A popular saying claims, “Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are…” We are what we eat and our health has a close relationship with the quality and variety of what we eat. It is not only the well-being of our body that depends on it, though. We have bacteria in the intestine and vagina that perform essential functions and influence our health, so it is very important to keep them healthy. How? Probiotics can help us.
But, what are probiotics?
They are microorganisms that inhabit our body and are beneficial to our health, since they regulate digestion and strengthen the immune system. You can incorporate them through food or dietary supplements. The good thing is that this bacteria is added to what already lives in our intestine, improving the intestinal flora. We can find them in:
- Fermented milk
- Dietary supplements in the form of capsules, juices, etc.
Careful! Do not confuse this with prebiotics, which are a type of non-digestible fiber that stimulates the growth of a specific type of bacteria in the colon. Prebiotics are found in vegetables (like onions), wheat, oats and other grains, soy and legumes (like lentils).
Are probiotics good for my health?
Definitely! The World Health Organization assures that when adequate amounts are consumed. they provide health benefits.
But, are they all the same? Are there recommended doses?
There is not a recommended amount that one should consume daily, since it varies depending on the class of probiotics that one takes (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common), the product being consumed, and the reason one is taking it.
It is necessary for the food and dietary supplements that we take to contain at least 10 million living organisms (bacteria) per 100 milliliters for them to be effective and for probiotics to fulfill their function in our body.
The simple fact that supplements contain living microorganisms does not convert them into probiotics. To be considered a probiotic, they must demonstrate scientific evidence: each microorganism and strain should have proven effects on one function or another.
Benefits of probiotics
Keeping your body healthy by consuming probiotics not only helps you improve your health, but can also prevent and improve the symptoms of some diseases, such as:
- Intestinal diseases: colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal inflammation.
- Baby colic: Lactobacillus reuteri reduces episodes of uncontrolled crying of the baby by 74% after administering it for a week.
- Constipation and diarrhea.
- Side effects of treatments: mostly antibiotics.
*Content validated by the mediQuo medical team.