Posted on April 03, 2016
PROBIOTICS TO HEAL YOUR GUT, IMPROVE IMMUNITY AND BRAIN POWER
Ever enjoyed a cup of yogurt or a refreshing frozen yogurt with fruits at a shopping mall, a small yakult or vitagen shot without really knowing what goodness they are treating you with? Read more to find out the benefits of probiotics.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are called “the good” microorganisms because they benefit the body, specifically the digestive system. Probiotics, available in some foods and dietary supplements, are similar to probiotics that exist naturally in your gut. Commonest one is Acidophilus.
You don’t necessarily need probiotics — a type of “good” bacteria — to be healthy. However, these microorganisms may help with digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria, just as the existing “good” bacteria in your body already do.
Prebiotics are non digestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, they become synbiotic. Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, are considered synbiotics because they contain live bacteria and the fuel they need to thrive.
Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt, while prebiotics are found in whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey and artichokes. In addition, probiotics and prebiotics are added to some foods and available as dietary supplements.
Although more research is needed, there’s encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:
- Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
- Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
- Treat irritable bowel syndrome
- Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections
- Prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu
Side effects are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics to their diets. If you’re considering taking supplements, check with your doctor to be sure that they’re right for you.
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