Probiotics are live, tiny microorganisms that can give health benefits when consumed in sufficient amounts. They are often referred to as “good bacteria” and are believed to promote a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut.
How Do Humans Take In Probiotics?
There are several ways to introduce probiotic organisms into the body, including:
Many fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, contain probiotic organisms. Eating these foods regularly can help promote a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut.
Probiotic supplements are available in many different forms, such as capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. These supplements often contain a combination of different probiotic organisms and can be taken orally.
Some foods, such as certain brands of cereal, juice, and snack bars, are fortified with probiotic organisms. These foods can be a convenient way to introduce probiotics into the diet.
While some probiotics occur naturally in the human gut, others must be ingested intentionally. Some traditional dairy foods contain important probiotics, which give them their tangy taste. There are many different probiotic organisms, but some of the most important ones include the below.
This is a genus of bacteria that includes many different species, such as L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and L. rhamnosus. Lactobacillus is commonly found in the human gut and is often used as a probiotic to promote digestive health. It has also been shown to have antimicrobial properties and may help prevent infections.
This is another genus of bacteria that is commonly found in the human gut. Bifidobacterium species, such as B. bifidum, B. lactis, and B. longum, are often used as probiotics to promote digestive health and may also have immune-boosting properties. Take this probiotic quiz to find out more about how digestive health can be impacted by live microorganisms.
This is a species of bacteria that is commonly used in the production of yogurt and other fermented dairy products. It has been shown to have probiotic properties and may help improve lactose digestion.
Streptococcus thermophilus is used in the production of yogurt because it helps to ferment the lactose in milk into lactic acid, which gives yogurt its characteristic tangy flavor and thick texture. This practice originated in Central Asia and the Middle East, where people have been fermenting milk to make yogurt for thousands of years. The use of Streptococcus thermophilus in yogurt production was likely discovered through trial and error, as people observed which microorganisms produced the desired texture and flavor in their fermented milk products.
This is a yeast species that is often used as a probiotic to promote digestive health. It has been shown to be effective in treating diarrhea caused by antibiotics and other infections. This enzyme is not naturally found in the human gut, but is contained in the yogurt drink kefir, which originated in the Middle East. Kefir consumption is increasing in the Western world – largely due to the health benefits that it offers. It also happens to taste extremely good.
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