Table of Contents
- What are probiotics?
- What are probiotics? (Continued)
- What are prebiotics and synbiotics?
- What are microbes and their role in our health?
- What are the health benefits of probiotics?
- What are the health benefits of probiotics? (Continued)
- What are the different types of probiotics?
- What are the different types of probiotics? (Part 2)
- What are the different types of probiotics? (Part 3)
- What foods contain probiotics?
- What foods contain probiotics? (Part 2)
- What foods contain probiotics? (Part 3)
- What are the side effects and risks of probiotics?
- How should people take probiotics?
What are probiotics?
The idea that bacteria are beneficial can be tough to understand. We take antibiotics to kill harmful bacterial infections and use antibacterial soaps and lotions more than ever. The wrong bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems, but the right bacteria in the right place can have benefits. This is where probiotics come in. Probiotics are live microorganisms that may be able to help prevent and treat some illnesses. Promoting a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system are their most widely studied benefits at this time. These are also commonly known as friendly, good, or healthy bacteria. Probiotics can be supplied through foods, beverages, and dietary supplements.
The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning "promoting," and biotic, meaning "life." The discovery of probiotics came about in the early 20th century, when Elie Metchnikoff, known as the "father of probiotics," had observed that rural dwellers in Bulgaria lived to very old ages despite extreme poverty and harsh climate. He theorized that health could be enhanced and senility delayed by manipulating the intestinal microbiome with host-friendly bacteria found in sour milk. Since then, research has continued to support his findings along with suggesting even more benefits.