Just what are probiotics? How do they work? And are they really as beneficial as they seem?
What they are
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization defines probiotics as "live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host." Such prestigious scientific journals as the European Journal of Nutrition, Pediatric Research and the Journal of Food Science have published research on probiotics. And at least one famous actress promotes the benefits of probiotics in a series of television commercials for a brand of yogurt that incorporates probiotics into one of its products.
How they work
Probiotics are often called "friendly bacteria." They live in our digestive tract and promote healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients, research has shown. They also there are beneficial in supporting a strong immune system.
Digestive health is the core of overall health. If our digestive system is not functioning properly, we may have problems breaking down nutrients that we consume into forms that our body can use for energy. A healthy, efficient digestive system helps us maximize the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that defend us against nutritional deficiencies. And, with up to 80 percent of the immune cells in our bodies concentrated in the digestive tract, digestive health is strongly linked to immune health.
Probiotics can be beneficial for anyone who wants to maintain good digestive health and support immune function.
How we get them
Friendly bacteria should naturally occur in our bodies. Sometimes, however, poor eating habits, antibiotics or unfriendly microorganisms like disease-causing bacteria or yeast can upset the balance of good bacteria in our bodies. When this happens, you may experience diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating. Taking probiotics can help replace friendly bacteria.
Several yogurt brands have introduced products that incorporate probiotics into their formula. But if you're not a yogurt fan, have lactose intolerance, travel regularly, or just want to get as pure and effective a form of probiotics as possible, you may want to consider a probiotic supplement instead, like USANA Health Sciences' Probiotic food supplement. You can add the vanilla-flavored powder to food or drink and receive a 50/50 mix of two of the most beneficial strains of probiotic bacteria. Plus, it is designed to make it more likely for the friendly bacteria to survive the acid in your stomach and repopulate your digestive tract.
Important facts about them
Not all yogurt contains probiotics. And bacteria - good or bad - may not survive the acidic conditions in your stomach in sufficient numbers to effectively colonize your digestive tract. There are also many species of probiotic bacteria and they vary in their ability to colonize your system and provide digestive and immunity benefits.
Because they are a naturally occurring bacteria, probiotics are generally accepted as being safe. But, you should check with your doctor if you're combining probiotics with conventional treatment for any condition, just as you would with any dietary supplement.
To learn more about probiotics, digestive health and immune support, visit TrueHealthSolutions.USANA.com or email Probiotics [at] TrueHealthSolutions [dot] com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.