Probiotics and Their Amazing Health Benefits

Probiotics and Their Amazing Health Benefits

An insight into the probiotics and their amazing health benefits

Probiotics are essentially microorganisms that have a wide number of health benefits on consumption. The vocable probiotic is used for naming the ingested microorganisms from which animals and humans can avail multiple benefits.

The word became more common after the year of 1980. It was Élie Metchnikoff, who is a Nobel recipient. He introduced the concept of probiotics. He hypothesized that Bulgarian peasants who consume yogurt live longer owing to these microorganisms.

He also postulated that the presence of intestinal microbes in the food aids in modifying the flora of human bodies. Thus they assist in replacing the harmful microorganisms by the useful ones. This has in turn lead to the increase in the demands of these microbes.

What are probiotics?

According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are living microorganisms which can impart amazing health benefits on the host. One can observe the benefits after consuming the same in sufficient amount.

After this definition, FAO released the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food in the year of 2002. A global effort was accomplished after that in the year of 2010. Next to this, industry experts along with academic scientists developed instructions that are related to the probiotic health benefits.

These recommendations were quite similar to the ones, that are available in the Guidelines, of WHO in the year of 2002. This is known to be recognized on a global basis. However, the European Food Safety Authority has refused to accept the same owing to an unmeasurable health claim.

After the joint expert consultation of World Health Organization and United Nation, the definition of probiotics was discovered. It was done on the basis of scientific proofs and available information.

A group of scientists joined for a discussion in the year of 2013 in London, United Kingdom. It is a must that probiotics should be alive when it is being administered. Probiotics are known to have undergone research before documenting health benefits in the body of the host.

It is a prerequisite that the probiotics should be safe for using. Thus, according to the 2002 guidelines, even though Bacteria is recognized as safe, minimum tests need to be conducted for determining the safety of the probiotics.

Tests for determining the safety

Here are the tests that one should conduct to determine the safety of the microorganisms:

  • Determining the antibiotic resistance patterning of the microbes.
  • Assessing specific metabolic activities of the microbes which include deconjugation of bile salt and production of D-lactate.
  • Assessing various side effects
  • Epidemiological supervision at the time of  adverse incidents in the users.
  • If the strain under observation is linked with certain species are the mammalian toxin producer, it should be tested to check toxin production.
  • If the strain is connected to some species with renowned hemolytic potential, it is essential to determine the hemolytic activity.

Different kinds of probiotics

There are various kinds of bacteria which come under the classification of probiotics. Some of the include:

  • Lactobacillus:

Lactobacillus is known to be the most common probiotic. This probiotic is generally found in various fermented food and yogurt. The different strains are known to be useful for people suffering from diarrhea. It is also known to be useful for those people who are not capable of digesting the sugar present in milk, Lactose.

  • Bifidobacterium

Bifidobacterium is another kind of bacteria which is present in various dairy products. This probiotic help in easing the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It is also known to ease several other conditions.

What probiotics do?

Probiotics play a vital role in moving food across the gut. Researchers are trying to figure out what can be the best for varied health problems. Some of the common conditions that can be treated with probiotics include:

  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • IBD or Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Infectious diarrhea that is caused by parasites, virus, and bacteria.

Some researchers have also investigated that these microbes help in solving problems in different parts of the body which include

  • Oral Health
  • Prevention of allergies
  • Prevention of cold
  • Certain skin conditions which include eczema
  • Vaginal and urine health.

Top Health benefits of using probiotics

Bacteria have the reputation of causing various diseases owing to which various methods are being adapted to keep them away. However, scientific researches have proved that it is possible to treat several illnesses with live bacteria. In North Europe, people consume a lot of these live microbes which are beneficial to human body. The word probiotics have been derived from the words pro and biota, which mean “for life”.

There are a wide number of items which contain probiotics that assist in the regulation of digestion. They are also known as good bacteria that assists in the regulation of systems. They help in maintaining the delicate internal balance of the body at the same time. Here are the top benefits of probiotics which include:

  • Weight Loss

It is a must to control weight for preventing various diseases. Increased weight may be the primary cause of several diseases. According to a recent publication by “The British Journal of Nutrition”, there are certain probiotics that assist in reducing weight. Thus, they help in controlling weight and you can say no to many diseases.

