What are Probiotics and how do they work?

How it works: Probiotic bacteria start to create a micro-environment in which pathogens are not compatible with by altering the pH slightly and producing substances that are antimicrobial.

Probiotics are forms of friendly bacteria that are beneficial towards your health, in particular, your digestive system. There are many different forms and strains of probiotics, the most common being Lactobacillus.

Lactobacillus can be found in yogurt and other fermented food types, this form of probiotic can help with gut health and may help those who cannot digest lactose (the sugar found in dairy products). A probiotic’s main job is to help with food digestion and gut health but some studies have shown them to improve other areas of health including skin conditions such as eczema.

Sources Of Probiotics

Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics, and there are many different types of food that are good for this.

Kefir – Kefir is a fermented milk drink, sort of like a drinkable yogurt. It is rich in calcium and probiotic. Kefir is great for use in smoothies.

Yogurt – Yogurt’s labelled with a ‘live and active cultures’ seal assures that the product contains at least 100 million cultures (probiotic) per gram at the time of manufacture (10 million for frozen yogurt)

Kimchi – Kimchi is a spicy Korean fermented cabbage dish, not too dissimilar from Sauerkraut. It can be eaten on its own or as a topping for foods such as veggie burgers or tacos.

Sauerkraut – Sauerkraut is a popular topping for foods such as vegetarian hot dogs and burgers. It is made from fermented cabbage and salt. Refrigerated Sauerkraut offers higher probiotic levels than that of those stored on a shelf at room temperature. It is easy to make your own Sauerkraut, or you can buy it from your local supermarket.

Probiotic supplements are another great form of probiotic intake and are widely available in many health stores.

To learn more, join Dr Elisabeth Philipps and Antony Haynes for the first webinar of 2020, Successful Probiotic Case Studies on the 27th January 2020.