[box]If somebody asks you whether or not you’d willingly take in live bacteria in your body, would you say yes? If you answered with a big, “Of course not!”, you need to think again. Now you just might be imagining having all sorts of worms in your stomach right now, but that is not what this article is trying to point out.
The truth is, not all bacteria are out there to harm you! You see, science shows that our body does need bacteria for it to function well—healthy bacteria.[/box]
Benefits of Healthy Bacteria
Good bacteria or yeast organisms, also known as probiotics, work to help our digestive system, and are available for intake both in food and supplements.
“How though, do probiotics work?”
First of all, you need to understand that there are at least 500 types of bacteria found in our digestive system that improve intestinal function as well as boost our immunity. The high figure may be surprising, but such knowledge is merely surface level at best.
Second, these pathogens, when introduced to the body, serve to immunize an individual against certain diseases. Introduction of such pathogens is vital to challenge the body’s immune system to help our bodies defend itself well against harmful microorganisms. Statistics shows that societies with good hygiene increasingly suffer from allergic and autoimmune diseases. Studies are still underway so as to examine the link between these microorganisms and our body’s functions.
Most importantly, you need to understand that taking in certain probiotics could help cure several digestive illnesses. The list below shows what illnesses at present could be addressed by the intake of probiotics.
The lack of the enzyme lactase in your small intestine causes this digestive problem. Without lactase to break down lactose molecules in your food, you experience gas, bloating, and diarrhea, more frequently than those who do have a sufficient amount of such enzyme in their bodies. You should take note though that lactose intolerance is not the same problem as a food allergy to milk.
The average individual will normally experience this illness at least once a year. While not always serious, this digestive trouble is a particular discomfort particularly when there is already pus and blood present in the stool. Food poisoning often causes diarrhea, but intestinal disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and overdose of laxatives can also lead to this problem.
While there is no direct link between eczema or atopic dermatitis and cow’s milk allergy, research shows that those who are prone to allergies are more likely to suffer from both.
Pouchitis refers to the inflammation of the internal pouch created after an intestinal surgery. Common symptoms include increased bowel movement and abdominal cramps.
This medical condition is most likely to occur in premature infants or those who have received blood exchange transfusions. Although the exact cause to this illness is yet unknown, necrotizing enterocolitis is characterized by the death of the intestinal wall lining. Its symptoms include abdominal bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and blood in the stool, among others.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease which at present has no known cure and causes inflammation and ulcers in one’s digestive tract. Treatments are, however, available to minimize the recurrence of its symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Recent studies further suggest that probiotics can help prevent even common illnesses such as colds and ear infections. Probiotics are also said to be helpful to illnesses such as vaginitis, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea caused by C. difficile bacteria, and irritable bowel syndrome. However, such claims are yet to be backed by conclusive scientific evidence.
The bottom line is that probiotics are helpful to our bodies. It can be found in cheese and yogurt, as well as in nutritional supplements such as yacon syrup. A word of caution, though, is in order for those who have a weak immune system. If you believe your immune system would not be able to handle the intake, it will be best to consult with your healthcare professional before taking in probiotic supplements.
Author: Rangel Geoff considers himself a logophile—a lover of words, and greatly enjoys writing about virtually anything and everything under the sun as a hobby. He is mainly a teacher, an English teacher to be exact, as well as a writer. I’m currently writing for BRI Nutrition whose sole purpose is to provide safe and natural supplements.