What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, present in our digestive tracts that when ingested in adequate amounts confer health benefits to the host. Under stable conditions, these microorganisms form a protective barrier that lines our intestines protecting them from foreign invasion maintaining a healthy balance of the gut microbiota. There are many different strains of these microorganisms and they vary tremendously from person to person, giving each individual their own microflora “fingerprint”.
Why are Probiotics important?
Gut microbiota has been considered to have a spectrum of benefits ranging from alleviating gastrointestinal (GI) ailments to stimulating the immune system. Did you know that 70%-80% of our immune system is in the gut? Probiotics are a natural inhabitant of our intestinal flora, which have been identified and selected to provide health benefits when ingested in appropriate amounts. Incorporating probiotics as a daily supplement increases the development of a healthy microbial flora in the digestive tract.
How much should I be taking?
Probiotics are still a relatively new topic in research. Despite the clinical benefits probiotics have proven to produce, exact doses have not been calculated. It is recommended to take at least 15 Billion CFU’s daily. Keep in mind that these probiotics should be purchased from a credible source ensuring both their quality and quantity. Benefits have also been noted when rotating between different strains of probiotics, as some strains can produce different benefits to different people.