Like many, I was not truly aware that bacteria can promote health when all our lives we have been told they cause disease. Well, it was not until I read books about ‘Probiotics’.
Like many things in life, bad bacteria do cause problems, but there are many good strains that are essential to our health.
What benefits can we get from the friendly bacteria and what are they? Actually, the most talked about friendly bacteria is the ones that live in our intestine, which is known as Probiotics. Generally speaking, increasing the population of friendly bacteria help our body deters growth and colonization of potentially dangerous bacteria by blocking the bad bacteria attaching themselves in our gut.
Is eating commercially made yoghurt an effective mean of obtaining friendly bacteria? Sadly, the answer is ‘No’ due to the difficulty in ensuring bacteria stability and count along the process of producing the yoghurt. Nevertheless, there are many good Probiotics supplements on the market and we have the choice to choose between powdered and capsule forms. Read and check the product label carefully to ensure that it contains the prominent friendly bacteria, namely Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Should you want to take Probiotic supplement, health professionals would suggest taking one to two billion colony-forming units per dose, and that it is good to take it before a meal as our stomach acid is usually lowest at that time. The logic behind taking Probiotics supplement before a meal is that it aids the friendly bacteria in passing through the stomach and attaches them in the intestine.
The beneficial actions of Probiotics include:
- Maintaining immune function;
- Promoting good bowel function and elimination;
- Enhancing digestion and nutrient absorption;
- Manufacturing B vitamins;
- Providing the enzyme lactase which allows digestion of milk or dairy products;
- It acts as an anti-carcinogenic factor with anti-tumor potential;
- Preventing growth and activity of bad bacteria and viruses;
- Reducing ill effects of antibiotics and radiation therapies;
- Among the friendly bacteria, notably, Bifidobacteria is good in the development of young children’s gastrointestinal health.
Given the many of Probiotics beneficial actions that promote good health, can we say that the biggest enemy of ‘antibiotics’ is ‘Probiotics’?
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich
Keywords and Phrases
Friendly bacteria | Antibiotics and Probiotics | Dangerous bacteria | Probiotics supplements | Lactobacillus acidophilus | Bifidobacterium bifidum | Lactobacillus bulgaricus | Health Professionals | Bowel function and elimination | Enhancing digestion | Enzyme Lactase | Children Gastrointestinal Health | Anti-carcinogenic | Anti-tumor | Intestine Health
‘Bacteria That Strengthen the Immune System’ by Richard Podell, Nutrition Science News