What are Probiotics? prooven helathy Benefits,Types and side effects
Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”. Probiotic organisms support the beneficial bacteria that are already in the gastrointestinal tract. These microorganisms are necessary for the digestion of nutrients as well as for the balance of the intestinal microflora.
Probiotics regarded as a good bacteria
Probiotics and Prebiotics are considered as novel functional ingredients that can be applied to influence the host’s microbiota. Microorganisms, especially lactic acid bacteria (LAB), have long been associated with food fermentation, one of the oldest methods of food preservation
They are among the health-promoting microbes and help to strengthen the intestinal barrier and and are widespread
in nature from soil, water, plants, milk products and animals.
A good probiotic contains bacteria that survive the stomach acid, because in the stomach, the little helpers can not yet develop their effect. In order to achieve positive effects, they must arrive in sufficient quantity in the intestine and multiply there. This will allow the right probiotics to restore an imbalanced gut flora.
It is generally acknowledged that a long healthy life could be promoted by increasing numbers of lactic acid bacteria in the colon at the expense of ‘putrefying’ bacteria that were injurious to health.
As a result, there is great scientific interest in modulation of the intestinal microbiota in favour of beneficial bacteria through the use of novel functional food ingredients such as probiotics, prebiotics and in some cases the
combination of probiotics with prebiotics.
Probiotics in dairy products
Clinical studies have been conducted not just with tablets or powders but also with probiotic dairy products, in the form of fermented milk drinks and yoghurts. One great advantage of dairy products over pharmaceuticals is that the former can be incorporated readily into one’s daily diet, and thus can quite easily be part of a proactive strategy for health maintenance.
Probiotics and Prebiotics: What is the difference?
Not to be confused, Probiotics are primarily used as dietary supplements and are available in the form of liquid cures or as capsules. Since there are hundreds of different bacterial strains, there are almost innumerable possibilities of combining probiotic offers. However, one thing is important: The bacteria must arrive alive in the intestine.
Prebiotics are actually the feed of the good bacteria, ie. nutrients that serve as food for the probiotic microbes.
Types of probiotics and how they work
Sometimes fermented foods are also referred to as probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, grains, or fermented milk drinks.
However, it is never possible to say which bacteria are actually contained and to what extent, these foods can be easily integrated into the diet, but targeted statements on specific health problems can not be reported.
Especially yoghurt and other fermented dairy products including Kefir are often considered valuable probiotics. These foods should have a positive effect on health, largely because of their probiotic cultures, which could be consumed without dairy products.
In yogurt, moreover, only a few probiotic strains are included, and if you are unlucky, only small amounts. Furthermore, there are indications that the effect of yoghurt on health is overrated. The increased consumption of yogurt is not a solution if you want to specifically build up your intestinal flora or contribute to their regeneration.
However, if you tend to be very specific against dysbiosis (disturbance of the intestinal flora) and you want to protect yourself from diseases, strengthen the immune system or improve the overall health, then you should take high-quality and high-dose probiotics in capsule form or in liquid form.
How do probiotics work?
PROBIOTICS WORK ON THE FOLLOWING MECHANISMS:
- Competing for nutrients: in the gut, beneficial as well as pathogenic (pathogenic) microorganisms use the same types of nutrients. This leads to a general competition between the bacteria for these nutrients, which the bacteria must cultivate and reproduce.
- Competition for adhesion sites: beneficial bacteria can adhere to the intestinal wall and form colonies at various sites throughout the intestine. This prevents pathogenic bacteria from gaining a foothold, resulting in their excretion from the body.
- Improving digestion: probiotics increase the efficiency of digestion and thus improve digestion.
- Lactic Acid Production: Probiotics produce lactic acid, which reduces the intestinal pH. This inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria, as they prefer a more basic environment.
- Effect on Immunity: Probiotics increase the level of signal substances and the effectiveness of infection-fighting cells (white blood cells).
Applications and Uses of Probiotics
Possible uses of probiotic preparations include the following:
1. Structure of the intestinal flora during or after antibiotic therapy
Probiotics are used to restore the intestinal flora, when these are out of their healthy balance. Because antibiotics fight not only harmful bacteria, but unfortunately also useful human bacterial strains and damage in this way the intestinal flora sustainable.
The immediate side effects are often diarrhea and nausea. Not infrequently, however, the damage to the intestinal flora is only in the course of time noticeable (a few weeks after the antibiotic therapy) , for example, by secondary diseases such, Chronic digestive complaints, fungal infections (eg vaginal fungus), chronic fatigue, skin problems, itching, increased susceptibility to infection and much more.
2. Structure of the intestinal flora in dysbiosis
A healthy intestinal flora is characterized not only by an overall large number of intestinal bacteria (it could also be the wrong strains, which are numerous), but in particular by the diversity and the correct composition of the desired beneficial bacterial strains.
Many factors can lead to a disturbed intestinal flora: A wrong diet, chronic stress, lack of sleep, infections, lack of vital nutrients, some medications, even lack of exercise. The consequences of an out-of-balance intestinal flora go far beyond indigestion. Meanwhile, it has been found that almost every chronic disease also has a dysbiosis.
