Chances are that you have probably heard the term “probiotics” being thrown around recently, maybe even in an advertisement for food or supplements. You know they are supposed to be good for you, but do you know exactly what they are?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are actually good for your body, particularly your digestive system. They are a type of “good” bacteria that help keep your gut healthy, and they are naturally found in your body.
In recent years, probiotics have obtained more notoriety as doctors have recommended them to patients facing digestive issues. Today, you can find food, drinks, supplements and more that all contain probiotics to improve your health. Probiotics are naturally found in some foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, some soft cheeses and many pickles. However, the most popular source of probiotics is yogurt.
While you don’t technically need to consume food or supplements that contain probiotics, they can be especially helpful in certain situations. Probiotics can help replenish the “good” bacteria that you lose after taking an antibiotic. Additionally, they can also decrease the amount of “bad” bacteria present in your body, and they can help to balance all of your bacteria to help keep you healthy. When you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty amazing that one type of bacteria can do so much good for our bodies and overall health.
The primary function of probiotics is to assist in moving food through your gut. They are most helpful in treating conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diarrhea, eczema, allergies, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, sleeping problems and more.
One important detail to note about products that contain probiotics is that they do not have to be approved by the FDA because they are technically dietary supplements and not medications. The result is that some manufacturers may sell products that merely claim to be safe and effective, without any proof to back this up. If you are going to take probiotic supplements, do yourself a favor and take some time to research the product.
When used in the right situations, probiotics are a great way to help get your digestive system working like it should.