Friendly bacteria are beneficial microorganisms found naturally in our digestive tract. They play a role in maintaining healthy intestinal flora, which helps maintain normal digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. Probiotics have been shown to reduce symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. Probiotics have also been used to treat infections such as Clostridium difficile infection.
Probiotics are not only helpful for treating disease, but they may also help prevent certain types of cancer. A reduction in the incidence of cancers in animals has been linked to the lowering of fecal coliforms through the use of certain types of friendly bacteria.
Reductions in the incidence of liver, colon, and stomach cancer have also been seen.
The incidence of antibiotic resistant bacteria has increased substantially in recent years. This is a result of our overuse and misuse of antibiotics.
Probiotics help to keep the number of pathogenic bacteria in check, which in turn reduces the likelihood that they will develop antibiotic resistance. This means you may be able to avoid certain antibiotics when you are sick.
Friendly bacteria: do we really need to eat probiotic yogurts?
“Probiotic” is a word that is thrown around a lot these days. You will find this word on labels of food, bottles of pills, and even in advertisements.
But what exactly does it mean?
In simple terms, a probiotic is any living organism (in most cases it’s a bacteria) that has a beneficial effect on the host. In other words, the ingested organism helps your body function properly.
For example, by ingesting more of a certain type of bacteria, you can decrease the number of “bad” bacteria in your body.
This can help your digestive system, improve metabolism, and increase your immune system’s defenses.
The most common types of bacteria that are thought to be beneficial are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. These are the types of bacteria that normally make up the largest population in your intestines.
As we go through life, the amount of these good bacteria in our body starts to dwindle. This is most likely due to lifestyle and eating habits.
Many people just don’t consume enough “good” bacteria in their foods to maintain a healthy level of these organisms.
Foods that contain high amounts of friendly bacteria are yogurt and certain types of fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut.
Also kept in the refrigerator section of your local grocery store are probiotic supplements.
These are pills that have a high enough concentration of these good bacteria to help replenish the levels of friendly bacteria in your intestines.
Probiotic supplements come in pill or liquid form. The pills are basically dehydrated forms of the bacteria to allow for stable storage and transport.
When you take the pill, it is re-hydrated by the moisture in your intestines.
The supplement market has become a very profitable one. There are many types of these pills on the market today.
Some can even be found in your local grocery store.
While these pills are generally safe, you should always check with your doctor before taking any supplement. Especially if you are already on medications or have a chronic illness.
Most importantly, make sure that the supplement has at least 1 billion active bacteria in each pill. If it doesn’t have enough of the active bacteria, then it won’t be effective.
Probiotic supplements are generally considered safe (except during pregnancy), but the number of “bad” bacteria in your intestines can sometimes be too high. If you have an overgrowth of these “bad” bacteria, then the consumption of additional friendly bacteria may results in diarrhea.
Always check with your doctor before starting any type of probiotic supplement.
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Are you sitting down?
Ok, you might want to sit down for this…
There are more bacteria cells in your body than there are human cells! They outnumber your own cells by 10 to 1.
They even outnumber the cells of any other organism in your body.
We are more microbial than we are human!
For most animals, the largest organ is the one that filters out things from the blood. For humans, it is the skin.
People who have a high concentration of good bacteria in their intestines tend to be healthier than those who don’t. This is why eating foods that replenish these levels is so important.
The human brain has the consistency of tofu. If it were any harder, we might not be able to move around and if it were any softer, we wouldn’t be able to think.
Our brain is made up of 60% fat.
The longest living animals on the planet are tortoises. The lifespans of these creatures can range from 150 to even 350 years.
Human babies are not as defenseless as everyone thinks. Newborns can actually survive for several hours without their mother around to take care of them.
It is only because the mother’s body gives off substances to help them that babies seem to be completely dependent.
“Sitting disease” is a very real thing. An accumulation of too much fat in your abdomen area can lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
This is why it is important to exercise and keep your weight at a healthy level.
When you go to bed feeling hungry, then you might be doing yourself a disservice. Research has shown that people who go to bed with a bit of hunger still in their stomach sleep better and longer than those who go to bed completely full.
Ticks can survive for up to two years without feeding on a host. After they have had a meal, then they can live for an additional 1-2 years.
The earliest forms of record keeping involved notches on bones and stony surfaces. It wasn’t until much later that people began to use clay tablets and writing.
There are over 70,000 cells in the eye. Among these is a small area known as the fovea centralis.
