Most of you have already heard of Probiotics but what are they?
Some might have heard that they are supposed to be good for the digestive system. But how and why? What are probiotics?
Here is the explanation : Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health. You are right to think : Bacteria?!? But that causes disease! Well, our body has 500 – 1000 species of bacteria in the gut and as bacteria are much smaller than human cells there are at least 10x as many bacteria than human cells in the body. So 90% of the cells in our body are actually bacterial and they all live on our skin, in our gut, up our nostrils and any other body surface and place you can imagine. Each species of these bacteria has its functionality in our body and mainly they are there to protect us, help us digest, strengthen our immune system. Not all of them are good though and some may be actually harmful if they increase in number.
There are also the disease causing external bacteria that we can catch and they can be sometimes deadly.
We are very lucky that not too long ago a drug was found that can help kill these bad bacteria: Antibiotics. But as good as they sounds they also have a negative side and not everyone knows about this. When you use antibiotics the bad bacteria that attack your body will die but at the same time your good bacteria are also wiped from your body and it leaves you vulnerable for attackers and our body looses its main workers who keep us healthy.
This is one instance where probiotics have their place. Probiotics re-populate your gut and your body with the healthy bacteria that where destroyed by the antibiotics.
Probiotics help also in other situations and I just want to point out 3 where I find they help really and should be taken:
- After or during a course of antibiotics
As already explained in more detail above. Antibiotics save lives but they are overused nowadays and we have to repopulate our body with the good bacteria. Take the probiotics 2 hours away from the antibiotics and preferably on an empty stomach.
- Digestive issues
If you have constipation or diarrhea in either cases probiotics can help. You just have to take the right stain of probiotics.
- Improve your brain health and mood.
The latest research shows that probiotics have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety, depression-related disorders and even behavior.
Scientists are working on new probiotic strains that will replace anti-depressants and help with ADHD related disorders.
There is of course as well the food based way of getting your probiotics without taking a pill but this is a whole new topic that I will cover soon in another blog post. Stay tuned!