Probiotics: definition and properties

Beyond their "commercial" image, probiotics play an important role in the intestinal balance. They strengthen the immune system and protect the digestive system.

Probiotics, what is it?

Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that are naturally found in the intestinal flora. Some examples among the most "known": Lactobacillus casei, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bifidobacillus, Saccharomyces boulardii ...

They are brought by the diet. These bacteria or yeasts facilitate digestion, especially that of lactose. The primary purpose of certain probiotics (lactobacilli, bifidobacteria) is to fight against the proliferation of other harmful microorganisms. They play an immune role, and help strengthen the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa.

Treat acute diarrhea, abdominal pain

The research on probiotics is numerous and quite recent. So it is difficult to have a definitive idea of ​​the effects of these bacteria. All probiotics do not have the same properties.

Some probiotics are recommended for the treatment or even the prevention of certain conditions:

  • They can be indicated in acute gastroenteritis of infectious origin (rotavirus), in children as in adults.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM can be used to combat digestive pain very effectively. Thus, this family of probiotics could be recommended in functional colopathies.
  • Probiotics can be taken in cases of diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
  • They could also have a beneficial effect in case of hypercholesterolemia.
  • Studies have even shown a protective effect against bladder cancer and colon cancer.

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Read also :

> Quiz on probiotics
> All you need to know about trace elements
> Gastrointestinal diseases

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