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What are probiotics and what do they do?

probiotics

We all know that the food we consume builds our body and the intestinal tract is responsible for the digestion and absorption of energy from the food we consume. The intestinal tract consists of numerous bacteria that help in keeping the body healthy. However there is a possibility that these bacteria can be affected because of various factors that include low fiber diet, low or nil consumption of adequate fruits and vegetables, certain antibiotic usages etc. When such a condition occurs , probiotics can help to reset the balance.

 

How do probiotics work?

Known as good or friendly bacteria, probiotics are living organisms that are found in certain food items  like garlic, banana, oats, onion, yogurt etc. They play a major role in taking care of one’s gut health. 

 

When one loses good bacteria in their body, say after taking antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them. Or they can help balance the good and bad bacteria to keep the body functioning right and healthy.

 

What can go wrong with gut bacteria?

There are a number of factors that negatively affect gut bacteria living in the gut. Also it has been noticed that resistance to antibiotics is becoming a serious concern and it is for this reason that we should consume them only when it is necessary. 

 

Other factors that negatively affect gut health are stress, excessive alcohol consumption or smoking. Stress can change the number and diversity of our gut bacteria, which further affects the immune system and causes further damage to the body. 

 

Likewise excessive alcohol consumption & smoking can be inflammatory and may affect the lining of one’s digestive system resulting in health conditions.

 

Different types of probiotics:

Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups.Our doctors at Sahasra Hospitals can help you decide which fits you best.

 

Lactobacillus – They are the most common probiotic. It’s the kind of bacteria that you find in yogurt and other fermented food items. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.

 

Bifidobacterium – You can find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some other conditions.

Saccharomyces Boulardii – a yeast found in probiotics. It appears to help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems. Here

What Do Probiotics Do?

Among other things, probiotics help send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control gut movement. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Diarrhea caused by antibiotics

There is also some research that shows they’re useful for problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health

 

Risks of probiotics?

Generally probiotics are safe for healthy individuals, however people with weaker immune systems may be at risk. Our doctors at Sahasra Hospital can advise you on your diet plan and on how to consume probiotics.

 

How to choose a probiotic supplement?

There are two key issues when choosing a probiotic: the first is to ensure that the product contains enough bacteria to have an effect, the second is to ensure that it survives the acidic environment of the stomach in order to reach the large intestine. Unless stated differently, probiotics should be taken for a minimum of four weeks before effects may be seen.

What is the best way to consume probiotics?

If you are thinking about taking a probiotic or prebiotic and are unsure where to start or what to take, ask for help from our specialist. There are so many products available on the market it can be difficult to decide which to choose. The evidence is very much linked to the supplement so whether it’s a powder, tablet or drink you’re looking for, choosing the right one should depend on the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Speak to our specialists at Sahasra Hospitals if you’re experiencing symptoms or if you’re considering starting a supplement.

For appointment / consultation contact us on +91 8880837000.



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