Microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) that proffer health benefit are known as the probiotics – they are used in various foods. Bacteria are often considered to be something associated with disease. Ellie Metchnikoff is known as the father of probiotics.  Probiotics are the ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria as they keep gut healthy. Probiotics are alleged to play a vital role in the regulation of nervous disorders, intestinal infections and many others. These microorganisms/ micro flora do not make us ill, most of them are supportive. Gut microbiota keep pathogens (which are the perilous microorganisms) help in nutrient absorption and digestion and also add to functions of immune system. They play this role by regulating the gut microbiota. These microorganisms are considered to be the friendly bacteria for body, as provides beneficial effects on health when administered in proper amounts. Awareness among people about probiotics has increased in last few years. Probiotics are naturally present in our body and can also be provided to the body as supplements. Probiotics are mostly associated with digestive disorders but they are also playing an important role in dealing with the nervous disorders as well. Psychobiotics are the types of probiotics dealing with nervous disorders.

Naturally probiotics are found in different food products like yoghurt, cheese, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, miso etc. There are different types of microorganisms associated with the probiotics. The two important groups of probiotics include the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is found in different fermented foods and also in yoghurt. Lactobacillus is beneficial for individuals dealing with lactose intolerance and diarrhea. Lactobacillus reuteri is responsible for lowering the bad cholesterol level (LDL). It is also helpful in lowering the blood pressure. Bifidobacterium is also found in dairy products and mainly helpful against the treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These are the inhabitants of gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Probiotics are also useful in maintaining the urogenital health.

Most of probiotics are sold in the form of dietary supplements. They do not go through the testing and agreement process that often drugs do. Manufacturers are accountable for surety about the safety of product and claims made on the label are true as well. As the health benefits are strain specific and all of the strains are not useful, so you should check with a consultant who is proverbial with probiotics. Let your practitioner know about your routine. As everything has pros and cons, same is with probiotics. Probiotics has some side effects as described below. Overall probiotics are thought to be safe for healthy people. The short term side-effects include gas and bloating.  Probiotics should be used carefully by infants, pregnant women and the young children. Probiotics should never be recommended for premature infants.

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”  ~Thomas Edison

by: Ammara Siddique