You hear a lot about probiotics these days and how good they are for your health. These live bacteria and yeasts are substances that help to regulate your digestive system. While some bacteria cause illness, the kind we’re talking about here are good for you and necessary for gut health. Keep reading to learn more about these good for you bacteria, how they help your body and ways you can add more to your diet.
How They Work
It’s only been since the 1990’s that probiotics have been sought after for digestive health. Researchers are still working to discover more about the ways in which they work. However, we do know that they can help to balance the amounts of good and bad bacteria in your body to keep it functioning optimally. Probiotics are helpful in cases where you have lost good bacteria and your body needs a boost.
Though numerous kinds of bacteria can be considered probiotics, there are two main categories. These are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is the most commonly found kind of probiotic. It’s found in fermented foods and in yogurt. This type can decrease diarrhea symptoms and counters the effects encountered by individuals who are unable to digest milk sugars. Bifidobacterium is found in a number of dairy products. It decreases the unpleasant symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
Along with digestive issues like IBS and diarrhea, there is anecdotal evidence that probiotics can be useful in addressing various other conditions. Eczema and other skin problems can be improved through regular probiotic use. It’s also said to be beneficial for vaginal and urinary tract health. Oral hygiene also benefits from probiotics. There are even some who swear by the use of probiotics during cold and flu season to keep sickness at bay.
Safe Use of Probiotics
As mentioned, probiotics are found naturally in food. It’s often a good idea to ask your physician for advice on which brands are the most effective. Probiotic supplements are generally safe. Talk to your doctor if you have an immune system deficiency or other serious health problem. Some side effects can come with the use of supplements, including gas, bloating, diarrhea and upset stomach. You can expect these to be mild and to dissipate after a few days of use when your body becomes accustomed to the addition of probiotics to your system.
These can offer a wide variety of general health benefits and are particularly effective in certain circumstances. Adding them to your everyday routine can provide a boost to your digestive system and other aspects of your health.