What do you mean by probiotics?
Probiotics are defined as living bacteria and yeasts beneficial for you, especially for your digestive system. People usually think of probiotics as germs that cause different diseases.
It is noticed that your body is full of bacteria either good or bad, but probiotics are often called as good or helpful bacteria because it provides assistance to keep your gut healthy. Your body maybe doesn’t need probiotics, and you already have beneficial bacteria in your heart. Probiotics can help prevent severe health conditions.
Why are probiotics referred to as good bacteria?
Probiotics are usually referred to as good bacteria because they are generally consumed as supplements or yoghurts.
According to the 2001 definition by WHO (World Health Organization, probiotics are live microorganisms that are administrated in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host, and probiotics must be alive when administrated.
They also help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut when it becomes disrupted through long-term antibiotic use.
Probiotics also help you send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control the heart’s movement.
How probiotics are helpful?
The various health conditions treated by probiotics include irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhoea, and diarrhoea caused by antibodies.
Serious researches show that probiotics are helpful in other parts of the body and include skin conditions like eczema, vaginal and urinary health, oral health, and preventing allergies and colds.
In this article, we are going to have a look at the pros and cons of probiotics.
Pros of probiotics:
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements. Probiotics include a wide range of health benefits, including weight loss, digestive health, immune function, and much more.
1) Help balance friendly bacteria in the digestive system:
Probiotics often include good bacteria, and they are living microorganisms that support health benefits when consumed. These benefits are said to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. Imbalance means there are not enough good bacteria, and it can also occur due to illness, medication, and other health issues.
Results can include allergies, mental health problems, digestive problems, and obesity.
2) Prevent and treat Diarrhea:
Probiotics are also known mainly for their ability to prevent and treat diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is a side effect of taking antibiotics and occurs because antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Recent studies show that probiotics are associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. Probiotics can also help to treat other forms of diarrhoea. On the other hand, it is essential to note that probiotics help reduce the risk of traveller’s diarrhoea by 8 per cent. They also support lower the risk of diarrhoea from other causes by 57 per cent in children and near about 26 per cent in adults.
3) Improve some mental health conditions:
Both human and animal studies show that probiotics help to improve some mental health disorders. Intake of probiotics supplements decrease depression levels and reduce C-reactive protein levels compared to people who don’t take probiotics.
Therefore, intake of probiotics helps to improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, memory, and so on.
4) Reduce the severity of different allergies and Eczema:
Certain strains of probiotics help to reduce the severity of eczema in other adults and children. Some probiotics help to reduce inflammatory responses with milk or dairy allergies.
5) Help boost your immune system:
It can inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria and also give your immune system a boost. Some probiotics are also seen to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. They may also boost immune cells such as T lymphocytes, IgA-producing cells, and natural killer cells.
Probiotics help to maintain the immune system and boast of protecting against infections.
6) Help lose belly fat and weight:
Probiotics help to lose belly fat and weight using different mechanisms. Intake of probiotics also allows you to feel fuller for longer, burn more calories, and restore less fat. This effect is usually caused by increasing levels of certain hormones such as GLP-1.
Cons of probiotics:
Some probiotics also have some cons.
1) Probiotics trigger headaches:
Some probiotics like kimchi, yoghurt, and other amine foods contain biogenic amines. Amines can help excite the central nervous system; increase and decrease blood flow, and provide help to trigger different headaches in the body.
Fermented foods are usually rich in amines, and some people suffer from headaches after eating these foods.
2) Increase the level of histamines:
Histamine is defined as a molecule that is usually produced by the immune system whenever it detects a threat.
When histamine levels increase, the blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The processes also involve redness and swelling in the affected area and trigger various allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching, or trouble breathing.
People who are intolerant to histamine should avoid foods that contain an excess of histamine.
3) Increase infection risk for some people:
Probiotics are safe for many people, but they may not be the right supplement for others. Serious researches show that people with severe pancreatitis should not take probiotics as it may increase the risk for death.
The above-listed pros and cons of probiotics help you understand them better.
You can take probiotics from a variety of food supplements. But if you wish to buy a probiotics supplement, then there is a fantastic collection on Amazon having thousands of customer reviews with a 5-star rating. One can also take probiotics as tablets, capsules, and powders that contain bacteria in dried forms.
Also, be aware that the stomach can destroy probiotics before reaching the gut. If you want to experience health benefits from probiotics, then you must consume them in adequate amounts.
Probiotics are safe for many people, but sometimes there happen some severe side effects. The most common side effects include an increase in gas, bloating, thirst and constipation.