Probiotics: What are they, what are they for, types?

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In this article, we will talk about what probiotics are and what they are used for, the different types available and how yogurts can be a delicious and convenient source of these beneficial microorganisms.

Probiotics benefits offer a wide range of benefits to our health. The benefits of probiotics are diverse and range from improving digestion and nutrient absorption, strengthening our immune system, and helping to maintain hormonal balance, to promoting the health of our skin.

We will also discuss the contraindications of probiotics as they are not always recommended.

 

What probiotics are?

Probiotics are good to take as they are live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, provide health benefits. They are usually found in fermented foods or can be taken as supplements. The most common probiotics are certain strains of bacteria, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. These microorganisms help maintain a healthy balance in the intestinal microbiota and can have great benefits.

 

Difference between probiotic and prebiotic

In the world of gut health, what are probiotics and prebiotics good for? Prebiotics and natural probiotics are two terms that often generate confusion. While they sound similar, they have different roles and functions in our bodies. Understanding these differences will help us make the most of the benefits they both offer for our health and well-being.

 

PROBIOTICS

  • Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts.
  • The most common probiotics are certain strains of bacteria, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
  • They help maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiota.
  • Digestive probiotics improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Some of the best probioticsfor the immune system are probiotics for diarrhea, as they prevent and relieve it, plus probiotics for irritable bowel help with symptoms. And oral vaginal probiotics maintain a healthy vaginal balance.

 

image of a woman's belly to talk about probiotics

 

Contraindications to probiotics are generally minimal, although some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort at the beginning of consumption. It is recommended that a health professional be consulted before taking probiotics in cases of weakened immune systems or serious illness.

 

PREBIOTICS

Prebiotics are non-digestible compounds that act as food for beneficial microorganisms in the intestine.

  • Prebiotics promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  • They help maintain a healthy balance in the intestinal microbiota.
  • They improve the absorption of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
  • Prebiotics for constipation contribute to intestinal regularity, a problem that many people suffer from and that can lead to much more serious pathologies.

Contraindications are generally minimal, as with probiotics, although some people get gas, bloating or gastrointestinal discomfort from probiotics if they consume large amounts of prebiotics at one time. It is recommended to gradually increase intake to allow the body to adjust.

In summary, probiotics and prebiotics play different but complementary roles in our gut health. By incorporating both probiotics and prebiotics into our diet, we can optimize the health of our digestive system and strengthen our immune system. Remember that it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any supplement or dietary change.

 

Types and formats of probiotics.

probiotic and prebiotic foods on a table (yogurt, nuts, honey, etc.)

 

Both prebiotic and probiotic foods can be found in pharmacies and herbal products in the form of supplements. If you choose to take supplements, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions and consult a health professional for appropriate recommendations.

There are different types of probiotics available on the market, each with different strains of beneficial bacteria and specific formulations. Some examples of popular probiotics include:

  • Lactoflora as an intestinal protector: Contains various strains of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. It is commonly used for intestinal flora balancing and immune system enhancement.
  • Profeden: A probiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. These strains can help maintain the balance of intestinal flora and promote healthy digestion.
  • Casenbiotic: Contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a well-researched probiotic strain that may help maintain intestinal health and strengthen the immune system.
  • Bivos: Contains a combination of probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis. It is used to promote balanced intestinal flora and improve digestive health.

 

Probiotics are available in various formats to suit individual preferences and needs, including capsules or tablets, sachets or powders, liquids, fermented foods and beverages, and topical supplements. We will talk about them in another article since it is a rather extensive topic that deserves its own space.

 

Pharmaceutical and natural probiotics.

Probiotics can be found in two main categories: natural pharmacy probiotics and natural probiotics.

  • Best drugstore probiotics: drugstore probiotics are products manufactured and marketed by pharmaceutical companies. They are designed to meet certain quality standards and contain specific strains of beneficial microorganisms and may contain other added ingredients. Pharmacy probiotics are usually available in capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form and can be purchased in pharmacies, health food stores or online. It is best to ask your pharmacist directly for a specific probiotic.
  • Natural probiotics: The best natural probiotics are found in naturally fermented foods and beverages. These foods contain live microorganisms that promote intestinal health. Examples of natural probiotics include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and tempeh. These foods can be consumed as part of a balanced diet and provide a natural source of probiotics. Natural probiotics usually contain a variety of beneficial strains and do not usually contain artificial additives.

