Probiotics and Your Health: What Is Good Bacteria?
A vast majority of people associate the word bacteria with detrimental little beings responsible for bringing illnesses to the body. The truth is, good bacteria outnumber the harmful ones in terms of number of species and quantity. Our gut alone is home to trillions of good bacteria that benefit our digestive and overall health. Aside from supporting almost all healthy anatomic functions, these bacteria also fight off harmful bacteria and microorganisms.
What Is the Gut Microbiota?
An average human gut has a mix of bad bacteria and good, beneficial bacteria. This bacterial combination is collectively called the gut microbiota or microbiome.
It may be interesting to note that an average total weight of the gut microbiome is 0.2KG. About 95% of microbiomes live in the colon or large intestine, meaning that the small intestine contains only a small proportion of the microbiota.
The primary factors affecting the microbial balance in your gut are diet, age, environment, medications, and genes. Taking antibiotics may also affect that balance of good and bad bacteria.
Okay, So What Is Good Bacteria?
In short, good bacteria are what make up the colonies of active, beneficial bacteria lining the digestive tract. A well-balanced microbiome consists of 85% of good bacteria and 15% of harmful species. With 70% of the immune system residing in our gut, experts now emphasize ensuring the correct balance of microbiota to keep your body functioning in tip-top shape.
The gut microbiome plays various critical roles. These roles include promoting nutrient metabolism from foods and certain medications, curbing the activity of everyday pathogens, and producing vitamin K.
How to Know When You May Need a “Gut Check”
So, what does all that mean for your gut health? Should you care about your gut microbiome? According to medical experts, the gut microbiome holds a critical value not only for your digestive tract but also for your overall health. A happy gut means a happy you.
If you want to maintain an adequate number of healthy bacteria in your gut, it’s best to be mindful of how you care for your body. Eat a healthy balanced diet, drink plenty of water, choose positive lifestyle habits and avoid stress.
Could Probiotics Benefit You?
The concept of getting live beneficial bacteria through food resources is not new. Many of these bacterial species are found in natural food resources. The combinations of live bacteria and beneficial yeast are known as probiotics, which are present in our guts as well as some natural food resources.
Different foods contain different bacteria strains. That means choosing the food resource wisely is necessary to ensure an optimum supply of the required strain. For instance, if you experience digestive distress, you may want to have a supply of active Lactobacillus, which is a probiotic species found in fermented foods like yogurt. Another bacterial species acidophilus benefits mouth and gut health, and this strain is also found in yogurt.
A lot of foods also contain prebiotics, which are a source of sustenance for beneficial bacteria present in the gut. High-fiber foods with complex carbohydrates promote healthy function of your digestive tract by strengthening healthy bacteria in your colon.
The Best Probiotic Supplements for Gut Health
With active probiotics becoming scarcer in supposedly probiotic-rich foods due to modern cooking and food processing methods, choosing probiotic supplementation proves a viable alternative. These supplements contain a mix of various good gut bacteria and prebiotics, allowing you to maintain an ideal microbial balance in your gut.
Some probiotic supplements such as Probulin Total Care Probiotic help support both total digestive health and immune function. If you’re interested in exploring our many options for supporting gut health, check out some of our customer’s favorites.
As always, before you begin any supplement regimen it’s always best to speak with your physician to find out what products best suit your individual health needs.