Probiotics are living organisms-- a combination of live bacteria and yeasts-- that play an integral part in digestive health. These probiotics are found in foods created using a bacterial fermentation process, including yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut.
There are many different strains of probiotics, and each offers different health benefits. In order to ensure consumption of the types of probiotics best suited to certain health conditions and goals, supplements are a great way to ensure a blend of the right strains and species of probiotic bacteria.
Every person’s gut is comprised of a complex mix of microorganisms called gut flora. Gut flora performs various functions including the production of some vitamins and the growth of short-chain fatty acids and gases, which stimulate the immune system and feed the gut wall. When people take antibiotics, both the “good” and “bad” bacteria are killed. Probiotics help replace the good bacteria and restore balance in the gut.
When the balance of bacteria in the digestive system is unbalanced, it can lead to multiple health issues.
Maintaining a healthy level of good bacteria in the gut flora through probiotics can:
- Restore the natural balance of gut bacteria
- Prevent or treat antibiotic-induced diarrhea
- Boost immune system
- Improve digestive health