Of course, now in particular the cause of the complaint must be resolved, if it is apparent. Basically, a probiotic should always be used.
It provides the intestinal flora with the necessary impulses for regeneration, as well as supplying important bacterial strains and often also the appropriate bacterial feed in the form of inulin or similar.
3. Chronic diseases
As already mentioned under 1 and 2, dysbiosis is one of the contributing causes of many chronic diseases. Regardless of which symptoms plague, a colon cleansing with high-quality probiotic preparations together with the right nutrition, exercise, vital substances and sufficient sleep, it is part of almost every holistic concept.
Common chronic diseases include those of the stomach. If these are caused by the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori , offers a very special probiotic. In this case, it contains an inactivated probiotic strain that can bind the stomach bacterium and render it harmless in this way ( Combi Flora AntiPylori ).
Those who do not suffer from any symptoms, but want to prevent them, can also take probiotics by turns preventively, for example, after a phase in which one has neglected his diet or even if infections are in circulation.
In addition to certain probiotic bacterial strains, special probiotics to strengthen the body’s defenses contain medicinal plants that activate the immune system as well as numerous vital substances such as: zinc, biotin, vitamin B12 and vitamin C (eg Combi Flora ProbioImmun ).
As described above, selected probiotic strains support weight loss. So, if you’re thinking about reducing your weight, you should also include a probiotic in your weight loss program.
6. For children
For children you should use probiotics that specially designed for children, because they contain only those bacterial strains that have been tested for the infant intestinal flora, such as Combi Flora Kids, a probiotic for children above 3 years of age.
Which probiotic should I choose?
The market with probiotics is booming and the consumer has a huge selection of probiotics available. But not all probiotics are the same. Consumers make the mistake of not knowing enough about the probiotic supplements and simply buy some products. But what should you look for in probiotics?
Many probiotics on the market contain only a few probiotic bacterial strains, some even just one or two to three. The human intestinal flora, however, consists of 200 to 400 different strains. It is therefore advisable to take probiotics that have the widest possible variety of beneficial intestinal bacterial strains.
In addition, since there are already research results on various strains that show very specific effects of them. The more effective bacterial strains are contained in the respective preparation, the greater is the range of action.
For example, review the following aspects:
- Lactobacillus reuteri can reduce plaque and relieve gingivitis, thus having a positive effect on oral and dental health. If there are problems with elevated cholesterol levels , then L. reuteri supports the regulation of the same. In children, when taking this bacterial strain showed a reduced risk of allergy.
- Lactobacillus helveticus, on the other hand, takes care of bone health. The strain promotes the absorption of minerals and also the formation of the osteoblasts (cells that build up the bone substance)
- The three strains L. gasseri, L. plantarum and L. rhamnosus help to be able to reach the normal weight more easily in overweight without being subsequently overtaken by the yo-yo effect. You are therefore in Simsalabim weight loss .
- L. rhamnosus is also known to have a therapeutic effect on vaginal yeast infections , while L. plantarum can be used in Helicobacter pylori infections (gastric germ).
In addition, the preparation contains the yeast strain Saccharomyces boulardii, which can stop acute diarrhea and also prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea . Combi Flora Fluid (a liquid testosterone) even delivers 24 probiotic bacterial strains.
As you can see from this small selection of different effects, that a probiotic from different strains is much more helpful and therefore, preparations with a small number of bacterial strains is preferable.
It is important to make sure, when purchasing probiotics, that the product contains active, ie. live and not inactive bacteria. Of course, probiotic supplements should be free of sugar, sweeteners, flavors and other unnecessary additives.
Probiotics in capsules or in liquid form?
Probiotics in capsules usually consist exclusively of probiotic bacterial strains. Often a prebiotic substance is added in small quantities, e.g. As inulin .
Prebiotic means “nourishing the intestinal flora”. Thus, a prebiotic consists of food for the probiotic strains and is given to probiotic preparations as food for the intestinal bacteria.
If a probiotic also contains prebiotic elements, then one no longer speaks of a probiotic, but of a symbiotic. To avoid confusion, most manufacturers still use the term probiotic.
Liquid probiotics can contain not only bacteria but also fermented fruit, herbal or medicinal plant extracts, depending on the product also medicinal mushroom extracts, OPC , prebiotics or other active substances.
You can achieve very good results by combining a capsule probiotic with a liquid probiotic. All these substances should help to influence the environment in the intestine so that the beneficial intestinal bacteria feel comfortable there while the harmful bacteria and fungi are quenched.
Are there side effects of too much probiotics?
There are no known side effects associated with the use of probiotics. All US-registered probiotics must undergo rigorous safety testing before being approved for use. Probiotics were never classified as toxic.
Even 100 times the recommended dosage does not cause any problems. It is also not possible to ingest too much probiotics, as any excess is excreted in the feces. Only pathogenic bacteria can overpopulate the intestine, which can lead to diarrhea. Daily feeding of probiotics can prevent this.