 

Probiotics for infants and children

image of a baby in a high chair with probiotic foods

 

Probiotics for infants and children are an increasingly popular option to promote healthy gut microbiota and support the development and well-being of the digestive system in young children. Some probiotics for infants and children can be helpful in situations such as:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux: Some probiotic strains may help reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux in infants, such as excessive regurgitation or discomfort after eating.
  • Colic: Some research suggests that certain probiotic strains may relieve colic in infants, reducing the intensity and duration of crying and abdominal discomfort.
  • Natural probiotics for diarrhea: Antibiotics can disrupt a baby’s intestinal flora and cause diarrhea. Probiotics can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria and reduce the incidence and duration of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
  • Immune system: Probiotics can help strengthen the baby’s immune system and reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

It is important to note that infant-specific probiotics should be administered under the supervision of a pediatrician. The healthcare professional will be able to recommend the right probiotic, the correct dosage and duration of treatment, taking into account the baby’s situation and needs.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. These microorganisms, mainly bacteria and some yeasts, are found naturally in our bodies and certain fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut.

 

Probiotics for adults

Probiotics for adults may be beneficial in maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. Some of the potential applications of probiotics in adults include:

  • Digestive health: probiotics can help maintain the balance of intestinal flora and promote healthy digestion. The best probiotics for diarrhea help against antibiotic-associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders.
  • Best probiotics for the immune system: It has been suggested that certain strains of probiotics can strengthen the immune system and help prevent respiratory and urinary tract infections, such as:
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis: These strains are found in the intestine and have been shown to strengthen the immune system, especially in older adults.
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii: These strains have shown positive effects in the prevention and treatment of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections in adults.
    • Lactobacillus plantarum: This strain has demonstrated immunomodulatory properties and may help regulate the inflammatory response in the body.
  • Improved mental health: There is emerging evidence to suggest that the balance of gut bacteria may influence mental health. Some research has found potential benefits of certain probiotics in managing conditions such as depression and anxiety.

 

Probiotics for women

cheerful women on the beach shore after taking probiotic food to have intestinal balance.

 

Probiotics for women are specific formulations that contain strains of beneficial bacteria to promote a healthy vaginal and urinary microbiota. Some important aspects of probiotics for women are:

  • Vaginal, oral probiotics: probiotics for women contain probiotic strains, such as lactobacilli, that help maintain a balanced pH in the vagina and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. This can help prevent vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.
  • Prevention of urinary tract infections: Some probiotic strains may also be beneficial in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections. These strains promote a healthy environment in the urethra and bladder, preventing overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
  • Probiotics and menopause: Probiotics for women can be especially beneficial during menopause. During this period, estrogen levels decrease, which can affect vaginal health. Probiotics can help maintain vaginal balance and reduce related symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and discomfort.

 

Probiotics for intolerants

Probiotics for intolerants are specially designed for people who have intolerances or sensitivities to certain ingredients or substances. These probiotics are formulated to be safe and well tolerated by those who may have difficulty digesting or processing certain foods or components. They can be very beneficial for fructose intolerant people and you can find several probiotics for fructose intolerant people on the market. Some important points about probiotics for intolerant people are:

  • Free of common allergens: Probiotics for intolerant people are free of common allergens, such as lactose, gluten, soy, nuts or shellfish. This is especially important for people with food allergies or intolerances, as they can take probiotics without worrying about an allergic reaction.
  • Specific formulations: Probiotics for intolerants may contain selected probiotic strains that are known to be safe and well tolerated by most people. These probiotic strains have been researched and shown to be beneficial for digestive health and gut microbiota balance.
  • Free of additives and problematic excipients: Probiotics for intolerants are usually free of unnecessary additives, artificial coloring and other potentially problematic ingredients. This reduces the likelihood of experiencing unwanted side effects or a negative reaction due to additional components.
  • Consult with a healthcare professional: If you are intolerant to certain foods or have specific sensitivities, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting probiotics. The doctor or dietitian will be able to assess your individual needs and recommend the right probiotic that is safe and beneficial for you.

 

Remember that probiotics for intolerants are not a substitute for proper nutrition and necessary medical treatment. It is always important to follow the advice of a healthcare professional and lead a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with the use of probiotics for best results.

And remember, if it is difficult for you to introduce foods into your daily life or you need something extra and you don’t really know how to take care of your immune system, Birm is a 100% natural product that powerfully balances the immune system.

If you have any questions, we will always be at your disposal to solve them. You may contact us.

 

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