Probiotics – The Friendly Bacteria
I got a free sample of a probiotic in the mail a while back. I’ve wondered exactly what a probiotic is. I have an idea and I think I’m not alone when I say, Just what are they and what do they do for?
The sale of probiotics has become big business in recent years, but what precisely do probiotics do for us?
The human body is like a highly complex piece of machinery that relies on fine balancing to keep it functioning at optimum levels. When all is well and we are fit and healthy, around 400 species of microorganisms (100 trillion of them in total) live in our gut, and these not only help us to digest our food, absorb all the goodness from it and even produce B vitamins and enzymes, but they also help to keep harmful bacteria at bay. The aging process, changes to the body’s acid/alkaline balance, medicinal antibiotics and antibiotics found in non-organic meats and poultry, anti-inflammatory drugs, and even the chlorine that is added to our drinking water can all cause the levels of friendly bacteria to drop or even wipe them out completely. When this happens, our immune systems become suppressed and we are more open to all kinds of different illnesses and diseases.
Probiotics, which are normally sold in the form of a small, sometimes flavored drink that has the consistency of thick milk or thin yogurt, are basically live bacteria that are similar to the friendly microorganisms that live in the gut. They help to replace the friendly bacteria that are lost from our bodies and maintain the healthy balance that our bodies require to keep us in tip-top condition.