ABC Nutrition on Probiotics

Probiotics is a word some may associate with illness. Like at the pharmacy counter when we are picking up our antibiotics to take care of that nasty cold and the pharmacist tells you to make sure you have some probiotics with it. Probiotics are live, active, microorganisms consumed to benefit gut flora. In simpler terms, probiotics are “good” bacteria. Each species of probiotics has a different function and benefit so ABC Nutrition is here with a break down some of the most widely researched ones.

A. Lactobacillus

As with most bacteria there are many varieties, so we will just discuss them as a whole. Lactobacillus is found in the GI and urinary tracts and is mostly found in foods such as yogurts. These certain bacteria are aerobic, which means it needs oxygen to survive, which also means they usually need refrigeration. Hence, why lactobacillus is most commonly found in foods such as yogurt, kombucha, and kefir. They have the ability to survive harsh conditions, such as the low pH of stomach acid. All the different species of lactobacillus serve different benefits to us. Some of which are boosting immunity, helping with antibiotic-associated GI issues, and improving overall health conditions.

B. Bifidobacterium

This bacterium mostly resides in the gut and mouth. It aids in the digestion of food, producing short-chain fatty acids (which are the main source of nutrition for cells in your colon and play a crucial role in health and disease), and reducing inflammation. Research shows that bifidobacterium can actually improve eczema in infants and treat certain GI conditions. Food sources of bifidobacterium are plentiful, including yogurt, buttermilk, pickles, cured meats, sauerkraut, and some wines and vinegars.

C. Saccharomyces Boulardii

This probiotic is actually a yeast probiotic, rather than a bacterial probiotic. Saccharomyces boulardii

has been used in the last couple decades to treat and prevent several gastrointestinal conditions, such as preventing GI issues in patients with feeding tubes and GI issues in infants and children. Saccharomyces boulardii is most commonly found in kombucha, as well as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. You can make items such as kombucha tea right at home or purchase it from your local grocer.

Probiotics are a great way to add a little boost to your immunity! Sure the names might be a little complicated, but they really are worth the trouble of pronouncing them. Probiotics are the key to good gut health! The benefits of probiotics were discovered centuries ago, yet scientists are discovering more and more information about probiotics everyday!