Promoting a healthy balance with the use of probioticsPublished 10:18am Friday, April 20, 2012
These days you can hardly pick up any health or nutrition publication without reading some article about “probiotics.”
Just what are probiotics? Are they beneficial? Are they safe? Probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting,” and the word biotic, meaning “life.” Probiotics are actually live micro-organisms, most of which are bacteria. Did you know in our world there are five “nonillion” different kinds bacteria. By the way, that’s a 5 with 30 zeros.
Of all these bacteria, only 30 percent are considered “pathogenic” or harmful to humans. Probiotics are “micro-organisms” like bacteria that actually help make us healthier. Our bodies actually contain both harmful and good bacteria. These two need to be in balance for good health but with our lifestyles, over use of anti-biotics, and sanitizers, this balance can become off kilter.
Most anti-biotics and anti-bacterial agents don’t discriminate. There kill both bad and good bacteria. You actually have good or friendly bacteria that lines your intestinal tract. These bacteria aid in digestion and keep you healthy. When these are killed, you are then vulnerable to infections like yeast, E.coli and salmonella because these friendly bacteria keep bad bacteria in check.
Also, without good bacteria, you can’t digest food properly, which means that in addition to possible gastrointestinal upset, you can’t use proper nutrients from food.