Nowadays, finding someone who hasn’t even heard of probiotics is very rare. Although knowledge about probiotics is not widespread, the health benefits of these microorganisms are on everyone’s lips.
Unlike drugs or food supplements, probiotics don’t only provide the body with the compounds it needs. These microorganisms have properties linked to certain adequate amounts in the body, so when they are administered, they can improve different bodily functions.
However, despite having several studies supporting their use, there’s no generalised knowledge of how they act or benefit the human body. Therefore, in this article, we will study how they work, the different benefits they provide, and finally, why we should buy probiotics for men or women.
How probiotics act in the human body
Probiotics have a function that is linked to the type of strain that will be used. Although they all intend to act similarly in the host’s body, each strain type may act differently.
The truth is that their benefits are undoubted, and we can find them in different areas:
Its first function is based on inhibiting microorganisms that can cause diseases inside the intestine. This makes the carrier less prone to intestinal diseases, and it achieves this by changing the medium’s pH and producing antibacterial compounds.
In addition, it also favours the presence of different beneficial bacteria for the intestinal ecosystem, facilitating its transit and avoiding complications. These types of changes in the intestinal area result in the prevention of diseases such as celiac disease, enteric infections, or autoimmune diseases in the intestine.
One of the best-known functions of probiotics is the ability to allow the metabolization of lactose, certain proteins, and amino acids. Also, adequate doses can improve the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.
This advantage is remarkable for intolerant people because they can consume foods of this type to be helped by these microorganisms.
Brain and immune system
In addition to facilitating the digestive and intestinal processes, they also seek to stimulate the immune system by acting on the cells destined to achieve natural immunity. At the same time, they also seek to increase white blood cells by generating immunoglobulins, which results in a better immune response.
Do probiotics act in the same way in all individuals?
Although it’s estimated that the benefits of ingesting certain strains of probiotics depend on their regular use, this does not indicate that their performance is identical for everyone. Probiotics should be chosen depending on the pathological conditions to be treated, and as they are different in each individual, there may be different reactions.
This means that for probiotics to work properly, it’s necessary to know the strain, the doses to be taken, and the feasibility that the host organism can sustain the microorganisms.
This type of different reaction in various individuals is due to the fact that the living organisms may not find a pleasant habitat within the body of some hosts. Consequently, they may die before fulfilling their functions, and different strains or even larger quantities may be needed to ensure their survival.
Best-known benefits of probiotics
Knowing how they act in some parts of the body makes it possible to determine their administration’s benefits. Although they may not act immediately, and different strains or doses may be needed, the treatments have shown positive results in the following situations:
- Prevention of infectious diarrhoea resulting from consuming strong antibiotics. This is due to its ability to attenuate the lack of intestinal flora and the way it facilitates its re-growth.
- Decrease lactose intolerance, where certain strains facilitate lactose degradation and prevent it from reaching the undigested large intestine.
- They soothe the symptoms of intestinal inflammation.
- Decrease cholesterol levels
- Modulate the immune system avoiding processes such as asthma, allergy, or dermatitis.
- Maintain digestive health.
In addition, several probiotics are also attributed with other benefits such as increasing muscle growth, weight loss, reducing stress, or improving cognitive abilities.
Recommendations for their use
Although probiotics have begun to form part of many people’s daily diets, their use should be studied, especially in clinical practice. The benefits are many, which makes them widely accepted, but it must be taken into account that many of them come mixed with certain medications.
When applying medications with probiotics included, you must have a medical prescription to consume them without any problem. This is because these medications can present adverse effects if they are not used correctly.
On the other hand, multiple probiotics can be purchased separately as food supplements. Although their functioning will benefit the body, it’s necessary to research the strains and doses to find the right one for our organism.
We must also remember that although probiotics greatly facilitate the body’s functions, they are not natural substitutes for foods that stimulate these areas. Such compounds should never replace a healthy and balanced diet.
Finally, the adverse effects of these products are almost nil, given the height of their safety profile. However, certain individuals with autoimmune diseases, immunosuppressed people, people recovering from heart surgery, or with bloody diarrhoea should not consume them without a prescription.