Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that that offer some form of health benefit especially your digestive system. Probiotics are the “good” microorganisms that help in regulating proper intestinal function and digestion – by balancing intestinal micro flora. They are found in varied quantities in different foods. Probiotics are normally found in abundance in fermented foods with active live cultures such as yogurt. They are also available commercially as supplements; Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common forms of probiotics available in the market. Most of their benefits is reflected the improvement of digestive functions and overall immunity.
Probiotic organisms are known to work through several interrelated mechanisms, altering many functions at the molecular level. They generate a series of biochemical signals that take place between the intestinal bacteria and the human cells that comprise the rest of your body
- They help in trapping potentially dangerous organisms in the intestine, thereby helping in fighting gut infection or toxin-mediated diseases.
- They up-regulate immune responses by producing favorable cytokines and producing and activating the immune cells of the body; they also help in suppression of inflammation, characteristic of several digestive diseases like IBD.
- They are also helpful in enhancing the function of the intestinal inner lining, enhancing its role of a barrier and hence preventing the entry of potentially dangerous organisms and chemicals
It is only when this fine balance between the healthy intestinal bacteria and external microbes is disturbed, that a lot of digestive challenges start surfacing. Reduced level of healthy probiotics in the gut lead to chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and the metabolic syndrome. It is also known that overweight people tend to have lower levels of beneficial bacteria than do slender people, and this altered balance may trigger system-wide inflammation.
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The good news is that there are many probiotics supplements available in the market that can help in restoring microbial balance in the body. Probiotics play a significant role in maintaining a healthy digestive system and countering any health challenge in the gut. Probiotics can favourably alter the composition and activities of the intestinal bacterial community, potentially reversing major contributors to chronic disease. In the digestive tract, probiotic therapy has been highly indicated for the prevention and treatment of lactose intolerance, intestinal infections and diarrhea, gastritis and ulcers. They are also proving instrumental in preventing colon cancer.