The term Probiotics means “to promote life”. More than 400 species of bacteria or microflora naturally populate our intestinal tract. Some of them are “good” bacteria, known as probiotics. Probiotic bacteria are important for a healthy gut and immune system. They also support the nervous system and metabolize cholesterol, thereby reducing its level in the blood.
Daily use is advisable for everyone. However, probiotics are essential for anyone with gastric or intestinal dysfunction such as IBS, after a stomach flu or when taking an antibiotic treatment. Adults with chronic immune illness or children whose immune systems are immature will benefit from regular supplementation.
The two main species, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus play an important role in bowel health. They assist in the breakdown of milk sugars and other undigested foods and help to regulate the pH or acidity level of the bowel.
Probiotic bacteria also help build a protective layer along the lining of the intestinal wall, reinforcing the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa, thereby preventing the attachment of pathogenic microorganisms and the entry of allergens. Other beneficial effects include increasing levels of circulating immunoglobulin-A (IgA). Studies on patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) reveal that probiotics can balance aberrant microflora, reinforce intestinal defence, inhibit pathogenic bacteria and moderate immune reactions in the mucosal and epithelial layers of the intestines, thereby decreasing symptoms associated with the disease as well as the frequency of flare-ups.
Numerous foods now claim to be enriched with probiotics. However, the majority of these packaged goods contain highly inadequate bacterial counts or single strains that provide poor or no protection against stomach acid. In my opinion, a dual strain, high-count probiotic supplement delivered in an acid-resistant capsule is your best choice for this essential natural health product.
Getting children to consume a probiotic capsule can be difficult but Jamieson makes capsules suitable for children that can be broken and added to food, as well as strawberry yogurt-flavoured chewable probiotic tablets making this beneficial health supplement a treat to consume.