Why Take Probiotics and What Are they Anyway?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that have a beneficial effect on the host. The most common organisms are Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. The best sources for probiotics are fermented foods, but if you don’t eat or don’t like fermented foods then a supplement is also acceptable.
In our guts there are an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms and over 500 different species. Most of these microorganisms provide us with immense benefits such as keeping harmful microorganisms in check, aiding the immune system, helping with nutrient absorption and aiding in digestion. Probiotics are especially helpful in treating gut issues such as irritable bowl syndrome, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease and they may be very helpful in treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Finally our beneficial gut bacteria seem to play a large role in Inflammation, obesity, diabetes and the treatment and prevention of these issues.
We generally develop issues in our beneficial gut bacteria through the use of antibiotics, because they tend to wipe out all microorganisms including the beneficial ones and this provides and opportunity for opportunistic pathogens to invade and compromise our immune system. In supplementing we like Jarrow probiotics and specifically Jarrow plus FOS (Fructooligosaccharides ie prebiotics). FOS stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria while blocking the growth of potentially harmful bacteria and they also enhance magnesium absorption.