What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are essentially ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria, a living organism that already inhabits our body which has many health benefits as it is increasingly observed in the last few decades.
The word derives from the Greek word synthesis ‘pro’ and ‘bios’, which means pro-life, suggesting the organism’s promotion of a healthy life. The World Health Organisation similarly defined probiotics, in an evaluation study in 2001, as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics can attack ‘bad’ bacteria, replace ‘good’ bacteria when the body rejects them (perhaps due to the intake of antibiotics) and offer a balancing mechanism for ensuring a healthy operation of the human body.
They can predominantly be found nowadays in dairy and fermented products, especially yoghurt, in is two most common types: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.
Amongst their evidenced health benefits are the support of a well-functioning digestive system (e.g. to ward off irritable bowel syndrome) and the reduction of stomach-related problems, but probiotics are also used for other purposes, such as maintaining urinal, oral and women’s health.
Growing research highlights its benefits for boosting immunity, weight loss or for their help in weight management, which has sparked further interest in probiotics expanding the probiotic business into new heights making it a fast-selling product in today’s globalized market.