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How Probiotics Protect Our Body Against Harmful Bacteria

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that not only promote digestive health, but also help protect your body from harmful bacteria.

A great example of probiotic-rich foods is Kombucha. But what exactly is a probiotic? What is your function? Read on to find out!

What are probiotics, what do they do and where to find them

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed, live in the intestine and protect our body against harmful bacteria, balancing or restoring our intestinal flora.

These "good bacteria" bring benefits such as aiding digestion, nutrient absorption and strengthening the immune system. The most common probiotics are bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and yeasts such as Saccharomyces spp.

There are two ways to consume probiotics: using food supplements or consuming foods with natural probiotics, such as Kombucha, plain yogurt or kefir and fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi. 

Probiotics play a varied role in the digestive system and they:

  • They help in the manufacture of B vitamins.
  • Protect against external toxins.
  • Improve the efficiency of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Rstrengthen the immune system.
  • They improve the functioning of the intestine.
  • They help digest and absorb nutrients from food.

Probiotics - Good bacteria that help digest and absorb nutrients from your food.

What are prebiotics?

Os prebiotics are indigestible plant fibers that serve as food for probiotics. They are naturally present in foods such as barley, oats, wheat, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, honey, artichokes, among others.

Thus, consuming foods that contain pre and probiotics results in a balanced and healthy intestinal flora. 

PrebioticsIndigestible fiber that feeds the probiotics in your gut.

How gut health gets out of balance

  • Chemicals in food, water and air.
  • Poor diet and food choices, including sugar, gluten, and preservatives in processed foods.
  • Stress.
  • Medicines, including antibiotics.

How do we get "good" bacteria?

  • When consuming fermented foods and beverages.
  • By taking a probiotic supplements.
  • Feeding the probiotics in the gut with prebiotics in the form of fiber-rich foods.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics exert their beneficial effects by decreasing intestinal pH, leading to decreased colonization and invasion of harmful bacteria and also modulating the immune system (1).

There are scientific studies of the effectiveness of probiotics on human health in the following aspects:

Gastrointestinal Health

Probiotics - Gastrointestinal Health

Of the numerous advantages of probiotic consumption, the action on intestinal function is the one that stands out the most, namely in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea, constipation, and promotion of regular intestinal transit.

Probiotics are effective in treating acute diarrhea caused by rotavirus (2) and are also effective in gastrointestinal disorders such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile infection, hepatic encephalopathy, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, functional gastrointestinal disease and necrotizing enterocolitis (3). 

Mental Health

Probiotics - Mental Health

While it's hard to imagine a direct link between the gut and the brain, a growing body of evidence shows a two-way interaction between these two systems in the human body. This is known as the brain-gut axis.

The colonization of our gut by good bacteria has an impact on the developing brain and consequently on the behavior that the individual will have as an adult (4). Thus, probiotic bacteria are an environmental agent with the power to influence neurodevelopment. The products that are secreted by these bacteria have been recognized as having neuroactive properties (5).

Probiotics are also associated with a decrease in conditions such as depression and anxiety and help improve mood (6). On the other hand, the negative impact that the imbalance of this intestinal flora can have, contributes to the development of neuropsychiatric diseases (7).

Oral health

Oral Health Probiotics

There are also scientific studies that show that the use of probiotics can bring benefits to oral health (8, 9), such as in the treatment of periodontitis, which is a bacterial infection of the gums (10).

Immune Health

Probiotics

A healthy immune system is not only capable of protecting against pathogenic bacteria, but also being tolerant of good bacteria, food and the body itself.

Poor nutrition has a major impact on the functioning of the immune system and makes the body more susceptible to infections. Probiotic bacteria, which modify the intestinal flora, stimulate the immune system making it more resistant to infections (11).

Dermatological Health

Dermatological health probiotics

Human skin is an interface between the body and the environment with about 1 billion bacteria per square centimeter (12). Some skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or acne, occur when there is an imbalance in the bacterial flora in the skin.

Oral or topical probiotics can help in these situations and there is growing interest from the scientific community to explore this area further (13).

Conclusion

If you are looking for a food rich in probiotics, Kombucha It's an excellent option! THE Kombucha is made with bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for your digestive system. It also contains high levels of vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and C. Not only can it promote better digestion, it will also help protect your body from harmful bacteria.

To read more about how Kombucha can benefit various aspects of your life, visit this page - benefits of kombucha

If you want to try a flavor that tastes good, click here - we have 11 different flavors available!

We will be waiting for you!

 

 

 

 

References 

  1. Maldonado Galdeano C, Cazorla SI, Lemme Dumit JM, Vélez E, Perdigón G. Beneficial Effects of Probiotic Consumption on the Immune System. Ann Nutri Metab. 2019;74(2):115-124. 
  2. Williams NT. Probiotics. Am J Health System Pharm. 2010 Mar 15;67(6):449-58. 
  3. Wilkins T, Sequoia J. Probiotics for Gastrointestinal Conditions: A Summary of the Evidence. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Aug 1;96(3):170-178. 
  4. Saulnier, DM, Ringel, Y., Heyman, MB, Foster, JA, Bercik, P., Shulman, R., et al. (2013) The intestinal microbiome, probiotics and prebiotics in neurogastroenterology. Gut Microbes 4:17-26.
  5. Burnet, WJ, & Cowen, PJ (2013) Psychobiotics Highlight the pathways to happiness. Biol Psychiatry 74:708-709.
  6. Akbari, E., Asemi, Z., Daneshvar, Kakhaki, R., Bahmani, F., Kouchaki, E., Tamtaji, OR, Hamidi, GA, & Salami, M. (2016). Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Cognitive Function and Metabolic Status in Alzheimer's Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind and Controlled Trial. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 8, 256. 
  7. Crumeyrolle-Ariasa, M., Jaglin, M., Bruneau, A., Vancassel, S., Cardona, A., Dauge, V., et al. (2014) Absence of the gut microbiota enhances anxiety-like behavior and neuroendocrine response to acute stress in rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology 42:207-217
  8. Foster, J., & Neufeld, KM (2013) Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends in Neurosciences 36:305-312.
  9. Allaker, RP, & Stephen, AS (2017). Use of Probiotics and Oral Health. Current oral health reports, 4(4), 309–318. 
  10. Matsubara VH, Bandara HM, Ishikawa KH, Mayer MP, Samaranayake LP. (2016) The role of probiotic bacteria in managing periodontal disease: a systematic review. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. Jul;14(7):643-55. 
  11. Calder, P. (2013). Feeding the immune system. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 72  
  12. HH Kong, JA Segre, J. (2012) Skin microbiome: looking back to move forward. Invest. Dermatol., 132, 933.
  13. Knackstedt, R., Knackstedt, T., & Gatherwright, J. (2020). The role of topical probiotics in skin conditions: A systematic review of animal and human studies and implications for future therapies. Experimental dermatology, 29(1), 15-21.

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