This is what enables humans to see things in high definition.
There are skin cells all over your body that are constantly regenerating. These dead skin cells are what cause your skin to shed.
If you find a “lump” somewhere on your skin, it is actually just a collection of skin cells that have died and stuck together.
When looking at the human body under a microscope, you can see things much smaller than an atom. These things are known as microbes and they consist of bacteria, some of which are harmful, and some of which are beneficial to our bodies.
The human nose can remember around 10,000 different scents. Our brain can identify a particular scent with a particular moment in time almost immediately.
Human brains dictate when we need to sneeze. In other words, it is our brain that decides when we should reach that point of overwhelming urge to sneeze.
The human brain can process around 12 terabytes of information every single day. To give you an idea of what that means, if you were to write down 12 terabytes of information everyday for three hundred years, you still wouldn’t have recorded as much information as the human brain processes every single day.
We do not have as much control over our dreams as we think. Most of the images you see when you dream are decided by your subconscious and not necessarily something that was recently stored in your memory.
It has been scientifically proven that financial stress can lead to big health problems. Studies have also shown that the lower your social status is, the shorter your life expectancy tends to be.
We have as many individual bacteria living in and on our body as there are human cells. This total of these microorganisms is known as the microbiome, and they are essential to keeping us healthy.
The human brain can remember things from years ago with amazing accuracy. In fact, psychologists have discovered that even very small details from a long time ago can be remembered with ease.
Testosterone is not the only reason as to why males are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Studies have also shown that males are more likely to smoke and drink than females.
There is a disease known as obesity hypoventilation syndrome. It mainly effects obese people and it stops them from sleeping properly at night.
This is because the extra weight puts too much strain on their bodies while they’re asleep, thus preventing them from breathing correctly.
People who are colorblind cannot see the difference between blues and greens. If you have two shades of green, one lighter and one darker, a colorblind person may not be able to tell the difference.
In order for a human to remain awake, they need around 20 minutes of sleep every 4 hours. The brain needs this shut-eye in order to work at an optimum level throughout the day.
In ancient Egypt, sleeping too much was seen as a sign of laziness. It was actually considered to be a moral failing rather than the natural need that it is.
The human brain can process an amazing amount of information every single second. In fact, you’re able to read and understand everything that is written here right now.
Children have a much higher risk of being diagnosed with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It is believed that this is linked to the ever-growing presence of technology in society nowadays.
Some studies have shown that people who suffer from mental health issues are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of pharmaceutical drugs tend to be highly addictive.
It’s a common misconception that the brain stops growing when you reach adulthood, this isn’t true. In fact, your brain will continue to form new neural connections until the day you die.
It is impossible to tickle yourself. Your nervous system is able to recognize the sensations from your own touch, and this will prevent you from getting the tickling sensation.
It is impossible to sneeze while you have a foreign object covering your nose.
Long QT Syndrome is a rare heart condition that can cause a variety of symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and in some cases even fainting. However, it can be treated with medication or in some cases by removing the cause of the condition.
We are able to perceive 40 shades of gray. The human eye is only able to distinguish between around 10,000 different colors.
The brain needs as much as 20% of all the blood in your body at any one time. It also contains around 90% of all the glucose stored in your body.
A healthy adult should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. People who consistently get less than 6 hours are more at risk of developing serious health issues such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
There are numerous substances which can affect your brain function, in some cases they can be found naturally in food while other times they’re completely synthetic. These include nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, which all trigger temporary changes in the way your brain operates.
A person’s heart will increase in size around 50% when they reach adulthood.
Your brain is around 75% water.
It’s an interesting fact that some people’s brains never developed the ability to dream. Studies have proven this is due to a lack of REM sleep.
Sources & references used in this article:
- ‘I am a very happy, lucky lady, and I am full of Vitality!’Analysis of promotional strategies on the websites of probiotic yoghurt producers (N Koteyko – Critical Discourse Studies, 2009 – Taylor & Francis)
- Potential health benefits of combining yogurt and fruits based on their probiotic and prebiotic properties (MA Fernandez, A Marette – Advances in Nutrition, 2017 – academic.oup.com)
- Functional foods: what are the benefits? (C Williamson – British journal of community nursing, 2009 – magonlinelibrary.com)
- Recycling Metchnikoff: probiotics, the intestinal microbiome and the quest for long life (PA Mackowiak – Frontiers in public health, 2013 – frontiersin.org)