Potential Benefits of Probiotics
I am sure that you have heard about probiotics, many of the yogurt commercials these days are talking about them. But, do you know what they are and how they work for you? Probiotics are living bacteria that have been proven to be of benefit to the host. A probiotic is a microorganism that has an effect on other microorganisms.
Some studies have shown that supplemental probiotics can help boost the immune system and may help to prevent cancer, and certain types of diarrhea. They may be used to treat various forms of gastroenteritis; they might be able to reduce the length and the frequency of stools.
Many times people have antibiotic – associated diarrhea, this is the result of an imbalance in the colonic micro biota that is brought on by antibiotics. The antibiotics will sometimes interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and decrease fatty acid absorption, and osmotic diarrhea is a result of this. It is believed that antibiotic – associated diarrhea (AAD) can be reduced with probiotic therapy.
Many times a lactose intolerant person may benefit from a probiotic supplement. There are certain types of probiotics that may help these individuals tolerate more lactose that they normally can.
In regards to cancer, probiotics have been shown to have anti – mutagenic effects. What that means is this; the probiotics bind with carcinogenic substances (found in cooked meats) and evidence supports that they act against colon cancer, binding with the cancer causing substances.
Probiotics can also aid in lowering cholesterol. They lower cholesterol by breaking down the bile in the intestines thus slowing down or preventing it from reabsorbing. This enters the blood as cholesterol if it is permitted to do so.
Although more study is needed in this area, some positive results have occurred with blood pressure. Some studies have shown a slight reduction in the blood pressure when taking a probiotic supplement. Not only that, but more positive results have occurred with the immune system, bacteria in the gut is needed so by taking the probiotics the “good” bacteria helps to maintain the immune system. Probiotics are also important in the fight against Inflammatory Bowel Disease in adults. They help to regulate the bowels and reduce inflammation as a result of this disease.
The potential benefits of probiotics are many and need to be explored more thoroughly, but studies are promising for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis, and necrotizing enterocolitis as well as the benefits it produces in vitamin production.
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