Probiotics – the good kind of bacteria – can be found in fermented dairy products, in some scientifically modified and fortified fruits and vegetables – fruits and vegetable juices, dried fruits, fermented vegetables, and vegetarian deserts, in some cereal and soya by-products, some meat products, and even in some chocolate products, these highly nutritious foods are packed with various health benefits and some of the health benefits of probiotics include:
- Strengthens the immune system & Provides defense against infections
They modulate the immune system by strengthening nonspecific and antigen-specific defense against infection and tumors. They also have an adjuvant effect in antigen-specific immune responses, they regulate/influence Th1/Th2 cells, produce anti-inflammatory cytokines and decrease the release of toxic N-metabolites.
- Helps to rebalance the gut flora & protects the skin
Probiotics help to rebalance gut microflora which when balanced, reflects externally on the skin by reducing incidents of skin irritation and conditions such as acne, rosacea and Psoriasis.
- Reduces the risk of childhood allergies
Taking probiotics during pregnancy reduces the risks of childhood allergies. A study published in the PLOS Medicine Journal suggests that a mother’s diet during pregnancy and lactation may influence the risk that her child develops allergic disease. According to the research, ‘a daily probiotic supplement such as L. rhamnosus, taken from around 36 to 38 weeks gestation through the first 3 to 6 months of lactation, may reduce risk of eczema in the child. Although probiotics are generally considered safe, their pro-inflammatory effects may have potential adverse consequences when used earlier in pregnancy, and serious adverse effects in people with intestinal disorders or immune deficiency have been documented’
- Reduces the risk of Clostridium Difficile Infection
They reduce the risk of Clostridium difficile infection by more than 50%. Clostridium difficile infections are spread by bacterial spores found within faeces. Complications may include sepsis, pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon and perforation of the colon.
- Aids Digestion of lactose
They aid lactose digestion by acting on the lactose in the small intestine.
- Reduces the risk of heart diseases
They reduce the risk of heart diseases though the assimilation of cholesterol by altering bacterial cell activity of BSH enzyme antioxidative effect.
- Reduces the incidence of anti-colon cancer
They reduce incidences of anti-colon cancer through antimutagenic activity, detoxification of carcinogenic metabolites, alteration in pro-cancerous enzymatic activity of colonic microorganisms, and stimulation of immune function Influence on bile salt concentration
- Prevention against inflammatory bowel diseases
They prevent inflammatory bowel diseases and type i diabetes by enhancing the mucosal barrier function.