Probiotics are living microorganisms found in fermented foods, or can be taken in supplement form.
They perform numerous and important functions, which they concern intestinal, mental and other well-being. Let's find out together!
- What are probiotics for
- Which are useful to the human organism
- Where are probiotics found
- The effects of probiotic deficiency
What are probiotics for
The set of microorganisms that populate the intestine is called microbiota and it's formed by about 500 different species, some good and some potentially bad. Good microorganisms are also called probiotics and play several important roles in our health.
Let's see some of them:
- They intervene in the digestive processes.
- They produce micronutrients, such as some vitamins.
- They protect against pathogens.
- They reduce inflammation.
- They boost the immune system.
- They regulate the energy balance
- Brain functions improve.
- They produce serotonin, a fundamental molecule for mental well-being.
For these and other functions, probiotics are important for the prevention or treatment of some diseases, Including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Vaginal infections.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Infections of the gastrointestinal tract.
Probiotics among the natural remedies to strengthen the intestine: discover the others
Probiotics useful for the human body
Our intestine presents billions and billions of microbes, so many that not all species have yet been cataloged.
However, the best known probiotics are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria (lactic ferments), but there are other types, including Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia and Bacillus.
Each of them plays different roles and are involved in the prevention or treatment of various diseases or disorders, therefore, any integration must be carefully evaluated by an expert.
Where are probiotics found
Probiotics they are commonly found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir (fermented milk), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), miso (fermented soy) and tempeh (fermented soybeans).
Furthermore, they are now very popular as powder supplements or pills which, generally, are composed of a set of varieties, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia coli and Bacillus.
Probiotics they are not to be confused with prebiotics which, on the other hand, are non-digestible substances that represent the nourishment of our intestinal bacteria, therefore, in turn very important for a good quality of the microbiota. We find them mainly in fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds.
What are natural probiotic supplements?
The effects of probiotic deficiency
When the gut microbiota is altered it is referred to as intestinal dysbiosis. This is a long-term condition that can lead to various more or less serious problems, including: infections, inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders and allergies.
There are no particular contraindications associated with the intake of probiotics, however, in the event of a compromised immune system or other disorders it is advisable to consult your doctor before any integration.
Probiotics, among the remedies against candidiasis: discover the others
Other articles on probiotics:
When to take live lactic ferments
Antibiotics or probiotics: the lactic ferments dilemma
Probiotics among live lactic ferments for constipation
Probiotics, a self to prevent allergies in children?
Do you know live lactic ferments and do you know where to find them?
How to take care of the intestinal flora
Bibliography and sources
Expert consensus document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic, nature reviews gastroenterology & hepatology
Health benefits of taking probiotics , Harvard Medical School
Probiotics and Prebiotics, World Gastroenterology Organisation
Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains?, European Journal of Nutrition
Probiotics for the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis, JAMA Network
Effect of Probiotics on Central Nervous System Functions in Animals and Humans: A Systematic Review, Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Recent Trends in the Prevalence of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in a Commercially Insured US Population, Digestive Deseases and Sciences
The belly knows it, Silvio Danese