A healthy digestive system helps our body efficiently break down many of the nutrients we consume, maximizing the benefits of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and defending against nutritional deficiencies.
It is estimated that up to 80 percent of the immune cells in our bodies are located in the gut.
Probiotic food supplements are designed to help replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut to maintain a healthy balance. Probiotics aid digestive health and immune response. They also help to protect against microorganisms that could cause disease.
Probiotics are “friendly bacteria” that live in the digestive system. Probiotics are available in foods such as yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and soy beverages. They are also available as a dietary supplement in the form of a pill or powder.
The balance between “friendly bacteria” and “unfriendly microorganisms” can be upset by antibiotics, which are employed to kill the unfriendly bacteria, however, they kill friendly bacteria as well. Side effects of antibiotics include gas, cramping and diarrhea. Taking probiotic supplements can ease these symptoms. It can also help ease symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Probiotics can also be beneficial in helping to treat illnesses such as vaginal infections, tooth decay, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and even Crohn’s disease.