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Probiotics: Why are they essential to our health?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host. These organisms are commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi, as well as in dietary supplements.

Why probiotics are so important for our health?

The idea behind supplementing with probiotics is that they can help maintain or restore a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome, which can be affected by factors such as diet, antibiotics, and stress.1

The health benefits associated with probiotics are quite extensive. They have been shown to be effective in preventing and treating various digestive disorders, including:

- diarrhea, 

- constipation, 

- inflammatory bowel disease, 

- and irritable bowel syndrome;

Probiotics can also improve immune function, help manage symptoms of the common cold, and even have positive effects on mental health conditions. Further research suggests potential roles in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, vaginal infections, and dental caries, among others.1

How to raise probiotics levels in your body?

To raise probiotics levels, it is recommended to consume fermented foods rich in live cultures regularly. This can be as simple as adding yogurt to breakfast, including pickled vegetables in salads, or enjoying kefir as a beverage.

Probiotic supplements are also available for those who prefer a more concentrated form or specific strains of bacteria. It is important to choose supplements that have a significant number of live bacteria, at least one billion CFUs (colony forming units), and to be aware of the product's manufacturing processes and stability at room temperature.2

How to choose the best sources of probiotics?

When selecting probiotic foods and supplements, it's essential to look for quality and quantity of the probiotic strains present. The product should be stored according to its requirements, with some needing refrigeration and others stable at room temperature. In terms of preparation, it's generally safe and beneficial to consume these products as they are, but individuals with compromised immune systems should exercise caution and potentially seek advice from healthcare professionals due to the risk of infections.1, 2

Let’s sum up!

In summary, probiotics offer a range of health benefits, particularly for the digestive system and immune health. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods into the diet or taking supplements are ways to improve gut microbiota. However, it is important to choose high-quality probiotic products and to take precautions based on an individual's health status. More research is needed to fully understand the effects of probiotics and to optimize their therapeutic use.1, 2


  • 1) The Art of Fermentation  
    An in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world
    Book | 2012 | Sandor Ellix Katz, Foreword by Michael Pollan

  • 2) Gut Renovation  
    Unlock the age-defying power of the microbiome to remodel your health from the inside out
    Book | 2022 | Dr. Roshini Raj, Sheila Buff

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