Top Benefits of Probiotics & Prebiotics- Nature’s Internal Guardians
2nd May, 2020
So, what are probiotics?
Probiotics is a collective term used to describe bacteria or another micro-organism that dwell in a microbiome (environment) which promotes the health of the host in which they reside. We also now know that probiotics require the right environment to survive and flourish.
The microbiome of the intestinal system is promoted or enhanced by the right environment. It is the role of prebiotics to do this job. Prebiotics are soluble or non-soluble dietary fibres that help encourage the growth and development of probiotics. They are truly probiotics best friend!
Did you know that probiotics work beyond the scope of your digestive system?
Probiotics are a significant contributor to your whole immune system. Your digestive system harbours about 70-80% of your immune cells, so it is really important that you have a healthy gut to support your immune system. There are in fact, many species of probiotics and some have been extensively researched for their specific action on the immune system and for the benefit of some health issues.
Top benefits of Probiotics and Prebiotics:
1. Provide a barrier to harmful pathogens
We live in a non-sterile world and your body and digestive system is the same. Daily, we come into contact or ingest foreign pathogens which challenge our own immune system. Sometimes, our immune system can recognise certain invaders and quickly deal with the fall-out to help us stay healthy, whilst some other invaders may be new and more difficult to contain. Probiotics are our own microbes which live all over us to protect us. They can be found on our skin, mouth, nose, bowels and of course in our digestive system. One great job that our friendly microbes can do is provide a barrier to these invaders. They can crowd out harmful pathogens and prevent them from sticking around, they arrest and inhibit invaders from causing harm and can expel them out through our digestive, respiratory or urinary system. Leaving our immune cells to deal with more important jobs in our body.
2. Keep a healthy balance of good bacteria in our gut
Prebiotics are really our probiotics best friends! Prebiotics provide fibre as a food source for our probiotics to grow. Prebiotics contribute to keeping the right balance of probiotics in the gut. If we have the right balance of probiotics, then pathogenic invaders cannot dominate. Often foreign invaders can cause disruption by disturbing the environment in our digestive system and the colonies of good bacterium.
3. Keeping a healthy colony
Probiotics have a unique ability to look after themselves. It is often the job of certain probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus brevis to name a few, to help support their probiotic colonies by maintaining the environment and the function of fellow probiotics species.
4. Direct Immune support
There are many species of probiotics which can have a specific action. Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium infantis provides a direct barrier to foreign invaders and can support the immune system in reducing the frequency and duration of illness. Bifidocbacterium lactis although has similar actions to its fellow family strains, it can also increase specific immune cells, immunoglobulin IgA and serum IgG. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus paracasei support the immune system by stimulating anti-inflammatory cells response and activating gut immune cells. Lactobacillus casei can support immune system health by increasing the production of lymphocyte cells and Natural killer (NK) cells. Both components of our innate immune system.
Probiotics have many actions and just like our immune system, are extremely complex. Support your immune system by supporting your gut health to keep your body strong and resilient.