Probiotics have been around for quite some time now, recommended for their ability to improve your digestive system, but most people don’t know much more about them than that.
If you are one of those people in the dark about their benefits, here are five facts you might not know about probiotics.
1Probiotics are bacteria
When thinking about bacteria, most people will think about harmful germs that make you sick and simply see them simply as bugs that needs to be gotten rid of.
What you might not realize is that the human body is full of bacteria that is vital for keeping the digestive system working.
If these levels of good bacteria drop, people can experience problems in the gut and this is where probiotics can help by replenishing the helpful bacteria and restoring digestive balance.
2The definition of a probiotic
For a bacteria or yeast to be called “probiotic” it must have been proven to be beneficial to health. This means it first must stay alive as it passes through the digestive system, and then have scientific evidence of its health benefits.
3Probiotics are not just helpful to humans
While we often hear about probiotics for humans, it’s not often you hear about them for animals, but it has been discovered that they are also beneficial for pets.
Because of this, there are certain pet food companies who have begun to offer probiotics in their products, understanding that a healthy digestive system supports a healthy immune system too, which means they can help to keep your pet in tip-top condition.
You can learn more with these 8 facts about probiotics in this amazing infographic from Taste of the Wild, who explain why they include species-specific probiotics in their pet foods.
4What good bacteria do
Having the optimum amount of good bacteria in your body means they can efficiently support food digestion, help fight off bad bacteria which make you sick, and create vitamins.
When good bacteria get too low, they struggle to do these jobs properly, which is why you might feel unwell or have problems digesting your food. That’s when topping up those bacteria with a probiotic can be useful.
5When to reach for a probiotic
While it is normally okay to take a probiotic every day, there are also certain times when they can be especially beneficial.
If you have taken antibiotics or had a bout of illness such as diarrhea, taking a probiotic can give those useful bacteria a boost after they have been depleted.
It could also be useful to give them a try if you frequently suffer from digestive problems as this can be a sign of bacteria imbalance in your system.
While there is an awful lot that we do know about probiotics, there is also a lot which is still unknown, which is why scientists continue to investigate exactly what it is that makes probiotics so helpful.
For most people probiotics are not harmful and can offer lots of benefits, even if it isn’t yet fully understood why; so, if you are experiencing issues with your digestion, speak to your doctor about whether probiotics could be the solution you are looking for.