Probiotics: it's time to clarify

Probiotics: yes or no?

More and more studies carried out by foreign researchers and the villagers on the "microbiome", that is all the bacteria present inside the human body.

In particular, the research aims to discover all those relationships that bind the various microorganisms to the concept of well-being of the organism that hosts them. But beware, the question arises: Are all bacteria good for you?

If the answer seems to be yes for some - in fact more and more studies show how probiotics can cure various problems, in addition to disorders related to the intestine, or allergies, dysfunctions of the immune system, metabolic, endocrine and enzymatic dysfunctions or even to the nervous system (Alzheimer's) - for other probiotics there is still a veil of uncertainty, not to say real doubt.

According to the leading exponents, this is where we need to work and clarify, in the vast world of lesser-known microorganisms and how we talk about them: to say that a mattress contains probiotics that are good for the body, one must be really precise in arguing!


When and how to take live lactic ferments?


Probiotics are everywhere

Today, probiotics are found everywhere, from cosmetics to products for beauty, for the home, even for animals! As an article in Nature Reviews points out, there are indeed many products on the market that claim to contain probiotics, advertised in various parts of the world.

Still according to biologists and experts interviewed by the scientific journal, they should be though well defined criteria have been outlined to be able to assign the label "probiotic", criteria that start from research, from new discoveries to arrive clearly to the consumer.

For this reason, about a year ago, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) opened the debate on probiotics and prebiotics, guidelines and their use. In particular with regard to theirs market regulation and essential guidelines for the consumer, standards and wordings that are able to illustrate the differences between one probiotic and another with respect to the products on the market.

According to Isapp, the time has also come to revisit the concept of probiotic, giving it a more appropriate and current definition. The new new re-definition classifies probiotics as "living microorganisms that, when administered in the correct quantities, confer health benefits to the organism that hosts them".


What are live lactic ferments?


The fact that the word "living" has been introduced makes the difference: the term probiotic is often found referring to products such as mattresses (which would contain "good" probiotics capable of eliminating bad bacteria), shampoos, disinfectants, aftershaves and so on. away, whose effectiveness and "vitality" (understood here as the ability to survive over time) of microorganisms is not always 100% proven.

For this reason, in some countries of the European Union, the term probiotic has been restricted only to certain products, in order to avoid misunderstandings on the part of the consumer.


How the country views microorganisms

The country and Canada, for example, have accepted the probiotics Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus as a group of microorganisms that are known in depth and that bring general benefits to the body, without going further.

For more than thirty years, the country has known the use of beneficial bacteria, administered as supplement or ingredient in food, used to improve intestinal functions. It should also be underlined that the country plays a very important role in research on probiotics worldwide, thanks to the skills of researchers and professionals in the sector and the effectiveness of production.

In conclusion, it seems that a classification between the various probiotics is essential, as they are not all the same andbiological activity depends on the strain to which a probiotic belongs. Practically, for the consumer, it is essential to be able to get to the bottom of the subject, turning to experts, nutritionists, doctors before adopting do-it-yourself in this field.

The risk is in fact that a probiotic, instead of fulfilling the function that might be expected, can give disappointing results or even opposite to those desired: a party of anarchic microorganisms that multiply in the intestine is not always a good thing!

To learn more:

> Antibiotics or probiotics: the dilemma on lactic ferments

> Probiotics and lactic ferments, what's the difference?

> Kanji, the Indian probiotic


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