As 62 percent of people worldwide suffer from digestive complaints at least once per year, understanding the importance of the gut microbiome and the impact of probiotics can help aid in digestive discomfort symptoms. The gut microbiome consists of one hundred trillion bacteria that are influenced by diet, exercise, and antibiotic use, which affects many parts of the body.
Probiotics are live bacteria found in fermented foods or supplements that provide various potential health benefits and colonize the digestive tract. This supplement experts generally consider safe unless one is immunocompromised. On the other hand, prebiotics contain fiber and carbohydrates that aren’t digested by the human body but feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics may aid in the absorption of nutrients and can be found in high-fiber foods. Immunobiotics are heat-killed bacteria that help trigger a more robust immune response but do not colonize the body. Relatively shelf-stable, immunobiotics pose a safer alternative to immunocompromised patients.
Probiotics may improve health by modulating immune system response, producing anti-inflammatory compounds, influencing bodily organs, inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria, and interacting with other microorganisms.
While experts agree that some probiotics effectively reduce certain digestive afflictions and generally ease symptoms of digestive discomfort, other health claims show promise but are yet to be proven. Knowing the difference in the right probiotics for you can be an investment in future health.