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  • Jessie Lan

Probiotics and Their Benefits

Jessie Lan, HK BioTek Intern

Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. They are usually naturally found in your body. You can also find them in some foods and supplements.

It's only been since about the mid-1990s that people have wanted to know more about probiotics and their health benefits. Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. It is said that when you lose "good" bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them. They can help balance your "good" and "bad" bacteria to keep your body working like it should. The secret to restoring your digestive health is all about balancing out the good and bad bacteria in your gut.

Probiotics also help move food through your gut. Some common conditions they treat are: Irritable bowel syndrome, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites), antibiotic-related diarrhea. And according to some people probiotics also help with skin conditions, like eczema, urinary and vaginal health, preventing allergies and colds, oral health.

The many toxins we’re subjected to today decrease digestive function, affecting our ability to utilize nutrients and get rid of cholesterol, triggering chronic inflammation in the body, which is the cause of many chronic conditions and diseases. The top seven probiotic killers that can prevent your body from getting all the tremendous probiotics benefits it needs are

  1. Prescription antibiotics

  2. Sugar

  3. Tap water

  4. GMO foods

  5. Grains

  6. Emotional stress

  7. Chemicals and medications

Therefore the only way to fix this issue and heal your gut is to eliminate the foods that feed bad bacteria and start consuming probiotic-rich foods and supplements so probiotics benefits can work their magic.

Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups. The first group is Lactobacillus. This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk. Second group is Bifidobacterium. You can also find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions. Some common sources of probiotics are: yogurt, miso soup, yakult, kombucha, pickles, kimchi etc.

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