We are never alone. No, it is not a philosophical motto nor a meager consolation or even less the announcement of the arrival of extraterrestrials, but a scientific observation: our intestine hosts a real "world" of bacteria that live with us.
Medicine speaks of microbiota as the set of these microorganisms and now there are many scientific studies to confirm and support. The number of cells in the microbiota is six times that of human cells, and there are 4 million (yes, millions) of different species. So we are even in the minority!
The bacteria that live there play a fundamental role - and to the most unknown - for our health, for example by protecting us from the invasion of harmful bacteria, producing vitamins and facilitating the processes of assimilation of food.
We must take care of them lovingly, if only if they get sick, we get sick too! The best way to cure them is a right lifestyle paired with a Proper nutrition. But in case of need, the microbiota must literally be repopulated. To this live lactic ferments are needed. What are? And where do we find them?
Live lactic ferments: what they are
They are also called Probiotics (pro-bios, that is "in favor of life"), or lactic ferments, since present in fermentation processes, initially studied in milk.
These are our "bacterial friends", those microorganisms of the microbiota we were talking about a moment ago. In cases, for example, of intestinal imbalances, poor nutrition, antibiotic treatments and stress, the "resident" bacteria are literally decimated and often bacterial or fungal species (ie fungi, such as candida) that are harmful to our health can prevail. which can cause cystitis, candidiasis or other.
It is time to take a supply of enzymes from the outside, to go to the rescue of those inside us: we must resort to foods or supplements rich in "good live bacteria."".
Live because they must arrive - resisting the acidic environment of the stomach and the action of bile salts - grow and multiply in our intestine, rebuild the defense barrier and perform their multiple functions in the best possible way.
Otherwise, in the case of generic, non-probiotic lactic ferments, they will only be able to ferment the milk: if they arrive inert (dead) in the intestine, they will not perform any healthy function.
Here are just a few species of probiotics, among the millions of those present in the microbiota:
- Lactobacilli, which make milk ferment and coagulate;
Beware of a dangerous confusion of termsIn fact, probiotics are live lactic ferments, while there are also i pre-biotici, that is the nutrients of the bacteria, their food, which stimulates their reproduction (colonization) and are useful as a support to therapies with probiotics.
A prebiotic for example is theinulin, a vegetable fiber that our body does not assimilate but of which intestinal bacteria are very "greedy".
Read also Antibiotics and lactic ferments: which link? >>
Live lactic ferments: where to find them
Given that live lactic ferments live mainly in our intestines, let's now see where to find them in an emergency, or in situations of imbalance of the microbiota (what is the microbiota? Read a few lines above!).
The best live lactic ferments supplements are the fermented foods, which is recommended to be used as part of daily nutrition, to keep the resident bacterial flora in good health.
Some examples of common fermented foods are:
- Fermented cheeses
Less common on our tables are fermented foods such as:
- Miso (made from soy and fermented grains, for example barley)
- Tempeh (from the fermentation of yellow soybeans)
- Kombucha (a type of tea)
They are then found on the market enriched foods of live lactic ferments, such as milk or yogurt or other soy-based products.
If, on the other hand, a very large dose of probiotics is needed due to more serious imbalances, one can resort to integrators, in the form of bags (in which the ferments have been deprived of water and are activated, they "wake up" when we dissolve them in water), capsules, vials, drops (especially those for children) or little bottles to be kept in the refrigerator and consumed quickly to have the greatest number of live cultures.
With one attention though: supplements contain only some species (strains) of enzymes. Therefore to know which is best to use it is always good consult your doctor. Better to avoid experimenting in this area.
Supplements should always be taken on an empty stomach, better in the morning, so that they can best act on our intestines.
We are never alone, therefore. Take care of your guests, your health is at stake!
Read also Here are 5 foods rich in lactic ferments with properties and use >>
To learn more:
> Intestines, disorders and natural remedies
> Live lactic ferments: a help against a swollen stomach