What are probiotics?
Probiotics are living microbial food supplements that are beneficial to the health of those that consume them.
These microorganisms survive throughout the intestinal transit and are able to grow and colonise the intestine, benefitting the health of the host organism. For this to occur, they must be resistant to gastric juices and able to grow in the presence of bile under the conditions in the intestines. Alternatively, they must be consumed in food or supplements that, acting as a vehicle, enable them to survive the passage through the stomach. The main bacteria used as probiotics belong to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera.
» Probiotics protect the digestive system, for which reason they are sometimes also known as biotherapeutics, bioprotectors and bioprophylactics.
By consuming probiotics, we can modify our colonic flora and adjust the composition of our intestinal flora.
In addition to the solid link that exists between the use of probiotics and their effects in reducing lactose intolerance and stimulating the immune system to reduce the incidence and severity of gastrointestinal infections, recent studies have also focused on the role that probiotics play in controlling body weight.
Bifidobacteria are a bacterial genus commonly found in the human intestine that play an important role in establishing well-balanced intestinal flora.
Bacteria in the Bifidobacterium genus can reduce body fat content and improve metabolic syndrome biomarkers. These bacteria decrease in number with the passing of time.
Microorganisms in the Bifidobacterium genus have a strongly positive effect on the patient's health:
» Enhance the attack against malignant cells.
» Produce vitamins, such as B-group vitamins.
» Restore microflora after antibiotics have been taken.
» Help to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
» Produce lactate, acetate and short-chain fatty acids.
» Inhibit the growth of potential pathogens by competing with receptors.