In this post we tell you all the virtues that probiotics have and when they are your best solution.
As it is not advisable to start the house from the roof, I am going to rewind a little and tell you why it is so important to have a healthy intestinal flora.
What if I told you that we are colonized by 100 billion bacteria? Do not be scared, it’s not about any infection. They are beneficial bacteria, which take care of our health. As you see, not all bacteria are bad and you have to kill them.
We have bacteria throughout our body but in this post we are going to focus on the intestinal ecosystem where most bacteria are concentrated.
The digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus, is full of bacteria. However, it is in the intestine that the vast majority are concentrated. These bacteria participate in the two major functions of the digestive system: nutrition and defense. You heard right, defense.
Besides helping us to make digestions well, these beneficial bacteria defend us from pathogenic microorganisms that want to colonize us through food and water. They also defend us, enhancing the immune system through the GALT (lymphoid tissue associated with the intestine). The intestine is a great gateway to all the pathogens that want to invade us.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are food supplements made with live microorganisms, similar to those of our intestinal flora, which in certain quantities provide a health benefit.
But … if we already have beneficial bacteria in our body, what good are probiotics? Unfortunately, in many cases the intestinal flora is deteriorated: antibiotic treatments, bad eating habits, digestive diseases, stress, alcohol …
The most commonly species used in probiotics are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces boulardii or Saccharomyces cerevisae.
Food supplements must specify the strain of each bacterium, since its probiotic effect will depend on it.
Is a probiotic the same as a prebiotic?
The association of probiotic with a prebiotic is a winning association. Like all living things, probiotics need food to grow. This is where prebiotics come into play.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food substances (dietary fiber) that have double action: they serve as food for probiotics and also exert benefit, by themselves, on the digestive system.
This type of food fiber is soluble in water and in contact with it forms a viscous gel. This gel prolongs the time of the bolus in the stomach, favoring the absorption of nutrients and producing a satiating effect. In the intestine, the gel can capture fatty acids, cholesterol and sugar, regulating blood sugar and hypercholesterolemia.
A good example of a prebiotic is the inulin that is obtained from the fructooligosaccharides of chicory.
What are probiotics for?
All the pathologies that i have listed below have one thing in common: the digestive system is affected. One thing is clear, the better the state and the quality of the intestinal flora, the better our entire digestive system will work.
- Diarrhea associated with antibiotics. Antibiotics to eradicate bacteria that are causing us a disease, also may kill part of our good bacteria. The only way to repopulate the flora is with the intake of probiotics. Antibiotics can also cause an increase in the activity of fungi (we also have fungi living with us) and a decrease in immunity.
- Constipation. In this case, probiotics combined with insoluble fiber would be the best option to regulate transit.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Abdominal pain and swelling, constipation, diarrhea …
- Inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Traveler’s diarrhea. Probiotics can not be missing in your travel kit. It is the most natural way to stop diarrhea.
- Lactose intolerance. There are bacteria that improve the digestion of lactose.
- Infant colic The digestive system of babies is immature and it may cost them to make digestions. Probiotics in drops are a good option for this type of ailments.
- Bad digestions, gas, swelling … All these symptoms are derived from a poor intestinal flora.
Are they suitable for all audiences?
Yes, anyone can benefit from the action of probiotics. In fact, there are specific probiotics for children with bacterial strains present in the intestine of young children