Probiotics & Gut Health: Keeping The Delicate Internal Balance of Bacteria

ProbioticsA Quick Lesson On Probiotics

What exactly are probiotics? Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are referred to as “the good” microorganisms because they benefit the body, most specifically our digestive system. Probiotics found in some foods and dietary supplements are similar to natural probiotics that already exist naturally in the gut.

The body does not need the addition of food and supplements containing probiotics to be healthy. With that said, providing the body with food and supplements that contain probiotics can assist in the job of building “good” bacteria present in your gut.

What you need to know about probiotics, according to the Cleveland Medical Clinic.

Probiotics may help keep you healthy by:

  • Decreasing the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause infections or inflammation.
  • Replacing the body’s “good” bacteria (replacing the “good” bacteria that have been lost when taking antibiotics, for example).
  • Restoring the body’s “good” versus “bad” bacterial balance, which then helps to keep your body functioning properly.

Examples of Probiotics:

  • Probiotics are naturally found in your intestines and they include Saccharomyces boulardii (a yeast) and bacteria in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families of microorganisms.
  • Foods that contain probiotics include some juices and soy drinks, fermented and unfermented milk, buttermilk, some soft cheeses, miso, tempeh, kefir, kim chi, sauerkraut, and many pickles. Probably the most well-known food that contains probiotics is yogurt with the most well-known being, Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
  • Supplements: Probiotic dietary supplements are available in capsules, tablets, powders and liquid extracts — each contain a particular probiotic. These products are available at health food and natural food stores and vitamin shops. One commonly used supplement is acidophilus, which is available from several supplement manufacturers.


Be Careful When Shopping Probiotics

Dr. Mercola reminds us to not be fooled by yogurt products advertising, for many have likely had the beneficial bacteria already reduced or wiped out by heat-intensive pasteurization processes. We would add that many of the well advertised greek yogurts are doubly bad due to the additional sugars added to them when they are processed. Watch full clip below:


Reader – What questions do you have on probiotics after reading this information?

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