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Advantages of Eating Probiotics

Jul 30th, 2012

ProbioticsOur digestive tracts hold naturally occurring bacteria that is beneficial to our health. Known as probiotics, these microorganisms are found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. The following are some of the reasons why adding probiotics to your diet is a very good idea.

Promote balance of healthy bacteria
A healthy balance of microbacteria in the body help maintain proper digestion of food and nutrients. They maintain immunity and protect us against harmful bacteria. When our natural flora gets disrupted by stress, poor diet, or antibiotic use, our bodies’ processes are also disrupted. Harmful bacteria can multiply in our body and cause inflammation, problems with nutrient absorption, infection, and diarrhea.

Studies have shown that probiotics can help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in our intestines. Probiotics limit the population and activities of harmful bacteria. They are effective in restoring and maintaining healthy levels of intestinal flora.

Regulation of immune response
Your gut’s health can influence your immunity. The cells that line your intestinal tract and your immune system interact in various ways. One such interaction involves cytokines, these are proteins secreted by cells that trigger an immune response. The number and type of healthy bacteria directly affects cytokine production, resulting to both enhanced and decreased immunity. Probiotics effectively reduce the secretion of inflammatory cytokines. This has important ramifications since inflammation plays a major role in the development of chronic diseases.

Helps digest lactose
Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant. This prevents them from consuming dairy products which contain sugar lactose. Probiotics contained in fermented foods help in lactose digestion by converting lactose into lactic acid.

Considerations
There are several strains of probiotics available in many forms such as tablets, capsules, and powders. Different strains have different health benefits. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus is believed to reduce the side effects of antibiotic therapy while Bacillus coagulans helps the body fight off viral infection.

Probiotics are considered safe for most people. However, it may cause mild discomfort like abdominal gas and pain. Children, older people, and those with health problems should seek medical advice before adding probiotics to their diet.

 

Source: Vista Health Solutions

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