Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed. They can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods and dietary supplements. Probiotic foods can be fermented, containing live cultures, or contain only beneficial bacteria. Live microorganisms are described as those “having a genome capable of manipulating and reproducing itself”.
Therefore, Probiotic foods are the product of microorganisms growing in an environment that supports their growth.
Probiotic foods can be categorised according to the types of active cultures used to culture them. Lactobacillus Acidophilus, a Lactobacillus culture, is the most common type of probiotic food, with L. Casei being second. These two types of bacteria are the most natural when it comes to cultivating in the body and the use of yogurt as a source of probiotic cultures dates back to ancient times.
Yogurt is full of lactobacilli, which are “friendly” bacteria that are part of the L.acidophilus population in the body. L.acidophilus can also be found in yogurt that has been refined.
The benefits of eating probiotic foods depend on the type of organisms included in the yogurt. Lactobacillus acidophilus are “friendly” microbes and although they grow well in the body, they need a living host to survive and to grow well.
To do this, the microbes attach to and feed on an individual’s natural intestinal flora, or the population of beneficial microbes that naturally inhabit the intestines and help support digestion. They use the intestinal flora as a supply path for nutrients, avoiding the waste products produced by other species.
Beneficial microorganisms in the gut also produce short chains of sugar that probiotics need to grow properly and take up residence in the intestine. Since the probiotic strains cannot survive without this, there must be a way for them to reach the intestine.
Probiotic foods are ingested as a supplement or by eating certain food items such as Kombucha, check out 28bysamwood.com for more information on Kombucha and the health benefits. When used as a dietary supplement, probiotic foods usually contain about twenty strains of live organisms, including three strains of L.acidophilus. These probiotic foods come in many forms: powder, tablets and capsules. Each of these has benefits for specific uses.
Many probiotic supplements contain only L.acidophilus; others contain many different species. This is because some strains have been shown to have different health benefits and may be useful for various conditions, while other species are effective for all health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome.
Some studies have indicated that probiotic supplements help to promote weight loss, although there is not evidence that weight loss occurs with use of probiotic foods alone.
The most common way to introduce beneficial probiotics into the diet is through yogurt. This can be a relatively inexpensive way to provide good bacteria to the digestive system.
Some yogurts also contain live cultures, which are not beneficial microbes but are added to help preserve the good bacteria. Many people also take acidophilus supplements in the form of capsules, which are available from health food stores and vitamin outlets.
One of the keys to the benefits of probiotics is their lack of intolerance to antibiotics. Most strains of L.acidophilus are able to tolerate most antibiotics, although there are some strains that are less likely to do well under antibiotic treatments.
The lack of intolerance means that even when someone is already sick with a severe infection, they can introduce probiotics and avoid getting worse before getting better. The microbes benefit from the healing process. They replenish the lost nutrients that the body has been losing. This healing process prevents the overgrowth of the harmful bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar is another additive that is used in probiotic yogurt. It has been found to be a great neutraliser for antibiotics, yeast infections, and many other infections.
The acidity of the vinegar neutralises the beneficial bacteria and makes it more susceptible to the harmful bacteria. Drinking lots of apple cider vinegar restores the acid-alkali balance in the system that prevents overgrowth of the harmful pathogens.