The gut contains approximately 70 percent of the body’s natural defenses, so it’s clear why there’s so much talk in recent times regarding the benefits of probiotics. There’s also much hype regarding probiotics, this is why it’s essential to know what is fact and what is fiction regarding these beneficial bacteria.
Not all bacteria are the same. It’s important to know that not all bacteria are bad and we actually require bacteria to survive, even if it’s the good kind we really need. As a word, “probiotic” comes from the Greek meaning “for life”.
Yes, they are live bacteria. Probiotics are live bacteria and work by thriving in the human gut. Levels of these beneficial bacteria grow until a perfect balance is reached in the gut (between good and bad bacteria), which helps restore digestive health.
Take care of your probiotics. To get the best out of probiotics, make sure your yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut or pickles are kept in a cool and dry place so that they will be alive when entering your body. Keep them in the refrigerator so that they will preserve their properties and deliver maximum results.
Probiotics fight disease. Probiotics are known to be helpful for your body and can even help eliminate harmful bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella.
Your intestines are packed with bacteria. Yes, it’s true; there are more bacteria in your guts than there are cells in the rest of your body. However, there’s no need to panic, even if there are ten times more bacteria in the gut than cells in the body, as the beneficial and harmful types of bacteria balance themselves out.
Be careful where you buy your probiotics. The quality of retail probiotics can vary by a great deal. There are some manufacturers that don’t have enough live bacteria to trigger an effective positive change, while others can be improperly stored, which can kill a large portion of the probiotics inside. The National Yogurt Association, for example, has a seal that’s easy to recognize on a yogurt’s label to ensure you’re getting a top product that meets the highest standards for probiotic supplements.
Your whole body is full of bacteria. Every one of us is a thriving living colony of good and bad bacteria, because the human body contains an average of 2 to 4 pounds of bacteria in the body. As mentioned previously, a majority of these bacteria live within the digestive tract, but probiotics can also be found on the skin, in the mouth or in the throat, performing essential functions such as breaking down food.
Probiotics are with you since birth. Humans are readily brought into the world with hefty dose of probiotics in the intestines. But then external factors start to kick in and due to stress, antibiotics, environmental issues, smoking, alcohol consumption, the levels of probiotics start do decrease. This is why it may be time to seriously consider incorporating probiotics into your diet. Plus, they are know to promote weight loss and are believed to reduce anxiety and depression as well.
They aren’t just for your digestive system. We already know that probiotics are essential for a healthy digestive system, but they also work to fight diseases brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle such as diabetes, obesity, tooth decay or heart disease.
Read a probiotic supplement’s label. This helps you find out if a product is backed by scientific research or it’s just another bottle with a fancy label. Different strains address different types of conditions. There are specific probiotic strains for certain conditions, for instance, the University of Maryland recommends using Lactobacillus acidophilus for yeast infections.
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