Probiotics are a recent evolution in human health aspects and many people do not know about it and they generally have a common question, “What are probiotics?”. These are live bacteria and yeasts, which are considered good for health. These have a beneficial effect on the digestive system of a person.
Bacteria generally are considered harmful organisms which result in diseases. The human body also has a right composition of good and bad bacteria. It is these good bacteria which are commonly referred to as probiotics and are generally considered helpful as these keep the human gut healthy.
Probiotics are also found in human body and can be found in some of the foods and supplements. Many people didn’t know what are probiotics before the 1990s but during the past two decades, research on probiotics has reached its pinnacle and much is now known about them. People who suffer from digestion-related issues are often advised intake of probiotics on a regular basis.
How probiotics work
Though it has been two decades since the beneficial effects of probiotics were found out, doctors are still working on finding as to how exactly probiotics work. However, it is certainly known that when good bacteria reduce in human body probiotics usually replace these. They also help maintain an elegant balance between bad and good bacteria in humans.
Different types of probiotics
Although people know what are probiotics, they may not know that different kinds of bacteria come under the preview of probiotics. Most of these fall under the following two categories:
Lactobacillus: These are the most common probiotics. They are commonly found in fermented food items and yogurt. These probiotics help in the treatment of diarrhea and are particularly recommended for people who are not able to digest lactose, the sugar which is usually found in milk.
Bifidobacterium: These probiotics are found in some of the common dairy products. People who take these probiotics do not tend to suffer from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some other related conditions.
How probiotics help humans
Since probiotics have known to have an ideal effect on the human digestive system, it is vital to understand the effect of probiotics on human beings. Probiotics are known to help move food through the gut. They also treat the medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, infectious diarrhea and antibiotic-related diarrhea.
In addition, some cases of probiotics treating skin conditions like eczema and urinary diseases have also been reported. Similarly, use of probiotics is also known to prevent allergies and cold and is known to treat conditions related to oral health.
Using probiotics safely
Probiotics in FDR regulations come under food and not under medications. This exempts the manufacturers of probiotics from making a statement that these are safe for use. In such conditions, it is left to the judgment of a doctor if the use of probiotics supplements is safe.
Generally probiotics food and supplements are considered to be safe but people who suffer from immune system problems and other such health complications should ideally not take probiotics supplements. In certain cases, the use of probiotics product also causes mild health effects as diarrhea, gas and upset stomach. Allergic reactions in some of the cases have also been noticed.
Reaping benefits of probiotics
Now that people know what probiotics are, they must reap the benefits. Including sour foods as apple cider vinegar and fermented vegetables in diet result in an increase in the proportion of probiotics in the digestive system. This will keep the digestive system healthy which eventually has a beneficial effect on people’s health.
Increasing the consumption of probiotics rich food as goat milk and yogurt also boosts human health. Raw cheese is another important food item which has a rich composition of probiotics.
Factors to keep in mind while buying probiotics supplements
There are certain vital facts which probiotics users should consider when they buy any probiotics enriched products.
Quality of brand: Probiotics products should be purchased from reputed brands. Products made by locally made units should be avoided.
A high count of CFU: Ideally, probiotics must be purchased keeping in mind its count. Any such product should have 15 billion to 100 billion probiotics strain.
The diversity of strain: Any probiotics supplement should ideally have multiple strains. Buy a probiotics supplement which has 10 to 30 different strains.
Survivability of the strain: Probiotics products which have high survivability should ideally be used. Strains of Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis are generally considered to be good and products having their balanced composition should be preferred.
Global consumption of probiotics
Since several people know what are probiotics, over the past one decade, the use of probiotics has increased. From 2010 to 2014 the sale of probiotics showed an increase by around 35% globally. The sale of these products increased from $23.1 billion to $31.3 billion which is an indication of the popularity of probiotics.
Most people in the Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America are aware of what probiotics are. Therefore, immediate increase in the use of probiotics has been seen in these regions. Probiotics have brought a revolution in the health industry, and increasing number of people are now aware of what probiotics are and most of them are using probiotic supplements.