Obese females who consume the healthy bacteria are known to reduce weight at a double rate than those group of women who do not consume probiotics. However, to the utter surprise, the results were visible only in women, not men.

The reasons have not been clearly understood, though. Apart from reducing weight, this bacteria is known for conferring protection against several diseases which include glucose intolerance, type-2 diabetes.

  • Treating various uncomfortable body issues

Probiotics are known to treat several diseases which include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and several alike stomach problems. Probiotics help in treating other ailing body conditions such as urinary tract infections, chronic yeast infections.

As you intake food that is enriched in live bacteria, it assists in the prevention, eating different unwanted conditions of the body. Thus, it is advisable to introduce these healthy bacteria in the diet for the prevention of similar diseases.

Probiotics in solving various gastro instestional issues

Probiotics are believed to work wonders for patients that suffer from diarrhea. Controlled trials have revealed that Lactobacillus GG can assist in reducing the development of infectious diarrhea in children and infants. The bacteria does not, however, show any result in adults. The available data is not consistent and case studies are limited. Various reviews show that the probiotics assist in reducing diarrhea by a percentage of 60 in comparison with placebo.

Studies have revealed that probiotics help in treating the Crohn’s diseases as well. The living bacteria also prevents the relapsing of Crohn’s disease. Fewer case studies suggest that there are specific probiotics that aid in maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis. It helps in treating pouchitis. It is an obstacle in the surgeries for treating ulcerative colitis.

These diseases are very difficult to treat because of which people are trying probiotics on a large scale. Extensive researches are going on to find out which strains are known to work best for certain conditions.

  • Maintaining vaginal health

Probiotics are also known to maintain vaginal health as well. The vagina is considered to be a well-balanced ecosystem similar to the intestinal tract. The strains of lactobacilli aid in making it very acidic and thus it becomes impossible for the harmful microbes to survive there.

However, the system gets imbalanced under certain factors which include birth control pills, spermicides, and antibiotics. Probiotics assist in restoring the microflora balance. This supports in treating varied vaginal diseases which are inclusive of urinary tract infection, yeast infection and even bacterial vaginosis.

There are many women who eat or insert yogurt into the vagina with the purpose of treating various yeast infections. Vaginal and oral administration of Lactobacilli helps in treating bacterial vaginosis. However, enough evidence has not yet been found in support of this convention.

  • Protection against breast cancer

While bacteria are known to be associated with the stomach, they are found in the breasts as well. Extensive research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology reveals that fit females, in general, have two kinds of probiotics in their breasts which are Streptococcus thermophilus and the Lactobacillus.

We need more researchers for showing the correlation between breast health and the intaking of probiotics. Studies, however, reveal that microbiome present in the breasts plays a vital role in the development or non-development of breast cancer.

  • Eliminating depression

It goes without saying that depression is growing at an alarming rate in these days. This may lead to several problems, even death of individuals. Several investigations are going on for reducing depression and thus maintaining a proper mental health.

Extensive researches on animals and humans have found out that there is a correlation between the intake of probiotics and mental health. This healthy bacteria is known to have an effect on how the bodies assist in producing cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that helps in reducing stress. The microbe also helps in eliminating several other symptoms that are related to anxiety and depression.

  • Glowing skin

It is known to all that the skin is dependent on a healthier gut for clearing conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema. Microbiome present within human being plays a crucial role in rendering a beautiful outlook to the human body.

Thus, the probiotics help in imparting a flawless skin by stabilizing and promoting internal health, by controlling bad bacteria, inflammation. This can be accomplished by the consumption of food, enriched in probiotics. You can also go for tropical treatments for availing a healthy and glowing skin.

  • Using probiotics for diarrhea

There are millions of healthy bacteria which are present in the intestines of the human body. These bacteria are integral for digestion. Diarrhea may cause the microbes to get out of the gut off balance.

