Probiotics, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. Bacteria are often considered “good” or “bad.
Good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, Bacillus Coagulans and etc.
Poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and environmental influences can all shift the balance in favor of the bad bacteria. Bad flora, which proliferates with a diet high in sugar, fat, and processed food can cause gas, discomfort, bloating and inflammation.
When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products. On the flip side, it takes on the things that our body needs and absorbs and helps deliver them to the cells where they are needed. The idea is not to kill off all of the bad bacteria. Our body does have a need for the bad ones and the good ones. The problem is when the balance is shifted to have more bad than good. An imbalance has been associated with diarrhea, urinary tract infections, muscle pain, and fatigue.
When our immune system doesn’t function properly, we can suffer from allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, and infections. By maintaining the correct balance from birth, the hope would be to prevent these ailments.
Fermented dairy products and live culture drinks containing “beneficial cultures.” These cultures are what would now be considered probiotics.
“People in cultures around the world have been eating yogurt, cheeses, and other foods containing live cultures for centuries,” says Martin Floch, MD, a professor of gastroenterology at Yale University. With the growing popularity of probiotics, there are a huge variety of supplements from which you can choose.