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Good health, from head to toe now possible with probiotics

Posted:  Monday, April 06, 2015

Did you know that moods, allergies and even obesity can be modulated by gut bacteria, who even outnumber human cells in the body? Called probiotic bacteria, they live up to their Latin name which means ‘for life’. Experts suggest including these beneficial bacteria in the diet regularly to keep a check on the incidence of health conditions.

Research has shown that probiotic bacteria have shown to help with conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as antibiotic associated diarrhoea and also irritable bowel syndrome. Its effects extend beyond the GI tract as they also help in controlling inflammation in the body, fight urinary tract infections and even improve skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.

Probiotic bacteria bring about these beneficial effects by preventing the colonisation by pathogenic bacteria in the gut. They also help in digesting the fibres bringing about relief to patients with irritable bowel syndrome. So how to ensure one gets enough of these beneficial beings for good health? Experts suggest going through the product label to check for 3 important points:

1. One should look for a variety of bacteria ideally a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus and Lactobacillus casei.

2. If a product has added prebiotic, look for the one with 1-3 grams of it

3. Ensure you also look into the sugar content as probiotic drinks generally have added sugar.

Experts also suggest supplements in case of patients who have other dietary restrictions. However, experts also sound a caution since probiotic bacteria may not be tolerated well by immunesuppressed patients and those suffering from pancreatitis.

"Incorporating probiotics into one's diet is not a quick-fix or a cure-all but it can have a strong influence on one's health,” concluded experts from UW Health.

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