Probiotics is the generic name for various strains of ‘life promoting’ living bacteria which are beneficial to the human digestive tract. We need probiotics in sufficient quantity to maintain our gut health, which is integral to having strong immune function - 70% of our immunity is in the gut.
Within our gastrointestinal tract are over 500 different strains of bacteria with diverse health promoting functions. Combined gut flora weighs between two and four kilograms in the average adult. With the right dietary intake we develop a healthy intestinal balance and resilient immune system in the first 2 to 3 years of life. Throughout our life various environmental and lifestyle factors can temporarily disturb this balance.
The balance of healthy versus unhealthy micro-organisms in the body is a delicate one, easily upset by diet and lifestyle factors, antibiotics and environmental toxins. When balance is compromised, disrupting the gut microflora (known as dysbiosis) and unwanted bacteria begin to proliferate, our immune response is weakened and infections gain hold.
Healthy intestinal balance is also necessary for synthesis of many B vitamins and improves the absorption of essential minerals.
Probiotic supplements help redress the balance, strengthening our immune system and restoring harmony to the digestive tract. The following are all areas when probiotic supplements can help:
- After antibiotic, anti-inflammatory or chemotherapy medication
- Inflammatory bowel conditions
- Infections or compromised immune system
- Abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, constipation and/or diarrhoea
- Candida overgrowth
- Unhealthy diet or a high stress lifestyle
- Hormonal imbalances
- Some forms of dermatitis