‘Bacteria Can Be Helpful and Beneficial Too’: – Though this sounds amazing, this is indeed true. Consuming a good amount of bacteria as a part of the daily diet may seem ridiculous but there some special kind of microorganisms or live bacteria called ‘PROBIOTICS’ (from ‘pro’ and ‘biota’ meaning ‘for life’) which millions of Northern Europeans use in their daily diet is helpful to mankind. Not only in Northern Europe but also in the USA and Japan, probiotics are quite popular.
Uses of Probiotic Supplements:
These kinds of ‘friendly bacteria’ are similar to organisms naturally occurring in the digestive tract. Probiotics are a helpful remedy to various diseases like ‘irritable bowel syndrome’ and ‘traveler’s diarrhea’ which may occur due to taking antibiotics.
There are some specific probiotics that are helpful. They are as follows:-
a) Bifidobacterium lactis HN019- This helps to modulate certain aspects of the immune system in elderly people. This is available as the ingredient for dairy and supplement products.
b) Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC55730- This is available in BioGaia Gut Health Products.
c) Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) – These types of probiotics are found in drinkable yogurt and Culturelle capsule.
d) Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001- This is available in DanActive products.
e) Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12- This is found in Yo-Plus yogurt and Live Active Cheese. For the best results, it is better to use this uncooked.
f) Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001- This is also available in DanActive products.
g) Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 plus Lactobacillus casei Lbc80r- This can be found as BioK + CL1285 fermented milk, BioK + CL1285 soy milk, and capsules.
However, some caution must be taken while choosing the appropriate probiotic. First of all, one should look for its full probiotic name, including the genus, species, and then the strain.
Secondly, one may search the website of the company to find out more about the following:-
a) The strain used in the product
b) The amount of probiotic each serving of the product contains
c) The research which suggested the health benefit from probiotic in question, and the amount of probiotic that was used in the research
It is generally believed that probiotic supplements are effective when consumed either in pill or food form. However, supplements can be more convenient for some people providing some higher levels of probiotic, depending on the product in question.
Moreover, people who are generally ill and have a defective immune system must be cautious about the consumption of probiotic products and supplements. Research is still going on to find out which types of diseases should prevent the use of probiotics.
All said and done probiotics may be harmful to a certain group of people especially those who are terminally ill cancer patients and people having health conditions of leaky bowels and acute pancreatitis. They should refrain from consuming probiotics.
In order to be safe, one must make his family physician aware of the probiotics he is taking. Otherwise, probiotics offer a great food value to human health.