Published: 01/28/2008 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
Probiotics are microorganisms (such as lactobacillus, saccharomyces bifido bacteria and some large positive cocci) as found in fermented milk, yogurt, buttermilk, yeast, kefir, so on. These microorganisms or bacteria, called probiotics, are activated in the intestinal flora helping to modulate, preventing disease, promoting production of anti bodies and lengthening life.
These bacteria called probiotics, were defined as "those live microorganisms, mainly bacteria and yeasts, which are added as supplements to the diets that benefit the host organism by improving the microbial balance of intestinal flora"
Beneficial effects of probiotics in the body
By modifying the gut, when consumed regularly, directly and indirectly influence health status through:
- Vitamin production
- Degradation of non-digested
- Stimulation of the immune system
- Protection against harmful organisms.
- Elimination of pathogenic microorganisms
- Strengthening the body's ability to absorb minerals
- Reducing cholesterol
- Encourage the digestion of lactose
- Improving the uptake of nutrients
- Producing acids that stimulate the intestinal peristalsis, which decreases the circulation time of the stool by the intestines thus preventing constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Help maintain a healthy colon. Having a healthy colon lengthens life and prevents a host of diseases such as diabetes, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, poor circulation, infection, inflammation, and so on.
Life and probiotics
States of anxiety, nervousness, depression, poor health habits and the abuse of medicines and syrups, are some of the causes that wear and irritate the intestinal flora and destroy much of the healthy bacteria of our body, especially those who reside in the intestine.
If we could take a stroll by the intestinal flora, we find a complex ecosystem where they live, relate and are hundreds of micro-organisms, beneficial bacteria and harmful to health.
The beneficial bacteria try a microbial balance directly on the harmful bacteria and stimulating the immune system. When the gut is damaged or altered by any of the earlier cases, this has the capacity to regenerate itself. But if the damage is severe or constant, if it remains a neglected life in food and emotional problems unresolved, the body needs extra help. And the easiest way to introduce and secure the beneficial bacteria in our body to restore and repair, is through probiotics and prebiotics.
They are substances that are fermented in the large intestine because cannot be digested. Fermentation produces short-chain fatty acids, which are the favorite food of the cells of the colon. Foods rich in prebiotics are carbohydrates present in fruits and vegetables such as onions, garlic, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, beets, tomatoes and chicory root. The prebiotics also provide multiple benefits in the body to help repair and regenerate the intestinal flora, prevent infections and the development of serious diseases like colon cancer or ulcerative colitis. Have also been shown to facilitate the absorption of calcium, magnesium and iron, which help to improve bone mass and prevent osteoporosis. These foods also promote the metabolism in the liver by reducing the high levels of triglycerides and activate the synthesis of B vitamins and vitamin K.
Colonies of ferments and their action in the body
There are two types of colonies of yeasts: Streptococus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. These two colonies favored the absorption of lactose and promoting the activity biological minerals, enzymes, fats, vitamins and peptides, and we can find in the traditional yogurt or kefir. The Cologne Lactobacillus casei stimulates the immune system and regulates cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. The Lactobacillus acidophilus is a widely used probiotics to bring balance back to the functions of the intestinal flora, destroys harmful bacteria and cleans the intestines. Bifidobacterium reinvigorates the action of beneficial intestinal microorganisms.
Forms of consumption
Probiotics have several great benefits to the body when consumed regularly and properly. We must consider that one of the biggest drawbacks of probiotic foods is that they have a short life, these bacteria are killed with heat, so it should be kept in the refrigerator and eaten as soon as possible, always considering expiration date.
It is recommended to buy this type of food as fresh as possible. The kefir, for example, is a kind of yogurt that can be prepared at home, which is an excellent and beneficial to combine foods for breakfast, since you can mix in smoothies, add fruit or drink with honey or some cereal.
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