The Importance of Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial living micro flora that is important to good health. These microorganisms are the ones used in the fermentation of healthful foods.
The healthy human intestine contains billions of microorganisms – both good and potentially harmful. The good bacteria in the intestine are considered an integral part of normal immune system support.
Another reason Probiotics are important is because they can synthesize certain vitamins and short-chain fatty acids to support a healthy intestinal lining and bolster immunity. An intestinal lining occupied by healthy beneficial flora leaves little space and nutrients for unwelcome micro-organisms.
The intestinal tract of a healthy person generally has a ratio of about 85% good and 15% potentially harmful organisms.
Modern living can take a toll on our bodies in many ways. Taking antibiotics and drinking chlorinated water, for example, may often change the optimal microbial balance essential for good health.
Also, the widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals has changed the bacterial balance in the soil and depleted our natural supply of Probiotics.
Healthy Immune Systems
In addition to the benefits Probiotics provide for various gastrointestinal disorders, Probiotics also provide benefits for the immune system. A recent study published in Clinical Nutrition, showed 479 healthy adults, ages 18 to 67, were supplemented daily with vitamins and minerals with or without probiotic bacteria.
Those individuals taking the multi-vitamin/mineral supplementation along with probiotic bacteria were noted to have a significantly higher enhancement in cytotoxic T suppressor cells and a higher enhancement to T helper cells.
A shorter duration of colds was also noted. The intake of probiotic bacteria for at least three months significantly shortened common cold episodes by almost two days and also reduced severity of symptoms.