Probiotics 101 – Just Another Health Hype?

Yogurt can have probiotcs added

Yogurt can have probiotcs added

Most have heard the term Probiotics and its to do with good bacteria but is it just another health hype to earn fat commissions for internet marketers?

I must admit to being a little jaded with anything that smells like marketing hype these days. But I’ve been following the introduction of probiotics into mainstream and concluded it’s an area to keep a close eye on.

Given this I thought providing some grounding in the subject would help those following a wellness path, especially recent women smokers who’ve quit and now want to lead a healthy lifestyle altogether.

Probiotics are healthy and friendly bacteria that can do a number of beneficial things for the human body. They’re living micro-organisms working for the betterment of your health. These bacteria are in your body as you read this but become depleted when you’re sick and when your immune system gets worn down.

Healthy bacteria are particularly useful to the digestive system. In fact they live in the intestines and work tirelessly to keep them healthy.

They also live in the vagina where they work to keep the balance of good and bad bacteria in check. Probiotics fight the growth of unhealthy bacteria whenever they come into contact with it.

Healthy bacteria have a multitude of purposes in the body. They’re the cheering squad for the immune system and help to keep it working in tip top shape. For example; when you get sick, probiotics rush in to aid the immune system. These healthy bacteria can help with the mildest health problems such as an upset stomach or diarrhea to more serious ailments such as cancer.   By themselves they don’t cure – but working with other systems in your body can provide a level of protection to stave off illness.

Probiotics improve how the digestive system works.

They’re also instrumental in making sure that nutrients are absorbed in a fast and efficient manner. Studies have proven good bacteria in the body work hard to prevent any number of illnesses and diseases from getting started.

The production of the B vitamins folic acid, pyridoxine and niacin during digestion is helped along by good bacteria in the system. When friendly bacteria are found in plentiful supply in the body yeast infections are lessened and blood cholesterol is kept to a normal level.

Friendly bacteria help with the creation of lactase. This is an enzyme in the body needed for milk sugar or lactose to be broken down into simple sugars. Only when it’s broken down enough can it be used by the body. An individual who’s lactose intolerant can potentially be helped by taking supplements of probiotics.

Think of probotics as another useful treatment in the fight against infections and illnesses. They’re our little microscopic allies.

Probiotics are sold as supplements and are also found as live bacterial cultures in some brands of yogurt and milk. Always read the ingredient labels carefully to verify. If you prefer to purchase probiotic capsules then make sure that you choose protected enteric coated ones.

A fermented probiotic supplement is the wisest choice to make. Ensure it contains a large percentage of high quality bacteria. Choose one that is scientifically recognized and has a guaranteed level of potency.

Your last lesson in probiotics is an interesting fact. Which do you think the body has more of – bacteria or cells?

The answer is bacteria.  In fact there are 10 times more healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the body than there are cells.

While probiotics have gained a lot of recognition in recent years you should stay informed about this developing field. I’m not ready to say it’s living up to it’s hype but it’s showing a lot of promise and anything that helps our immune systems is worthy of your investigation.

For more information consult this article Probiotics article at the Mayo Clinic web site.

Becca Scott
Staff Writer
Free At Last Hypnosis
http://www.freeatlasthypnosis.com
http://www.smoke-free-at-last.com

Filed Under: Health

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About the Author

Becca Scott lives in New York state with her cats and dogs and writes extensively and passionately about alternative health topics for her own blog and other alternative health publications. Becca has a keen interest in the power of hypnosis as a therapeutic aid to eradicate damaging habits. She has been a staff writer for Smoke Free At Last since the blog was started in 2009.

Comments (1)

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  1. M. Hopson says:

    Here’s another good info about probiotics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neHbUI2JiPw We see that it’s available in foods such as yogurt and kefir, but personally I’d still choose homemade yogurt and kefir simply because at least I know the ingredients of the homemade one. Other yogurt just seems too sugary for me.