Probiotics which are known to be doses of useful and healthy bacteria, assist in getting the things back on track. Yogurt is a primary source of probiotics which is prepared by the addition of bacteria to milk. It is the similar microbe that assists in keeping the intestines healthy.

However, every kind of probiotic does not assist in the treatment of diarrhea. There are certain healthy bacteria that helps in treating the disease.

  • Kids and Diarrhea

The evidence that probiotics help in treating diarrhea had been derived from the studies in the children. The healthy bacteria helps in cutting diarrhea-causing infections by half day to 2 days.

Extensive studies reveal that the most useful bacteria strains are Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Different kinds of probiotics are mixed at times for treating this kind of diarrhea.

  • Diarrhea From Antibiotics

Antibiotics help in killing the bad germs in the human body that are responsible for various diseases. However, they kill the healthy bacteria within the body at the same time. This leads to disrupting the normal balance of the intestines that cause diarrhea. Almost 10 to 30 % of individuals are known for taking the antibiotics.

Studies reveal that children and even adults who consume probiotics along with antibiotics have reduced risks of diarrhea. Some strains of lactobacillus and Saccharomyces boulardii are known to be quite effective in this case.

Probiotics can be an integral part of diet

It is not a must to include probiotics as an essential part of the diet. However, these microbes have several health benefits. They assist in digestion and bestows protection against various harmful bacteria. Thus, it has functions within the body which are similar to various good bacteria. The bacteria does not have any noticeable side effect as well. Thus, it is really great if you can introduce these healthy bacteria as a part of your daily diet.

How to choose the right probiotic?

If you are planning to add the living microbes in your diet, you can do so in several ways. Supplements happen to be the most common source by which you can take these microorganisms within the diet. You can also consume these in the form of liquids, tablets, powders and even capsules.

These microbes are available in drugstores, health food stores, grocery stores. You can also purchase these supplements online.

Probiotics may also be consumed through various food. Some of them include:

Yogurt is known to be the most common source of probiotics. It is found in several dairy food products such as kefir, buttermilk, unfermented milk, fermented milk, soft cheeses. You can consume probiotics via soya drinks and similar products such as tempeh, miso. It is possible to intake these healthy probiotics bacteria with the aid of pickles, sauerkraut, and Kimchi.

Which probiotic is the right one for you?

There are several kinds of probiotic bacteria that are available in the market. Each one of them has its own benefits. So it is recommended to consult a doctor prior to consuming them. Here are some of the methods which help you to choose the right probiotic for you:

  • Look at the label

When you opt for purchasing yogurt or similar dairy food products, you should look for the label that reads “contain probiotics”. Some of them also come with the label “contains live active cultures”. Frozen yogurt does not have these labels.

If you are planning to consume it with the aid of supplements, you should be aware of the fact that FDA aids in the regulation of these products. However, the Food and Drug administration does not treat them like medications. Instead, it counts them as food. Thus, like other drug manufacturers, these microbes do not come with a safety label.

Thus, the firms who manufacture the microbe has to comply with the labeling and safety of those products. It needs to ensure prior to selling them that they meet the rules of FDA.

There are specific things you can look out on the label which includes:

  • The strain, genus and species of the probiotic.
  • The dose
  • The name of the company and other contact details.
  • The number of microbes that will be alive until the use-by date.

Choose a trusted probiotics brand

There are a number of companies that have gained high prominence in selling the probiotics for several years. These companies have tested and studied them time and again and thus make the best of them. It is wise to purchase the product from one of these reliable companies. It is recommended not to purchase the same from any unsafe company. You can consult your doctor before buying the brand. Best probiotics in 2016 are Perfect Biotics by Probiotic America and Bio X4 by Nucific.

How should you take probiotic?

If your doctor has recommended you to buy the probiotic, you should follow his instructions. You can consume a number of supplements during a week. For getting the best benefits, it is recommended to take them on a regular basis. If you stop taking the probiotics after a week, the good effects will come to an end soon.

The probiotic has been known to impart various health benefits. Thus,you can take this along with your diet and say no to several diseases.