The term probiotic is derived from the Greek language which means “for life”. Microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed are called probiotics. The large intestine is a home to thousands of bacteria. Probiotic bacteria have been in our system right from the time of birth. This bacteria lines the digestive tract and supports the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. They are also known to strengthen immune system, heal digestive issues and neurological disorders.
In today’s fast-paced way of life, consumption of high carbohydrate diet, chlorinated water and conventional foods such as non-organic meat and dairy that contain antibiotic residues most people including children need a lot of probiotic boost. For an easy way to optimise the good bacteria it is recommended to increase intake of fermented foods like curd or kefir. In addition to having fermented foods another way to restore the good bacteria quickly is probiotic supplementation. A good probiotic supplement should contain a combination of different strain.
Probiotics are also known for its antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. The enteric pathogens produce enzymes that can convert procarcinogens to carcinogens causing cancer in the human body. However probiotic such as bifidobacterium lower the intestinal pH preventing growth of the pathogenic organisms. They also are known to have antitumor activity and activate phagocytes to destroy tumor cells.
Probiotics and it’s Safety
In the past few decades the use of probiotics has increased, particularly in dairy products. Since a number of organisms are used as probiotics its safety is linked to the organism that is used. Infants and children may be sensitive during a period when their intestinal environment and immune system are under development. Organisms that are generally regarded as safe include lactobacilli, lactococci, bifidobacterium and yeast while the spore forming bacteria and streptococci are not regarded safe.
So folks, grab the Raita, Fro-yo, Smoothie, whichever is up your alley. Your gut will thank you.