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Probiotics – What Are They and How Do They Work?

Probiotics are microscopic live bacteria and yeast that are actually good for your health. Most of us will think of bacteria of bad and something that can make you sick but probiotic bacteria are known as “good” or “healthy” bacteria and have been with us in our guts since birth.

Probiotics are found naturally in your body but can be found in some foods and thanks to modern science we can also get them in a supplement.


Why do we need them?

Your gut is home many species of bacteria. It is this complex community that interacts with your body’s immune system and plays a role in metabolic processes. The gut flora is stable by two years of age and like our finger prints everyone’s is different.

The problem is not with these bacteria living in our guts it’s when the bacteria get out of whack, like after using anti biotics, that problems arise. This is where probiotics come into play.

Probiotics restore the natural balance of your gut flora.

Some common conditions they treat are:

  • ProbioticsIrritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhoea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhoea

Probiotics may also help with:

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health

What types of probiotics are there?

There are many species of probiotics and they all have different benefits. Most come from these two groups. Both these groups produce lactic acid which helps to stop invading microorganisms from interfering the system by enhancing the natural barrier system of the gut.

  • Lactobacillus

This is the most common probiotic and can be found in yogurts and other fermented foods. The different strains may help with diarrhoea, nutrient absorption, immune health, vaginal health, oral health and overall digestion.

  • Bifidobacterium

These strains can also be found in some dairy products. The different strains may help with overall digestion, immune health and relief from bloating and constipation.


Probiotic Killers

Many things can affect our gut health here are the top reasons for and out of balance gut flora.

  • Antibiotics
  • Sugar
  • Emotional stress
  • Chemicals and medications

Trying to avoid these killers is not that simple. By adding a probiotic supplement to your morning regime, you will be doing your overall health a lot of good.

If you leave your gut flora unbalanced for too long your system will become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses.

Next time you think about your health don’t neglect your gut and its wide array of good bacteria, sometimes it really is the littlest things that count.