What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are microorganisms that are believed to be beneficial for our bodies. FAO/WHO defines them as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are the most common microbes used in probiotic supplements, but there are various others that can be used for more specific things.

Lactic acid bacteria are believed to help the lactose intolerant convert lactose into lactic acid, thus relieving symptoms such as nausea, bloating and other forms of indigestion. These bacteria are also believed to lower the risk of colon cancer, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and fight infections, improve digestive functions, and reduce inflammation. Probiotics also help the body absorb minerals, manage urogenital health and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria or fungus in the body.

Probiotics can be consumed as a daily supplement. There are also many foods which contain the strains as well, such as yogurt and certain soy products.