Use of Probiotics for Preventing Diseases

good and bad bacteriaThere are several reasons that people are using probiotics for promoting health.

The world is full of microorganisms, including anyone’s body, such as in and on the skin, in the gut, and in other cavities. Friendly bacteria (prebiotics) are vital to proper development of the immune system, to protection against pathogenic microorganisms that could cause disease, and to the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients. Each person’s mix of bacteria varies. Interactions between a person and the microorganisms in her/his body, and among the microorganisms themselves, can be crucial to the person’s health and well-being.

The balanced bacterial population can be thrown off in two major ways:

1. By using antibiotics, when they kill friendly bacteria in the gut along with pathogenic bacteria. Some people use probiotics to try to offset side effects from antibiotics like gas, cramping, or diarrhea. Similarly, some use them to ease symptoms of lactose intolerance—a condition in which the gut lacks the enzyme needed to digest significant amounts of the major sugar in milk, and which also causes gastrointestinal symptoms.

2. Pathogenic microorganisms over growth. These are disease-causing bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and parasites. When they over growing, they can also upset the balance.

Probiotics could halt these pathogenic bacteria in the first place and/or suppress their growth and activity in many conditions like:

1) Infectious diarrhea
2) Irritable bowel syndrome
3) Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
4) Infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes most gastric ulcers
5) Tooth decay and periodontal disease
6) Vaginal infections
7) Skin infection

It is generally safe to use probiotics to prevent diseases. You should take probiotics supplement after you complete the antibiotic therapy for the previous infection.

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