Probiotics are beneficial to your health

August 21, 2017 by
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

What are probiotics?

Your body contains up to 10x more bacteria than it does human cells. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to health. Via effects on the microbiome and on the human body itself, probiotics may impact every facet of health.

Exponential growth in human microbiome research has evolved our understanding of gut microbiome, probiotics and the breadth of health conditions they influence. An imbalance in the gut microbiome, is linked to numerous diseases, both within the gut and systemically.

Gut microbiome composition – trillions of native, commensal bacteria

2016 research estimates the human microbiome to be made up of approximately 38 trillion organisms, the majority of which exist within the gastrointestinal tract. These organisims are commonly referred to as ‘commensals’ (meaning non-harmful) with over one thousand species currently identified, and many thousands of genetically unique strains; highlighting the diversity and breadth of the microbiome pool.

Rebuild rather than replace – a new understanding of the probiotic impact in the gut

Over the past 10 years it has become clear that some probiotic strains have more health benefits and a broader range of benefits than others. New research shows that some probiotics modulate the quantity, diversity (composition) and function of other bacteria, i.e. the commensal bacteria native to the human gut.

These super strains catalyse the rebuilding of depleted gut microbes that need to be present in significant numbers to form a healthy gut microbiome. In addition, these influential probiotic strains enhance the overall metabolic function of the microbiome. Enhanced function is critical for positive patient results over time, as new science indicates that the function of these live organisms may actually be more important than the quantity of/or diversity (composition) of the microbiome.

The composition of the human gut microbiome

Beyond the gut microbiome

Evidence demonstrates that effective probiotics also improve host functions such as aiding gut barrier integrity, favourably modulating the immune system and positively interacting with the enteric nervous system resulting in clinical benefits to the patient.

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