Most people are familiar with the word antibiotics, which describes an organism that kills unwanted bacteria in the body. However, you may be less familiar with the word probiotics, which may be equally essential to weight loss and good health.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are most easily described as "good" bacteria, although they may also be yeasts or other types of organisms. These organisms actually promote health in various parts of your body, especially in the digestive and immune systems. Some probiotics occur naturally in the body, such as the bacteria that is found in the stomach and aids digestion.
Different types of probiotics will have different effects on the body. For example, one type may help food move more efficiently through the digestive system while another form can help the body digest lactose, the protein found in milk products.
Some possible benefits of probiotics include:
- Producing antibodies for viruses.
- Preventing infection.
- Preventing unwanted infection from attaching to the internal wall of the stomach and intestine.
- Destroying toxins released by “bad” bacteria.
- Producing B vitamins, which help prevent anemia, improve skin and keep the nervous system healthy.
Probiotics are most commonly used to treat digestive disorders and promote more efficient digestion. Specific types of probiotics are used to address very specific problems and you should work with your doctor to determine which probiotics would be most appropriate for you.