The Things to Know About Probiotics
Over the last few years probiotics have become somewhat of a health buzz word, we see the name on billboards and countless adverts but very little is said about what they really are and how they can affect our bodies.
So if you’re looking for a healthy start to 2015, they may just give you the kick you’re looking for. Here’s the rundown on the things to know about probiotics.
What they are
Probiotics, often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria, are live micro-organisms and yeasts that are said to improve health and combat various illnesses. As the term bacteria generally has a negative stigma, the concept of bacteria being beneficial to our health can seem strange at first. However, our digestive systems can contain up to 500 individual and separate strains of naturally occurring probiotics at any given time.
Even with all these forms of good bacteria already present in our systems, experts believe that infection and the use of antibiotics can remove some of them. The aim of probiotics is to rebalance this problem and maintain the healthy amount of micro-organisms in our systems which in turn can help our digestive system while also helping to fight off illness.
Where we can find them
There are many sources of good bacteria and they can be found in many products both naturally and created specifically for a probiotic diet.
Yogurts, cheeses, soy and acidophilus milk contain huge amounts of probiotics, as do miso soup and pickles. Most food labels list the strains of probiotics contained in the product, however this information is not always as detailed as you may require.
Probiotics are officially classified as a food product and not as a medicine, which means that food packaging does not list detailed information regarding its probiotic content. This can make it difficult to find out exactly what strains and what quantity of probiotics each food product contains.
Supplements and tablets can be a better choice as they will contain the most useful strains for a balanced intake, whilst also listing and regulating the amount. However, you do lose other positive benefits such as vitamins and proteins that the foodstuffs may also contain.
What they can help with
The health benefits of using Probiotics has become polarizing in medical fields, with many experts believing that probiotic products have very little benefit, and some even believing they have none at all. In 2010 any claims that probiotics “boost your immune system” were proven to have no scientific backing and it became illegal for the term to be used in regards to products.
However, a vast amount of research does show that it can have a positive effect on many illnesses including Clostridium Associated Disease, Pouchitis and Stomatitis and can ease both infectious and antibiotic- associated diarrhoea.
There is little scientific evidence that probiotics do anything to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohns disease, which was originally believed.
Much of this debate with probiotics is down to how relatively new they are to the market and how little research has been conducted so far, but if you are interested in introducing them into your diet you should consult your GP or nutritionist if you have any specific questions or issues.
What are your thoughts on a probiotic diet?
Have you got a health question?
Silversurfers Health partner is AXA PPP healthcare. The AXA PPP healthcare's online service, "Ask the Expert", allows you to ask their team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counselors and pharmacists about any health topic.
Don't feel alone. You can ask anything about your health, any time for 24 hours a day; everyday. Please get in touch with us now.
ASK THE EXPERT
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
- Mini Blueberry Tartlets - December 14, 2018
- Preventing falls this winter - December 13, 2018
- Should banks help restrict where you spend your money? - December 11, 2018
- Be drink aware this December - December 10, 2018
- Board games for fun family nights in - December 7, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!