Benefits of friendly bacteria - probiotics found in yogurt and sauerkraut
By: Dr Charles Fiscella | Published Thursday, December 20, 2012, 3:57 PM | Updated Thursday, December 20, 2012, 3:57 PM
|Bacteria that's good for you|
Probiotics are live microorganisms often referred to as "friendly" bacteria.
Probiotics are typically strains of different types of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
They are often found in dairy products, yogurt chief among them. Fresh sauerkraut can also be good source of probiotics.
Known health benefits include improved gastrointestinal function and enhanced immunity.
There is also some evidence that probiotics can lower the incidence of childhood allergies, aid in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome, and protect against the development of certain types of cancers. Additionally, probiotics may improve lactose intolerance and help prevent vaginal infections.
The human digestive system typically contains over 400 different species of bacteria. Some of the intestinal bacteria are helpful, while others are potentially harmful if allowed to proliferate. It is important to keep the various gastrointestinal bacteria in proper balance. Consuming probiotics, both in food and capsule form is an excellent way to achieve that balance, therefore maintaining healthy digestion and proper immune function.
It is said that people are not what they eat, but rather what they absorb. Having a healthy digestive system is essential to good health. Taking probiotics helps to balance the digestive system which in turn improves the body’s absorption.
There are a number of probiotic supplements available in drug and health food stores. They work best when taken with yogurt on an empty stomach.