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What Are Probiotics?.

Aug 21, 2008
Probiotics is a term derived from two Greek words "pro" and "biotic"which means "for life". The term was popularized by two British scientist, Fuller and Parker in 1974. Probiotics are supplements that contain living beneficial bacteria. When taken, they help restore the balance of the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are not parasites. They live in your gut on the food that you take and do many good things for you. Examples of probiotics foods are yogurt, lassi and certain types of cheese. All fermented food will have some amounts of probiotics.

This probiotics concept is still rather new. Probiotics is certainly the buzz of the late 1990's but is going to be even bigger in the new millennium. However, as a practice, it is thousand of years old. Eating sourced milk and derivative products is an integral part of Ayurveda (the 4,000 years old Indian science of traditional healing). Interest in probiotics was sparked at the turn of this century when a European scientist noted that Bulgarians who consume lots of yogurt lived longer. Nobel prize winner, Elie Metchnikoff of the Pasteur Institute, propounded the theory that lactic acid bacteria are beneficial to human health in 1907.

Your gut contain contains more than one hundred thousand billion bacteria. There are some 400 different species living there. In fact, they would be between 3 to 5 pounds in terms of weight terms. They actually make up to 30 percent of your stools in dry weight terms. These bacteria can be good, bad or neutral.

The beneficial bacteria entered your system in a unique way, you swallowed them as you made your way through your mother's birth canal. She gave you even more of these beneficial bacteria as she breast fed you in the months that followed. In fact, first milk called colostrum, which tends to be thicker and curd like, is rich source of these beneficial bacteria.

Among the most important of their proven roles are some functions which help maintain our good health, while others have a definite value in helping us regain health once this has been upset. These dual roles (protective and therapeutic) help explain why the word "probiotics" was coined since it means "for life"

- They manufacture some of the B vitamins including niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid and biotin.

- They manufacture the milk digesting enzyme lactose, which helps you digest calcium rich diary products.

- They actively produce anti bacterial substances that kill or deactivate hostile disease causing bacteria. They do this by changing the local levels of acidity or by depriving pathogenic bacteria of their nutrients or by actually their own antibiotics substances which can kill invading bacteria, viruses and yeast. Naturally enough they are doing this to preserve "their" territory.

- Some (such as the bifidobacteria and acidophilus) have been shown to have powerful anticarcinogenic features which are active against certain tumors.

- They improve the efficiency of the digestive tract and when they are weakened, bowel function is poor.

- They effectively help to reduce cholesterol levels when this is high.

- They play an important part of the development of a baby's digestive function and immune system.

- They help protect against radiation damage as well as deactivating many toxic pollutants

- They help to recycle estrogen which reduce the likelihood of menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.

- Therapeautically they have been shown to be useful in treatment of acne, eczema, allergies, migraine, gout, rheumatic and arthritic conditions, cystitis, candidasis, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome and some forms of cancer.
About the Author
Bardnurz Sham, Write an article to educate people so that they can improve their life by eat well and have a wonderful life. web: Health And Longevity Feed: Health And Longevity feeds Find The Best Natural Products at: BestHerbsupplements.com
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