Over many decades, scientists have worked hard to better understand the body and how we can stay healthy. Recently, a particular focal point has been the relationship between good and bad bacteria. With this, why are probiotics necessary for overall health? What benefits do they provide?
What Are Probiotics?
You’ve probably seen adverts talking about probiotics, but what actually are they? Essentially, probiotics are a form of good bacteria and yeast. Importantly, we already have them in the body. However, the reason we’re told to consume probiotics in our diet is to manage the balance between good and bad bacteria.
When we’re ill or have an infection, this is normally because bad bacteria are more prominent than good bacteria; our body is no longer in balance. By consuming probiotics (good bacteria), you’re helping the body to fight the bad bacteria and hopefully, you can bring the body back to a healthy balance.
Just like there are healthy and unhealthy fats, we have good and bad bacteria in the body. Therefore, it’s wrong to automatically assume that all bacteria are bad. When manufacturers put probiotics in yoghurt, this isn’t a strange campaign to make all customers ill. Instead, the idea is to restore the bacteria balance and keep people healthy. There is a great line of probiotics and digestive aids available at Vita Health NZ for anyone looking for complete skin and body care both inside and out.
Where Are Probiotics Found?
Scientists tend to find most probiotics in the large intestines, but this isn’t exclusive. Ultimately, experts believe that probiotics are found in other places not just in the body but also on the body. This includes the mouth, lungs, skin, urinary tract, and vagina.
Why Are Probiotics Necessary for Your Overall Health?
Now you understand what probiotics are and where they’re found, you might return to the original question of why they’re necessary. For one thing, it’s important to aid the body in the fight against bad bacteria. When you’re ill, you have more bad bacteria than normal. Therefore, it makes sense to consume good bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria and restore a neutral position.
Good bacteria have several functions and are known to control inflammation while also aiding the immune system. Depending on the type of bacteria, you can also enjoy the following benefits:
- Aid the digestion system in processing food
- Support cells in the gut lining
- Absorb and break down medication effectively
- Generate vitamins
How do good bacteria support cells in the gut? Sometimes, we get bad bacteria from the drink and food we consume throughout the day. By also consuming probiotics, we support the cells and ensure that this bad bacterium stays away from our blood.
Despite all the positive progress in this area, scientists are still in the early stages of learning about probiotics. Therefore, we can’t definitively say that probiotics help with specific health conditions. This being said, probiotics may help those with gum disease, diarrhoea, yeast infections, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), constipation, and urinary tract infections.
Increasing Probiotic Intake
If you want to start consuming more probiotics, you don’t necessarily need to take several supplements because probiotics are also contained in the foods we eat. For starters, this includes fermented foods such as pickles and yoghurts. Alternatively, go for fermented drinks like kefir or kombucha.
For those who don’t like these foods and would prefer a supplement, this is also an option (don’t panic, you don’t need to suddenly eat lots of strange dairy drinks!). These supplements aren’t medication, so they don’t normally need a seal of approval from the authorities. However, it’s wise to speak to a medical professional before making large changes to your diet (especially those with pre-existing health conditions).