There's been a lot of buzz lately about Probiotics. They seemed to have popped up in everything from pills and yogurt products to chocolate. But, while many may have heard Probiotics are good for them, they may still be in the dark as to what they actually are.
You may ask yourself, what are probiotics? They are microbes that live within our body and provide many health benefits. They consist of three strains of microbes: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus. As a group, probiotics exist within our intestinal tract.
What Do Probiotics Do?
Probiotics assist the digestive system and help breakdown the food we eat and extract beneficial nutrients. They also work with our immune defensive system to help break down and eliminate toxins, and alert our immune systems to danger. Like most living systems these microbes are in a constant struggle to maintain balance within our bodies. Certain foods and other types of microbes can upset this balance.
How Can I Help Maintain This Balance?
To maintain good digestive health, we must both watch what we eat and provide a good home for these helpful but unseen microbes within. Consuming foods that are high in fats and sugars, have abnormally high or low acid, taking antibiotics which can wipe out the good microbes, or consuming foods tainted with foreign microbes can all wreak havoc on our good resident microbes. This results in fewer numbers of microbes to assist our digestion, and also can allow an over growth of the foreign "bad microbes" in our intestines for which we will suffer accordingly.
With So Many Probiotics On The Market, How Do I Know The Best To Choose?
The key to consuming Probiotics is to allow the good microbes to survive the passage through stomach digestion to be alive when entering the intestine. Probiotics must also be active enough once they reach the intestine to actually live and grow in order to displace unhealthy microbes that may be existing already.
This is quite a task but at GNC there are now a number of Probiotic products that can exceed in both survivability and colonization using specialized coating techniques.