Bacteria are small, single-celled organisms found almost everywhere on Earth, and they have a vital and important role in maintaining the planet’s ecosystems. Your body is filled with bacteria more than you think or imagine, as some studies estimate that the human body contains more bacterial cells than human cells (1), while other studies indicate that bacteria exceed the number of human cells in the human body by at least 10: 1 (2)
You may be asking yourself now, are so many bacteria harmful and causing you health problems? The answer is no, as most bacteria in the body are harmless, and some are even beneficial. There are relatively few types of bacteria that cause disease.
Among the bacteria that are useful to support and enhance your health are those bacteria in your gut, which are called “probiotics” and also called “healthy bacteria” or “friendly bacteria for human health”. These bacteria have been linked to many health benefits, such as: weight loss, improving digestion, enhancing Immune function, obtaining healthier and fresh skin, in addition to reducing the risk of some diseases (3), so that some health benefits were attributed to this type of bacteria in enhancing immunity to confront the emerging corona virus. (4) To learn more about probiotics and their potential benefits, continue. We have the following lines.
A very important task of probiotics is to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria, that is, to maintain a healthy fit between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. Over time and with the use of some medications, especially antibiotics, the healthy bacteria in your gut can be depleted, because the antibiotics kill many of the natural bacteria in your gut, which changes the balance of the intestine and allows harmful types to grow. Also, some diseases and malnutrition can lead to the result. itself.
When probiotics are reduced, the consequences can include digestive problems, allergies, some mental health problems, obesity, and others, as well as your body may have difficulty absorbing and using nutrients from your food, and it also faces difficulties in fighting viruses and infection and maintaining a healthy body. (5)
You can get probiotics from nutritional supplements, as well as from foods prepared through bacterial fermentation. Examples of foods containing probiotics include yogurt, kefir (a fermented milk drink), sauerkraut (cabbage), tempeh, and kimchi. (6)
Probiotics contain a variety of microorganisms, the most common of which are bacteria belonging to groups called “Lactobacillus” and “Bifidobacterium”. Different types of probiotics have different effects, for example if a certain type of “Lactobacillus” helps prevent a disease, this does not necessarily mean that another type of “Lactobacillus” or “Bifidobacterium probiotics” may do the same thing. (7)
According to scientific studies, there are a number of health benefits that you can achieve from probiotics, including:
- Vitamin manufacture and fiber processing:
The gut bacteria perform many important health functions, as they manufacture some vitamins, including vitamin K and some B vitamins. It also converts fiber into short-chain fats, which nourish the intestinal wall and perform many metabolic functions (8).
- Impact on digestive health:
Probiotics may also help fight irritable bowel syndrome, a common disorder that causes many annoying symptoms, such as: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, in addition to other symptoms.There is still conflict between studies in determining the effectiveness of probiotic supplements in treating IBS. . While a review of 7 studies indicated an improvement in IBS with probiotic supplements, four studies did not confirm this. (9)
- Probiotics and mental health support:
Research has shown that the gut and the brain are connected to a system called the enterovascular axis. This axis connects the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system in the body, where the latter controls the digestive process. Advertising
Some research shows that certain gut microbes can affect your brain through this axis. Some researchers suggest that for some people, taking certain strains of probiotics may be more effective for dealing with mental stress, loneliness, and sadness than taking psychiatric drugs, which help treat cognitive and neurological disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. (10)
A review of about 15 studies also found that taking Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus supplements for one to two months can improve anxiety disorders, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and memory impairment (11).
- Probiotics and face skin diseases:
Probiotics are of great importance in combating some skin diseases, including acne. According to Science Direct magazine, probiotics have been shown to have a very promising effect in dealing with chronic acne.
The effectiveness of probiotics in combating acne comes from their role in regulating bacteria, as they help prevent harmful bacteria to the skin from growing, which in turn prevents the emergence of acne, which is caused by harmful bacteria on clogged skin pores. Therefore, probiotics are linked to a healthy, clear complexion (12).
Also, certain strains of probiotics may reduce the severity of eczema in children and infants. Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes red and itchy, and it is a common disease in children, but it can occur at any age. One study found that symptoms of eczema improved in infants fed probiotic milk fortified, compared to infants fed formula without the probiotics. (13)