Probiotic bacteria have become increasingly popular during the last two decades as a result of the continuously expanding scientific evidence pointing to their beneficial effects on human health. As a result they have been applied as various products with the food industry having been very active in studying and promoting them.
Probiotics are live bacteria that have been shown to be beneficial for our health. These good bacteria can be consumed through various foods and supplements. Fermented foods are foods transformed by microbial means or acted on by beneficial bacteria. Here are a few benefits:
- Allergies & Eczema – Probiotics have shown an ability to help prevent allergic diseases beginning during adolescence and later years rather than in childhood.
- Diarrhoea – Probiotics can be helpful in relieving various types of diarrhoea, including antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, infectious diarrhoea, traveler’s diarrhoea, and that of other causes.
- Diabetes – Probiotics may help with blood glucose management and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Heart Health – Probiotics may lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure.
- Indigestion – Probiotics have been shown to ease the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.
- Mental Health – Probiotic supplements can assist in managing various mental health disorders.
There is no doubt that we will witness a significant increase in the role of probiotics in nutrition and medicine over the next decade and while their application in the prevention and treatment of various disorders should be considered by medical professionals and promoted by the food industry, this should be done with skepticism and respect to the consumer.