What are probiotics?
The word probiotic came from Greek words pro, meaning “promoting,” and biotic, meaning “life.” In early 20th century it came into existance. Elie Metchnikoff known as the “father of probiotics,”. International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) defines probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” There are many types of probiotics including lactobacilli (like Lactobacillus acidophilusand Lactobacillus GG), bifidobacteria (like Bifidobacterium bifidus) and some yeasts (like Saccharomyces boulardii).
Probiotics are nothing but ‘live’ bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial, especially for our digestive tract. The idea that bacteria can be Good for our health is littlle hard to understand, as we take antibacterials and antibiotics to kill infection causing bacteria. It is so because wrong bacteria at wrong place cause infections and are harmful for our gut and hence our health and right bacteria at right place are beneficial for the health and immune system. Good bacteria or probiotics helps us in preventing from diseases and illness. They are humankind benign or good or healthy bacteria.. Probiotics can be supplied through foods, beverages, and dietary supplements. .”
Probiotic food and supplements
Probiotic supplements come in various dosage forms such as tablet, powder, capsule, and liquid forms. They do not helps in nutritional boosting unlike probiotic foods, but they can promote healthy bacterial environment of gut efficiently.
Possible mechanism of action
Probiotics may exhibits various effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different way in different individuals.
They might help in maintanence of healthy/Good gut microbes .
They might maintain immune system of the body.
Health benefits of probiotics
The studies and researchs on probiotics shown variety of health benefits if taken right probiotics under medical supervision. There are yet many questions, answers are not known for, like when to take, how much to take, which probiotics are helpful, which are not. We need more researchs to find solid answers to these questions.
But, some benefits are observed in the studies are listed hereunder-
- Abnormal gastrointestinal conditions
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Periodontal diseases
- Abnormalities related to allergy
- Urinary tract and respiratory tract infections
Possible side effects
People with severe illness of compromised immune system are more prone to possible side effects. Preemature infants are also at high risk. Possible side effects are microbial infections, resistance towards antibiotics, amd production of harmful substances by live microbs/probiotics. It is also reported that some probiotics contains microorganisms other than that of mentioned on the label, amd they may lead to cause serious health issues.
Probiotics are beneficial for the mankind in order to maintain the microbial flaura of gut. They helps in maintanence of the system and treatment of several ailments. Although the probiotics foods and supplements are known for their benefits, but presence of bad bacteria is also possible. We can not deny the fact labels of health products are trustworthy. Probiotics should not be consumed without supervision of health care specialists.