The Many Benefits of Probiotics

probioProbiotics are  live microorganisms or good bacteria or yeast that improve health.  Special live cultures are added to and consumed as part of fermented food.  Our bodies digestive systems contain hundreds of bacteria which help with digesting food and keeping our intestines healthy.  Our immune system may also be aided by these bacteria.  Adding probiotics to our diet will help the good bacteria already in our bodies continue to fight to keep us healthy.

Probiotics may be helpful in treating ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, inflammation of the intestines, urinary tract infections, vaginitis, Crohn’s disease, gas and bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.  They may improve the immune system and aid with skin problems such as acne and psoriasis.  In fact, probiotics work well for maintenance of our overall health.

Probiotics are available in yogurt, cheeses and dairy drinks, bananas and whole grains as well as in capsules, powder and tablets.   Although no levels have been established for daily levels of probiotics that are helpful it is suggested that an effective dose will be at least 50 million live cells per dose. You should be able to check the labels on food for the amount of live cultures.  Supplements  from  reputable manufacturers should indicate the amount and type  of  live cultures it contains.   To achieve benefits from taking probiotic supplements you need to also follow a healthy diet.  Be sure  to check food labels for sugar and fat amounts since a large quantity of either sugar or fat is not good for a healthy diet.

Taking probiotics is safe for most people and has few side effects.  It may not be advisable for people suffering from a severe illness or those with weakened immune systems to take probiotics.  It is always wise to consult with your health care professional before beginning to include more probiotics or any other supplements in your diet.