Probiotics are defined as "living bacteria that, when supplied in suitable proportions, provide a benefit to the health of persons who consume them," according to a 2002 guidance released by the FAO and the WHO (World Health Organization).

A microorganism must have been thoroughly typified and studied to determine its benefits, the quantities in which it should be taken, and the situations or indications in which it has been shown to be beneficial. Its efficacy must also have been thoroughly investigated.

What are probiotics for?

Probiotics stand out for providing the following benefits:

  • They aid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel illnesses such as colitis, IBS, Crohn's disease, and other types of intestinal inflammation.

  • They aid in digestion as well as reducing the acidity that some foods might induce.

  • They aid to normalize intestinal transit and treating constipation and diarrhea.

  • They aid in the absorption of B vitamins, iron, and calcium, among other minerals.

  • They stop harmful germs from multiplying in the gut.

  • They're great for helping lactose-intolerant people digest their food.

  • They help to avoid issues like obesity and high cholesterol.

  • They prevent and treat diarrhea caused by antibiotics, which affect the gut flora as a side effect.

Types of Probiotics

Probiotics are classified into two categories: those derived from bacteria and those derived from yeast. We discover mostly lactobacilli and bifidobacteria species in the first category of bacteria. Lactobacilli are bacteria that may be found in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems and foods such as yogurt and kefir. Its primary role is to protect the digestive system from infection. Lactobacilli are beneficial in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients.

Bifidobacteria are the second kind of bacteria. This kind of bacterium may be found in the bacterial flora of the gut, but it can also be found in fermented foods such as cheese and yogurt and in the environment.

Probiotics that are not of bacterial origin, but are composed of yeasts, such as the live yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, are also available.

What foods are rich in probiotics?

The following are examples of foods that are high in probiotics and that we can consume: