Probiotics have become increasingly popular in recent years. Given this, many of may be thinking of taking a probiotic formula, but aren’t quite sure what to expect.
If this sounds familiar, then you've come to the right place. Here, we have produced a FAQ to answer your questions about probiotics supplements.
Probiotics: What Are They?
We all have bacteria living on our bodies. Some of this bacterium helps our bodies to work optimally. For example, some help us to break down food in our digestive systems, which we wouldn’t be able to do on our own. When the bacteria are helpful it is known as a probiotic, or friendly bacteria.
Bacteria? I Thought they Caused Infections and Illness?
Some bacteria can cause infections and other problems, but these are not the strains used in probiotics. In fact, if they make you poorly, then, by definition, they are not probiotics, but merely biotic. In short, some bacteria are good and help the body, while some bacteria are bad and works against the body. It is a little more complicated than this, but here, there’s no need to delve deeply into the science.
You are supposed to have bacteria living on and in your body. There is no person alive that doesn’t have bacteria. If they were to disappear overnight, for some unimaginable reason, then this would inevitably lead to our demise.
Why Do We Have Bacteria?
We have what is known as s symbiotic relationship with bacteria. In simple terms, it’s a matter of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’. They live on our body and in return, they help us perform our bodily functions. Here are some of the awesome things that bacteria do for us:
- Help with digestion: they help us to break our food down into constituent parts that make it easier for the body to absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
- Form part of our immune system: we have many different strains of bacteria that form part of the immune system. Some are responsible for keeping infections at bay; others are responsible for ensuring that we stay strong and healthy. They can stop infections and viruses. The way they help the immune system varies between different strains. Some stimulate the body’s natural defences, while others tackle the infection/virus directly.
Bacteria have evolved alongside us; we’ve literally grown up together, from an evolutionary standpoint.
Why Do We Need to Take Probiotics?
Given that we all have probiotics in the body, why would we need to take a supplement? Well, there are several different reasons:
- We might be missing a particular strain that can help fight a particular infection.
- We might have depleted levels of probiotics. This usually happens following a course of antibiotics.
- We might have a compromised immune system and require a little boost.
Are Probiotics Safe?
Yes, that’s the whole point, they are the friendly bacteria and so they’re good for us. We do recommend that children use a special preparation, such as Kidslac probiotics, but this is simply because Kidslac probiotics contain fewer bacteria than adult preparations.
It is possible to experience side effects when taking probiotics. These are usually in the form of excess gas or diarrhoea. Always read the label before taking the perpetration, so that you know what you’re taking and how it can affect you.
If you would like further help and advice about Kidslac probiotics, then please visit thefinchleyclinic