it lays down the foundations of our body fauna to a much greater extent than we experienced in the womb.
3.We can take them as a form of supplement. For example, Bio Kult is a supplement that contains numerous strains of probiotics. Supplements such as Bio Kult are good, because the bacteria go straight to the gut. Furthermore, you know exactly which strains you are consuming.
4.We get them from various types of food. This is usually animal products, such as milk and yoghurt (they must be ‘live’ versions), and fermented foods, such as natto.
5.Finally, we can get them from just touching things and people.
As you can now appreciate, probiotics are good, even if it does sound a bit scary that we have so many living alongside us!